If you’re a CBD beginner, you might think that there’s only one way to consume CBD, and that’s through CBD oil. And you’d be way off on that; CBD can be consumed in a lot of different ways. In fact, most people prefer to smoke or eat CBD gummies, which is surprising.
Here are different forms in which CBD is sold and which one you should buy:
Know your varieties
When you’re researching about which type of CBD you should buy, it helps to know what your choices are. Keep in mind that many retailers specialise in just one or two products, like oil and edibles. So shop around and consume those types of CBD before settling on the form of CBD you prefer. Experiment and see what works best for you.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet of the primary forms of the substance that retailers offer:
- Standard CBD oil. You can obtain oil of varying potency, so remember to read labels and know the percentage of pure CBD in the product you purchase.
- Vaping. Vapes offer high bioavailability but low duration of the effect and a relatively quick onset time.
- Gummies and other edibles.There are hundreds of products in this category, gummies being the biggest sellers. New items are showing up on store shelves regularly.
- Isolates. Crystallised powder made from pure CBD oil offers consumers a versatile way to add the substance to drinks, foods, and tinctures. It also has 0% THC which makes it safer for you beginners to try it out without having to worry about whether or not this stuff will show up on a drug test. You don’t need to lose your job just to test whether or not CBD is beneficial for you.
- Topicals, balms, and salves. The health/beauty product line is currently showcasing dozens of items that contain therapeutic amounts of CBD, including shampoo, salves, topical skin creams, and balms.
- Tinctures. Tinctures are oils composed of CBD and another substance. You put them under your tongue for fast effect. Many are flavoured.
Always go over product labels to find out whether you’re buying CBD that contains THC or not. If it does, check out the percentage of THC. If it’s above 0.3%, there’s a chance you’ll experience stronger psychoactive effects of THC. If the percentage is lower than that, or if it is zero, you’re not apt to feel any ‘high’ effect from taking the CBD.
4 Ways of consuming CBD
Buying trends change, but right now the four most popular ways to use CBD include as oils, vapes, edibles, and isolates. Here’s a bit more about the advantages and disadvantages of each form. Of course, a lot of it depends on personal preferences so don’t rule something out just because it’s not on our list. As we said above, experiment with different forms and see which one you like the most.
Oils are easy to use and are sold most everywhere. Many retailers who sell only one kind of CBD, sell oil. You need to look at the concentration of the oil and be sure not to pay a high price for low-potency products. One downside of oil is that some people find it inconvenient to use a dropper to consume CBD oil. They’d rather smoke it or just eat it like a gummy and be done with. So in that sense, CBD oil has a bunch more steps you have to take to consume it.
Vaping is a fast, high-bioavailable way to consume CBD in hundreds of different flavors. However, the effects can be very short-lived and require repeated vaping. There’s also the question about lung health if you vape regularly.
Most people are fine with vaping as long as it is safe. So you will need to keep it under moderation because smoking anything in excess is not good for your lungs. Although there’s no evidence that suggests that vaping CBD has any bad side effect on our lungs, it’s better to keep this under control and not make it a habit.
Food and snack items containing CBD are big sellers everywhere they’re sold. People love the many flavors and varieties. Plus, they’re easy to use: just eat them! A drawback is that they usually contain lots of added sugars and offer very low concentrations of CBD.
CBD isolate powder is the purest form of CBD you can consume. They have 0% THC and high concentration of CBD which is a good thing. One downside of this is that CBD isolates are a bit more pricier compared to other forms. Many contain 990 mg of CBD per 1,000 mg of product. Their advantage is that they are extremely versatile and deliver high concentrations of CBD. But it can be a pain to measure exact dosages with such a highly concentrated substance.
Other ways to use CBD
In addition to the top four, here are two other ways of consuming CBD that are rising quickly in sales volume:
- Topicals. Topical creams, balms, and lotions have the advantage of offering targeted placement directly on the aching part of your body. The downside is that many commercial offerings contain such low dosages of CBD as to render them ineffective. Check for concentrations of around 200 mg per ounce of product as a minimum threshold of effectiveness.
- Tinctures. Tinctures are placed under the tongue and are often combined with other oils. Usually flavoured, they still carry a strong taste that some people don’t like. However, it’s pretty easy to calibrate the dosage with tinctures and they are fast-acting.
Expect more variety
Marketers are always searching for new ways to bring variety to the CBD niche, so expect to see more uses of CBD popping up in the coming years. And within each of the current categories, like edibles, the variety is virtually endless. It’s likely that CBD will go the way of many other additives and start showing up virtually everywhere. Don’t be surprised to see it in soft drinks, suntan lotion, bandages, nasal spray, cough lozenges, and thousands of other products that are applied to the skin or ingested whole.
Image credit: Freepik
Peter Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.
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