CBD 101: A product guide for first-time CBD users
CBD and its many proclaimed benefits are everywhere nowadays. In between all the buzz, it becomes difficult to sort out what is true and what is a myth.
Moreover, CBD users nowadays are faced with too many choices. Consumers looking to try CBD for the first time will be faced with a variety of products to choose from - CBD oils, flowers, gummies, salves, and more. You can probably find CBD infused in every type of product. And if you’re a first-time CBD user you might be intimidated and confused about where to get started.
Even in our CBD collection, you will find a diverse range of products - from various types and dosages of the famous CBD oil to CBD salves and creams.
That’s why we have prepared this guide with all the necessary information to help you introduce the right CBD product into your routine.
What is CBD?
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is one of the many active compounds found in the cannabis Sativa plant. While cannabis is typically associated with getting high, CBD itself has no intoxicating effects; THC is the cannabis compound responsible for the feeling of intoxication.
Moreover, according to the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD products on the market must be hemp-derived. Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis Sativa plant that is grown for industrial use. As such, it may not contain more than 0.3% THC. These small amounts of THC do not cause intoxication. So, you can enjoy the benefits of CBD with a clear head.
This now-famous cannabinoid has turned into the “it” health and wellness product of the moment. While the research on cannabinoids only began in the 1940s, there is a growing number of studies that exhibit the diverse medical potential of CBD.
Types of CBD products based on consumption
CBD products come in many different forms: oils, edibles, topicals, flowers, and vapes. The main difference between these products is the way CBD is delivered to your system and the time it takes for you to feel the effects.
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in your body, so it takes time for it to be absorbed. This is where bioavailability comes in.
Bioavailability refers to the amount of CBD that reaches your bloodstream. Therefore, the CBD delivery method has a lot to do with how much CBD enters your bloodstream and how long it will take for you to feel its effects. However, other factors such as your weight, metabolism, and dosage will also impact your CBD bioavailability.
The type of CBD product you choose depends on what your goals are. Below we discuss each CBD delivery method to help you navigate between the different CBD products.
CBD oils and tinctures
The most common type of CBD product is CBD oil. While searching for a CBD oil you will likely come across CBD tinctures as well. These terms are often used interchangeably, but they both refer to CBD-infused liquids that are either placed under the tongue (sublingually) or added into food and beverages.
CBD oils are typically a blend of CBD extract and a carrier oil like medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) coconut oil. At times, essential oils are added to the blend for a more pleasant flavor. For example, you can choose between mint or lemon-flavored CBD oil from our product range.
When taken sublingually, a few drops of CBD oil are held under the tongue for 30-60 seconds before swallowing. The area under the tongue is full of tiny capillaries that absorb the compound quickly. CBD oil and/or tinctures have a sublingual bioavailability of 13% to 19%. This form of delivery is convenient and fast-acting.
When you add CBD oil drops to your food or drink, CBD is first processed in the digestive system before it enters the bloodstream. Therefore, the effects of CBD will take longer to kick in.
Moreover, you will find CBD tinctures that contain different doses of CBD. When you are just starting, it may be best to start with a low dose, see how your body reacts, and then upgrade as necessary. For instance, you can start with a 300mg CBD tincture, and then decide whether a 600mg or 1200mg CBD tincture would be best for you. The higher the dosage per serving, the less you have to take to feel the effects.
Typically, we recommend using 1ml of CBD tincture twice a day. Make sure to carefully read the product usage instructions or consult with your health care practitioner.
Edibles, as the name suggests, are an ingestible form of CBD. They come in various forms, including gummies, chocolate, cookies, honey, and a multitude of other foods. CBD edibles are a convenient and tasty way to get your CBD intake.
Similar to taking CBD orally, CBD edibles first pass through the digestive system, so it takes longer for the effects to kick in. However, their effects are long-lasting.
CBD topicals are products that are applied directly to the skin. The CBD is absorbed into the pores and connects to the cannabinoid receptors in the skin. This CBD delivery method is also known as transdermal delivery. Transdermal delivery takes a long time to enter the bloodstream compared to other CBD delivery methods, however, the effects are longer lasting and consistent over time.
Topicals are popular for treating localized, specific symptoms - from dermatological conditions to neuropathic pain and inflammation. Topical CBD products are particularly effective in treating area-specific pain and inflammation. Plus, topical CBD has also found widespread usage in skincare products.
A topical can come in a variety of forms: lotions, salves, creams, oils, and more. The main difference between them lies in the texture. CBD creams and lotions are water-based, while salves and balms use fatty oils or wax as a base.
The real functional differences lie in the other ingredients used and the amount of CBD the product contains. CBD products are often a blend of CBD with other products such as essential oils. This creates a synergistic effect, where the effects of the blend are greater than the sum of individual ingredients.
For example, if you are experiencing muscle pain, a topical CBD product like our Muscle & Joint Relief salve uses a powerful blend of CBD with other essential oils that are known as natural pain relievers. While skincare products like our Anti-Aging Golden Oil or All-Natural CBD SPF combine the benefits of CBD with other natural ingredients that are nourishing and restorative.
Besides acting in the affected area, topicals can also alleviate anxiety and stress. In this case, they are marketed as an alternative to ingesting CBD. So if you are interested in the calming effects of CBD, you may opt for massaging your temples and feet with a product like our Calming & Anxiety Relief salve.
Flowers and vapes
Another CBD delivery method is via inhalation. There are two main ways to inhale CBD: smoking CBD flowers and vaping.
Inhalation is one the fastest ways of experiencing the effects of CBD as the compound directly enters your lungs and passes to the bloodstream. Smoking CBD flowers has a bioavailability rate of around 31%. While the bioavailability of vaping can be as high as 56%.
However, smoking and vaping are often associated with symptoms of lung damage. While a lot more research is needed in this area, many users who consider CBD a part of their wellness routine may steer away from this delivery method and its potential negative health effects.
Types of CBD based on cannabinoid content
CBD products also differ in their cannabinoid content. That’s why you must pay attention to the labels and know the difference between the three types of available cannabinoid spectrum options.
- Full-spectrum CBD: This type of CBD contains all cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that are found in the hemp plant, including THC and CBD. The amount of THC it contains is usually less than 0.3 percent. Such small traces of THC will not produce the “high” feeling, but it may show up in a drug test.
- Broad-spectrum CBD: This type of CBD contains other terpenes and cannabinoids, but does not contain THC.
- CBD isolate: Pure CBD with no traces of THC or other cannabinoids. You can experience the health benefits of CBD without interference from other cannabis compounds. First-time CBD users might feel more comfortable with a pure CBD product. Also, with no trace of THC, CBD isolate will not cause a failed drug test.
Which CBD product is right for you?
As you can see, there are many different kinds of CBD products to choose from. Which one is right for you depends on your individual needs.
You may need to try a product or two before you can see what works best for you.
When in doubt, ask! Before adding any new product to your daily routine, is always best to consult with a doctor. And if you have any product-specific questions, do not hesitate to contact the product company.