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So you’re brand new to CBD, you’ve heard all about it’s benefits and the wonderful experiences that your friends and family are enjoying, but you have no idea how to take it or the best way it fits your needs.  Well, you’re not alone. It can get really complicated because there are so many forms out there and some people take the same form, for different reasons. It’s all a bit confusing and worrisome, so let’s figure this out for you, the beginner.  

CBD in its purest and most natural form is an oil.  Whatever form you’re going to be taking will “house” this oil and its CBD.  If the product you’re taking is formulated well and has all the science and testing behind it, then you should feel good about step 1 making sure  that the CBD is in the product from the start. Now step 2, figuring out how fast you want it in your body. Fast doesn’t always mean better, you might want the CBD to slowly release in your system because you want delayed or longer period benefits.  Also, you might be sensitive to the power of CBD, so taking something that is fast acting or disturbs your digestive system could be an issue. All these factors play into which form is going to be the best for you, and sometimes, it just takes a little trial and error and working yourself up to certain dosages.

So let’s look at the most common methods of taking CBD and figure out which one is the best for you.

Swallowing or Ingesting CBD Oil

When your swallowing or allowing it to go through the digestive tract, you’re looking at forms such as soft gels, edibles (like gummies), and capsules.  Basically think of it as the CBD and the oil will be “released” in the digestive system and go through the liver for metabolism. It basically takes one step before being absorbed into the blood and transported throughout the body.  

There are lots of benefits to using methods that just allow you to swallow.  No taste issues, pretty convenient, easier to take higher doses, and most people are familiar with the pill/swallowing situation.  These forms are going to take longer to act, a delayed response, so if you’re looking for more immediate effects, this probably won’t be your best shot.  Using them for chronic issues, daily maintenance, and longer lasting (throughout the day), are great reasons for these methods.

Sublingual – Under the tongue

This is the most popular method that individuals are experiencing and using their CBD.  This was the “original” form when CBD came out to the masses. Seeing how CBD is an oil, naturally companies just kept it as an oil and bottled all the goodness.  Adding or disturbing very little. The protocol was and is to place the oil under the tongue, holding for 15-20 seconds.  

Sublingual is fast acting, much faster than swallowing. It has been shown that under the tongue is quicker than against the cheek.  When you put the oil under the tongue, closest to your blood vessels, the nutrients get absorbed straight into the bloodstream. This method is great if you want to have something fast acting, you’re feeling an issue, and you want some immediate relief, sublingual is your way to go.  The peak bloodstream levels range from 0.5 to 5 hours. 

Edibles – Chewing & Swallow

The most popular of this form is  gummies, but there are also gums, candies, and even some foods.  Here you’ve got two things at play. You’ll get the absorption that comes from the mouth, the buccal membrane, and you also have the digestive system.  Mostly though, you’ll get the absorption through the digestive system. Unless it’s a gum or lozenge, you don’t get much absorption in the mouth. The mouth acts like sublingual, not as powerful, but same concept.  

Because it’s like swallowing, you get the same delayed response.  Also you have to be careful because based on how healthy your digestive system is, you’re either going to have an easier or tougher time breaking down some of the forms.  Don’t get too freaked out though, usually these forms are super easy to break down, but they can irritate some individuals stomachs. This is actually one of the easiest, more fun ways for beginners to take their CBD, hence the huge popularity.  It’s not necessarily the most effective for immediate benefits and unfortunately due to its popularity and lack of regulation (everyone wants to make a quick buck), there is adulterated products in the market. Be careful, do your research.

Topical – Rubbing CBD On Your Body

From face creams to pain cream, you’ll see CBD in all of them.  They are all termed “topical”, because you’re not ingesting any of it.  The CBD and other nutrients get absorbed through your skin and into your bloodstream.  Mostly you’ll see individuals use these products for aches, soreness, and skin conditions.

They can be very effective for immediate benefits directly on the area of concern.  This is probably the easiest form to take because there is no ingestion, just rub on the skin and let it penetrate through.  The only issue here is that you won’t get a high dose, the amount that is in each dollop of cream or lotion will be fairly small.  However, that’s OK because you’re just looking for an immediate effect.

Best Way

The best way…is YOUR way.  With more experience you’ll get more and more comfortable with each of these forms.  At some point, none of these will be of any issue and you’ll be able to integrate the method into your lifestyle. This is KEY. Whichever method you choose, if it is not simple, easy, and effective for you, it won’t become part of your routine.  So if at first you need to keep it simple with lotion and gummies, than advance up to tinctures and soft gels, then so be it!