There can be no doubt that hemp oil with CBD is making waves in the health space. More and more people are using it daily to assist with issues like arthritis, inflammation and anxiety. But many are simply turning to it for the nutritional benefits it also provides through its healthy fat content, nourishing Omega 3, alpha linoleic acid and antioxidant profile. If you’re just getting started your biggest question is likely how do you use CBD oil? There are a few key areas to consider before adding it into your health regime:
- What type of CBD oil to take
- How to take it eg. oral drops versus applying to the skin
- Dosage – how much to take
- Frequency and timing of use
- How to get the most out of your hemp oil
- Tips on storage
- How long it takes to work
We’ve got you covered in this handy guide and will take you through step by step across each question. Get clear on the best way to use hemp extract so you can reap the maximum benefit and improve your wellness immediately.
What types of CBD oil are there?
Generally speaking you’ll see three key forms of the oil on the market – each has pros and cons. Our recommendation is to start with full spectrum oils to begin with for the best blend of helpful plant based compounds and nutrients.
- CBD Isolate Oils – hemp extract oil that has all cannabinoids stripped out of it other than CBD. It loses much of the phytonutrients, antioxidant content and minerals that make hemp oil great however through this filtration process. Depending on the process used the final product can contain no CBD, CBD only or a combination of CBD and THC.
- Full Spectrum – this variety of hemp oil contains all the nutrients of the plant as its a ‘whole plant’ extract that uses the buds, stems and leaves. It will have the full array of useful cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids like CBG, CBN, CBDA and terpenes.
- Broad Spectrum – lies somewhere in between. It contains fewer nutrients than full spectrum oils but most of the cannabinoid content of the hemp plant. Typically used to target higher concentrations of particular cannabinoids like CBN for example.
Advantages of isolates are that you usually receive maximum quantities of the cannabidiol or CBD compound. It’s a highly therapeutic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic chemical. Isolate oils maximize the content of this particular compound, meaning it can be high strength with lower quantities needed. The downside is you lose much of the antioxidants contained in hemp seed like lignans, chlorophyll, carotene and beta carollyphene. Similarly removing terpenes out of the oil which is contained in full spectrum oils means you miss out on the entourage effect. This is thought to occur when terpenes (naturally occurring plant scent chemicals) in hemp interact with the endocannabinoid system alongside cannabinoids, improving the activation of its receptors and associated anti-inflammatory benefits. Think of it as ‘turning on’ your ECS more fully.
Which should I take?
If you’re a beginner – start with full spectrum CBD oil. You’ll get the best blend of helpful nutrients and cannabinoids that will ensure you get the result you are seeking. Its often considered a more ‘raw’ product and you may see plant matter still contained within the liquid. This is entirely normal and indicates you’re getting the green chlorophyll and other antioxidants from hemp plus omega 3 & 6 that make it so enriching to our health.
You can explore isolate and broad spectrum oils once you’re more experienced and your needs change. Experimenting with different products and what works best for you and your health is often best. For example a broad spectrum oil containing more CBG and CBDA may provide more immune system support and benefits for those looking to fight off infections. An isolate that has high strength and potency of CBD may suit those looking to ensure pain mitigation and arthritis support is achieved.
How to take CBD oil at home – product types
In its most refined form, CBD is actually a crystalline powder that can be added into just about anything for human consumption. The goods news here is that this means you have a large choice of delivery methods to suit your personal preferences. It’s being crafted into just about every type of ingestible imaginable. New forms and methods of edible creation and use are being developed continually, and we recommend experimenting to find what works for you.
Ensure you always shake up and mix your oil or tincture if this is your preferred method as the plant compounds can settle at the bottom of the vial. Each of these methods is very simple to administer and can be done at home. Some of the best CBD consumption methods include:
A tincture is simply a combination of a carrier oil like MCT or coconut oil that is blended with CBD extract. The carrier is used to suspend the other liquid and ensure its is evenly distributed for administration. Tinctures are very easy to use – just squeeze a few drops into your mouth using the dropper. Either your tongue or gums is perfectly fine and will ensure the therapeutic cannabinoids are rapidly absorbed. This method has high bioavailability in the body.
The great thing about tinctures is they’re extremely easy, convenient and effective to consume. You can carry tincture vials easily, dose accurately and ensure that you’re getting the right amount of hemp oil for your needs. You can even squeeze it directly into coffee. Another great aspect of tinctures is theirease of transport – you can take them just about anywhere in your pocket or bag with ease. Usually the only negative aspect of tinctures is the potential for strange or poor taste, but this can of course be overcome by combining with foods or purchasing flavoured varieties.
If you have a sweet tooth or don’t like the flavour of oils then gummies may be your best bet. Many people don’t enjoy the earthy, nutty and often odd tasting oil from hemp. Gummies are able to mask this with sweeteners and flavours masking the taste. The efficacy of the product isn’t reduced though. Many gummies are actually higher strength than oils or tinctures. They’re great as a snack or for a post work out treat.
Like fish oil capsules, these will deliver the hemp oil directly to your stomach and bypass your taste buds. Ideal for those who don’t like the flavour of hemp oil. Capsules are becoming increasingly popular vehicles for delivery, enabling the user to digest and absorb rapidly and with accurate dosages. Simply consume the capsules and you can even take them with food or water – the body will absorb the CBD and transport it to your CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Each of the different edible types has their place and use, with each offering different flavours, textures and advantages.
- Edibles & foods
What is an edible? This refers to any ingestible food product that contains cannabinoids. The compounds release when they are digested in the gut. Almost any food or drink product can be turned into an edible by infusing with cannabis oils and the cannabinoids. All that is needed as a prerequisite is for the cannabis to be decarboxylated. You can find a huge range of these edible types online, from candy to sprays and baked goods. They make hemp products more palatable. If cooked it can reduce bioavailability of the cannabinoids so we recommend adding it after baking to avoid breaking down the healthy chemicals and lowering potency.
Strips known as sublingual’s can be added under the tongue to directly ingest CBD via the mouth’s membrane into the blood stream. Possibly the most fast acting and bioavailable method available, it is also very smooth and has less taste than tinctures. Great for its convenience and speed.
A topical is a cream or ointment that contains CBD. Applied onto the skin, the compound is absorbed through the outer layers of skin to the cells and tissue beneath. Perfect for those with knee or joint pains, topicals offer a targeted form of relief for isolated pain. It’s the ideal method to apply hemp extract if treating arthritis in yourself or your pet.
While smoking and vaping are not great for your health or lungs, vaping is much less imapctful. Many enjoy CBD vapes for their ease of use, convenience and transportability. It will transfer the CBD molecules directly into your lungs which then absorb them to the bloodstream. This can represent a replacement or substitution to cannabis smoking for many treating chronic pain.
Dosage – how much should you take?
Always begin with a low dosage if you’re starting out – a maximum of a few drops twice per day. This will vary however depending on the strength of your tincture. For higher strength tinctures eg 3000mg or 5000mg you may need 2-3 drops. Lower dose eg 500mg or 1000mg for 30ml may require more drops such as 5-6. Once you are happy you don’t experience side effects and tolerate cannabinoids well, you can increase dosage to achieve a body load and derive more benefit from your endocannabinoid system. After the first few weeks increase dosage to 3 times per day and up your intake based on your needs – high dosages and frequency of use is often associated with better outcomes for symptoms whether it’s arthritis, anxiety or other issues you’re tackling. Stay well below around 100mg per day as a maximum dose to limit side effect risks. Read our guide here if you need more info on potential side effects.
How often to take it
We strongly recommend daily use. We dose our CBD oil with each meal to maximize its effects. Frequent dosing will ensure the levels of the compound are retained in the body and it is consistently activating your endocannabinoid system to trigger inflammation reduction. Multiple times per day also ensures the effects are consistently active in the body throughout the day. Spread out your dosages every 4-5 hours – with meals is near perfect timing for doses. You may wish to delay your last dose to an hour before bed however if sleep improvement and insomnia reduction is your goal.
How to get the most out of hemp oil
Importantly, CBD is never going to be a silver bullet for a particular issue. Its a holistic health supplement that can assist your body in its recovery and support many of the body’s systems from immunity to sleep and joint health. Do your research and understand the types of products available, determine what strength you need for your condition and understand the key ingestion methods. Plan out and document your dosage regime to ensure you are getting both the correct dosages and frequency. Forgetting or missing dosages will mean less results and benefits.
Tips on storing your product
Always keep your tincture, oil or other hemp product in a secure and cool location. They will degrade in the sun and can go rancid easily if left out. Always avoid direct sunlight. We don’t recommend refrigerating any CBD oil as it will also degrade it as well as separating out the different layers of oil and plant matter which is not ideal. Never heat up or bake your product as it will break down the cannabinoids in it.
How long does it take to work?
It depends on your dosage and frequency of use, plus your individual physiology, conditions and in some cases even mental state. Another key factor is strength of the product – higher strength CBD oils will usually correlate to faster effects. The fastest absorbing and most bioavailable method is usually sublingual strips which you should feel within 1 hour. Tinctures orally applied also absorb very rapidly and should be in effect within 1-2 hours. Digesting products like edibles or capsules can take longer due to needing to be broken down in the stomach. You can expect this to take up to 3 hours. Similar timeframes can be seen with topicals due to needing to pass through the skin layers.