Cannabis and Health

15 May 2019

The best ways to deliver CBD

A beginner’s guide to a healthier life with CBD

By Mell Green

In only a few short years, the CBD market has exploded and shows no signs of slowing down. From oils to isolate to balms to tinctures, Cannabidiol (CBD) is an extremely versatile health supplement that comes in a wide variety. Yet, despite its growing fame, and with so many products readily available, one of the most challenging obstacles for CBD newbies is trying to make sense of the products they find. Some people get the maximum benefit from vaping CBD e-liquids, while others swear by its topical applications. The most important thing to know is that CBD works differently for everyone, so, it makes sense why people get intimidated.

In general, there are four fundamental ways to use Cannabidiol. However, one practical question remains, what is the best way to consume CBD? There’s much to learn regarding CBD, and we really can’t know what will work best for us until we explore its therapeutic worth with a bit of personal trial and error. If you’re new to the world of CBD, we at Coffeeshop Guru got your back.

Inhaling CBD

If a speedy response is your goal, then inhaling CBD is ideal for “quick fix” situations. It’s one of the easiest and most popular methods and includes vaporization with e-liquids. By this, we mean using an e-cigarette to vaporize CBD e-liquid, not smoking it. By inhaling CBD into our lungs with a vaporizer, CBD is able to circumvent the digestive processes in the body and pass directly into your bloodstream, which allows for more CBD to be absorbed.

Vaping CBD E-liquid with an E-Cigarette by Coffeeshop Guru
Vaping CBD e-liquid with an e-cigarette is the fastest way to get CBD into your system. Pic by: Lindsayfox

Aside from its bounty of health benefits, this lung-friendly method is believed to be the most effective way to get CBD into your system. This is because vaping allows CBD and other trace cannabinoids to be delivered and absorbed through the lungs before being directly diffused into the bloodstream. Delivering CBD this way not only impacts the body faster, but it also provides a higher bioavailability, compared to other methods.

PROS

Vaping CBD is a method that brings on effects much faster, as there’s no need for it to pass through a lengthy digestive process. People choose this delivery method if they want to feel the effect of CBD immediately, and as more and more people use e-cigarettes, it is also discrete and convenient.

CONS

We don’t know what the long-term effects of the other ingredients of these e-liquids (like vegetable glycerine and propylene glycol) are. So, one should consider this before using this method or start vaping high-CBD dried cannabis flowers with devices other than e-cigarettes, like the Crafty or Firefly.

Sublingual consumption of CBD

CBD oils and tinctures are other popular methods for taking CBD and said to provide quicker results than just swallowing immediately. Also known as sublingual, this method refers to applying CBD under the tongue. With the sublingual method, CBD gets broken down by enzymes in our saliva, which is later absorbed by the capillaries under our tongue and delivered to the bloodstream. Not only is more CBD available to the body, but it also acts faster than just swallowing.

Sublingual administration of CBD oil under the tongue | Coffeeshop Guru
The second fastest way to administer CBD is to applying it under the tongue. Image courtesy of Endoca.

Highly concentrated liquids such as CBD oils are made with CBD extracts. There are three different methods companies use to extract CBD: The CO2 method using different kinds of pressure and temperatures. The solvent method (tinctures) using ethanol or other solvents like vinegar or glycerol. And the oil method, using a carrier oil like olive or coconut oil to carry the extracted CBD.

PROS

The sublingual administration of CBD allows for it to be easily broken down in the body, which compared to most other methods, delivers its benefits faster and more efficiently, by circumventing the digestive system.

CONS

Although this method has excellent benefits, there’s one important thing to know — quality matters. Not all these extraction methods are equally efficient and various levels of CBD and CBDa content. Likewise, not all companies implement the same quality standards. Unfortunately, there are companies that claim to sell the highest purity of CBD oil, but that may be less than true. This is mainly due to poor regulation, so always do some research before you buy.

Topical use of CBD

Topical CBD products are used on a variety of body surfaces. Applying CBD topically has an effect that may be local or systemic and gets applied to the “external” surface of your skin. The CBD and other active ingredients found in topical CBD are absorbed into the skin, so that they can interact with cells in the body in a localized area and after that, enter the bloodstream. They not only help sore muscles and joints to feel better, but they also help to moisturize your skin and the surrounding area as well.

A woman holding a CBD topical or lip balm on Coffeeshop Guru
CBD topicals come in all forms and sizes, like this CBD lip balm. Pic by Matthew Henry

These kinds of CBD products can be a great option, as you don’t need to eat, vape, smoke, or ingest them. Instead, you may apply it to your skin, which helps the CBD molecules work on a specific area. With direct application to areas on the skin, you can be relieved of chronic pain and inflammation. CBD contains tons of fatty acids, vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients — all of which help achieve healthy skin and a more radiant complexion.

PROS

People seem to love applying CBD topically because it provides a localized and fast relief to the area of distress. When CBD is applied, you might find that it works wonders for your sore area.

CONS

As you might imagine, using CBD topically can get messy. So, if you have a busy schedule or are always on the go, this may not be the best method for you. These products may feel great on your body, but they may not be the fastest or convenient way to take CBD on the go, as it usually takes a few seconds to be absorbed by the skin before you can get dressed to meet the day head on.

Ingesting CBD

Ingestion is an affordable option that works exactly like taking vitamins pills and other daily supplements and has become extremely popular for that reason. Although you may ingest CBD edibles and beverages, CBD capsules seem to be the most commonly used ingestible CBD product. They are compacted in a variety of casings, forms, and concentrations and don’t involve any uninviting smells or unpleasant tastes and textures.

With dosages usually ranging 2-100 mg, CBD capsules are basically like any other pill, and are kept in bottles or pill strips. For anyone who doesn’t like the hempy taste of other CBD products, capsules can be swallowed directly and slide straight down.

PROS

As they don’t involve any prep, mess, or extra hassle, CBD capsules are extremely convenient and discreet. Instead, you simply pop the CBD capsule in your mouth and, after digestion, feel the effects kick in. Another great thing about consuming CBD capsules is the fact that there’s a specific amount of CBD contained in each capsule, which provides accurate dosing.

CONS

CBD capsules may not be ideal for those who suffer from conditions that cause (dysphagia) the inability to swallow. Even more, as a CBD capsule passes through your digestive system, along the way from being broken down by liver enzymes it loses some of its potency. Because of this, effects may not be felt immediately and will take some time to kick in.

Post author
Mell Green
Mell Green is an enthusiast of all things cannabis and writes content that represents some of the best things that we as a people can strive for: good health and happiness.
See more from Mell Green

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