If you’re interested in trying CBD oil for the first time, you probably have a lot of questions on how to use CBD oil such as: What kind of CBD oil should I get? How to take CBD oil? How much CBD oil should I take?
While CBD has been growing in popularity in recent years, there is still a lot of confusion and it may be overwhelming to someone who has never tried it before.
We break down many of the common questions about CBD in this Beginner’s Guide to CBD.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a medicinal compound found in the cannabis plant. Hemp is a specific strain of cannabis that is naturally high is CBD and low in THC, which makes it ideal for extracting CBD. You can reap the benefits of CBD without the “high” associated with recreational marijuana.
CBD oil has been found to provide a multitude of health benefits with little to no side effects. Whether you want to promote a more relaxed mood, relieve aching muscles and joints, or if you’re dealing with more severe neurological issues, CBD may help.
Besides CBD, hemp also contains other beneficial compounds including 100+ minor cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and amino acids. When consumed together, these compounds have been shown to work synergistically and increase the healing properties of one another. This is what is called the “entourage effect”.
How Does CBD work?
The human body has an Endocannabinoid System (ECS) that translates signals from cannabinoids through thousands of receptors in our brain, central nervous system and immune system. The ECS is responsible for regulating many functions such as appetite, sleep, pain sensitivity and immune system responses. The ECS produces cannabinoids of its own, which are called endocannabinoids.
When cannabinoids from plants (phytocannabinoids) enter the body, they interact with our ECS receptors in the same way our internal cannabinoids do. These phytocannabinoids activate responses and provide a host of benefits from anxiety relief, pain management to neuroprotective properties.
3 Types of CBD Oil Extracts
There are three main types of CBD oils extracted from the hemp plant. These include Full Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate.
Full Spectrum CBD
Refers to the whole plant hemp extract, including up to 0.3% of THC.
Broad Spectrum CBD
Starts as full-spectrum CBD that undergoes an additional process to remove the trace amounts of THC. It offers the “entourage effect” associated with full-spectrum CBD, without any chances of THC being ingested into the body.
Contains pure CBD only, and none of the other cannabinoids, terpenes or other natural compounds found in the hemp plant.
Research has shown that full-spectrum and broad-spectrum are superior for overall health and wellness than CBD isolate and provide a higher level of relief due to the whole plant profile and the entourage effect.
Broad spectrum CBD hemp oil is an excellent choice for individuals who wish to consume the full spectrum of beneficial compounds found in hemp, but can not have any traces of THC in their system, whether for legal purposes, passing a drug test, or any other reason.
How to Take CBD
As the popularity of CBD is growing, there are many different formats for taking CBD such as tinctures, capsules, topicals, vapes, and edibles. While there is no “best” way to take CBD oil, there are some pros and cons to each and will ultimately boil down to your personal preference based on your individual goals, convenience and lifestyle.
Another factor in deciding how to take CBD is that different formats offer various levels of bioavailability, absorption rates and time frame for staying in your body.
Here are the most common ways to take CBD and the pros and cons of each.
Fast absorption and high bioavailability taking sublingual CBD as the capillaries under the tongue lead directly to the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system
Easy to use (for both humans and animals)
Versatility (can be consumed sublingually or added to food and beverages)
Flexible dosing (fill the dropper to the desired dose and can also be split into multiple doses throughout the day)
Some people don’t like the taste of hemp
Some people feel that the process of holding the oil under the tongue for 60-90 seconds is inconvenient compared to taking a CBD capsule
Arguably the most convenient way to consume CBD
Tasteless and odorless
Exact dosage every time
Taking a CBD capsule doesn’t feel different or intimidating if you’re used to taking vitamins, supplements or other medications
Effects may take 1-2 hours to work as the CBD needs to go through the digestive system first
Ingesting CBD may be less effective as the CBD must pass through the liver, which reduces its concentration before sending it to the bloodstream
Targeted relief for specific pain and inflammation
Useful for skin repair and skin conditions
Can be formulated and combined with other essential oils and beneficial ingredients
Can be messy before fully absorbing into the skin
Does not enter the bloodstream, therefore only offers relief to the specific area applied
Vaping / Smoking
Highest absorption rate and bioavailability
Effects can be felt almost immediately, usually within minutes
Easy to carry around and use on the go
Effects will last a shorter time vs ingesting CBD orally
Additional vaping apparatus is required
Stigma around vaping/smoking
Fun and convenient way to consume CBD while snacking
Can be a tasty treat
Everyone likes to eat!
Low absorption and bioavailability due to being processed through the digestive system
Typically contains low doses of CBD vs other methods
Some edibles include artificial ingredients and sweeteners
Not all edibles adhere to dietary restrictions such as celiacs or vegans
Any Other Methods?
There are a few other methods to take CBD including rectal and vaginal suppositories and intravenous injections, but for obvious reasons, these are not desirable or convenient for the general public.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?
Finding the optimal dose is an individual process as each person is different, as well as the method of ingestion, so it may take a bit of trial and error to find the right dose of CBD for you.
Several factors influence each person’s effective dose of CBD including weight, diet, metabolism, sleep patterns, stress levels and genetics. Also some individuals are just more sensitive to the effects of CBD than others.
In any case, it’s always best to start with a low dose (we suggest starting with 10-20mg of CBD) and see how you react. You can slowly increase the dose over the next few days to find the most effective dose for you and your goals.
Most people stick to somewhere in the 10-80mg of CBD per day, with higher doses for sleep, therapeutic effects and “flare ups”.
How to Measure CBD Oil Serving Size
Can you buy CBD oil online? With Chow 420 you can
There are many places to buy CBD hemp oil in all types and formats, but first and foremost, we highly advise against picking up some cheap unknown CBD product from your local smoke shop or gas station! We strongly advise buying CBD online with Chow. We are not a CBD company, rather we are a software company that extensively vets CBD products to ensure that they are safe and customers get what they pay for.
Things to look for when buying CBD
Always read labels to make sure you know exactly what you’re buying.
Is the CBD full spectrum, broad spectrum, or is it a CBD isolate?
Is there any THC in the product?
How much CBD does the product actually contain? (Look for CBD contents in the entire package as well as CBD per serving or recommended dose)
Are there other artificial ingredients or fillers?
Origin and Manufacturing
Many hemp plants obtained from Eastern Europe, Asia, or other uncontrolled or unknown sources may be contaminated with harmful substances or synthetic chemicals in order to increase yield, weight, or potency.
Look for hemp that is organically grown in the USA.
Are the CBD products manufactured in a GMP certified FDA registered facility?
What extraction method is used? Look for CO2 extraction for a solvent free whole plant extract.
3rd Party Lab Tests
Transparency should be key to any CBD product you are purchasing.
Make sure to review COA’s (Certificate of Analysis) and 3rd party lab tests showing the product’s potency, quality, and safety. Lab tests should confirm that the product is free of heavy metals, harsh chemicals, solvents, or pesticides.
While price should not be the ultimate factor in choosing to buy CBD products, look for competitive pricing between $0.10 – $0.15 per mg of CBD, give or take.
Some companies are unnecessarily overcharging for CBD products based on their brand recognition.
The opposite extreme is also true. Watch out for unusually low prices. Keep in mind the old adage that states “you get what you pay for”.
Cheap is cheap… We believe in consuming only high quality, natural, healthy products and do not think it’s worth saving a few dollars to buy inferior quality products that may compromise your health and that of your loved ones.
Purchasing high quality CBD oil may not be cheap, but investing in your health and well being far outweighs the expense of chronic illness and disease.
CBD may help with a variety of issues such as anxiety, pain, cognition, and movement disorders.
Look for full spectrum or broad spectrum, rather than CBD isolate.
Choose your preferred format for taking CBD oil (tinctures, capsules, topicals, vapes, and edibles) based on your specific conditions, lifestyle, and goals.
Experiment with dosage. Start low and slowly increase until you find the optimal dose for you.
Read labels and review lab reports to ensure you know what you’re buying.