CBD has taken the cannabis market by storm as people have been consuming all kinds of CBD products in the past couple of years. This is not that surprising seeing as the hemp plant is very versatile and people have been consuming it since the times of ancient civilizations, and most of the methods are still popular today.
Each method of consumption has its pros and cons; for example, inhalation, smoking, has the fastest onset of effects while oral ingestion has higher bioavailability. Let’s go through the 4 most popular natural ways to consume CBD so you can determine the one that’s most suitable for your needs.
Inhalation (Smoking and Vaping)
The first and most common method of consuming CBD is the inhalation method which gives you the fastest onset of effects since the CBD enters the bloodstream directly. Inhaling CBD can either be done through smoking or vaping, and we’ll discuss both methods in the following paragraphs.
CBD flower can be rolled in a joint similar to how you would smoke regular cannabis flower. You could also smoke CBD concentrates with the help of a dab rig and inhale the smoke that comes out of the rig.
The pros of smoking CBD include:
- The onset of effects is the fastest as the cannabinoids go directly to your bloodstream
- For some people, it is easier to absorb more cannabinoids via inhalation compared to edibles as they may have issues digesting oils
The cons of smoking CBD include:
- The smell makes it difficult to smoke cannabis anywhere
- Smoking may be harsh on the lungs and throat
- For some, they don’t enjoy the process and time it takes to break down and roll their own hemp joints or make their own edibles. (others love it!)
Compared to smoking CBD in a dab rig, vaping isn’t as harsh on the lungs and throat, which is why it’s a great alternative to smoking that has been gaining popularity in recent years. Vaping also allows the CBD to enter directly into your bloodstream which results in a faster onset of the effects. If you’re a beginner, we recommend a complete vape starter kit, otherwise, you have a lot of vaping devices on the market ranging from vape pens to pod mods.
The pros of vaping CBD include:
- Regulating serving sizes is easy;
- Vaping isn’t as harsh on the lungs and throat;
- You get a high concentration of CBD from a small amount of oil.
The cons of vaping CBD include:
- The additional cost for purchasing a vape pen;
- Some people might not need to use products with such high levels of CBD.
Another way to use CBD is by applying topical creams, lotions, salves, transdermal patches, and balms that have been infused with CBD. These products have become rather popular since they may help soothe localized discomfort and soreness. Compared to inhaling CBD, applying CBD topically requires a longer period of time for the onset of effects, and if the product contains menthol or capsaicin, the therapeutic benefits may even increase.
Applying CBD topicals is popular among people who are into fitness and use these products during their recovery process. CBD topicals may also be useful for people who suffer from some skin conditions, though it’s best to talk with your dermatologist before you start using new products as part of your skincare routine.
The pros of topical CBD include:
- It’s easy to control how much you apply;
- It’s easy to apply;
- You don’t need additional equipment.
The cons of topical CBD include:
- To administer higher doses, you need to apply more;
- The effects aren’t as long-lasting as other methods of consumption.
Ingesting CBD-infused foods or drinks is another popular method of consumption. CBD edibles come in the form of cookies, brownies, cakes, lollipops, chocolates, and even savory dishes and drinks. You can even make CBD oil and CBD butter which you can later use to cook and bake with.
Due to their versatile use, edibles have become one of the most popular CBD products. However, you need to keep in mind that the onset of effects when consuming edibles is longer compared to inhaling CBD as the cannabinoid needs to go through the digestive tract, get broken down in the liver, and then absorbed through the blood. As a result, you need to wait for a few hours after consuming your edible so you’ll have enough time to determine whether you need a second serving size or not.
The pros of CBD edibles include:
- They’re very versatile, so you can choose from a wide variety of products;
- You can carry them anywhere easily
The cons of CBD edibles include:
- Figuring out the correct serving size can be difficult;
- It takes a while for the effects to kick in.
Finally, you can use CBD sublingually in the form of tinctures or distillates that are made by soaking the cannabis bud in oil or alcohol. When placing this product under your tongue, you essentially bypass the digestive system and get a faster onset of the desired effects. Make sure that you keep the tincture below your tongue for at least 30 seconds before swallowing it.
Pros of sublingual CBD consumption:
- CBD absorbs quickly under the tongue;
- You don’t need additional equipment;
- It’s very easy to administer proper serving sizes.
Cons of sublingual CBD consumption:
- You may not like the taste of the CBD tincture;
- The adequate serving size varies from person to person.
Apart from determining which method of consumption you’d like to go for when using CBD, it’s also important to determine the quality of the product you’re purchasing. When looking at different products, make sure to check whether the product is:
- Full-spectrum or broad-spectrum as those products contain other cannabinoids and terpenes apart from just CBD which is found in CBD isolates;
- Third-party lab tested as these products have gone through rigorous testing, comply with FDA guidelines, and are held to the highest production standards;
- US grown and organic, as hemp plants grown in the US can’t contain more than 0.3% THC as per federal guidelines.
Have fun exploring what novelties the CBD market has in store for you.