How to Best Use Your CBD Oil
Knowing the best way to use CBD can be a struggle, especially if you’re a newbie to the industry and currently overwhelmed by all the product choices and delivery methods.
I mean, you have CBD oils, CBD capsules, CBD edibles, CBD concentrates, and CBD e-liquids (and a seemingly endless list of others!).
Where do you even start?
Well, my fellow CBD friend, you start right here with my guide to the best ways to use CBD.
Let’s take a look.
CBD Products at a glance:
- CBD Oils are best for a fast-acting response, typically used for anxiety and insomnia
- Oils THC 0.3% are less are legal
What are CBD oils?
CBD oils are vintage classics. They’re like old school cars of the 50s and 60s. Gimmick-free, reliable, and timeless. If you need a solid method of delivering CBD into your body, oils are a fantastic choice.
But what are they?
Put simply, CBD oils are created by extracting CBD from varieties of cannabis — mainly hemp with <0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The resulting extract is then diluted in a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil, medium-chain-triglyceride (MCT) oil, sunflower oil, or olive oil.
However, when we talk about CBD oils, we’re not just talking about the ones you get in a bottle with a dropper. CBD oil is also infused in other CBD product types as well, as I’ll be covering for you in more detail below.
What are you using CBD for?
Take a moment right now to think about what you want to use CBD for (or, rather, what you’re using CBD for already). This is important. You might be using the wrong type of product
When are you planning to use it and why?
Working? Running? Chilling out?
Best ways to use CBD oils
Hold CBD oil under your tongue (sublingual application)
Many beginners start their CBD oil journey via the sublingual application route (under the tongue). It’s quick, easy, and way more effective than simply swallowing the oil directly (oral administration). All you need is a little brainpower and 20-30 seconds of your time.
The way sublingual application works is simple. Take your chosen CBD oil product (preferably full-spectrum but any other extract type will do too), squirt two to three drops of the oil under your tongue, hold it there for 20-30 seconds, and then swallow what’s left.
If you have a CBD oil spray, two or three sprays under the tongue are perfectly fine too.
Why is this more effective than swallowing the CBD oil directly?
When you hold CBD oil under your tongue, CBD sinks down directly into your bloodstream via the mucous membranes, bypassing the digestive system altogether.
Avoiding the digestive system is important here. CBD is what’s known as fat-soluble. Your body is made up of 80% water. CBD, therefore, isn’t very good at being absorbed into your body. In fact, your digestive system breaks down a large percentage of CBD before it even has a chance to do anything.
Results of oral administration
As a result, oral administration of CBD has a bioavailability of approximately 10-20% — bioavailability meaning the degree and rate at which CBD goes into your bloodstream. Another study suggested oral administration of CBD has only 6% bioavailability. That’s shockingly low.
Fortunately, sublingual administration of CBD provides much better bioavailability at 12-35%, which is clearly better and more effective than the oral route. The effects of CBD should start to appear within 30 minutes.
So, next time you use your broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD oil, make sure you go the sublingual route. It’s way more effective for you and your body!
|Simple to consume||Natural CBD oil (with no additional flavorings) can be quite strong tasting|
|Lots of product choice — many different flavors, strengths, and additional ingredients||Oral application (swallowing it without placing it under the tongue) doesn’t provide good bioavailability|
|Very few additional ingredients added — the oils are very natural||Manual dosing — not premeasured|
|Sublingual administration is pretty effective — works quicker in the body than just swallowing the oil|
Consume CBD oil-infused capsules (softgel CBD capsules, hardshell CBD capsules)
CBD oil-infused capsules are a fantastic alternative to consuming regular CBD oils. They’re super easy to use, convenient, and won’t take too much time out of your day. You simply take one or two capsules, pop them in your mouth, and chase them down with water. Super easy.
They’re also odorless and flavorless, which is perfect if you’re not keen on tasting the oftentimes bitter and earthy flavor of natural CBD oils.
Why CBD capsules are perfect for pre-measured doses
Personally, though, I prefer CBD capsules because they provide me with a premeasured dose of CBD. I don’t have to manually measure out the dose myself. Whenever I require a strict CBD regimen, capsules are my go-to. This is something you don’t get with CBD oils, edibles, or smoking/vaping.
The only downside to capsules is they do have to go through your digestive system — there’s no way of avoiding this. As I’ve already mentioned, CBD is water-soluble and doesn’t mix well with your own body’s water content. This means the absorption rate is lower than, say, sublingual application or smoking/vaping (I’ll come onto this in more detail later on).
All is not lost, however.
Just because your CBD capsules don’t promote the best absorption rate (and, by extension, bioavailability) doesn’t mean they’re ineffective — not by any stretch of the imagination. You just have to know how to counteract this.
First, try to stay away from hardshell CBD capsules and lean more towards purchasing softgels instead. Softgels are known to promote much better absorption in your body, and, therefore, tend to work faster within your body.
How to promote better CBD capsule absorption and bioavailability
Another cool trick to try is to add a mixture of turmeric and black pepper into your food — preferably in recipes with fatty foods such as whole eggs, salmon, avocados, or cheese (CBD is fat-soluble after all).
Black pepper contains piperine, which is one of, if not the only bio-enhancer in the world. It not only helps absorb the turmeric, which has health benefits all of its own but also aids CBD’s absorption as well.
|Easy to use||Not all capsules/pills are produced for vegans living a plant-based lifestyle|
|Convenient if you’re on-the-go and require something that slowly works within your body||The absorption rate can be poor (though there are simple ways to counteract this)|
|Flavorless & odorless — great alternative to natural CBD oils|
Eat CBD oil-infused CBD edibles (CBD gummies, CBD candy, CBD chocolate, CBD coffee, CBD tea)
Much like CBD capsules, CBD oil-infused edibles such as CBD gummies, CBD candy, and CBD chocolate are really useful alternatives to naturally bitter and earthy tasting CBD oil.
However, there’s a difference. Where CBD capsules are odorless and flavorless, CBD edibles are full of flavor with some pretty nice aromas too (particularly home-cooked CBD brownies!).
The types of CBD edibles you can purchase include:
- CBD gummies
- CBD candy
- CBD chocolate (CBD-infused dark chocolate is my personal favorite)
- CBD cookies & biscuits
- CBD coconut bites
- CBD brownies
Honestly? The list of edibles is actually pretty endless. Many companies and manufacturers out there are concocting new and improved ways for you to consume CBD in a sweet and tasty way.
If you have a penchant for all things sweet, edibles are certainly something for you to try.
But sweet and sugary aren’t all edibles are. CBD coffee and tea also comes under this umbrella. The former is primarily designed for your morning routine — the mixture of alertness-inducing caffeine and with the relaxing qualities of CBD is quite a nice balanced blend. Just remember, though, caffeine and
The latter, on the other hand, is a little different. CBD teas are typically meant for relaxation and relaxation only — an excellent choice as a hot drink before bed.
The side-effects of CBD coffee shouldn’t be ignored, however. If you’re predisposed to feelings of anxiety or nervousness, the caffeine content can make your symptoms worse — even with the relaxing qualities of CBD included.
If you do decide to purchase some CBD coffee, try one cup with only a teaspoon’s worth of granules and see how you feel. If you start to feel anxious or jittery, stop using it.
|Easy-to-consume (sometimes a little too easy!)||Can be pricier than standard oils and capsules|
|Amazing selection of flavors||Can melt on hot days (especially the chocolate)|
|Huge variety of different products for you to choose from|
Place or rub CBD on your skin topically (CBD salves, CBD balms, CBD lotions, CBD creams)
Administering CBD topically using CBD salves, CBD balms, CBD lotions, and CBD creams is often the go-to for anyone with skin complaints or localized pain*.
Unfortunately, CBD doesn’t penetrate deep enough through the skin to reach the bloodstream (unless the topical is a specially made transdermal cream or ointment).
Because the skin has high permeability, meaning it blocks or restricts most external things trying to gain access to your body and bloodstream — CBD included.
So, how does CBD work on the skin instead?
How CBD topicals work on your skin
For surface layer issues, CBD topicals are mostly designed to affect sebocytes, which are the clever cells found in the sebaceous gland.
These glands produce sebum, a naturally-occurring oily—almost waxy—substance that keeps your skin moisturized and protected. Too much sebum, however, can cause acne.
Thankfully, once the topical is placed onto the skin, CBD will then absorb into this gland through your hair follicles causing less sebum production and potentially less acne.
CBD can also absorb below the skin through the pores ready to interact with nearby cannabinoid receptors in your subcutaneous tissues and nerve fibers — studies imply this interaction has anti-inflammatory benefits*.
|Easy to apply||Can be pricier than normal topical products|
|Fast-working||Doesn’t easily pass through the skin into the bloodstream|
|Anti-acne and anti-inflammatory benefits*|
Dab (vape/smoke) CBD concentrates (CBD shatter, CBD wax, CBD crumble)
Consuming CBD concentrates via dabbing is by far the fastest and most effective way of delivering CBD into your body (aside from CBD vape e-liquids, which I’ll come on to down below). It’s also one of the most popular amongst seasoned CBD and cannabis users due to its potency.
CBD concentrates are highly potent
You see, CBD concentrates are exactly what they say on the tin: highly-concentrated hemp extracts often containing over 90% CBD — some even contain 99%, which is an outrageously high amount!
The types of CBD concentrates you can purchase include:
- CBD shatter
- CBD wax
- CBD crumble
- CBD pure isolate
The way you use CBD concentrates isn’t quite as easy as CBD capsules or edibles if you go down the inhalation/vaping route — this requires what’s known as a dab rig or wax pen.
Confused by these terms?
Let me explain.
Dabbing is a form of flash vaporization. Dab rigs are bong-like devices made to heat up solid substances and turn them into a vapor. Wax pens, on the other hand, are very similar to vape pens but, again, are made for solid substances to turn in to vapor. This vapor is then inhaled through the device’s mouthpiece.
I personally wouldn’t recommend vaping/smoking concentrates to beginners. The potency is way too strong and the devices often require some prior knowledge on how to use them — particularly dab rigs, which require you to manually heat up the “nail” with a flame torch ready for you to put the CBD concentrate on.
If you’re looking to get into dabbing, a wax pen is much more convenient. All you need to do is put a “rice” sized amount of your CBD concentrate into the pen’s chamber on top of the heating coil. Once this is done, click the button on your device and the CBD concentrate you loaded into the chamber should start melting — this happens almost immediately and will produce a vapor for you to inhale.
Once you’ve inhaled the concentrate, it almost immediately starts working in your body. Why? Because it immediately enters into your bloodstream through your lung’s microcapillaries, bypassing your digestive system altogether.
Hint: Holding the vapor in your mouth for 20-30 seconds before inhaling it into your lungs increases absorption into the body and, by extension, bioavailability. Far more effective.
|Highest concentration of CBD on the market (sometimes 99%)||Difficult for beginners (suited to seasoned CBD users)|
|Immediate effects (within 30 seconds)||Requires additional devices and equipment (dag rigs or wax pens)|
|Very effective||Pricier than other products|
So, which method of delivering CBD to your body suits you best?
The beauty of CBD is there are so many different ways of delivering it into (or onto) your body. You’re not limited to just one or two ways anymore. The cannabis guys in lab coats have come up with a near-limitless list of different products for you to try.
However, as we’ve just discovered, not all CBD delivery methods are designed to be equal.
If you’re looking for an easy to consume slow-release CBD product for when you’re on-the-go, CBD capsules and edibles are a perfect choice here — CBD oils also fall into this category too but are much more efficient if taken sublingually. Simply swallowing won’t work as effectively.
Now you’re up to speed with the best ways to use CBD oil, consider where to buy your next CBD product
Similar to delivery methods, not all CBD products are created equal. In fact, there are many companies out there producing subpar products — some even dangerous to your health. It’s, therefore, imperative to know where to purchase your next CBD products.
So, what do you look out for when purchasing CBD products?
Well, the first thing you need to scope is whether the company has had its products tested by an accredited and independent testing laboratory. These laboratories will issue what’s known as a Certificate of Analysis (COA), a document that acts as a magnifying glass into your product.
Most, if not all credible and legitimate CBD companies will have this posted up on their website for you to see.
Other things to look out for when purchasing your next CBD product includes:
- Where does the company source its hemp?
- What method of extraction has been used?
- Does the product’s formula contain organic and all-natural ingredients? Are any dangerous synthetic cannabinoids used?
- Is the company open, honest, and transparent with its information? Does it give you customer guarantees?
At Soulsome, for example, we make sure everything on the list above is ticked off. We use only two ingredients: Organically, indoor grown hemp flower extract plus Organic virgin hemp seed oil. Each product is also third-party tested by accredited laboratories to ensure safety, legality and purity.
If you’d like to learn more about what to look out for when purchasing CBD products, follow the link here.
*Statements not evaluated by the FDA. Information is based on credible, but inconclusive scientific studies, and should never be taken as advice or recommendation to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Always consult a physician.