CBD is a naturally-occurring essential oil found in the hemp variety of the cannabis plant. It's also a unique compound known as a cannabinoid that works to help keep your body in a favorable state of balance. That's why it's been used medicinally for centuries to help manage people's overall wellness.
When it comes to CBD's "delivery method" to your body, there are a number of healthy choices. Deciding which options are the right ones for you is a lot easier when you have all the information that you need. That's why we've outlined the different ways that CBD is blended and the advantages and limitations that you can expect for each of its pathways into your body. Should you take CBD as an oil, capsule, inhalant, edible, topical, or by the patch?
To answer that question, let's begin by looking at the three main CBD blends. Then we'll discuss the pros and cons of each delivery method to help you decide which one is right for you.
No matter how you choose to take your CBD, there are three main blends that are formulated to address different wellness goals and personal preferences.
This full-bodied blend combines the positive properties of CBD with the other therapeutic compounds found in hemp. These include the aromatic terpenes that give the plant its odor and additional healthy cannabinoids. Combining all the hemp molecules together has been shown to help boost the abilities of CBD, a phenomenon known as the 'entourage effect'. Full Spectrum CBD contains less than 0.3% THC, which is the cannabinoid responsible for the "high" some people feel when using cannabis. While you may experience some of the benefits of THC, it won't have any intoxicating effects in this small amount.
Broad Spectrum blends give you all the advantages of mixing CBD, healthy terpenes, and other hemp cannabinoids together, with zero THC. This is the ideal blend if you have a sensitivity to THC, or if you choose not to use it for personal or professional reasons.
This is pure CBD, without any terpenes or additional cannabinoids. Like Broad Spectrum, it is also THC-free. It can be a more economical choice than the other two blends and is great for those with sensitivities to terpene aromas, or to the other compounds found in the hemp plant.
CBD Product Forms
After you decide on the right type of blend for you, you still have a choice on how you want to take your CBD. With the wide range of products that many brands are now offering, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Keep in mind the factors important to you, such as convenience, price, dosing ease, and bioavailability (how well you absorb the CBD into your body's systems), which will vary by product type. We'll break it down for you by explaining each major type of product, its key benefits or downsides, and how to properly use it.
Capsules offer the advantage of on-the-go convenience, as well as pre-measured doses for daily consistency. Furthermore, capsules are the most mainstream method of taking your daily CBD, blending right in with the rest of your supplements or medications. Because they can't be administered sublingually, they must pass through a digestive process, which filters out a fair amount of CBD. For this reason, capsules have a lower bioavailability (absorption rate) than oils or tinctures that are taken sublingually. As is true with all CBD products, capsules made with full or broad-spectrum CBD oil may cost more than those made with isolate or CBD tinctures.
Gummy bears, chocolate, tea, coffee blends, and cookies are all examples of high-demand CBD edibles. Each one is infused with CBD during the production process. One of the obvious advantages is the tasty delivery method! One limitation is that the long digestion process increases the time it takes to feel CBD's effects. On the flip side, these effects have been shown to last much longer than with other CBD delivery methods. Since CBD is fat-soluble, all edibles should be made using an oil such as coconut or olive oil, so that the CBD can be absorbed into your body.
Inhalants (Cigarettes and Vapes)
CBD cigarettes are made from the unprocessed hemp flower bud that's rich in the compound. Vaping is inhaling CBD oil, herbs, or e-liquid in vapor form by inserting it into vape pens, or portable and desktop vaporizers. Both methods have been shown to have a mid-range bioavailability and quick entry into your bloodstream. One major downside to these methods is that they may cause lung irritation or even damage because of the chemical byproducts, similar to what happens when people smoke tobacco. Dosing may also be more irregular, and you may be limited in where you can smoke or vape.
This is pure CBD or CBD mixed with other healthy hemp compounds. This option delivers the highest concentrations of CBD per dose. Because of this, oils tend to have a higher price point than tinctures. When taken sublingually (under the tongue) they absorb quickly into the bloodstream. They also typically come with a measurement dropper for easy dosing.
Tinctures are small bottles of CBD mixed with a carrier oil, such as MCT, and flavor. Because tinctures contain a lower amount of CBD per dose than oil, they are more economical. One other advantage is that the carrier oil can help increase CBD's absorption rates. Just like with CBD oil, tinctures are used with a convenient measurement dropper, delivering 1-4 drops under the tongue to be held for maximum absorption for at least a minute. Tinctures are a fast-acting and easy option to carefully introduce yourself on a small dose.
Topicals are truly only "skin deep", but this doesn't mean they lack depth. Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and it, therefore, has the important job of being your first line of defense against environmental toxins, harmful bacteria, and other microorganisms. CBD, terpenes, and the other compounds found in hemp have been shown to work together to help keep your skin glowing. That's why there are so many CBD beauty and skincare products. Here are some of the most popular types of CBD topicals:
The advantages of including CBD in your skincare routine are enormous and help reduce the signs of aging through its antioxidant properties.
That being said, CBD topicals won't penetrate below the surface of your skin and into your body. This limits their positive effects on your body's internal systems to 'proactive protectors' that can help keep your skin healthy and free from infection.
Unlike topicals, transdermals use chemicals that allow CBD to penetrate the deepest layers of your skin and into your bloodstream. Because they work both locally on your skin and systemically throughout your body, they tend to be more expensive than topicals. Some popular transdermals include:
- Oils (to be applied to the skin)
Some medical personnel suggests that transdermals have some of the highest bioavailability rates among CBD products, and initial studies have helped back up this claim. In addition, applying CBD as transdermal shows promise for a steadier, extended-release period of CBD. Just like with edibles, this release of CBD may be delayed a bit.
Transdermals are very convenient to apply, especially the patches that come with a pre-measured dose. However, not everyone is comfortable wearing a patch all day, and they may not be ideal for those with skin sensitivities.
At Arrive Market, we believe that choosing the right CBD products for your personal needs helps ensure that you'll experience the best possible outcomes for the conditions you are managing. Explore easily by product form on our marketplace in order to stay solidly on the path to thriving mind-body wellness.