Cannabidiol Delivery Methods
CBD has many different delivery methods! Common delivery types and their effects include:
Typically in the form of an oil, the medicine is taken orally. The absorption process bypasses the digestive system and liver metabolization meaning the compounds rapidly reach the bloodstream. This method is perfect for fast relief. Effects last 4-6 hours.
Ingesting cannabidiol is the best method for long lasting effects. Once ingested, the CBD passes through the digestive system and is metabolized by the liver, thus entering the bloodstream. This works similar to vitamins and supplements, and is perfect for users with chronic pain or trouble sleeping. Effects last 6-8 hours
Whether smoked via combustion or heated enough to produce vapor, the cannabidiol enters the lungs and goes directly into the bloodstream. The effects are onset immediately and lasts 2-4 hours.
Topicals are applied directly to the skin. Active ingredients absorb into the skin and interact with cells without ever entering the bloodstream. This form of delivery is perfect for treating isolated pain. Effects last 2-4 hours.
Cannabidiol is absorbed through the skin then enters the bloodstream giving long lasting effects. Patches can last up to 12 hours and gels can last up to 4 hours.
Since 95% of CBD users consume the product in a tincture form, this publication will focus only on tincture dosing.
Of note: CBD is non-FDA regulated and specific dosing guidance is not allowed. This means that a company can’t tell you exactly how many milligrams of CBD you should take for your condition.
Fortunately, though, this is not a large barrier, because CBD dosing is highly individualized anyway! One person may need 1 drop of tincture a day to alleviate symptoms, while another person with the same condition could require 50 or 100 drops. In general, more severe conditions require more. Known factors that affect dosing include:
- The current state of the individuals ECS and how it is modulated by CBD
- The body’s sensitivity to CBD (as seen at CB1, CB2, and other receptor sites)
- The patient’s body weight; lighter patients usually require less CBD
- The patient’s general health and mitochondrial function
- The patient’s body chemistry and possible pharmaceutical interactions. CBD helps modulate blood pressure, so patients taking HBP Medications should start at lower doses and be sure to take their CBD at least an hour before / after pharmaceuticals.
- This individualization is completely different from how physicians and patients manage prescription medications, which understandably leads to confusion on how much CBD to take.
The best way to obtain helpful information with regards to dosing is to talk to other individuals who are taking CBD or who work in the industry. If you are lucky enough to live near a Hemp Farmacy, then you can drop by one of their locations and speak to folks who have extensive insight into the world of CBD.
One general rule of thumb: LESS IS (OFTEN) MORE! Start with low doses and slowly increase as needed to find your own minimum effective dose. The concept of Biphasic Effect, or two phase effect, applies to CBD dosing in that diminishing returns will begin at some point as you take more and more CBD. In general, small doses tend to stimulate, while larger doses tend to sedate.
- Buy a product that you trust, one that is third party independently tested.
- Start with the lowest concentration of the product and slowly work your way up to find your individualized dose. Consider weekly increases as needed.
- Take the product consistently, every day.
- Most individuals start taking their CBD at night. Many soon report that CBD promotes a sense of calm and relaxation. Improved quality & quantity of sleep is also often reported.
- Be patient. Your body needs to adjust to this new supplement.
- After your body has become accustomed to your new CBD product, you may choose to take it 2-3 times a day to see more consistent benefits.
- After months of consistent CBD use, patients on a high dose (50 mg/day+) may consider taking monthly “reset days” where supplemental use ceases for 24-48 hours.
- Keeping a journal is a good idea! It can help you establish a consistent routine and will help you to better evaluate how your current dosage is working for your health needs.
If you don’t feel anything at first, don’t get frustrated. It just means that you haven’t found your ideal dosage yet. Some people feel the effects immediately, for others it takes weeks. You may end up at a higher dose than you originally thought. The restoration of your Endocannabinoid System that is so critical to your health can take time.
When first experimenting with CBD oil, it is recommended that you are in a calm environment; preferably not driving or operating machinery, as CBD can have different effects on different people.