The Pros and Cons of Different Ways to Take CBD

Different ways to take CBD - The Pros and Cons

CBD products are available off the shelf in many pharmacies and health shops today, as well as online from retailers all over the world. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid extracted from the cannabis plant, which is known to have many health benefits.

CBD is available in many forms such as oils for e-cigarettes, crystals, edibles, tinctures, balms, capsules, oil and many more. It can be quite confusing to choose the best one to suit your individual needs. Let’s take a look at some of the most common administration methods and the pros and cons of some of the various options available.


CBD oil is usually a carrier oil such as hemp oil, sesame oil, coconut oil or olive oil, blended with various doses of CBD. This can be in the form of a CBD isolate, which does not contain anything other than CBD and carrier oils or full spectrum (whole plant) CBD oil which contains traces of other cannabinoids including THC in minute amounts, terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.

Although it contains tiny amounts of THC, it is not enough to get you high or have any psychoactive effect at all. This oil can be used in a number of ways such as a tincture to place under the tongue, in capsules, as an oral spray or mixed in drinks or foods. This produces a much longer lasting effect but the onset can be fairly slow, up to three hours after taking a dose. You would need to wait at least this long before taking another dose. These types of oral administration methods are often not suitable for people suffering from nausea or vomiting or if you have problems taking medication orally in the general sense.

The most effective way to take CBD oil orally is as a tincture, but some users complain about the very strong herbal flavor. The dose when taking tinctures or sprays is not always accurate and it may be difficult to estimate the dose you are getting. Doses should be increased slowly, starting at around 10mg in order to determine your individual tolerance.

CBD Crystals

CBD Isolate is often extracted to a crystal form during processing. This creates a powdery substance which can be used in edibles or swallowed as a raw substance or in pill form. This form of CBD can also be dabbed via vaporization, used in liquids for e-cigarettes or sprinkled on a cigarette or other products that are smoked.

This allows you to inhale the CBD compounds, which causes them to be absorbed quickly. These crystals are highly concentrated and produce a quick effect but unfortunately, a lot of the entourage effect is lost due to the terpenes and other compounds being removed in the process of creating the isolate.


This is a fairly simple formulation created by drying out the buds and leaves of hemp plants known to be rich in CBD. When heated the CBD can be extracted from the plant material and will bind to fats. This means that you would need to let it steep for a period of time and include cream, milk or a spoon of coconut oil in the mixture for the CBD to bind to.

If brewed without any fats to bind to, the mixture will still have a herbal flavor and there are some benefits from the antioxidants and natural fatty acids from the plant, but there will be minimal cannabinoids extracted. The cannabinoids in tea made from the dried cannabis plant is not as bio-available as in other methods, creating a much weaker CBD blend, which may not prove as effective as other ingestion methods. The hemp tea leaves are also smoked instead of brewed, to get a more heightened effect, by some users.

CBD Oil in Vaporizers

While some people choose to smoke the CBD rich hemp plant buds and leaves, others choose to smoke the oil via a “vape pen” or electronic cigarette which functions as a vaporizer device. These work by heating up the CBD oil, creating a vapor which can be inhaled. This is processed by the body quickly and effectively in to the bloodstream via the lungs which is useful for conditions requiring fast relief such as chronic pain. E-cigarettes are banned in many places that outlaw smoking.

A solvent used in the vape cartridges, namely propylene glycol, can degrade in to formaldehyde when it is heated up. This chemical is a toxin which can increase the risks of cancer and asthma. Avoid vape pens which do not have solvent free oils. It is not always easy to gauge the dosage from vaporizers and even without solvents, there may still be damage to your lungs from long term smoking. There is minimal research done in this area to date.

While not addictive, there is a suggestion that vaporizing CBD in this way may be habit forming. People who have a tendency towards substance abuse may want to look at alternate methods.

Topical creams, Oils and Balms

You can purchase CBD oil infused lotions, creams, oils and balms that can be rubbed on the target area. There is a quick absorption rate through the skin and the effects last one to two hours. These forms of CBD are often used for sore joints and muscles to ease inflammation and pain.

Most of these mixtures contain oils and fats that bond with the CBD such as coconut oil and beeswax for spread-ability and to allow the compound to absorb easier. This allows you to target only specific areas as opposed to a whole body treatment. The CBD doses need to be fairly high in these creams in order for them to be effective. This can cause the cost to rise quite significantly. It is a good idea to buy a small quantity to try out to check your response to the product and to see if you may require a higher dose.

Edibles, Drinks and Pills

CBD has a herbal, earthy flavor which can be overpowering on it’s own. This means that some may prefer to take their CBD in a smoothie, coffee, cocktail or in brownies and cookies in order to mask or eliminate the taste. CBD pills are however, quite flavorless and can be swallowed without concern for an aftertaste. This is a fairly easy way to take a measured dose of CBD on a daily basis.

While easy to use in this manner, this is one of the least effective methods as it has to enter the bloodstream through the digestive system, which can slow the release of the compound. Mixing CBD with other substances such as alcohol may change it’s effectiveness, although there is not enough research done for a proper assessment in this regard. This is not the best way for instant pain relief, although the effects may last a bit longer. This is a good way if you want to maintain a constant level of CBD in the body though.

How you take your CBD is essentially up to you. You can determine the products you use by the dose accuracy required, strength of product required, whether targeted or whole body treatment is required and how quick you want the uptake of the CBD to be. Whether you choose gummies or a bong, your CBD will give you different results from the next person, so it is best to test out a few methods to find one that works best for you.

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