Skip to content
✍️ Updated | 📆 | 🕑 10 min

How to Take CBD Oil the Right Way

👍 Share:

Adding CBD oil to your wellness routine can change how you approach health. But what is this oil that everyone is swearing by? 

Extracted from the cannabis plant, cannabidiol (CBD) seems to have a plethora of health benefits without the psychoactive effects associated with its cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CBD comes in many forms, such as gummies, capsules, and our current focus, oil, sometimes called tincture. If you’re new to CBD oil or can’t seem to have any luck with the one you bought, you’ve found the right article. 

The key to unlocking CBD's full potential lies in how it is consumed, timing, dosage, and, of course, the quality of the CBD product itself. In this article, we’ll explore the best practices for taking CBD oil to ensure you harness the full benefits. 

How to Ingest CBD Oil

The fastest way to get endocannabinoids into your system with CBD oil is sublingual administration — placing the drops of oil under the tongue where it’s absorbed through the mucous membranes and absorbed into the bloodstream within minutes. 

This will be faster than simply swallowing the oil (or CBD capsule with oil) or mixing it in with your drinks as then it would go through the digestive system, which could take anywhere from 20-45 minutes to exert its effects When CBD oil is ingested, it moves through the digestive tract, where it is broken down by stomach acids and liver enzymes

This process is known as first-pass metabolism. The liver metabolizes the CBD, converting it into various metabolites. While this process delays the onset of effects compared to sublingual administration, it also prolongs the duration of the effects.

Understanding the digestion process of CBD oil can help you decide how you would like to take it and how you can expect this choice to affect how you feel the effects.  

How to Take CBD Oil

Woman holding a CBD Dropper to her mouth

Adding CBD oil into your wellness routine can be a transformative experience, provided you understand the nuances of timing, dosage, and methods of ingestion. 

Here's a guide to help you navigate the process of taking CBD orally:

Timing and CBD Dosage 

Finding the right timing and dosage is key for maximizing your benefits of CBD oil tailored to your desired effects. 

For general wellness, support of the endocannabinoid system, mood enhancement, and even focus, it’s better to stick to lighter doses (5-10 mg) in the morning. 

With higher doses (40 mg +), some people find they can start to feel like the body is becoming heavy because they feel too relaxed, which can get in the way of carrying out a productive day. It’s for this reason that higher doses of CBD tinctures is taken in the evenings to support sleep or address discomfort in the body. 

Take CBD Oil Alongside Food for Abosrbtion 

Taking CBD oil alongside food enhances its absorption due to the fat-soluble nature of cannabinoids, including CBD. 

Being fat-soluble means that cannabinoids dissolve in fats rather than water, which influences how these compounds are absorbed and metabolized in the body. 

When you consume CBD oil with food, particularly meals containing healthy fats, you create an ideal environment for the CBD to dissolve. This process makes for a more efficient passage through the digestive system and into the bloodstream.

You may want to consider that consuming CBD with a meal may slow the absorption process slightly, leading to a prolonged release of CBD into your system, but can extend the duration of its effects.

Alternatives for Those Averse to Oil Droppers

While oil droppers or tinctures are a common way to consume CBD oil, there are other delivery methods. 

For those who don’t love the earthy flavor of oils that are typically associated with full spectrum CBD — which also include the flavor packed hemp terpenes — CBD oil capsules offer a great alternative to mask the flavor. 

These capsules contain CBD oil combined with a carrier oil, such as MCT or hemp seed oil, or coconut oil, encapsulated in a digestible form. This method simplifies dosage and eliminates the taste factor, which could be a more convenient form for some users. 

Mix CBD Oil into Your Foods or Beverages

While sublingual administration is the most efficient way for taking CBD orally, mixing it into your foods or drinks is another way to help max the flavor of full spectrum CBD oils or broad-spectrum CBD extracts, which, despite being more efficacious due to their cannabinoid and terpene content, may have a potent, earthy taste that some find unpleasant. 

Smoothies, sauces, and dressings are excellent vehicles for CBD oil, blending seamlessly with other ingredients.

Consistency is Key

Consistency is a must fir the effective use of CBD oils due to its cumulative impact on the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

CBD interacts with the ECS by influencing its receptors, though not always by directly binding to them. 

Instead, CBD is thought to modulate the activity of the ECS's own cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids, and enhance the body's natural responses to stress, pain, and other stimuli. This modulation helps the ECS in maintaining balance across various systems, contributing to overall wellbeing.

Combine CBD oil with Different Delivery Methods

Combining CBD oil with different delivery methods, such as CBD balms, offers a holistic approach to tackle discomfort like sore muscles and joints. 

Topical CBD products applied directly to the skin can target localized areas without entering the bloodstream, offering focused relief to specific area.

While CBD oil consumed orally or sublingually provides systemic effects by interacting with the ECS. This could help manage not just localized discomfort but also contribute to overall pain management, stress reduction, and improved sleep, which are critical in the body’s recovery process.

How to Use CBD Oil for Pain

Woman sitting on a couch holding her back

We want to be clear: the FDA has not approved CBD oil as a treatment for these pain-related issues. However, it’s hard to ignore the many people who find CBD helpful in addressing pain.

Here’s how you could make the most of CBD oil to support your discomfort. 

Chronic Pain

At the root of many chornic pain conditions lies inflammation, which can futher be exasperated by lack of sleep and mood. Taking CBD tinctures internally helps to support the ECS, which is involved in regulating processes involved with inflammation, sleep, mood, and even pain perception. 

Joint Pain

Use CBD oil regularly, either once or twice a day, to maintain a consistent level of CBD in your body for ongoing support of back and joint pain.

For localized relief for stiff joints, you can also applying a CBD balm directly to the painful joint.

Nerve Pain

Using CBD oil for nerve pain has become increasingly popular as more research shows a positive relationship between CBD and nerve-related conditions [1]. 

You can apply CBD topically to the affected area or use drops of CBD oil to absorb it quickly.  

How to Use CBD Oil for Anxiety

CBD is best known for its relaxing and feel-good effects, which many people use in addressing anxiety, likely due to its interaction with the ECS which is involved with mood and may influence serotonin receptors in the brain — a neurotransmitter associated with mood and anxiety regulation [2].

We need to address that research on CBD and anxiety is still in its early stages, and findings are not universally conclusive, which means it shouldn’t be your only means of addressing your mental health. And those with anxiety should speak with a health care professional for a diagnosis and treatment plan. 

How to Use CBD Oil for Sleep 

While research on CBD and sleep is still in its early stages, there are promising findings that suggest it may influence various factors that contribute to sleep quality [3]. 

The ECS is also involved in the balance of a healthy sleep cycle. Through the ECS, CBD may contribute to the promotion of a balanced sleep pattern.

CBD has also demonstrated anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects in some studies [4]. CBD may indirectly contribute to improved sleep quality with soothing effects that may keep those anxious late-night thoughts and stress at bay. 

We recommend reading the label of the CBD product you are using for a more precise recommendation on when to take CBD for sleep, but most products should be taken 30 minutes to an hour before you hope to fall asleep.

We also want to note that CBD drops can sometimes have a naturally bitter flavor due to the natural hemp flavor, so we recommend taking CBD drops before brushing your teeth. 

How to Use CBD Drops vs Oil

CBD Oil dropper close up

When discussing CBD, the terms "drops" and "oil" are often used interchangeably, both referring to a liquid CBD product that is taken orally. However, the term "drops" specifically refers to the method of dosing and application. Here's a straightforward guide on how to use them:

However, due to the nature of a dropper, it can be difficult to achieve precise dosing in every drop. 

CBD oil can also come in a few other forms that you may prepare to CBD drops. CBD oil can come in the form of CBD balms, CBD capsules, and CBD vape juice. Capsule CBD oil offers more precise dosing, as each capsule contains a precise dose. CBD balms are recommended specifically for people who want localized relief.

Smoking CBD, like smoking anything, comes with its own health risks, but it is an option for someone who prefers using a vape pen and is interested in inhaling CBD. 

How Much CBD Oil to Take for Beginners

Oil Dropper in a hand

Taking CBD oil can feel a bit intimidating when you’re a beginner. 

Determining the appropriate dose of CBD oil to consume for new CBD users can be a personalized process, as individual responses to CBD vary, so you should expect to experiment to find your “Goldilock’s Zone.”

Factors like your body weight, metabolism, and the specific reason for using CBD, influence the appropriate dosage.

No matter the CBD product, we advise beginners to start with a low dose of 5-10 mg of CBD and gradually increase the dosage based on how your body reacts. If you want to see results, we recommend incorporating CBD into your daily routine for consistent use.

The Takeaway: How to Take CBD Oil

Whether you prefer CBD gummies, tinctures, capsules, or any other CBD products, it’s important to buy from a reputable brand with safe ingredients, third-party testing, and established efficacy. Following the product’s directions will ensure that you are consuming or using the product in its intended way. 

CBD can change the way you approach your health and wellness. When shopping for CBD oil products, do your research, especially if you are hoping CBD will benefit any condition you have. 

CBD oils have different formulas, dosages, and price points. Cheap CBD may not contain the same premium ingredients that you need for the desired effects you’re hoping for. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the best way to take CBD oil?

The best way to take CBD oil is personal, but my favorite way to take CBD oil is through sublingual administration. It provides the fastest onset time and the longer duration times to be convenient for most people’s needs

All CBD products have their benefits, but I think this is the best way to take CBD oil. I especially like the option for a strong CBD oil with robust effects, such as our highly potent CBD oil

How to take hemp oil orally?

Hemp oil is different from CBD oil, as hemp oil typically refers to hemp seed oil, which does not contain cannabinoids but is rich in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. 

You could take hemp seed oil by swallowing a teaspoon full, but it might be best in recipes like salad dressings or mixed into a green smoothie. 

How do I apply CBD oil?

CBD oil is usually designed to be taken orally, but some people may choose to apply it to the skin for localized relief by applying drops to the area of discomfort and gently massaging it into the skin until its absorbed. However, there are better alternatives for this type of application like CBD balms, lotions, or massage oil. 

How to use CBD drops

Most CBD oil tinctures come with a dropper for easy and precise dosing. Squeeze the rubber bulb at the top of the dropper to draw the oil into the pipette.

Fill the dropper with the desired amount of CBD oil. Beginners often start with a low dosage, such as a half dropper (0.5 ml), to assess their tolerance and response.

Allow the CBD oil to sit under your tongue for 30 to 60 seconds. You can swallow the remaining oil after holding the CBD oil under your tongue.

Remember that CBD oil can expire, so if you are not planning on taking it consistently and would rather take it spontaneously, then be sure to check the expiration date, which could affect the taste and efficacy.


  1. Serpell, M., Ratcliffe, S., Hovorka, J., Schofield, M., Taylor, L., Lauder, H., & Ehler, E. (2014). A double‐blind, randomized, placebo‐controlled, parallel group study of THC/CBD spray in peripheral neuropathic pain treatment. European journal of pain, 18(7), 999-1012. 
  2. Abame, M. A., He, Y., Wu, S., Xie, Z., Zhang, J., Gong, X., ... & Shen, J. (2021). Chronic administration of synthetic cannabidiol induces antidepressant effects involving modulation of serotonin and noradrenaline levels in the hippocampus. Neuroscience Letters, 744, 135594.
  3. Moltke, J., & Hindocha, C. (2021). Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. Journal of cannabis research, 3, 1-12.
Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825-836.
Anna Deutschman

Masters Degree in English Literature, Educator & Content Writer Anna Deutschman is an educator and content writer with a Master's degree in English Literature. Throughout her career, Anna has dedicated herself to both education and writing, refining her skills to produce compelling and inform...

Table of Contents

    Similar Posts

    Where to Buy Cannabis Oil in 2024
    Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil: What's the Difference?
    CBD Oil Price: How Much Does CBD Oil Cost?

    🛒 Cart

    Your cart is currently empty.

    Start Shopping

    Select options

    We use digital cookies to enhance your website & wellness experience. No worries, they won't give you the munchies!