August 13, 2019 10 min read
Americans are discovering CBD for the first time and are falling in love with its wide range of all-natural benefits. Every day, new people are experimenting with cannabidiol (CBD) for the first time and discovering the wonders of the body's natural endocannabinoid system.
With such a huge array of CBD products available, many in our community are left wondering what the most effective method could be. Different delivery methods change how CBD is absorbed, which causes it to have different lengths of onset and duration times. The question remains: What is the best way to take CBD? Edible gummies? What about dropping it under your tongue or rubbing it on your skin?
The truth is, the best way to take CBD largely depends on you and what you’re trying to get out of it. What benefits are you looking to experience? Those looking for a solution to manage discomfort may prefer a different delivery method compared to someone using CBD to promote general wellness. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of the three most popular forms of CBD: Tinctures, gummies, and topicals. After an overview, we'll explain what the most efficient method can be.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is an extract found most commonly in both hemp and cannabis plants. After the Farm Bill was passed in 2018, industrial hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis was removed as a Schedule I drug by the DEA. This made CBD products legal to manufacture, distribute, and consume.
Products that are extracted from hemps, such as CBD, other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids can be turned into a variety of bases, namely CBD oil. There are pure CBD isolates that appear in powder form, but in this guide, we’ll focus on the best way to take CBD oil.
There are three main types of CBD: Full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolates. Each one aims to achieve the same thing, though they're not equal in terms of how the oil is extracted.
Full spectrum CBD relies on using the entire plant (stalk, leaves, and flower) to extract its necessary cannabinoids. Full spectrum includes the whole molecular structure, retaining all cannabinoids and plant matter, including THC.
If you were to compare full spectrum CBD to, say, an orange, the orange's skin would constitute the plant matter and the white pith that separates the skin from the rest of the fruit would be the THC.
Broad spectrum CBD also uses the entire plant to extract its necessary cannabinoids. What differs between this and full spectrum is that during the extraction process, the molecular structure of the plant is altered slightly to remove certain cannabinoids, such as THC.
If you were to compare broad spectrum CBD to a glass of orange juice, the juice was derived from the orange but the composition was altered as the skin and pith were not included in the finished product.
CBD isolates rely solely on CBD upon extraction. Whether you use the full plant or not doesn’t really matter, because everything else is effectively removed. What you are left with is the full, concentrated amount of CBD, and only CBD.
Continuing our analogy, CBD isolates would be like a vitamin C tablet. It was derived from an orange but stripped of any defining characteristics. Similarly, while vitamin C alone can provide value to your overall wellness, it doesn’t come close to the benefits of drinking a glass of orange juice or eating an orange.
Many believe a full spectrum CBD formula works best, as all cannabinoids and plant matter are retained upon the initial extraction.
Our full spectrum CBD, as the name suggests, uses the entire plant. We grind cultivated hemp into a coarse powder, then put it through a critical CO2 extraction process. The result is raw, crude CBD oil. Once we have the crude CBD oil we winterize it to -85C, which helps to isolate unwanted plant matter, lipids, and wax that would otherwise throw off the purity of the CBD product. After the winterization process, we apply a state-of-the-art chromatography process that filters out the majority of the THC, resulting in a refined, potent, and pure CBD oil.
Again, referencing an orange, this is the equivalent of taking an orange fruit, peeling its skin, and removing the pith. It's nearly impossible to remove all of the pith from the fruit, so while there will still be some degree of unwanted matter in the final product, the levels are low enough to not react with our bodies. Because the THC is not completely removed, it retains the complete molecular structure that defines full spectrum CBD products.
By far, the most common and possibly the best way to take CBD oil is to take your preferred serving under the tongue. This is called sublingual consumption, and you hold the oil under your tongue for 60 to 90 seconds before swallowing. Sublingual consumption allows the CBD to absorb directly into the bloodstream, so your body doesn’t have to metabolize it through multiple systems before experiencing its effects.
If you are okay with waiting longer, other types of CBD oil can be an effective method. Our gummies and topicals each offer their own unique form of CBD consumption with varying onset and times to satisfy a particular need or lifestyle.
If you don’t feel like carrying a bottle of liquid around with you, or if putting a dropper under your tongue could put you in a compromising situation, the best way to take CBD comes in the form of our CBD Gummies!
What if an intense sports game, sore muscles, joints, or even skin irritation began to take its toll on your overall comfort? In this case, CBD Topicals can be the best way to take CBD because they aim to relieve localized discomfort. The magic happens as our skin absorbs lotions, salves, creams, and balms normally for general wellness. Adding CBD into the equation only compounds the total benefits. Most topical products achieve some degree of moisturization, and CBD factors in a therapeutic aspect thanks to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
By and large, CBD Tinctures are the best way to take CBD because of convenience. It takes less than 10 seconds to open the bottle and drop some liquid under your tongue. Once swallowed, its effects come on within a matter of minutes and its effects last for several hours. Who can argue with that?
While CBD tinctures, topicals, and gummies all aim to achieve the same thing, these types of CBD delivery characteristics are different due to something called bioavailability. Bioavailability is defined as the process in which our bodies take in new compounds and distribute the contents across the bloodstream before being filtered out as waste.
Typically, CBD itself is a hydrophobic compound, meaning it does not react well to water. Because our bodies are largely composed of water, CBD must be bound to a carrier liquid to increase bioavailability. Whether these carrier liquids are MCT oil, coconut oil, or even ActivAloe, binding CBD with these fat-based oils increases the rate that our bodies can take in the CBD and increases the duration that it stays in the body before being filtered out.
Regarding the CBD bioavailability by product type, the breakdown is as follows:
Given the bioavailability of each product type, the lines can be drawn on their different characteristics. For example, CBD gummies differ from CBD tinctures because of their relatively low bioavailability. This low percentage is caused by the loss of nutrients upon digestion. When you eat or drink anything, the material must first pass through the stomach, where enzymes strip some of the matter away. After that, they pass through the intestines, where more is lost, before finally passing through the liver where the remainder is broken down and distributed throughout the bloodstream.
At the same time, however, despite the loss in bioavailability, a compound like CBD that passes through two systems before it is distributed allows for a more potent effect that stays in your system for a longer period.
As we've mentioned, the types of CBD product you use will determine how long it takes for the cannabidiol to take effect, and, given the bioavailabilities of each type, you can expect different onset and duration times for each. The best way to take CBD will depend on your own preferences and needs.
In conclusion, we still can't help recommending sublingual consumption as the best way to take CBD oil. Fast-acting and powerful, it's a potent way to get your daily serving of cannabidiol without feeling the psychoactive effects from THC or wasting your time with a large serving.
Overall, tinctures are the most cost-effective way to incorporate CBD into your daily wellness routine – with the highest bioavailability, low onset time, and average longevity of its effects, you absorb the most cannabidiol possible instead of wasting product. The great thing about Envy CBD products, particularly our CBD tinctures is they are flavored, making the entire journey to wellness enjoyable at the very least. Enjoy!
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