There are a variety of different ways to take cannabidiol (CBD). These all depend on what you need and what kind of relief you are seeking from your particular condition or symptoms. Each of these different methods of administration will work at a slightly different rate. They all have different rates of absorption by your body. So, what is the best way to take CBD in order for maximum absorption? More importantly which method best suits you?
CBD & Bioavailability
There are a number of factors which determine how rapidly the CBD will treat your symptoms and how quickly it breaks down in the system. These include the method of administration and the dosage. Other factors are your particular metabolism and how quickly your body generally breaks substances down.
When you take CBD, you should consider the concept of bioavailability (BA). This is a term they use in pharmacology and nutrition. Bioavailability refers to the rate and degree by which some drug breaks down and absorbs into the body’s circulatory system.
With most applications, the CBD must enter the bloodstream in order to interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Topicals, however, interact with cannabinoid receptors (part of the ECS) located in the skin, rather than through the bloodstream.
As the CBD is transported throughout the circulatory system, it must then enter our central nervous system (CNS) by being allowed to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Once it has crossed this threshold, then the CBD will begin to take effect on our CNS and brain.
The 5 Main Ways To Take CBD
The following is the 5 main ways people administer CBD. We put them in ranking order of what we believe are the best to worst methods. Remember, this is just a general list. Some people may value a different order regarding the effectiveness and convenience of CBD applications.
This is when you take the CBD oil in a dropper and squirt it under your tongue. This product is a tincture, which is one of the fastest methods.
In order to achieve maximum efficiency in using the CBD tincture, drop the desired amount under your tongue and keep it there from 30 to 60 seconds.
You have lots of mucous membranes under your tongue, all of which have a permeable layer covering tiny blood vessel. These vessels allow the tincture to quickly absorb into your bloodstream.
Sublingual administration absorbs into your bloodstream very quickly and you can feel the positive effects in under 5 minutes. Effects typically last 4-6 hours from sublingual application.
Many people agree sublingual is the best way to take CBD oil due to its bioavailability, absorption rate, and how long it lasts.
This method of administration means you ingest CBD capsules or edibles so that it can be metabolized by your gastrointestinal system.
Ingesting CBD orally takes longer to feel than other methods, particularly sublingual or vaporizing. In general, you can typically feel the positive effects within an hour after oral ingestion. Similar to the effective length of sublingual application, the effects of ingesting CBD orally usually last 4-6 hours.
Various other factors can affect this rate of absorption, including your weight, metabolism, and the contents in your stomach; any of these can decrease or increase this amount of time.
Vaporizing (commonly known as vaping)
This method gives effects almost instantaneously. Vaping CBD is certainly quicker than sublingual application, but the effects have a shorter lifespan than all the other applications.
You use a device that is referred to as a vape pen that consists of four different parts: the battery, the atomizer (which is a heating component), the chamber to house the oil, and the mouthpiece. The atomizer will vaporize the actual CBD oil, which is usually bought in a cartridge, and you inhale the vapors that come out.
Much like the mucous membranes in under your tongue, there are also permeable membranes in your lungs. These allow the vaporized CBD to become absorbed directly into your bloodstream in 60 seconds or less. Typically you can begin to feel the effects within 30-90 seconds from vaping.
Vaping offers the user almost instant effects but, the effects are brief. Effects of vaping CBD usually last around 2-3 hours. Time of effectiveness is why we rank vaping lower. Another reason for a lower ranking is the waste of CBD when the user exhales vapors from the lungs.
This method is different in that the CBD is directly applied to the affected area and the skin covering it. Products for topical application include lotions, salves, or balms. These topical applications are highly effective in treating aches or pains that are localized to a specific part of your body.
When using CBD topicals the rate of bioavailability does not apply because the CBD only reacts with the cannabinoid receptors just below the dermal layer. The CBD never actually reaches the bloodstream by topical application. Having no bioavailability rate limits the uses for this method of CBD application.
It is important to apply the topical CBD liberally to the affected muscles or joints. Doing so will produce results within a matter of minutes (pain begins to dissipate within 10-20 minutes). The effects of a topical CBD usually lasts about 6 hours.
There are CBD suppositories that are also available. People must insert these suppositories rectally. After insertion, the body absorbs the CBD into the bloodstream very rapidly.
Much like sublingually and in the lungs, the anus has various permeable membranes that result in the CBD quickly entering the bloodstream. When taking a CBD suppository it generally kicks in within 10-20 minutes and should typically last around 5 hours.
CBD suppositories have a limit to their use. Simply because most people do not necessarily need to undergo the potential discomfort of this method of administration. Most prefer to seek relief from their condition and/or symptoms using other less invasive applications.
However, there are some people who are left unable to swallow anything due to medical issues such as a stroke or a disease like ALS, MS, or Parkinson’s. For these unfortunate sufferers, CBD suppositories prove as a great method to administer CBD effectively.
Besides CBD anal suppositories there are also vaginal CBD suppositories that have been reported to relieve symptoms associated with many woman’s menstrual cycles such as PMS or menstrual cramps.
CBD rectal suppositories are different than CBD vaginal suppositories, meaning they usually are not interchangeable. Always read and follow the specific directions of each product. It is always best to confer with your physician to determine which form of CBD oil will best suit your particular needs.
What Are the Best CBD Product Options Available?
Sublingual and oral ingestion are the most common methods, meaning that most CBD products available are capsules, tinctures, or edibles.
This is basically just straight CBD oil and it is available in bottles of various sizes (usually 300mg/600mg/1200mg/3000mg). You administer the CBD via a dropper directly into your mouth and under your tongue.
These are also available in bottles of various sizes (300mg/750mg/1500mg/3000mg). You can take these just like any other CBD ingestable, either on an empty or full stomach.
These come in a variety of flavors and various dosage sizes (300mg/750mg/1500mg/3000mg). They are usually vegan and can be taken, much like capsules, on an empty or full stomach.
All of these are viable, safe, and entirely natural CBD products that can help with your treatment plan.
What Are the Benefits of Taking CBD?
CBD has such a wide variety of benefits for its users, consequently, one can use it to help with the following conditions:
Nausea And/Or Vomiting
CBD is a potent antiemetic. Simply meaning it is powerful with combating nausea and/or vomiting due to any number of underlying medical conditions or clinical treatments (such as chemotherapy).
CBD’s antiemetic properties are due to the fact that it indirectly activates the serotonin 1A receptors (or 5-HT1A receptors). These receptors are in the brainstem (specifically in an area known as the dorsal raphe nucleus).
The brainstem is responsible for the most basic, fundamental, and largely automatic functions of the CNS, including digestion and metabolism.
Acute And/Or Chronic Pain
Pain is how the body responds to tissue damage, infection, and/or genetic changes. It can be either acute or chronic, though research strongly indicates that CBD is equally effective at treating both.
CBD treats pain via its interactions with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a regulatory system composed of cannabinoid receptors (either CB-1 or CB-2). These receptors are spread throughout the body.
CB-2 receptors, however, are especially important in the body’s pain responses because they make up what is known as central neuronal pain circuits.
CBD also causes the release of dopamine in the midbrain areas to decrease sensations of pain.
Acute And/Or Chronic Inflammation
Much like pain, inflammation is the body’s automatic response to any sort of internal trauma and/or damage. If the inflammation is excessive and chronic, however, it can be incredibly damaging to the body.
Luckily, CBD is just as effective at treating inflammation as it is at treating pain. Decreasing these inflammatory responses is also achieved via CBD’s interactions with the ECS, though in this case inflammation is governed by both CB-1 and CB-2 receptors.
Systematically decreasing levels of widespread inflammation will protect the body from extensive internal damage.
A region of the brain known as the hypothalamus is responsible for the secretion of two different appetite hormones: ghrelin and leptin. Furthermore, the hypothalamus is also controlled by the ECS, meaning that CBD is also responsible for managing healthy appetite levels.
This is all part of promoting an overall state of harmony and balance which is homeostasis.
Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels (And Treat Prevent Diabetes)
The hormone in the human body responsible for metabolizing sugar is insulin. People who have type 2 diabetes usually have insulin resistance and high levels of fasting insulin.
CBD is effective at treating both of these conditions of diabetes, as well as increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (which is a type of “good” cholesterol).
Extensive research indicates that CBD use links to a lower body mass index (BMI), a narrower waist circumference, and lower levels of obesity.
This is because CBD, under certain conditions, acts as a mild appetite suppressant. It also contributes to the process of “fat browning”. This is a process whereby white fat is converted into brown fat, thereby improving your body’s capacity to burn calories and energy.
Treat Certain Forms Of Mental Illness
This is especially true of anxiety and/or depression in various patients. CBD is effective at treating both chronic and acute anxiety via its effects on the ECS as well as serotonin 1A receptors (5-HT1A receptors).
The use of CBD can help keep neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin at healthy levels. Using it simultaneously increases the cannabinoid known as anandamide (informally known as “the bliss molecule”) in the body.
Consequently, symptoms of anxiety and/or depression will decrease with CBD usage. There is also promising research to suggest that CBD can help treat psychotic disorders like schizophrenia.
Attack And Destroy Cancerous Cells
One of the more surprising applications for CBD is its ability to help your immune system to target and destroy tumors. CBD could help treat certain forms of cancer.
Again, this is due to CBD’s high reactivity with the ECS, which has a large number of CB-2 receptors spread throughout the immune system. CBD triggers this portion of the ECS to send out immune cells to identify, target, and kill cancerous cells (while sparing healthy cells).
Furthermore, CBD also impedes the growth of these cancerous cells by using the ECS to inhibit angiogenesis. This is the fancy term for the process of creating new blood cells, which the tumors need to provide energy for their cancerous growth.
Conclusion: What is the Best Way to Take CBD and the Best Product Option?
This depends entirely on what your particular needs are. Most research has shown, however, that tinctures, capsules, or edibles are the most viable product options. If you are suffering from nausea and/or vomiting, then tincture is preferable to capsules or edibles as it bypasses the stomach or intestines. Some people, on the other hand, respond better to capsules or edibles.
The most notable thing about CBD is that it treats both the overlying symptoms as well as the underlying disease. CBD is natural, safe, and virtually free of any side effects while still being an effective and efficient medicinal supplement.
Remember it’s always important that you work with your clinician to establish the right dosage and find a product that bests suits your life and your needs.