As Cannabidiol [CBD] continues to explode in popularity more and more people are availing of its many health benefits. We have already learned how CBD works in our previous blog, but how do you use CBD? We have pieced together the ultimate CBD user guide to make using CBD easy.
These days there are a multitude of different options for consuming CBD. You can inhale it, add it to food, swallow it and drop it under your tongue; you can even rub it directly onto your skin. However the body absorbs CBD in different ways therefore how you consume it will influence its effects. It will also determine how long it will take to work. This means discovering your perfect route of administration pivotal in getting the most out of your CBD experience. Fear not however, with our ultimate CBD user guide you will learn how to use CBD safely and effectively.
What happens when you take CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating molecule found within the cannabis plant that has provoked serious interest recently for its therapeutic effects. The precise way it provides these effects however, is still under investigation. We do know that CBD interacts with multiple molecular pathways in the body such as the serotonin (5-HT1A) and Vanilloid (TRPV1) receptors. The most commonly known way CBD affects the body however is through the endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is one of the most incredible finds in modern science. It was found at St Louis University School of Medicine during a government-funded study in 1988 when scientists who were studying the effects of cannabis on the human body observed receptor sites responding to cannabis molecules in the brain of a rat. The discovery of these receptors gave way to mapping the brains largest neurotransmitter network now known as the endocannabinoid system.
“The ECS is a biochemical communication system in the human body, which plays a crucial role in regulating our physiology, mood, and everyday experience.” – Project CBD
Simply put, the ECS is responsible for maintaining homeostasis (a state of balance) within the body. Moreover it is active within the body whether you are using CBD or not. The reason for this is because we produce molecules similar to CBD known as endocannabinoids. You can learn more about the ECS in our guide – The Endocannabinoid System.
How CBD works
For CBD to take effect, your body must first absorb it into the bloodstream. From here it can travel around the body and interact with your cannabinoid receptors. While it works in a myriad of different ways, one of the main things CBD does is encourage the body to create more endocannabinoids. This in turn keeps the body in a state of balance.
Once again, how exactly it does this will depend on your selected route of administration. For example how you take CBD will affect how it is absorbed, where it is distributed and also how it is metabolised.
What are the effects of CBD?
While CBD is extracted from a variation of the cannabis plant, it does not provide users with a high. Although there is some trace THC (less than 0.2%) that occurs naturally in the plant this is too little to intoxicate. This amount of THC is considered safe for human consumption and may also have therapeutic value.
The effects of CBD are usually quite benign and will again depend on how you consume it. For instance if you take CBD orally you are unlikely to feel any tangible effects whereas if you inhale concentrates you can feel the mild stimulating effect of CBD.
The Ultimate CBD User Guide
If you are new to CBD it is important to stick to the golden rule – start low and go slow. This will give you an opportunity to get comfortable with the effects and monitor how you react. Dosage is unique to each person and will be determined by many factors. Therefore starting low and slowly increasing the dose is the best approach to safely find your optimal dosage.
A dose of around 10-15mg is usually a good place to start evenly split across two or three doses per day. After that you can begin to increase the dose every 2 or 3 days, as needed until you achieve desired effect. We take a look at how to use each of our different products below..
Vaping & Dabbing User Guide
Inhalation is a very effective method of delivering CBD into the body. Due to this it is a method preferred by many as the body absorbs it quickly. Effects are almost immediate making it a solid option for people that require fast acting relief.
CBD, when inhaled is absorbed through the alveoli in your lungs, which offer a large absorptive surface area. From there it enters your bloodstream and is rapidly distributed throughout the body.
There are many products to choose from if wishing to inhale CBD such as dabs or cbd e-liquid. The latter is the most common way with an e-liquid vaporised in any standard vape pen. Low wattage vape pens like the Aspire Pockex are best to protect the CBD molecule and any accompanying terpenes.
In addition to standard CBD e-liquid companies like Highkind have created broad spectrum CBD distillate. These 510 thread carts contain no VG/PG mixer just pure, distilled cannabis oil. If you are looking for something strong this could be the product for you.
Another fast growing area of CBD consumption is dabbing. Dabbing involves heating an element such as a dab pen or a nail and vaporising concentrates. Concentrates such as wax crumble are highly potent and effective therefore you are best to begin with a low dose.
Features: High rate of absorption, fast acting
Ultimate CBD Edibles User Guide
CBD edibles, capsules and drinks are all metabolised the same way. While oral consumption offers certain benefits, any consumed substance will pass through our digestive and metabolic systems before entering the bloodstream. This can reduce the bio-availability of CBD and increase the time taken to take effect.
Studies have found however, that consuming CBD oil with fatty acids can help bypass first pass metabolism in the liver. This is useful as it can increase how much CBD is absorbed through ingestion. This also explains why many CBD capsules will have some form of carrier oil added. Most of the time the carrier is MCT is added along with your plant extract to maximise uptake.
One of the major benefits from eating CBD, aside from tasting great, is precise dosing. Each capsule, edible or drink will deliver a measured dose of CBD each time you consume one. This is unlike oil and vaping where dosing is less accurate.
CBD when consumed orally may take around 2hours to take effect.
Features: No taste, convenient, low rate of absorption, lengthy wait for effects
CBD Oil User Guide
The most common method of administering CBD is in the form of CBD oil. CBD oil is typically taken sublingually, under the tongue where it is absorbed by the oral mucosa directly into the bloodstream.
For best results the oil should be held under the tongue for upwards of 90 seconds prior to swallowing. This sublingual technique allows CBD to bypass the digestive system and liver metabolism so the compounds can elude being broken down by enzymes and reach the bloodstream faster.
CBD oil and paste have a good rate of absorption and will store inside the body’s fat cells. This means it will remain in the body for around 3-5 days which can help improve effects. Moreover you should need less CBD each time due to this build up. This is contrary to inhaling CBD which will leave the body much faster.
Features: Fast acting, cost effective, consistent results, easy to dose
CBD Skincare User Guide
When spreading CBD oil or balm on your skin it will never reach the bloodstream. It can however provide targeted relief to a particular area by interaction with the cannabinoid receptors close by. Human skin is not very permeable in general however and will prevent the majority of substances from entering the bloodstream.
The main advantage of applying CBD topically is you can target a specific area and introduce cannabinoids directly to it. In order to get the most out of your topical CBD it is advisable to utilise one with a high CBD content.
Nowadays CBD skincare is available in a myriad of forms from CBD salves to CBD facemasks. There is even CBD anti-aging cream and it’s no wonder as CBD lends itself to healthy skin. The reason for this is CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory and may help slow the effects of aging.
To use CBD topically apply a small amount to the affected area and monitor how your skin responds. If no irritation occurs continue to use a few times per day on clean skin until you reach desired effect.
Features: Localised relief, lower bio-availability
Water Soluble CBD User Guide
The CBD molecule itself is hydrophobic by nature which means it will not mix with water. It is oil soluble hence the requirement for suspending CBD in a carrier oil to drop under the tongue. Over the past few years however, new advances in technology have enabled the development of water soluble CBD.
To create these products CBD and its accompanying cannabis molecules are emulsified (broken into tiny particles) or carried by a hydrophilic (water-friendly) carrier. These forms require the use of a surfactant which eases the surface tension between the oil and liquid.
One popular method is the use of Liposomes. Liposomes are water-containing spherical structures made of an internal water-friendly compartment surrounded by a water-insoluble bi-layer. CBD extract can be stowed in the bi-layer membrane.
These products are rapidly absorbed into the body and boast a much quicker onset time. They are also highly bio-available which means you can achieve similar results by taking a lower dose. It is an ideal method for people who do not like the taste of the oil and do not vape. Instead you can add the water soluble to a drink of their choice and enjoy.
Features: Highly bio-available, fast acting
It is clear from our guide to using CBD that there are many ways to use CBD but no one size fits all solution. Everyone reacts differently to CBD and will have different requirements. It is simply a matter of experimenting with dosage and administration to establish what best fits your needs.
If you are primarily seeking fast acting relief vaping or dabbing is the one for you. Alternatively if you don’t want to inhale CBD there is still a wealth of options including CBD oil, paste, edibles and capsules. Finally if you do not want CBD in the bloodstream you can still apply it topically to the affected area and achieve results.
The topic of CBD and cannabis is a deep one. While this ultimate CBD user guide is perfect for learning how to administer effectively there is still much more to cover about CBD. To learn more about this miraculous molecule check out our Hemptations blog. Alternatively contact us or hit us up on social media to speak with one of our dedicated CBD experts about how you can incorporate CBD into your health regime.