What IS the best way to use CBD to make sure it’s right for you?

CBD oil and cannabis leaves

The best way to use CBD is something that is definitely open for interpretation! Creams, vaporizers, tinctures, candy, smoothies, you name it! There are so many ways to take cannabidiol, but not all are created equal. Below I lay out the pros and cons of the more common methods so you can choose the best way to take it. In general, CBD reduces pain and inflammation, which is why it’s so good at treating a large number of physical and mental disorders.

Tincture (sublingual)

Placing CBD oil under your tongue and holding it for at least 1 minute is my favorite method of administration. It starts to take effect in 15-30 minutes and lasts anywhere from 2-4 hours. The benefits are systematic, meaning you find relief for many things such as sleep, anxiety, pain, etc. rather than just targeting a specific area of the body. After the drops dissolve under your tongue, they’re absorbed into your sublingual artery, the CBD travels through your external carotid artery, into your internal carotid artery, and then to your brain.

Best way to use CBD because: quick acting, full-body effect.

Typically seen in stores as gummies, chocolates, or energy bars, edibles are a more glorified way to get the benefits of CBD. The benefit to edibles is that when dosed properly, they can last from 4-12 hours providing benefit for things such as chronic pain and reduced anxiety. The downside is that the edibles have to go through the entire digestive process, which is less efficient and takes longer to feel the benefits. They also tend to contain artificial sweeteners, sugars, or additives that are not supportive of the health benefits we want when taking CBD.

Best way to use CBD because: longer-lasting effects.

This smokeless, low temperature inhalation method is great when looking for quick relief (faster than sublingual) with less toxic byproducts than with smoking. It also retains 60-90% of the cannabinoids (CBD, CNB, CBD, etc) because of the low temperature of activation, which are the reason we see the health benefits in the first place! But, recent news has shed light on the harmful concerns with the additives to these products, therefore I’d caution when choosing a vape product on the market.

Best way to use CBD because: quick and symptomatic relief, less toxic byproducts than smoking.

A fast-acting (1-3 minutes) method. The downside to smoking CBD is that we lose a large amount of the plant benefits due to exhalation and frequent exposure to tar and carbon monoxide in the lungs is associated with poor health outcomes.

Best way to use CBD because: quick and symptomatic relief.

Great for localized anti-inflammatory relief and muscle relaxation. Because CBD is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, it is great for skin conditions like acne, eczema, and dry skin. It begins to take effect in about 30-60 minutes and lasts 8-12 hours

Best way to use CBD because: great for anti-inflammatory relief, long-lasting.

If you are looking for quick relief with minimal side effects, a tincture is your best bet. For localized muscle/joint pain or skin conditions, cream is a great option. It doesn’t matter if you get cannabidiol in a tincture, oil, wax, or edible – dosage and method of administration are very individualized. I always recommend you start at the lowest possible dose and work your way up. I have my clients keep a journal to keep track of their dosage and any noted benefits or side effects.

For more CBD-related info, check out Erin’s post on whether or not there’s a connection between cancer, diet and CBD.

Erin Kenney Nature Remedies consultant in the kitchen Erin Kenney Holistic Cannabis Practitioner / RD Erin Kenney, Holistic Cannabis Practitioner and RD, specializes in therapeutic cannabis use, digestive health, substance abuse & hormone balance.