CBD can be consumed in various ways. Each way of consuming CBD products has its advantages and disadvantages. Whether you’re smoking a vaporizer cartridge or eating a gummy, you’ll experience different effects depending on how you consume the product.
Everyone processes CBD differently. Finding your ideal form of CBD consumption may take some experimentation. Here are the key differences between the ways one can use CBD:
- Onset: How fast will cannabinoids begin to work?
- Dose: What’s a sensible starting dose?
- Distribution: Which will be most affected, the mind or body?
- Duration: How long will the properties last?
Remember that the dosage required depends on the quality of the product and the reason for its use.
Edibles & Capsules
- Onset: 1-2 hours.
- Dose: Doses of CBD-rich products range from 5 mg to hundreds of milligrams.
- Distribution: Absorbed through the gut and modified in the liver, spreads pretty evenly throughout the body.
- Duration: Effects subside after about 6 hours in most people. Other effects may last up to 12 hours.
Edible cannabinoids are absorbed through the intestines and sent to the liver. If on an empty stomach, it can take about an hour to feel the effects. With food in the stomach or after a meal, it can take up to three hours to feel the effects. Do not re-dose CBD edibles for at least three hours after initial ingestion.
While on the way to the liver, cannabinoids will interact with receptors in the gut. This effect is more pronounced in conditions like inflammatory bowel disease. Three enzymes will start to modify CBD in “first-pass metabolism” once in the liver.
Because of their longer-lasting effects, edibles and capsules are more suitable for many chronic conditions.
- Onset: 15 minutes to an hour.
- Dose: 2.5-5 mg of CBD is a standard starting dose.
- Distribution: Absorbed into the bloodstream in the mouth, then distributes evenly throughout the brain and body.
- Duration: After 6-8 hours, most CBD metabolizes and leave the body.
Tinctures or drops absorb directly into the blood vessels in the mouth and under the tongue. If placed below the tongue, the user should try to wait at least one minute before swallowing. Effects typically start after 15-30 minutes and reach their peak around an hour and a half after administration. For consistency, it is best to avoid eating right before or after using a tincture.
Tinctures typically come in two forms: an under-the-tongue spray or a dropper with a marking at a specific volume (0.5 ml or 1.0 ml). This helps for consistent, measurable dosing. Pay attention to the labels on these products. These labels contain the dose of cannabinoids per spray or ml.
Tinctures contain solvents like ethanol or sesame oil. Some of the unwanted side effects of CBD extracts may be ingesting large amounts of carrier oil.
If you take a CBD tincture under the tongue but then accidentally swallow it immediately, your body will process most of it like an edible. This means that you will receive a smaller dose over a more extended time. With CBD products, this can make for a weaker effect.
Finding what method and dosage works for you should be a fun experiment. Just make sure to take notes and set timers in order to find your ideal levels.
Cannabinoids are sticky, waxy chemicals. They like to mix with oil, not water. There are, however, several ways to get cannabinoids to dissolve in water. This allows for products like CBD-infused beverages.
The processes that make cannabinoids soluble in water may also make it easier for your body to absorb CBD. This means that such products should have a quicker onset than an edible (as fast as 20 minutes), and the dose may be more potent over a shorter time.
Ingesting water-soluble cannabinoids shouldn’t be much different than eating an edible. Although the former may turn out to be faster acting and a bit more potent.
Although transdermal products like patches apply to the skin, their effects are nothing like topicals. A transdermal patch releases cannabinoids into the bloodstream at a constant rate.
Topicals and rubs are some of the more common kinds of cannabis products. They can be used effectively for skin or joint issues but do not absorb into the bloodstream. The presence of terpenes or non-intoxicating acid cannabinoids seems to increase skin permeation, but still not enough to get it into the blood. Large concentrations of terpenes in topical products may irritate and damage the skin.
How do you like to take your cannabis products?