There are a wide variety of CBD products available on the market, from patches and capsules to pillow sprays and massage oils. With so many to choose from, it can be hard to know which type is best for you, but hopefully this quick guide will enable you to make a well-informed decision and get the most of out what CBD has to give!
Which CBD products should I choose?
While most CBD products across a brand will use the same CBD oil in different forms (unless a product is uniquely formulated, for example, a terpene-infused CBG oil), the way you consume or apply it can make a big difference to the result.
CBD oil/CBD tincture (oral drops)
CBD oral drops are the most popular form of CBD used across the world, as it’s easy to take, fast acting and gets directly into the bloodstream, allowing it to make its way around the entire body. This is a great choice for most people, as it’s easy to keep track of your dose (most oils will have the mg per drop advice on the label) and build up gradually to suit your needs. As CBD oil taken via the sublingual gland (under the tongue) bypasses digestion and gets straight into the bloodstream, it becomes active in the body quickly and stays active for around 3 hours, at which point you can easily top up with a few drops.
CBD skincare (topicals)
If you’re using CBD to target skin conditions, such as acne, eczema or psoriasis, topical products such as moisturisers, serums, body butters and balms can be a great option. Although topical CBD doesn’t penetrate the layers of the skin (therefore staying on the surface, rather than entering the bloodstream), the skin actually has its own endocannabinoid system - the key full-body system CBD interacts with. In fact, every skin cell contains endocannabinoid receptors. Applying CBD skincare has such a fantastic effect on some people that this is sometimes all that’s needed, however, it’s worth considering that skin conditions are often symptoms of a systemic, underlying issue, so you might want to take CBD oil internally too! And it’s absolutely fine to use both together.
CBD patches, balms and gels (transdermals)
Transdermal CBD products are the type that's applied to the skin, but then go on to penetrate through the top three layers of the skin, into muscles, joints and the bloodstream. This is an excellent way to target specific areas of the body in need, for example, an aching knee or post-gym soreness, getting the CBD right to where you want it most. So what makes a CBD product transdermal rather than topical? It all comes down to ingredients called ‘permeation enhancers’, which could be chemicals, alcohol or even certain terpenes (aromatic compounds found in the cannabis plant and essential oils). Patches are a really good option if you struggle to remember to take your CBD, as you can just stick one on and allow the CBD to slowly release into your system over 24- 48 hours.
CBD vapes have the fastest onset of any CBD product, so are favoured by people who want to feel the effects instantly, and have one of the highest rates of bioavailability (the amount of the active ingredients that actually get used by the body). They also have the shortest active time in the body - meaning you’ll need to top up more regularly than with other CBD products, however, this might be preferable for someone wanting to use a CBD vape as a smoking cessation device.
CBD capsules and edibles (gummies and chocolate)
Although capsules and edibles take the longest to become active in your body, as they have to go through the digestive system first, this form of CBD has the longest active life by far, with effects lasting on average 4-6 hours, depending on your metabolism. They also have the lowest bioavailability in terms of how much of the active product can be detected in the bloodstream, however, there are studies to suggest that allowing CBD to go through the digestive process first might make cannabinoids easier to cross the blood-brain barrier and therefore more effective in the body.
Everyone has their favourite way of using CBD, but it’s well worth noting that different forms of CBD might be better suited to different needs. And remember, you can also combine CBD products to build the best cannabinoid routine for your well-being.
Whichever type of CBD product your choose, two points remain the same: only ever buy CBD from a brand you trust, that offers lab reports and can trace their oil all the way back to seed. And be consistent in using CBD every day to see the best results.