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How To Take CBD Oil

"How do you take CBD oil?" is a question we often get, and it's a good one, too. Ingestion methods of CBD can affect important things like its absorption, potency, and even safety. Read on to learn how to take CBD oil so you can reap the best benefits.

Let's start with the most important aspect—how to take CBD oil without risk to your health and well-being.

How To Take CBD Oil Safely

The consensus is that while more clinical research is necessary (in other words, well-designed studies with human subjects), CBD is safe to take. This is true of even very high doses, irrespective of preparation. In a recent literature review, the authors concluded that "the often described favorable safety profile of CBD in humans was confirmed and extended by the reviewed research." [1]

CBD is also known to not have the psychotropic effects of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the equally healthful but notorious cannabinoid. In other words, while you may feel more relaxed, you will not experience hallucinations or feel “high” when taking CBD.

RELATED: CBD Dosage 101: What You Need to Know

That said, you still need to take the following into consideration when deciding how to take CBD oil:

  • Drug interactions: Cannabidiol is metabolized by the liver, the same as many pharmaceuticals. This means that CBD can affect the activity of medicine if taken concurrently. Especially if you are on anticonvulsants, anxiolytics, antidepressants, antihypertensives, and/or anticoagulants, it is imperative that you consult with your prescribing physician before taking CBD.

  • Quality CBD Oil: Not all CBD oils are created equal. Unfortunately, contaminated CBD oils have already sent some users to the hospital. Read on for more on this. [2]

  • Some Side Effects: Most listed side effects of CBD oil use are harmless and self-correcting, and they occur mostly when high doses are taken. These can include feeling drowsy or light-headed, having a dry mouth, and low blood pressure. Irrespective of why or how you use CBD oil, it would be best to increase the dose slowly over a period of time. This way you can safely determine your personal threshold dosage. Like with any drug side effect—if severe, terminate CBD use and contact your physician.

  • Pregnancy: There is no good clinical data regarding the safety of CBD use for pregnant women.

CBD oil can be delivered to the body in five main ways:

  1. Inhalation by vaporization or smoking
  2. Oral via capsules, edibles, or tinctures
  3. Oromucosal or sublingual with drops, sprays, or lollipops
  4. Topical or rectal with suppositories, creams, etc.
  5. Intravenous—mainly in a clinical setting

These methods of ingestion all have pros and cons, so let's look at how to take CBD oil for best absorption, bioavailability, and potency.

CBD oil can be delivered to the body in five main ways.

Before we continue, it is important to note that individual responses to ingestion method, dosage, and benefits gained from CBD oil may vary. These are all influenced by factors such as the concentration and quality of the CBD oil, your body weight, and chemistry, and also the severity of the condition you are trying to address. What's more, your body changes over time, and your changing chemistry may also influence the action of cannabidiol. There are no standardized guidelines in place yet.

RELATED: Doing It Wrong? CBD Oil Dosage for Anxiety

How to Take CBD Oil for Fast Action and Excellent Absorption—Vaping, Sprays, and Tinctures

For fast action and excellent absorption, inhalation via a vaporizer is one of the more traditional and effective ways to take CBD oil. It works fast, as it is rapidly taken up into the bloodstream. You can expect to feel an effect after only five to ten minutes. Oral sprays or tinctures, taken under the tongue, are almost equally well absorbed and fast-acting.

More research is necessary regarding CBD bioavailability when inhaled or taken sublingually, but current data indicates that the numbers are relatively high—between 6% and 31%. These are also excellent methods of ingestion for people who battle to swallow. [3][4]

Another benefit of CBD oil tinctures is that taking it under the tongue gives you better dose control than edibles like cookies or gummies, for instance, allow.

For fast action and excellent absorption, inhalation via a vaporizer is one of the more traditional and effective ways to take CBD oil.

However, vaping is not the most popular way to ingest medicinal marijuana or CBD oil, especially in people with compromised lung functioning. Many people also object to using the specialized equipment needed to vape, such as e-cigarettes. In addition, CBD oil prepared for vaping can contain harmful contaminants, which you want to avoid.

That said, vaping has been shown to be less harmful than smoking cannabis. [3]

RELATED: CBD Edibles Vs. Marijuana Edibles: All You Need to Know

How to Take CBD Oil for Longer Effect and Excellent Absorption—Edibles and Capsules

There are many benefits of taking CBD oil via the oral route.

Some research indicates that while ingesting CBD oil in the form of capsules and edibles like brownies, gummies, or jello shots may take longer to be felt (between 2 to 4 hours), it may have a longer-lasting effect—as many as two up to five days!—and is just as potent as vaping or sublingual tinctures. [4]

A tip worth remembering when deciding how to take CBD oil is that its action is more potent when ingested with a fat or oil. This is because cannabidiol is fat soluble, and it will be better absorbed into your system when taken concurrently—and on an empty stomach—with a spoonful of coconut or olive oil. Thankfully, all of our CBD tinctures already have MCT oil which is derived from organic coconut oil. 

There are many benefits of taking CBD oil via the oral route of edibles and capsules.

RELATED: CBD & Coconut Oil: Uses and Benefits That Will Surprise You

Quality CBD Oil is EVERYTHING!

No matter how you choose to take CBD oil, though, one thing that will trip you up every time—if you're not careful—is quality.

The law and regulation of medicinal marijuana and its compounds are still in the early stages of development in the U.S. To date, there are very few cultivation and manufacturing guidelines and regulatory processes in place. This means that it is, unfortunately, possible to buy an overpriced, substandard product from an unethical manufacturer. Taking a CBD oil of poor quality will benefit you about as much as eating an ordinary cookie.

That's not all—since the market is still largely unregulated, you cannot be sure that the products you buy are pure, with a safe chemical profile. Recently, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services had to issue a warning against certain CBD products that sent some users to the emergency room. [2]

Choosing your CBD oil wisely is very important.

So, choosing your CBD oil wisely is very important. Whether you buy a CBD preparation or make your own edibles with CBD oil, read here for excellent tips on what to look for in a good-quality CBD oil.

Fortunately, CBD oil possession is legal in most states, with certain provisions. It is a work in progress, though. In the meantime, enjoy experimenting and learning how to take CBD oil in a preparation that best suits your personal needs and circumstances.



  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/
  2. https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article203824334.html
  3. http://www.cocbd.com/uploads/8/6/0/1/86016880/current_status_and_prospects_for_cbd__2016_.pdf
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3763649/

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