In case you missed it, we’re in the midst of a CBD boom. Beyond just tinctures and gummies, companies are adding cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis and hemp products, in everything from beauty products to fast food cheeseburgers.
For some people, taking CBD is part of their daily wellness routine, akin to taking a morning vitamin or medication. Others prefer to enjoy the many CBD foods out there, or soak in a CBD bath at the end of the day. There’s almost an overwhelming array of options available for the CBD connoisseur. But, the question is, what’s the best and most effective way to experience the effects of CBD? Well, it’s tough to say.
How To Take CBD Oil
In this quick guide, we’ll explain the four main ways to take CBD oil and what the best dosage is depending on your needs.
Why trust us? Most of the information out there on CBD is written for scientific journals, by companies trying to sell you something, or by trendy sites only interested in this week’s buzzword. Our goal is to provide the most accurate information about CBD and do all the research so you don’t have to.
Four Main Methods of Consuming CBD Oil
When it comes to consuming CBD oil, there are four main methods:
- Inhaling it by smoking or vaping it.
- Applying it to your skin topically.
- Taking it under the tongue (sublingual).
- Ingesting it using edibles.
We’ll break down each of these for you!
Inhaling CBD oil is one of the fastest ways to feel its effects, since it goes straight into your lungs and bloodstream. It also carries the highest risk. If your CBD or Vape pen has toxins, heavy metals or other impurities, those go directly to your lungs as well.
There are two ways to inhale CBD: Smoking and Vaping. We’ll discuss each.
SMOKING CBD OIL
You can smoke CBD oil concentrate using an “oil rig” (see below), which is similar to a water pipe. It works by heating the “nail” (the chamber where you place the CBD oil concentrate), then putting the oil into the nail with a dabber (a small metal tool used to transfer the oil concentrate from its container to the oil rig). This produces smoke, which you inhale.
Alternatively, you can smoke it by rolling a joint out of high CBD marijuana. However, this method means you’ll also be consuming some THC, which would have a psychoactive effect.
PROS OF SMOKING CBD OIL
- Highest concentration of CBD oil and fastest way to consume it.
- Easily manage how much you consume.
CONS OF SMOKING CBD OIL
- Smoking can be harsh on the throat and lungs.
- High concentration can be more than some people want.
- Requires additional tools (like an oil rig, dabber, and/or joint paper).
VAPING CBD OIL
You can vape CBD oil with a vaporizer pen. If you’re new to vaping, a vape starter kit (image below) can be a great way to start out.
Vaping is a great alternative to smoking if you still want the maximum possible effect, but without the harsh feel of smoke in your throat and lungs.
PROS OF VAPING
- High concentration means maximum possible effects.
- No harsh smoke to aggravate your throat and lungs.
- Easily control your dosage amounts.
CONS OF VAPING
- The high concentration may be more than you want to feel.
- Requires extra purchases (CBD vape pen and accessories).
The next way to use CBD oil is through topical application — meaning, you place it on your skin in the form of a balm or ointment.
This method is probably the easiest as it doesn’t require any special tools or knowledge to use. Simply figure out the dosage you want (we’ll help you with that in the next section), then apply that amount of balm to your skin.
This method is best for sore muscles, migraines, and skin conditions like acne. You can apply the balm directly to any sore areas, such as a sore neck, back, or your feet. You can also apply it to your temples to help relieve migraines!
PROS OF TOPICAL APPLICATION
- Easy to use.
- No extra tools or accessories required.
- Great for sore muscles and chronic pain.
- Has the most mild effects of all the consumption methods.
CONS OF TOPICAL APPLICATION
- Has the most mild effects of all the consumption methods (you might require more CBD).
- While the effects happen quickly, they don’t last as long in comparison to other methods.
Sublingual (Under the Tongue)
You can purchase CBD oil tinctures — little bottles that look like eye drops (see below) — to take your CBD oil sublingually (under your tongue). Simply apply a few drops under your tongue, hold it in your mouth for ~30 seconds, then swallow! This method is discreet, effective, and gives you feelings of calm and well-being.
PROS OF SUBLINGUAL CONSUMPTION
- Easy to use and requires no extra tools or accessories.
- Discreet — you can use them in public easily without drawing attention.
- It’s easy to control how much you use.
- Long-lasting effects when taken this way.
CONS OF SUBLINGUAL CONSUMPTION
- Results may vary from person to person.
- Oil takes longer to have an effect than the previous two methods.
- Some tinctures contain alcohol — if you’re trying to avoid this, look for oils made with vegetable glycerin.
Last but not least we have edibles! Adding CBD oil to your food is a fun and easy way to take your CBD. Unlike THC edibles, which are known to be too potent for some, CBD edibles (such as CBD gummy bears or lollipops) won’t cause any kind of psychoactive effects.
Aside from purchasing pre-made CBD-infused foods, you can also make your own CBD edibles, such as CBD-infused butter or pasta. Just be aware of how much oil you put in your food.
Note: Be careful about how much you eat! Effects from edibles can take 2-4 hours to kick in, so people often eat too much. It’s always better to wait a few hours and see how you feel before eating any more.
PROS OF EDIBLES
- Longest-lasting results of all CBD consumption methods.
- Practically endless options of how to create (and eat) CBD edibles.
- Also very discreet — you’re just eating something!
CONS OF EDIBLES
- Can take up to 4 hours for effects to kick in.
- Getting the right dose can be tricky and takes some experimentation.
Now you know how to take CBD oil! It can be inhaled, topically applied, taken under the tongue, or consumed as edibles.
What’s your favorite delivery method for CBD oil? Let us know in the comments below!
The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles.
Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.