We know that entering the world of CBD oil can be a confusing process. If you’re not familiar with the jargon and terminology, it can be hard to wade through the huge amount of content and advice surrounding CBD to understand which direction to go in when it comes to buying and using CBD for the first time.
Need some help sorting things out? We’ll guide you through the different ways of taking CBD oil so you’ll feel confident and ready to start your own CBD journey.
What is CBD Oil?
Before we dive into how to use CBD oil, it is important to understand what CBD is. CBD oils contain a myriad of compounds, but the principal active ingredient is cannabidiol (CBD), a type of naturally-occurring compound called a cannabinoid extracted from hemp plants. CBD is non-intoxicating, meaning it doesn’t cause the high typically associated with recreational cannabis. Instead, it delivers the therapeutic benefits associated with the cannabis plant, without any of the intoxicating effects of THC.
CBD is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. But for those who prefer natural remedies over prescription medication, research into the effects of CBD oil could hold promise. Recently, CBD has been studied for its possible benefits to people with a variety of health conditions, including everything from reducing stress to helping the body return to its natural balanced state. Unfortunately, clinical trials on humans are relatively scarce, but more information continues to emerge as the stigma against CBD lessens.
Which CBD Oil Product Should I Buy?
Choosing which CBD product to buy in the meantime can be an overwhelming decision. Not only are there hundreds of CBD companies vying for your business, but there are a dizzying amount of product options.
Before deciding which type of CBD oil products to buy, here are some key points to consider:
Make Sure You Know Where Your CBD Oil Comes From
There’s a boom going on right now in the CBD oil world. New companies are springing up all the time…with some paying more attention to production and manufacturing best practices than others. That’s why it’s best to buy organic CBD that clearly states where the hemp has been grown. That said, the term “organic” can be accurate from a legal standpoint, but in terms of product content, somewhat misleading. For example, the non-CBD elements of an oil might be certified organic, while the hemp itself is not. To ensure you’re buying the highest quality and most natural product possible, look for CBD that is backed by third-party lab tests verifying the purity and lack of chemical additives in each product.
Combine Quality and Value
When it comes to CBD, getting the best bang for your buck isn’t necessarily about buying the cheapest product. An important factor to consider is how much of the CBD you take can be absorbed by your body. This is known as bioavailability. Taken orally, a high proportion of CBD is lost in your digestive system before making it into your bloodstream. There are ways around this difficulty such as taking CBD oil sublingually, so that it can be absorbed directly by blood vessels under the tongue, or choosing water-soluble CBD products.
Choose Whole-Plant CBD Oil
When it comes to CBD, the most effective choice is CBD oils containing the whole range of active compounds found in hemp. These include minor cannabinoids such as CBDA, THCA, CBG, CBN, as well as terpenes (which are other beneficial compounds found in hemp and a huge variety of essential oils) like pinene, limonene, and beta caryophyllene. This is because of the unique, botanical synergy found within the hemp plant, also known as the entourage effect, whereby the effect of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
CBD isolate, on the other hand is a purified form of CBD. Studies suggest that much higher doses of CBD isolate are needed to create the same effect as whole-plant CBD products, so it may be more effective to go for a product labeled full-spectrum or broad-spectrum — both of which will include these other beneficial compounds. In the end, the purest isn’t necessarily the best.
Methods of Taking CBD
In addition to the type of CBD you choose to take, it is important to consider how you’d like to use CBD oil. It can be used in many different products including CBD oils and tinctures, also known as CBD drops, which are taken under the tongue. CBD oil can also come in the form of CBD softgels (also known as CBD capsules), CBD balm and creams for topical use, and even CBD skincare, like our own CBD-rich Broad Spectrum Deep Hydration Mask. It’s best to try out different methods to see which best suits you.
Here are a few of the most common forms of CBD oil.
CBD oil — which can also be labeled as CBD tinctures or CBD hemp oil — are one of the most frequently used forms of CBD. CBD oils are taken under the tongue and held in the mouth for one minute (as opposed to swallowed) to allow for maximum absorption by the body and are quick-acting. With CBD tincture, the CBD is suspended in an alcohol solution. This means that the tincture drops can be mixed with flavoring, like peppermint or lemon. Because CBD tincture is 60–70% alcohol solution, it is often less potent than an oil.
Oils, on the other hand, do not contain any alcohol. Instead, the CBD and other beneficial hemp extracts are mixed in with a carrier oil — MCT (a form of coconut oil) being one of the most popular thanks to it’s brain-boosting effects. Using an oil means there is no alcohol solution diluting the CBD oil. This makes for a more natural taste, and a stronger, purer product
In CBD-rich oil like our SHEbd™ Broad Spectrum Hemp Oil, you will find the complete spectrum of compounds found in the hemp plant —minus the THC — mixed with a natural carrier oil such as organic coconut oil or hemp seed oil. A rule of thumb is to start with a low dose and gradually increase, paying attention to how you feel as you do, until you reach your personal sweet spot.
Most of us are used to taking our health supplements and medication in pill or capsule form, so it makes sense that CBD capsules (also known as softgels) would be a popular way to take CBD as well. In the past, the convenience of CBD softgels has been offset by less favorable absorption rates. That’s because when swallowing CBD, it has to first pass through the digestive tract where it’s broken down by liver enzymes before eventually reaching your bloodstream. For the best results, check to make sure your softgels are water-soluble, which eases absorption into the body. SHEbd™ Broad Spectrum Hemp Softgels use what’s known as a nanoemulsion-based delivery system, which increases their bioavailability by 3-5 times compared to CBD delivered in oil.
CBD Balms and Creams
Though much of the focus around CBD centers on how it affects the inside of our bodies, studies have shown that CBD also has benefits as a topical treatment. A good CBD balm or cream will penetrate the skin’s outer layer then absorb into the bloodstream. Look for a product that uses the entire hemp plant, with or without the THC, to elicit the entourage effect.
A certified organic balm that uses third-party lab tests to verify its purity is preferable to others on the market. With any topical cream or balm, it’s always a good idea to try a patch test to make sure you have no unexpected allergic reactions. Some (like SHEbd™‘s Broad Spectrum Hemp Balm) offer the convenience of a roll-on applicator (not unlike the deodorant you throw in your gym bag) or you can try SHEbd™‘s Broad Hemp Comfort Cream.
CBD Sheet Masks
Considering the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and moisturizing effects of phytocannabinoids found in hemp, the promise of CBD as a leading skincare ingredient is exciting. Sheet masks should be used regularly for optimum skin health. Regular use encourages a fresh and rejuvenated complexion, moisturizes dry skin, reduces inflammation and improves appearance. To prevent the active ingredients from evaporating, a good CBD sheet mask is made from 100% cotton. SHEbd™’s Broad Spectrum Deep Hydration Mask also contains other plant extracts such as licorice root extract, which has anti-aging properties, and quillaja saponaria bark extract, which may help prevent acne.
We hope this article has cleared up any questions you may have about how to use CBD oil. Questions? Get in touch! Our SHEbd experts will be delighted to help.