Disclaimer: we don’t claim to be medical experts nor do we claim that any of our CBD products will cure illnesses and/or diseases. We simply wish to educate people on the health, wellness and therapeutic benefits that our customers and other CBD users have seen as a result of cannabidiol usage.
CBD is derived from the bud of the cannabis plant. In the UK, it is mainly derived from a sub-strain of the Cannabis Sativa plant, which is generally known as hemp.
It is now available in a variety of forms, however, at the end of the day, there are a number of ways to consume CBD, which can include, inhaling it, eating it, drinking it or applying it topically.
Here is a brief guide on how to take CBD safely and effectively.
When you inhale CBD, it is transported through the body by the respiratory system, which works much more quickly than either the digestive system or the circulation. This means that if you’re looking for the shortest time between dosage and effect then inhalation is probably the way to go.
In practical terms, inhalation means either smoking or vaping it. Smoking hemp is very different from smoking tobacco, however it is almost impossible to smoke hemp without inhaling particulate matter which can be bad for the lungs.
Basically the scientific jury is still out on this one. What is demonstrable fact, however, is that some people find that hemp smoke is very harsh and makes them cough.
What is also a demonstrable fact is that anything which burns can start a fire, particularly if the person in charge of it is relaxed and sleepy.
Vaping CBD avoids the issues of smoke inhalation and the fire hazard. It is, however, important to note that vape cartridges can vary widely in both quality and dosage. Ideally, you should look for solvent-free cartridges which specify their CBD content in absolutely clear terms, e.g. as a percentage of the overall liquid.
It’s also important to remember that it’s very hard to dose precisely when vaping, so vaping is probably better suited to people who value flexibility over precision.
When you eat CBD it is transported through the body by the digestive system, which means that it has to be processed by the liver before it is made available for use by the body. How long that takes depends on the edible in which it is transported.
The key point to understand about CBD edibles is that the hemp plant is liposolvent, which basically means that it dissolves in fat rather than in water. As a result, the standard way of making CBD edibles is to extract the CBD goodness from the hemp plant and contain it in some form of fat and then use that fat to create CBD edibles.
If you live in a fairly large town or city you may be able to buy ready-made CBD edibles and/or CBD butter or oil with which to make your own. If you don’t then you can buy hemp buds and make your own CBD butter/oil at home (which is really easy) and use that to make your own edibles.
Once you have your CBD butter/oil, you make CBD edibles in essentially the same way as you make their non-CBD counterparts.
There are two potential issues with CBD edibles.
The first is that it is notoriously challenging to get the dosage right as it depends not just on the digestibility of the food in general, but also on the individual’s metabolism and this itself can be influenced by various factors.
For example, food will typically be metabolized more quickly after exercise than it will when a person has been at rest for a long time.
The second is that CBD edibles have to contain some element of fat. Although fat does form part of a healthy diet, it is usually a fairly small part, especially when people lead sedentary lifestyles. It’s therefore very important to think about how the use of CBD edibles would fit into an overall healthy-eating plan.
Having said all that, once you have worked out your dosage, CBD edibles can be a very convenient way of taking your medication not just because many of them are easy to prepare in advance but also because you can consume CBD edibles in places where smoking and vaping are forbidden.
CBD edibles can be a particularly good option for people who want slow-release treatment, for example to deal with low-level pain over an extended period.
A note on CBD tinctures
CBD tinctures are basically CBD contained in alcohol rather than fat. They are often used topically but they are sometimes used by applying a few drops underneath the tongue, waiting about 30 seconds and then swallowing.
Basically, the same comments apply to CBD tinctures used in this way as apply to regular CBD edibles, except that the fact that they are based on alcohol rather than fat means that they do tend to get to work very quickly.
It is, however, important to remember that alcohol typically contains a lot of sugar so they are not necessarily the “healthy” option, nor are they necessarily going to get to work any faster than some forms of CBD edibles such as sweets (which are also based on sugar).
You might also want to think about the fact that tinctures are liquids, which means they can leak from their container or be spilled.
Applying CBD topically
It’s now possible to buy oils, balms, creams and such like with some level of CBD content and CBD tinctures can also be applied topically.
As their name suggests, topical CBD products can be a great option for treating pain in a specific area, plus they can be used in combination with other CBD products (with due caution of course).
For example, if you suffer from arthritis, you might want to use CBD edibles for general pain relief and supplement them with CBD topicals for your joints, at least when the pain is at its worst.
When considering CBD topicals, it can be helpful to give some thought as to the quality and nature of the base as well as to the CBD content.
For example if you need to apply your CBD topical to a large area of skin it might be helpful to use an oil which will glide on, but if you only need to apply a small quantity to a small area then a balm might be a more suitable option.