If you are new to CBD, you are probably wondering which CBD is right for me? Knowing which CBD product is right for you can be tricky. Not only are there many products available but there are also are number of factors you should consider when choosing the right product for you. Follow our guide below to discover which product is the one for you.
Route of Administration
While there may be a seemingly endless selection of CBD products available today, they can all be sorted into the four main ways of consuming CBD. Each method, known as the route of administration, has its own pros and cons.
We are going to look at various aspects of each route of administration including absorption rates also known as ‘bioavailability.’ Additionally we will look at the how long it takes CBD to take effect (On set time), how long the effects last (Duration), how long it stays in your system (Half life), cost and which products are available. This should lay the table for you to choose which CBD product is right for you.
Sublingual CBD (Under the Tongue)
The most popular way of consuming CBD is by taking CBD oil under your tongue. This is known as sublingual absorption and it involves absorbing CBD into the bloodstream via your oral mucosa. The main advantage of this method is side stepping the digestive process where CBD may be destroyed before use. As a result more CBD will reach
The effects of CBD can be felt quickly when taken this way, typically in around 20 minutes. With that said, the effects will not last as long as orally ingested CBD.
Effects are also potent, as tiny cannabinoid molecules pass through a thin layer of tissue into the bloodstream the bioavailablilty is around 40-50%. In other words around half of the CBD you consume will reach you cannabinoid receptors and provide therapeutic effects.
Many CBD products can be taken sublingually including all kinds of CBD oil, CBD paste and even water soluble CBD. At Hemptations we have an extensive range of sublingual CBD products from just £6.76. We have linked all of these categories below if you decide sublingual CBD is for you.
Sublingual CBD Features
- On set time – Around 20 minutes
- Duration – 4 to 6 hours
- Bioavailability – 35%
- Half life – Up to 12 hours (possibly longer after continued use)
- Cost – From £6.76
- Products available – Full Spectrum CBD Oil, Broad Spectrum CBD Oil, CBD Isolate Oil, CBD Paste, Water Soluble CBD
CBD may also be inhaled, for example by vaping CBD e-liquid or CBD Concentrates. To vape CBD, drop some CBD vape juice in a vape pen and power it up. The heating element inside will atomise the CBD to produce a vapor that you can inhale.
The big upside to inhaling CBD is that effects are almost immediate. Similar to sublingually absorbed CBD however, the effects of inhaled CBD do not last that long. This means you may need to top up frequently throughout the day.
Another huge advantage to inhaling CBD is its high bioavailability. In other words inhaled CBD is absorbed fast and easily into your blood. This makes it a popular option among those looking for fast acting relief.
Another growing area of inhaling CBD is dabbing concentrates such as CBD Diamonds & Sauce or Wax Crumble. These extracts are super potent with cannabinoids of up to 80%. If you want fast acting, potent hits of CBD with great flavour then concentrates are right for you.
Inhaled CBD Features
- On set time – Around 20 minutes
- Duration –
- Bioavailability – 31% Smoked / 50-60% Vaped
- Half life – 31 hours
- Cost – From £6.99
- Products available – CBD E-Liquid, CBD Vape Cartridge, CBD Dabbing, CBD Pre Rolls
CBD can also be taken orally in the form of CBD capsules, drinks or edibles. This is definitely the tastiest way to enjoy CBD. You can enjoy a couple of CBD Gummies or a nice cup of CBD Hot Chocolate. It won’t even feel like you are taking CBD. Moreover the only problem you will have with edibles is restraining yourself from eating them all at once.
CBD Capsules, while not as delicious as gummies, are convenient and offer a measured dose each time. Just remember to legislate for the longer onset time as oral CBD will take longer to become effective.
On the downside, oral CBD has quite a poor absorption rate compared to the other delivery forms. Due to our metabolism and the fat solubility of CBD, much of it is destroyed before reaching the bloodstream.
One advantage that offsets the low absorption of oral CBD is that the effects last longer. This makes Oral CBD a popular choice among those who want longer lasting effects and a convenient, measured dose.
Oral CBD Features
- On set time – 45 minutes to 2 hours
- Duration – 6 to 12 hours
- Bioavailability – 13-19%
- Half life – 2 to 5 days
- Cost – From £2.25
- Products available – CBD Capsules, CBD Drinks, CBD Edibles
For those of us who do not want to ingest CBD there are is another option. Recently elements of the endocannabinoid system including have been found in our skin. That’s right, there are cannabinoid receptors in our skin, and their purpose here is no different to its purpose in the rest of our body. Your ECS is responsible for maintaining homeostasis – a state of balance.
The topical use of CBD will stimulate and activate these receptors increasing the number of endocannabinoids in the skin. This may result in a number of beneficial responses including helping wounds to heal and protecting skin from UV light damage.
CBD is also a potent anti-inflammatory which is a sought after feature in any skincare product. Less inflammed skin can improve irrtation, itching and a host of other skin issues. Additionally, CBD muscle rubs are fantastic to rub directly into aching muscles after training or to relieve inflammed joints.
The beauty of CBD skincare products is that they can be applied directly onto a particular area of your skin. This allows you to enjoy all CBD’s inflammatory and pain relieving properties on a localised area.
Topical CBD Features
- On set time – 1 hour
- Duration – 4 to 6 hours
- Bioavailability – N/A
- Half life – 4 to 6 hours
- Cost – From £5.50
- Products available – CBD Balm, CBD Bath Bomb, CBD Muscle Balm, CBD Patches, CBD Face Mask
Exceptions to the rule
While the vast majority of CBD products fit snugly into the four categories we have detailed above, there are a couple of exceptions. The below products while technically sublingual/oral CBD and CBD Skincare respectively, are anomolies. The reason for this is their uniqueness and high bioavailability compared to other products. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of options you can consider when choosing a CBD product.
CBD Dermal Patches
CBD Dermal Patches harnass transdermal technology to deliver high volumes of CBD into your system via your skin. They differ from conventional CBD skincare products as they are designed to permeate the skin and deliver CBD to our bloodstream. Moreover their absorption rates compete with the best,
Transdermal technology has been around in the form of nicotine patches since the late 1970s. It works by taking advantage of a drug concentration gradient. In other words, the CBD within the patch will naturally spread into the surrounding skin and ultimately into your system.
CBD patches are popular with topical CBD users who want consistent relief that lasts all day. In addition to this people like the discreet nature of the patch. It is no longer necessary to drop some oil under your tongue in the middle of a meeting. Now you can wear a dermal patch that will provide 24 hours of relief.
At Hemptations we offer a couple of different CBD patches. First of all Canabidol CBD Dermal Patch is a hyper potent 50mg patch with added terpenes. The presence of terpenes in a CBD product typically improves the effectiveness of CBD. Finally Harmony CBD Relief Patches 20mg are available from just £19.99. The perfect introduction to transdermal CBD.
Water Soluble CBD
CBD is hydrophobic, which means it doesn’t mix well with water. This poses a problem when it comes to absorbing CBD as we are primarily made of water. One solution to this problem is Water Soluble CBD.
Water Soluble CBD harnesses technology such as nanoemulsion and liposomal to make the CBD molecule easier absorbed. Some studies have even demonstrated absorption rates 4.5x higher than traditional sublingual CBD oil. Evidently water soluble CBD is one of the most potent and bioavailable delivery methods for CBD.
In addition to bioavailability and absorption rates, there are other advantages to water soluble CBD products. For example, research has shown water soluble CBD is absorbed faster allowing you to experience effects quickly. Moreover you can simply add a few drops to your favourite beverage and enjoy. If you want high absorption rates, fast acting relief and flexibility around consumption then water soluble CBD is for you.
At Hemptations we offer a number of water soluble CBD products from quality brands. For instance CBD Brothers Purple Edition Plus is one of the most reknowned products in the industry. Additionally we have a range of Elixinol Water Soluble CBD blended with other nutrients for added benefits. A potent, well absorbed and fast acting formulation that you can either take under the tongue or add to your favourite drink.
What CBD strength should I get?
CBD products are also available in a range of strengths. This is usually displayed on the item in milligrams (mg) or as a percentage of the final container, e.g. 5%, 10%, etc. Although CBD has a very broad, safe and effective dosing window, dosage is unique to the individual.
With that said it is advisable to begin with a low dose of CBD to monitor how you respond then slowly increase the dose, as required, until you find your sweet spot. Once you ascertain your dosage you can retain efficacy at this dose for years or even decades.
Thanks to this it isn’t always necessary to go straight into the highest strength. For beginners a medium strength product of around 500 – 1000mg CBD is where we advise beginning. From there then you can build up to stronger products as required.
A simple guide to CBD Dosage for beginners
Another consideration you’ll be faced with when chooosing the right CBD product for you is which CBD extract you prefer. There are now five main extracts used to create the CBD products you see around you today, each with unique features. It is important to understand these features so you can purchase the right product for your needs.
Additionally, there are also three main families of wellness molecules within the cannabis plant each being researched around the world for their therapeutic value. These families are known as cannabinoids (like CBD and THC), terpenes and flavonoids. The presence or absence of these molecules are really the difference between each extract as explained below.
Full Spectrum CBD
In full spectrum CBD products cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are all present including minor traces of THC. Do not worry though, this naturally occuring minute amount will not get you high.
Given its strong flavour and more oily consistency, full spectrum CBD is only typically found in CBD oil. With that said it can also be found in CBD Capsules, CBD Balm and other products.
Broad Spectrum CBD
Broad spectrum CBD, on the other hand, contains no THC but does retain some other beneficial cannabinoids. Typically you will see minor cannabinoids like CBG or CBC present if you analyse a lab report from broad spectrum CBD oil. The presence of these cannabinoids will improve the efficacy of your product.
The flavour of this extract is neutral which makes it perfect for CBD E-Liquid or CBD oil. Moreover CBD products made from this extract are perfect for those who want the entourage effect without any THC. The ideal solution for athletes and those who get tested for THC in their profession.
Another extract that has been gaining popularity in recent years thanks to the UK Novel Foods regulations is CBD isolate. This highly refined extract contains >99% pure CBD alone. This extract is THC free and odourless which makes it perfect for use in all sorts of CBD skincare products or CBD isolate oil.
If you are looking to stay free of THC and the opinon splitting flavour of traditional CBD oil then an isolate product is for you.
Whole Plant CBD
Another niche option some companies are doing is utilising the entire plant and leaving it just as nature intended. These extracts retain all waxes and oils of the hemp plant making it extremely thick and unrefined.
These extracts are raw and typically contain acidic precursor cannabinoids such as CBDa which may be effective at much lower doses than CBD. This additional benefit alone makes it worth the strong, earthy, hemp flavour in our humble opinion.
Another important point to note when choosing a CBD oil is taste. Traditional full spectrum CBD oil is earthy and bitter tasting which can be off putting for some. Luckily there are many options now for a more palatable experience. Broad Spectrum and isolate based oils are more neutral tasting than their full spectrum counterpart.
If you prefer flavour in your oil, many brands are now adding essential oils and other flavouring to their products. Alternatively you could choose capsules or edibles which will help you swerve any unpleasant tastes while lasting longer in your system.
So, which CBD product is right for me?
Ultimately which route of administration you choose will hinge on your specific needs. For example if you require fast acting relief and are already a vaper, some form of inhaled CBD is perfect for you.
On the other hand if you don’t vape, CBD oil offers high absorption rates and some really effacacious extracts. Oral CBD is perfect for those who prefer discreet, precisely dosed CBD that is easy to take. Finally topical CBD can provide localised relief and is perfect for anyone worried about drug interactions from ingested CBD.
Whichever route of administration you choose you can rely on Hemptations to provide top quality, lab tested options. Shop our extensive range of CBD products or reach out to the team if you need some recommendations. We would love to help you along your CBD journey.
Want to know more about CBD?
If you’ve enjoyed this post you may like to read more of our content. Still wondering which CBD is right for me? Here are some of our other, popular posts on Buying CBD.
We would love to help if you have any questions around this topic. Let us know by dropping us an email or comment on one of our social channels. We will endeavour to get back to you asap but while you wait the answer to your query may lie in our CBD FAQs.