CBD oil has become the go-to product for many to help with many issues ranging from arthritis and anxiety to insomnia. CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is one of the many therapeutic cannabinoids found in hemp and has both anti-inflammatory and analgesic (or pain-relieving) properties. There are so many products containing it today that it can be confusing to understand and assess what is right for you. Choosing wisely will mean better safety and more effective results. It’s important to find a high quality, reliable, reputable and pure CBD product that meets your tastes. In this guide we’ll explore how to get the most out of your CBD oil product and some tips on purchasing. We’ll also take a look at how different products like CBD gummies, edibles, sublingual’s and other ingestion methods can provide differing uses depending on your needs. If you’re looking for a more in-depth guide on how to use CBD, check here.
- 1 Tips on Getting the Most out of CBD
- 2 When to Expect Results with CBD
- 3 How to Know What You’re Buying
- 4 Understand the Risks of CBD
- 5 Conclusion
Tips on Getting the Most out of CBD
Dosage and Starting Out
Everyone’s body, physiology, biochemistry and responses to CBD will be completely unique and different. Many factors play into how much CBD you’ll need for results. Genes, individual physiology, gender, body mass and health levels will all affect your metabolism. In turn, these factors influence how you will need to dose CBD for your needs. There isn’t a one-size fits all method that can be applied to everyone. Experimenting with doses until you find the sweet spot for your goals or health condition is the best approach. But start out slowly.
Starting slow and gradually increasing the dose is important for risk mitigation. Doing this can help to discover any intolerances you may have, or side effects which can crop up before they become a problem. Over time you can cautiously increase your dose. Keep monitoring for any issues and ensure you are tracking your doses. Have a plan in place for how much CBD you’ll take daily and what your increases over time will be. It’s generally recommended to begin with several drops or 10-15mg per day and work your way up to a dose that works for your needs. Never begin with a high dosage range as it can exacerbate the risk of side effects. If you notice any side effects in your first few weeks you may need to stop dosing or consult with your doctor.
Eventually you may even want to explore high dosage ranges. Higher dosages may be called for if you are a large individual, your condition is more serious or you need greater relief. But many user types can use and benefit from high doses. CBD is well-tolerated and can be taken in relatively large amounts daily safely. A good daily starting dose is generally 10-15mg (several drops) per day. You will see the most noticeable effects at 30 mg or more per day. You can build a tolerance to CBD – aim to use the least amount possible and take breaks periodically to reset tolerance.
While isolate CBD products have higher strength and purity of CBD content, they lack terpenes and other plant nutrients contained in less refined products. Full-spectrum CBD oil usually has higher efficacy than its CBD isolate counterpart. It undergoes less refinement and filtration, retaining more useful therapeutic phytonutrients and antioxidants. A key phytocompound contained in this product type are terpenes. Terpenes are important as they trigger the entourage effect. This is a synergistic effect which enhances the uptake and absorption of other cannabinoids like CBD when consumed alongside terpenes. Terpenes do this by improving cell permeability at the cannabinoid receptor binding sites. This increases the efficacy of CBD plus other cannabinoids in lowering symptoms of arthritis, anxiety and inflammation.
Let’s take a step back and recap on the main three CBD oil types.
- Full spectrum CBD oil: products containing the ‘full spectrum’ of cannabinoids and phytonutrients produced by cannabis. This includes terpenes, flavonoids and chlorophyll. It is the least refined version of CBD and contains the most plant matter in it.
- Broad spectrum CBD oil: contains some of the cannabinoids found in hemp (primarily CBD) as well as limited phytonutrient content. It may or may not contain terpenes depending on the product.
- CBD oil isolate: an oil that is a refined extract of only the CBD cannabinoid. There is higher concentration of CBD in the product for this reason. The downside is this refinement removes many of the helpful nutrients that also occur in hemp such as terpenes. Terpenes have a number of therapeutic effects in themselves, while also improving the effects of cannabinoids.
If you’re starting out – opt for full-spectrum products initially. They’re the best for promoting overall health and wellbeing because of their terpene content. Not to mention, this type of CBD oil has a number of other useful plant nutrients such as chlorophyll, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), vitamins, antioxidants and more. These won’t be found in isolate products due to its higher level of refinement.
Part of knowing how to dose correctly comes down to how strong the product you purchased is. Different potencies or product strength will influence the amount of CBD you need to take. The standard ‘high strength’ CBD oil is 1000mg of CBD per 30mL bottle. This can be reduced to 500mg or 250mg for more diluted formulas. It’s usually recommended to start out at 250mg or 500mg before increasing to high strength products. Strength and absorption can also be improved by using a high quality carrier like MCT oil. MCT contains healthy fats that aid cannabinoids like CBD in being absorbed.
When to Expect Results with CBD
It takes time for CBD to work in the body. You won’t get results overnight. The reason is it can take some time for the endocannabinoid system to activate and provide benefits. Consuming CBD over a more prolonged time frame enables better activation than ad hoc or one-time usage. You’ll need to do it consistently, accurately and stick to your plan to ensure you obtain good results. Whether you’re using it for anxiety, arthritis or just trying to sleep better, make sure you commit and have discipline in daily use. Maintaining doses for at least 4-6 weeks before you increase dose or reconsider your approach. If you aren’t getting the benefits you need – it is worthwhile experimenting with different products or dosage ranges. Check out our guide here to learn more about how long it takes for CBD to work.
How to Know What You’re Buying
Lab testing and a certificate of analysis (COA) from a reputable 3rd party is important to verify and assure the quality of your CBD product. In particular, a COA will list the quantity, concentration and type of cannabinoids contained in your CBD oil. It should note the amount of CBD as well as THC contained in your oil clearly. These will be produced by a third-party lab and can be trusted to give insight into the quality and potency of your oil. Brands will often share their Certificate of Analysis for products on their websites. Check the site or request the COA directly from them before buying to ensure you have gauged the product’s quality. Avoid buying products that aren’t lab tested and don’t have a COA.
Every CBD product is different. Each will contain different concentrations and quality levels of cannabinoids. You need to conduct your own research, understand what you’re buying and ensure you have read labelling. The container or package the product came in will have important information listed on it. For example it should guide you on recommended dosages, how to use the product, what the ingredients are, plus helpful tips. These can also help you with the nuances of your particular brand or type of oil. For example, a CBD isolate oil may require a lower dose for the same effects compared to a full-spectrum product due to having a higher CBD concentration.
Understand Product Types
Don’t confuse Hemp and CBD oil. When buying CBD (especially online), it is easy to confuse it with hemp oil. There are significant differences between these products – hemp oil contains no cannabinoids and is not therapeutic from a physiological standpoint. Both contain similar ingredients from a nutritional standpoint as they’re each derived from cannabis. They’ll contain healthy fats, omega 3, vitamins, minerals, and plant antioxidants like flavonoids BUT only CBD oil will contain helpful cannabinoids. Ensure you read the label, ingredients and lab test results to ensure you don’t confuse these and waste your money and time.
Know Ingestion Methods
You can take CBD through many different ingestion methods. While CBD oil is the most known and common method to take it, a huge range of other options are available. For example you could try taking CBD using sublingual’s, using a spray, via edibles, capsules, balms, lozenges or even drinks. Each intake method will have differing bioavailability levels, speed of absorption and length of effect. Methods that absorb directly into the bloodstream such as sublingual’s will act the fastest and have the most bioavailability. Bioavailability is the measure of CBD which is available for absorption and not removed during digestion or metabolic activity. Digested forms of CBD like edibles or oils have lower bioavailability as stomach acids will eliminate some quantity. Balms applied to the skin have the lowest availability.
You can even smoke or vape CBD but this isn’t recommended. Smoke can be detrimental to health and toxic. CBD gummies or oils are tasty and easy to consume but also have high calories and sometimes contain preservatives. CBD capsules help you avoid the earthy and nutty flavour of CBD which tastes poor to many people. Oils and tinctures are great in enabling you to dose accurately. They contain a high amount of healthy fats and calories so shouldn’t be consumed in excess. Your preferred method should come back to your tastes and preferences.
Understand the Risks of CBD
Mixing with Medication or Alcohol
CBD is processed by the liver. Due to this – it shouldn’t ever be combined with other compounds that will affect or strain the liver. The liver can become strained or overloaded if too many different chemicals are being passed through it simultaneously. You should never mix alcohol or other medications with CBD. Doing so can cause adverse side effects or even liver damage when used in combination which must be avoided. If you have any existing medications you’re using, check with your doctor before using CBD.
Side Effects of CBD
While rare, side effects can occur with CBD. These are generally very mild in nature and can include issues like dry mouth, upset stomach or reduced appetite. If you experience more severe side effects, stop using CBD. Check with your doctor if symptoms persist. Note that not all CBD products will work, and not everyone is suited to use CBD. If you’re not getting the results you want, the first step is to assess why. You may need to experiment with different dosages, try an alternative oil type (eg an isolate if you’ve previously used full spectrum) or change brands. If you’ve tried a few different options but are still not seeing results, you may not be suited to, or need, CBD.
Many CBD products sold online either contain minimal or no CBD (i.e.. fakes). This can sometimes be the culprit if you’ve tried a product and aren’t seeing any results. Some providers will mislabel their products or dilute them to improve their profits. You may even see fake products that contain no CBD or even containing other adulterants or contaminants which you should avoid. Always seek a lab certificate before purchasing.
There are a few important areas to consider before starting with CBD products to ensure you get the best results and value for money. You’ll want to take care in adhering to each of these tips. Firstly, ensure your dosages are accurate and you’re following a firm plan in consuming your product. This will ensure you avoid side effects and get the health results you need quickly. Always ensure you get a lab-tested and 3rd party reviewed product. Read the bottle and understand the manufacturer’s dosage instructions. You also should opt for full-spectrum CBD oils when possible and make sure that you never mix CBD with medications, alcohol or other compounds that are processed by the liver.