How quickly would you like to start feeling the effects of CBD? Inhalation or sublingual application is best for acute relief, while capsules will take longer to feel the effects.
Are you taking CBD to soothe post-workout aches and pains, or chronic pain from arthritis? You might prefer the opportunity to give yourself a massage, and rub a CBD topical cream into the affected area, rather than the no-frills approach of swallowing a CBD capsule.
CBD Oils and Tinctures
Earlier, we discussed the fact that there are a variety of products which makers refer to as CBD oil. These can include everything from raw hemp extract to more refined products to pure CBD-infused oil. There are also a number of types of oil which are used as a base for CBD oil. Some CBD oil products also contain added ingredients such as additional terpenes, essential oils and vitamins.
Pros and Cons of Oils and Tinctures
Tinctures are generally used at home in the morning and the evening, and can also be used at work if your situation allows it. They can have a relatively quick onset time and higher bioavailability than edibles, and so are a better choice if you suffer from acute conditions. CBD oil administered sublingually has a much faster onset, because it bypasses the digestive system and enters your bloodstream directly under the tongue. Users start to feel effects within 5 to 20 minutes.
The downside of tinctures and oils is that they don’t travel well. They can be messy if you’re trying to use them on the go. They also generally come in a breakable bottle with a breakable dropper. If you’re looking for a product to take hiking, for example, tinctures are probably not your best choice.
CBD Oil Capsules
CBD oil capsules are generally delivered orally. Capsules are made with gelatin, which melts within minutes in your stomach and delivers the entire dosage of CBD oil. This means that none of it will get absorbed into the tissues in your mouth or throat.
Pros and Cons of Capsules
As we mentioned, capsules, because they dissolve quickly, will deliver a dosage of CBD directly into your stomach.
Capsules are also very convenient and easy to use with no mess, and they also allow for exact dosing. If a capsule contains 25 milligrams of CBD, assuming you’re using a reputable manufacturer with good production methods, you know you’re getting a dosage of 25 milligrams of CBD.
CBD products taken orally, such as edibles, powders, or capsules, tend to have longer-lasting effects, but onset takes longer, too. Before it can enter your bloodstream, where it begins to interact with your endocannabinoid system, it has to go through your digestive system first (which can take 30 to 90 minutes).
It’s also important to note here that capsules which do not use nanoemulsions have far lower bioavailability than those which do contain nanoemulsions.
CBD-infused topicals include skin creams, balms, salves and oils. Once again, these products can be infused with pure CBD, or they can contain a full spectrum CBD oil. The same rule applies — the products with the full and broad spectrum oils will contain other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes.
Topicals often have a variety of additional beneficial ingredients meant to contribute to the overall therapeutic effects. For example, skin creams may contain moisturizers, vitamin E, collagen and so on. Pain creams may contain ingredients meant to help the product penetrate deeper into tissues and aid in pain relief. Salves may contain other soothing and healing ingredients such as aloe.
CBD oils applied topically, such as lotions or balms, are best for treating targeted areas. The oil can be massaged directly onto the area to relieve pain or inflammation within minutes. Effects can last for several hours.
Pros and Cons of Topicals
Topicals are great for use on a particular area of skin or underlying muscles and joints. They deliver the CBD and other beneficial ingredients directly where they can do the most good.
However, they take some time to apply and can be a little messy. This may not be a concern for you if you use these kinds of products regularly.
Another thing to consider is that, when taken internally either orally, sublingually or inhaled, CBD will make its way to all areas of your body, including your skin. If overall skin health is your goal, you may just opt for one of those other applications rather than having to apply a topical all over your skin.
CBD extracts inhaled with a vape pen provide the quickest effects, making them ideal for acute symptoms. After inhalation, users start to feel the effects within a few minutes. However, effects only last for a few hours.
Pros and Cons of Inhalation
The faster onset time and higher bioavailability are obvious benefits of inhalation methods.
Delivering an exact dosage of CBD using a vaporizer is trickier. This is because most vaporizers — or vape pens, as they are commonly referred to — are not designed to vaporize an exact amount of solution. A lot depends on how big a puff a user takes and how deeply it is inhaled.