The Best Way To Consume CBD To Optimize Your Health
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Humans have had an affinity for the humble cannabis plant for thousands of years. Today, there are many ways to consume cannabis extracts like cannabidiol (CBD) to fit various lifestyles.
A common question we get asked is, "what is the best way to take CBD oil?"
The answer to this question isn't as straightforward as you think. Several factors play into what the best method is for you since CBD can affect everyone differently.
In this article, we'll go over the most common ways to consume CBD and provide some of the pros and cons so that you may find a method that suits your needs best.
Why Does CBD Affect Individuals Differently?
CBD has such broad-acting effects and may affect individuals differently due to genetics, current health conditions, and lifestyles. CBD doesn't push receptor buttons to certain illicit effects like some compounds but works in an entire system to strengthen its overall function.
CBD or cannabidiol is a plant-based cannabinoid. The human body also produces cannabinoids called "endocannabinoids," which act as chemical messengers that bind to receptors to activate certain processes. This system is called the endocannabinoid system, and its purpose is to help the body maintain homeostasis or balance.
When the body becomes out of balance, either due to internal or external stresses, we become prone to disease, so strengthening the endocannabinoid system helps the body respond to stress.
When we consume CBD, it strengthens our endocannabinoid system by inhibiting the breakdown of endocannabinoids and improving their ability to bind to receptor sites. Depending on the different ways to take CBD, it may also have unique effects on certain receptors to support functions that control motivation, stress response, sleep-wake cycle, and pain perception.
What Are Different Ways To Take CBD?
Since CBD itself lends to various ways to support one's wellness goals, and it also comes in many different product types to improve its ease of use and enjoyment.
You can find CBD products in the form of enhanced beverages, lotions and balms, traditional capsules and oils, vape products, and raw hemp flowers.
We'll discuss the most popular forms of CBD products on the market and relay some of the pros, cons, and uses for each method to better understand which method works best for what you intend to use CBD for.
For beginners, oral CBD is an ideal introduction to the health benefits of cannabis as it's a familiar form of supplementation and can make the naturally bitter taste of CBD more palatable.
The downside to CBD edibles is that many active compounds get broken down by the digestive tract and first-pass liver metabolism, so you need to take stronger oral CBD doses to get your desired effects.
To improve CBD's absorption in the gut, it's recommended that you take your CBD with food.
Taking your CBD orally is an excellent way to get your daily CBD dose to support an active lifestyle, improve mental focus, and support sleep.
Sublingual CBD products are typically oils or spray applied beneath the tongue to penetrate the mucous membrane lined with microcapillaries. This helps to bypass the first-pass metabolism, where the liver and digestive system break down most active cannabinoids.
Sublingual CBD is an excellent way for beginners to try CBD as it's discreet, easy to dose, and doesn't require any extra equipment to get started.
CBD oils are a popular product offering, so you'll find them in a wide range of potencies and flavors to enjoy that are much higher in CBD than oral products.
If you need CBD in a potent and fast-acting delivery, smoking is the ideal way to consume CBD.
Inhaling CBD is theoretically the most effective way to consume CBD, as you maintain most of the active ingredients through the delivery exchange in the lungs. But smoking CBD products isn't ideal for everyone.
We don't recommend smoking or vaping your CBD if you're new to CBD, as it's difficult to measure your doses accurately or if you have a lung condition. However, it can be an enjoyable method for those who enjoy smoking.
Smoking Hemp Flower
Smoking whole hemp flower is one of the oldest methods of consuming CBD, and it delivers near-instantaneous relief and relaxation benefits. It's also one of the most natural and least processed forms of CBD.
Neurogan offers pre-rolled whole hemp cigarettes that are nicotine and tobacco-free, but if you prefer to roll yourself or have a whole flower vaporizer, the whole hemp flower might be a better option for you.
Vaporize CBD Juice
CBD vape juices typically combine CBD extract with a vapor-liquid formula of vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol. The benefit of vaping your CBD is that it takes a low heat temperature to turn the product into a cool vapor smoke that's much easier to inhale, and it doesn't leave a burning scent or any ash.
You can find disposable CBD vape pens that are ready to consume right out of the package, or if you enjoy vaping, you can get rechargeable batteries with a re-fillable tank where you can add your favorite vape juice that can come in a variety of flavor and potencies.
The best way to use CBD is to use it topically if you're looking to ease sore muscles. The skin has endocannabinoids to help support the skin's job to regulate temperature and protect us from our environment.
When you use topical CBD, make sure it contains at least 8 mg/mL of CBD to ensure the product enough to penetrate the skin and reach the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
One of the benefits of using CBD topically is that it provides targeted effects to problem areas rather than circulating your whole body. If you're looking to support work out recovery or ease muscle tension or discomfort, topical CBD could be the best way to add CBD into your lifestyle.
What To Look For In A CBD Product
Full Spectrum Or THC-Free Broad Spectrum Extracts
There are over a hundred therapeutic compounds in hemp. Studies have found that CBD is much more effective when used synergistically with its naturally occurring compounds .
CBD isolate or distillate products have undergone multiple stages of processing to remove all other cannabinoids, terpenes, and plant esters to make it easier for manufacturers to work with — but it also means that you have a less potent product and one that's more prone to create negative side effects.
Full spectrum or whole plant extracts may include up to 0.3% THC, which isn't enough to produce any intoxicating effects. However, there may be instances where you completely want to avoid THC altogether. In which case, THC-Free Broad Spectrum extracts are your best bet.
Broad spectrum CBD contains a range of cannabinoids and terpenes but has eliminated THC from the final product.
American-grown Pesticide-Free Hemp
Buying hemp from American farmers not only supports the economy, but we also have high agricultural standards.
Hemp is a bioaccumulator, which means it absorbs the contents of its environment. This can be a good thing if the soil is rich in minerals and the air and water quality is pristine, but this can be problematic if the hemp crops are grown on soil contaminated with heavy metals or if pesticides are used. These toxic trace elements could make it into the final bottled product, and it could make your CBD oil more harmful than beneficial to your health.
Independently Tested CBD Extracts
Independent lab testing the only way a CBD company can prove the claims they make on their products. While it's not mandatory in the industry, serious CBD brands have made it a standard in the wake of scam products on the market.
CBD manufacturers will send a sample of each batch of extract to a third-party lab to test for the cannabinoid and terpene profile and potency and ensure that they are free from harmful contaminants (mycotoxins, heavy metals, and pesticides).
You can typically find the Certificate of Analysis on the company's website. If it's not available, email the company for the results. If they can't give you a current result or don't get back to you, it's safe to say it's not worth buying.
The easiest way to shop for CBD is to buy from well-established, trusted brands in the industry to minimize the risk of ordering a scam product.
Take the company posted product reviews with a grain of salt as some companies have been known to fake product testimonials. If you're unsure about a company, look to third-party websites for product reviews.
Brands that are serious about their products' quality don't have anything to hide and will stand firmly behind their offers. This is why Neurogan has a 30-day money-back guarantee on all our products. We're confident in our products' quality and safety, and if it doesn't work out for you, there's no risk of wasting your money.
What Is The Best Way To Consume CBD?
The best way to consume CBD is to take it consistently.
While there are more effective methods of taking CBD, not all forms of CBD are available or ideal for everyone, so finding one that suits your lifestyle, comfort, and ease of use so that you're encouraged to take CBD daily will give you the best results.
Frequently Asked Questions About Using CBD
What's The Best Way To Take CBD For Sleep?
Many people who have trouble sleeping have been turning to CBD as a natural supplement to support a healthy sleep cycle.
The best CBD products to support sleep are full spectrum extracts that combine a diverse range of cannabinoids and terpenes, supporting CBD's effects in the endocannabinoid system. You can also look to the product's ingredient list to see if the company included other sleep support aids, like melatonin or valerian root.
We recommend consuming CBD sublingually for sleep support about an hour or two before your ideal bedtime. Holding your CBD under your tongue helps to improve the vehicle of transport of CBD into your bloodstream.
Make sure you're also practicing other sleep hygiene habits to improve your sleep quality, like dimming the lights, avoiding screen times, and setting regular sleep and wake times.
What Are The Side Effects Of Taking CBD?
The World Health Organization has concluded that CBD is well-tolerated and unlikely to cause serious side-effects when used responsibly. However, there are some risk factors you should be aware of.
The most commonly reported side effects are short-term, meaning they only last as long as CBD remains active in your system (6–8 hours). The side effects include:
- Low blood pressure
- Dry mouth
Most of these side effects come about because of too high doses. To mitigate your risk of experiencing adverse effects of CBD, avoid smoking CBD as it's difficult to gauge your doses, especially if you're new to CBD.
Start with pre-measured capsules or oils instead, start your doses on the lower end of the recommended dose, and work your way up over a few weeks until your system becomes accustomed to CBD.
How Can I Talk To My Doctor About CBD?
We always recommend speaking with your doctor before you start using CBD, especially if you have an underlying health condition or are on any prescribed medications.
CBD is not a cure-all compound, and it may not be suitable for you if you're on certain medications as it may cause negative interactions.
Remember that your health is your responsibility, so it's important to conduct your research as to why you think CBD can support your lifestyle before bringing it up with your health care professional. Some doctors aren't well-versed in the endocannabinoid system as it's not taught in conventional schools of medicine, and research on the topic is new.
If your doctor isn't open to discussing CBD for your health, you may want to consider a second opinion. You shouldn't feel bad about doing this because no one person can be an expert on everything. Look to other professionals to get a wide range of opinions.
The Takeaway: Optimizing Your Health With CBD
There are many options on the market for ways to consume your CBD. The best option for you is the method that you can do consistently, as CBD provides the best advantages when taken regularly.
CBD affects individuals differently depending on their genetics, experience with CBD, current health conditions, and lifestyle, so it may take a bit of experimentation to find a method you enjoy and find the best results with.
We recommend oral or sublingual applications for beginners, and it's simple to measure your doses, and it doesn't require any extra equipment to use.
While smoking provides the most potent and fast-acting effects, inhaling CBD is not for everyone. It's often difficult to measure how much CBD you're consuming, and it's easy to go overboard.
If all you're after your CBD is to ease sore muscles, topical CBD rubs and massage oils are an excellent option. Many people also like to pair this with another method of consuming CBD to enhance the effects.
Whatever method you chose, make sure you look into the product and brand you're purchasing to ensure quality and safety standards are met.
For more articles like this to improve your CBD knowledge base, be sure to check out our blog.
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- Russo, E. B. (2019). The case for the entourage effect and conventional breeding of clinical cannabis: no “strain,” no gain. Frontiers in plant science, 9, 1969.
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