The CBD revolution is bringing a sea change in the way we consume CBD (cannabidiol). You can now find CBD products in health stores, pharmacies, even restaurants or bars. This may include pills, oils, creams, cosmetics, vaping devices, or something delicious to eat like gummy bears, mints, or drink beverages, soft drinks, and many others.
But how do you choose which CBD product? Should you inhale, spray, eat, or apply topically to achieve the desired results?
Determining the format of the CBD product also depends on determining the dose, as there is still so much to know and research about CBD.
Dr. Norbert Kaminski, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University says:
For problems such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia, “the quickest way to deliver CBD to the brain is by smoking it. The next quickest way is by using a tincture. Eating it, and especially a topical will take long before there is an effect.”
Edible CBD Products
Anything digestible – from gummy bears to cocktails - fall into this category. There is no shortage of edible CBD products in the market. If you are not fond of CBD infused sweets, chocolates, cocktails, or gummy bears, try pills and capsules which tend to be tasteless. We've even seen a CBD Christmas Pudding! Raw, natural CBD may have a rather bitter taste - however many products dilute this with other strong flavours such as peppermint or other natural sugars.
According to research, if you eat a CBD infused product, it may take some time to hit the bloodstream because it has to go through the liver, but the effect lasts longer. Usually, it takes from 2 to 6 hours to achieve the desired results. How much your body absorbs depends on how much you can eat.
When heated up too high, CBD can become degraded and lose its health properties, so novelty foods like CBD brownies, pastries and cakes are unlikely to be beneficial. (CBD acts differently when heated up as a vapour.)
Taking CBD alongside a fat-soluble meal, or on a full stomach, has been shown to aid further absorption.
Topical CBD Products
This may include creams, serums, lotions, bubble baths, or anything that can be applied directly on your skin, as well as patches for the skin. It gradually releases CBD into the bloodstream. These products are a good option for joint pain, arthritis, and period pains, when you need relief over a prolonged period.
The other way to apply CBD is in skincare, as a cream, serum or lotion. Here CBD has fewer pain relieving or anxiety solving properties, but has a range of benefits for your skin. EU Cosmetics Ingredients Database (CosIng) has even listed CBD as a permitted ingredient and particularly citing it as an anti-oxidant, skin conditioner and skin protector.
Many early to market topical products contain very little or trace amounts of CBD due to the high cost of CBD. However, as the industry develops, we have seen in new products containing high quality, high dosage CBD topical products which seek to deliver higher impact results.
See our favourite CBD topicals here.
Vaping CBD Products
CBD is easily available in vaping devices like e-cigarette or vape pens. These devices heat CBD oil to the boiling point, allowing the user to inhale the vapour. Inhaling CBD infused products lets CBD enter the bloodstream in less than a minute. This is great to ease immediate pain or anxiety.
How much CBD your body absorbs depends on how hard you inhale and for how long. The only problem with inhaling CBD is that you can’t control the CBD dose. You may get a vape pen that says it has 1,000mg of CBD, but it is hard to guess what dosage is going into your bloodstream every time you inhale.
Inhaling too much or using a vaping pen without propylene glycol can irritate your lungs. The effects of smoking CBD for the long-term are still unknown and yet to be discovered. Also seek advice of a medical professional before consuming!
CBD is not intended to prevent, treat or cure any medical complaints.
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