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Understand your options to find the best hemp product for you, and learn what is full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate

A woman in a tan dress dosing CBD oil into her green smoothie

Hemp-based health and wellness is a booming industry, and to get in on the trend, one must start with the simplest question — how do I use CBD? Because of its popularity over the last few years, the market has churned out an endless array of ways to experience the health benefits of CBD. Whether you’re a curious first-timer or a seasoned connoisseur, it’s important to understand the various applications of CBD and how each method has a different influence on the body. This concept is known as bioavailability, which represents the percentage of CBD that is absorbed into the bloodstream. Let’s explore the most common consumption methods and how their bioavailability varies from each one.

Inhalation

The most effective way to consume CBD is through inhalation, which is done by smoking hemp flower or vaping CBD distillate. This method only takes a few minutes to be felt because the cannabinoids are sent directly to the lungs and are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. Hemp flower is less potent than the concentrated vaping form, so that would be a good starting point if you haven’t tried it before. There are many brands that offer pre-rolled hemp joints, making this a convenient and approachable method. There are also a wide range of CBD vape pens and cartridges available on the market. Smoking CBD is a great way to take the edge off and promote an overall sense of well-being. While the effects may vary from person to person, the results can be felt almost immediately. Remember to do your research and make sure the product of your choice comes from a trusted and reliable brand.

Sublingual Application

The second most effective way to experience the effects of CBD is through sublingual application, which is the act of putting a substance under your tongue. This application is most common with a Hemp Oil Tincture, which skips the metabolization process (in which CBD molecules are broken down in the liver) and allows quick absorption into the bloodstream through the mouth tissues. Start by administering a 10-25mg dose directly under the tongue and holding the oil there for 30-60 seconds before swallowing. There are lots of yummy tincture flavors available on the market; however, we recommend a flavorless tincture due to its versatility and pairing potential. This way, you can blend it into a smoothie, infuse your favorite salad dressing, or dose any favorite food or beverage. The creative ways to implement CBD into your daily regimen are endless. Depending on dosage amount and body type, results can be noticed as quickly as 5-15 minutes.

Ingestion

When ingesting CBD products, uptake is happening through the digestive system. This provides for a more mellow experience in terms of bioavailability. This method relates to CBD capsules, tablets, and its most popular form – edibles! CBD edibles are taking over the hemp industry one delicious concoction at a time. While chocolates and gummies are the most common form, you can find almost anything from infused seltzers and teas to spices and chewing gum. Edibles are convenient to carry when you’re on-the-go and are ideal for sharing with friends! Always check and make sure that the products are made with clean and organic ingredients. A single serving, usually 10-30mg, should take effect within an hour or so. One of the only downsides when it comes to all of these delicious edibles is that it can be tempting to eat more than one, and while CBD doesn’t get you high, minor discomfort may occur if you consume too much. Learn to understand your unique therapeutic dose by following serving recommendations and consuming edibles slowly, waiting an hour or two before having another.    

Topical Use

Lotions and other topical products such as balms, salves, and body oils are the best way to relieve targeted pain or discomfort throughout the body. Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? It’s important to be conscious of what your skin is absorbing. CBD-infused topicals are immensely hydrating (ideal for skin in dry regions), protect the skin from UV rays, and may help subdue the negative effects of skin conditions such as inflammation, psoriasis, and eczema. You can also apply a CBD lotion after shaving to minimize razor burn. And when it comes to pain relief, nothing beats a product made with complimentary plant medicines like Arnica and organic eucalyptus oil. Whether you pulled a muscle at the gym, or slept on a bad angle and woke up with a kink in your neck, a CBD salve can make a whole world of difference. In most cases, a little will go a long way. Try applying a dime-sized amount to the affected area and wait at least 90 minutes before applying more. You can work your way up to a larger amount once you’ve become aware of the product’s effectiveness. Salves often contain menthol crystals or peppermint oil (imagine the sensation of an icy-hot patch), so avoid contact with the eyes and face.

Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and CBD Isolate

Beautiful background of green cannabis flowers a place for copy space light toning.

For anyone who might be hesitant to try CBD because of a potential drug test, it’s vital to keep in mind that most CBD products do contain trace amounts of THC (0.3% or less). Unlike full spectrum CBD products which contain all of the natural compounds of the hemp plant including terpenes and cannabinoids, broad spectrum CBD is stripped of all THC. Both full and broad spectrum products have the ability to produce an “entourage effect,” or the synergy of various plant components interacting with the human body. Studies have shown that full and broad spectrum hemp oil is more effective than any one component alone. But, though a singular component, CBD isolate may be the most suitable option if you experience regular drug testing. Produced by removing all other compounds of the plant including terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids (including THC), CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD and still provides healthful benefits.

In conclusion, when it comes to the consumption of CBD, there’s really no “one size fits all” scenario. Dosing and duration results vary by the individual’s weight, metabolism, and tolerance. However, it’s safe to say that it’s always a good idea to start small and work your way up so that you don’t end up using too much and tainting the experience. While there are no serious reported side effects, overconsumption of CBD may cause nausea, fatigue, and general discomfort. Try the recommended single-servings, or even half a serving, and track your results for a week before raising the dosage. You might be surprised to see how plant medicine affects both the mind and body when administered consistently. CBD is a powerful natural remedy, and we hope that you find a way for it to benefit your everyday wellness. 

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