How to Take CBD Oil: Most Common Methods for Beginners

CBD is incredibly versatile, so you have many choices available for how you take it. You can take it orally, under the tongue, use it in oil form, add it to foods and drinks, and smoke or vape it. Each method has its own set of pros and cons.

What Is the Best Way to Take CBD?

It helps to know more about each method so you can choose the best option for you.

1. Take CBD as Oil

If you’ve never taken CBD before, the easiest method is to take it in oil form. CBD oil is also known as a tincture, which you usually consume by placing it under the tongue and then holding it for a minute.

The sublingual method is how most people take CBD in oil form, but others also add it to their food. Some even add a few drops of CBD oil to their favorite smoothie or shake.

Why should you opt for this method? Well, tinctures are efficient and super easy to use. A bonus is that there are various flavors available. This method also lets you feel the effects quickly, usually within only 10 to 15 minutes.

Another advantage is you can customize the dosage. For example, you can take 10 mg of CBD oil in the morning and a larger or smaller quantity in the evening, depending on your preferences.

2. Eat CBD Gummies or Edibles

Gummies are one of the most common ways to take CBD. You have to eat the CBD gummies or treats, and you can enjoy its effects. This is great when you don’t like to consume CBD oil but still want to receive its benefits. Taking CBD this way feels a lot like you’re just eating your favorite snack.

Can You Take CBD Gummies on an Empty Stomach?

It’s not a great idea to take CBD when your stomach is empty. If you do, you may experience side effects such as anxiety and paranoia. Many people eat edibles on an empty stomach believing that it will make them experience stronger effects.

But the thought that you’ll feel the effects faster and stronger this way is just plain wrong. It’s actually the opposite—the effects will be slower because of how the body absorbs all chemicals. By eating a meal first, the gallbladder releases bile acids that help solubilize molecules like THC. This generally increases the rate and extent that your body absorbs CBD.

Should You Eat CBD Gummies With Food?

So then, does this mean you should eat CBD gummies with food? It is best to eat a full meal first before eating CBD gummies and treats or drinking CBD shakes and smoothies.

You want to eat CBD gummies with a full stomach to feel its effects up to four times quicker than consuming CBD on an empty stomach [1]. Also, it helps you avoid feeling anxious, paranoid, or any other potential adverse side effects.

3. Use CBD on Skin

Another common way to take CBD is by putting it directly on your skin. This is where you use topical CBD in the form of a cream, gel, or lotion. This method is ideal for a targeted approach and quick application. CBD topicals contain CBD oil and various other ingredients that help the oil penetrate the skin much better.

You’re probably wondering if you can use CBD oil directly on your skin—yes, you can. You can apply CBD oil liberally on your skin without causing any side effects.

However, it will only offer minimal effects compared to cream, gel, or lotion forms. This is because these particular CBD products have other ingredients that help you experience the full effects of CBD, whereas CBD oil does not.

CBD oil and topicals applied directly to the skin don’t penetrate enough to reach the bloodstream. As such, the effects provided by CBD cream or lotion are only localized, ideal only for minor conditions. Take note that you can use CBD on your skin in two ways – topically and transdermally.

CBD topicals– These are CBD-infused products applied directly to the skin. They provide localized relief on the affected area, making them ideal for mild soreness and physical discomfort [2].

The way it absorbs into the skin is different from transdermal, as it penetrates through the hair follicles to the sebaceous gland. When absorbed, the skin’s cannabinoid receptors are activated to do their work.

Transdermal CBD– Transdermal means it penetrates through the skin to enter the body. Transdermal application of CBD works this way.

Transdermal CBD products are specially formulated to absorb beneath the epidermis into the bloodstream. When it reaches the bloodstream, it provides effects for the entire body. This means transdermal CBD has more profound effects on the body compared to topicals.

4. Vaping and Smoking CBD

Woman vaping CBD oil

What is the best way to take CBD that makes you feel its effects faster? One of the best methods is by smoking CBD. It affects the body much faster than other CBD products, providing a relaxing, non-paranoid experience.

The effects aren’t just calming, as some people are more sensitive to specific CBD ratios. This can cause you to feel euphoric when you smoke CBD.

However, smoking CBD is a little more complicated than eating edibles, applying them to your skin, or taking CBD oil. There’s the legality of marijuana to think about, so you must be careful to smoke hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC. Moreover, high CBD hemp still has trace amounts of THC. This means smoking this type of CBD can pose risks with drug tests.

In such a case, it’s better to smoke CBD oil derived from an isolate. Many users prefer smoking CBD because the effects are fast-acting. This means smoking is perfect for you if you want to feel CBD’s effects right away or not experience adequate effects with other methods.

Smoking has high bioavailability that reaches up to 31 percent, meaning you can feel the effects even with low doses of CBD.

If you don’t feel comfortable with smoking CBD hemp flowers, you may consider vaping. This is a much easier alternative to inhaling CBD. It’s also fast-acting as it enters the bloodstream directly without getting digested by the liver and intestines.

With a bioavailability reaching up to 56%, it can quickly enter the bloodstream with you feeling its effects within 30 minutes to an hour.

There are various types of vapes available for consuming CBD that include:

  • Portable flower vapes – This is meant for vaping cannabis flower, powered by a battery so you can bring it with you anywhere.
  • Table-top vaporizer – This is meant for home use. As it is powered from an outlet, you can’t take it with you outside.
  • Wax-based vape pens – As its name suggests, you use CBD with wax. The beauty of this vape pen is it lets you vape CBD discreetly.
  • Oil-based vape pens – This option is meant for portable use as battery power. You can also plug it in using a USB charger.

Vaporizers come in different types and brands, not to mention a wide range of prices. It can get overwhelming if you are a first-time vaper, but research is vital to prevent medical or health concerns. Some people are allergic to vaping, so you will want to know if vaping is really the best way to take CBD for you.

5. Mix CBD With Food or Drinks

Much like eating gummies, you can also enjoy CBD through foods or drinks by adding CBD oil to them. It is one of the best methods to feel the effects of CBD right away, but it has low bioavailability. It loses 6 to 20 percent CBD when it passes through the digestive system. Since each individual’s body is different, some people feel the effects of CBD much faster.

However, this method can be fun, creative, and super easy. It’s the perfect option if you don’t like the taste of CBD oil. Mixing CBD with foods or drinks is also great if you like to bake or have some fun in the kitchen.

If you don’t feel comfortable taking CBD in front of others, adding CBD oil to foods and drinks provides an inconspicuous way to consume CBD and makes it easier to take if you have a weaker palate.

Also, note that the kind of food matters to get the most out of your CBD products. Meals that contain high levels of triglycerides and fatty acids help with the absorption rate of CBD [3]. So be sure to eat eggs, avocados, fish, and donuts if you are looking at the best ways to maximize the benefits of taking CBD.

But mixing CBD with alcohol should be a no-no. Alcohol consumption, when mixed with CBD, can result in dizziness, nausea, or even fainting.

Final Thoughts: What’s the Best Way to Take CBD Oil? 

So, there are many ways you can take CBD –in oil form, on your skin, as treats, or through smoking and vaping. CBD treats or gummies, taking it in oil form, or putting it on the skin are the easiest ways to take CBD oil.

However, the effects can take a while to kick in and may be weaker than desired. On the other hand, you can feel the effects much faster when you smoke or vape your CBD products.

The best way to take CBD hinges on what you plan to use it for. Whether you need it to relieve pain or for relaxation, there’s a method available that will work well for you. Consult with your physician to learn more about the best method of taking CBD for your needs.

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