So, you’re ready to take your first steps into the world of CBD or you’re looking for a new way to incorporate CBD into your regular health and wellness routine.

Your method of choice for CBD consumption can have an impact on how long it takes for your body to absorb the CBD and how much of an impact it will have on treating certain symptoms or conditions.

But before we dive into the ways you can consume CBD, let’s talk about what to look for when purchasing a CBD product.

Choosing the Right CBD Products

Choose full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD

You want to make sure your CBD product is either “full-spectrum” or “broad-spectrum” and not a distillate or isolate. Full-spectrum oils contain all cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, including both CBD and a legal, non-psychoactive quantity of THC; while broad-spectrum oils contain most cannabinoids, but generally don’t contain THC. Distillates and isolates are more heavily processed and can strip away many of the health benefits you’re seeking from CBD.

Make sure it’s lab tested

CBD products aren’t yet regulated by the FDA, so it’s important to take extra precautions and ensure the products you’re buying have been tested by a third-party lab. This means you’ll be able to see exactly what you’re putting into your body and confirm that the product contains what the packaging claims.

Look for U.S. grown and organic

Cannabis grown in the United States is subject to agricultural regulations and can’t contain more than 0.3 percent THC. Organic is a bonus because it means you’re less likely to consume pesticides or other chemicals!

Edibles, Capsules, and Tinctures

The most tried and true method for consuming CBD is through edibles and beverages. CBD can be easily mixed or infused into coffee, tea, smoothies, snacks, baked goods, and just about anything that gets your taste buds tingling.

There’s evidence to suggest that CBD can calm some of the jitters associated with consuming caffeine, and researchers have also noted that the bioavailability of CBD increases when consumed with fatty foods or beverages—specifically medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) such as coconut oil, whole-fat milk, and butter—making CBD and baked goods a perfect combo.

Creams and Lotions

There are tons of CBD-infused creams and lotions available, but not all are created equal. It’s difficult to absorb CBD through the skin so it’s important to find a product with high potency. Most CBD skin care products will fall between 3–8mg, which is perfectly fine if you’re treating a skin condition like acne, eczema, or a rash. But if you’re looking for an alternative to smoking or edibles, you may need something that has more than 8mg per recommended application.

Everyone’s skin is different, so don’t be afraid to start with a lower potency and work your way up. If you notice any irritation, blemishes, or rashes after applying a CBD cream or lotion, stop using it and consult a dermatologist.

Smoking

Smoking CBD allows your body to absorb roughly 50% of the beneficial compounds, which is nearly 10 times more than edible consumption. That’s because your lungs quickly transfer it to your bloodstream and ultimately to your brain, where CBD interacts with your cannabinoid receptors.

BE AWARE: CBD oils typically use a carrier oil such as coconut oil that isn’t designed to be smoked or vaped. If you want to smoke or vape your CBD oil, seek out CBD products specifically designed for your preferred method.

Sublingual (Under the Tongue)

The majority of existing research shows that placing CBD products under your tongue is considered the most effective way to absorb its benefits. That’s because it doesn’t subject the CBD to the harsh environment of your digestive system like edible products. However, if you’re looking to address a chronic or temporary digestive condition, sublingual consumption probably isn’t the best option.

The longer you hold the CBD under your tongue, the more effectively your body will absorb it. Give it about 60-90 seconds to allow your mouth’s permeable mucous membranes and blood vessels time to take it all in.

Choosing the best method of consumption depends on what benefits you’re hoping to get from using CBD. We recommend starting with the edible or sublingual method to see what works best for you, then modifying the method or potency as needed.

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