If you’re interested in attempting CBD oil for the first time, you probably have lots of questions about how to use it, such as: What kind of CBD oil should I get? Why take oil with CBD? What amount of CBD oil should I be taking?

Although CBD has grown in popularity in recent years, there is still a lot of uncertainty regarding its use, and it may be daunting to someone who has never tried it before. In this Beginner’s Guide to CBD, we break down many of the popular questions about CBD.

What exactly is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, a medicinal agent found in cannabis plants. Hemp is a particular cannabis plant that is naturally high in CBD and low in THC, therefore, suitable for CBD extraction. Without the “sense of getting high” associated with recreational marijuana, CBD oil has been shown to have little or no side effects and a variety of health benefits that you will be able to enjoy.
If you are looking for having a comfortable feel, relieving sore muscles and joints, or coping with more serious neurological disorders, CBD can be helpful.

Why is CBD working?

The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that converts the cannabinoid signals into our brain, central nervous system, and immune system via thousands of receptors. The ECS controls many functions such as appetite, sleep, pain sensitivity, and responses to the immune system. The ECS produces its own cannabinoids which are called endocannabinoids.

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3 CBD-Oil Extract Forms

The hemp plant contains three major forms of CBD oils, Full Spectrum CBD, Wide Spectrum CBD, and Isolate CBD.

Full Spectrum CBD

Refers to the entire extract of plant hemp, including up to 0.3 percent of THC.

Broad Spectrum CBD

Starts as Full Spectrum CBD but undergoes an additional process to remove THC trace amounts. This provides an “entourage effect” associated with Full Spectrum CBD, but without the risk that THC will be absorbed by the body.

CBD Isolate

Contains only pure CBD and none of the cannabinoids, terpenes, or other natural compounds present in the hemp plant.

How to take CBD

With CBD ‘s increasing popularity, several different options for taking it are becoming available, such as tinctures, pills, creams, vapes, and edibles. While there is no “right” way to take CBD oil, each option will have its pros and cons. To choose the best one for you it’s important to consider your personal preferences, your particular interests, convenience, and lifestyle.
Another factor in determining how to use CBD is that different formats provide varying rates of bioavailability (the rate of absorption), and the time frame it will remain in your body.

Here are the most common ways of taking CBD and each of its pros and cons.

Tinctures

Pros:

  • Rapid intake of CBD and high bioavailability via sublingual absorption, as the capillaries under the tongue lead straight into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system.
  • Easy to use (to humans and animals alike)
  • Versatility (can be consumed sublingually, or added to food and drinks)
  • Flexible dosing (fill the dropper with the appropriate dose and split into several portions throughout the day)

Cons:

  • Most people don’t like hemp flavors
  • Many people find the process of keeping the oil 60-90 seconds under the tongue uncomfortable compared to taking a CBD capsule

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Capsules

Pros:

  • The easiest way to absorb CBD
  • Odorless
  • Exact dosage whenever needed
  • If you are used to taking vitamins, supplements or other drugs, taking a CBD capsule won’t feel strange or daunting

Cons:

  • Effects will take 1-2 hours to work because the CBD must first go through the digestive system
  • CBD consumption may be less successful as the CBD must move through the liver, which reduces its concentration until it reaches the bloodstream

Topicals

Pros:

  • Can help to relieve acute pain and inflammation
  • It can also help with general skin problems
  • Can be formulated with additional essential oils and beneficial ingredients

Cons:

  • Can have a sticky feel before completely absorbed
  • Does not penetrate the bloodstream, only provides relief in the particular area it is applied

Vaping/Smoking

Pros:

  • Highest bioavailability and absorption rate
  • Effects can almost instantly be felt, usually within minutes
  • Simple to carry and use when away

Cons:

  • Effects should last a shorter time vs. oral CBD intake
  • Additional vaporization devices are required
  • Vaping/smoking stigmas

Edibles

Pros:

  • Easy way to consume CBD, e.g. as a snack
  • Can be a savory treat
  • Everybody likes to cook!

Cons:

  • Low absorption and bioavailability due to digestive processing
  • Contains usually small doses of CBD when compared to other approaches
  • It comes with artificial ingredients and sweeteners
  • Not all edibles adhere to dietary restrictions like celiacs or vegans
  • Unnecessary calories

In Conclusion:

  • CBD may help with a range of dysfunctions such as anxiety, chronic pain, cognitive, and movement disorders.
  • Search for Full Spectrum, or medium range, rather than CBD Isolate.
  • Choose your favorite CBD oil type (tinctures, tablets, creams, vapes, or edibles) based on different circumstances, lifestyles, and objectives.
  • Dosage: start low, and increase gradually until you find the best dosage for you.
  • To ensure you know what you are purchasing, read labels, and check lab reports.
  • Buy CBD from a source with a good reputation. Inform yourself about the company and its creators.