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Ways to Take CBD

As CBD becomes more mainstream, there is still confusion about what is the "best" way to take CBD, and what is the difference? We offer CBD products that can be taken in three forms--ingestion (swallowing), sublingual/mucosal (under the tongue or lip), or topical (on the skin). Let's explore each delivery method a bit so you can understand the differences and make the best choice for you. I like to compare three considerations. First is the "onset," which refers to how long it takes before you'll feel the effects of the CBD you just took. Next is the "duration," which describes how long you will feel the effects of CBD. Lastly, let's consider the "bioavailability," which is how much enters the circulation when introduced into the body and therefore is able to have an active effect.


Ingestion is the "process of taking food, drink, or another substance into the body by swallowing or absorbing it." Absorption is slow and sometimes erratic. It may depend on what you've eaten and how long ago. Onset is 30 minutes-2 hours or more, however the duration of effects is the longest at 6-8 hours. Since it takes longer to feel the effect, people sometimes make the mistake of taking more CBD and the resulting too high dose may be less effective than what is ideal. (The "biphasic effect" means that, as the dose increases, the effects do not necessarily improve. A higher dose may actually produce the opposite effect.) With ingestion, it's a good idea to make it a routine, taking CBD at the same time of day and after/before/between the same mealtimes. CBD can be ingested by swallowing softgels, adding tincture to food or drink, or can be eaten in "cookie" form by an animal. One might also place CBD oil on the back of the tongue and swallow. The bioavailability is 8-15%.

Sublingual/Mucosal Sublingual is "under the tongue," where it enters the bloodstream through the mucous membranes. Absorption is more rapid than other delivery methods, with a quicker onset. Effects can be felt in 15-60 minutes, and will last 4-6 hours. CBD oil can be squirted under the tongue by a dropper, or can be rubbed along the gum line under the lip. Many people choose this method of taking CBD if they want to take it several times per day, or to use an exact dose that is not available in another form. The bioavailability is 6-20%.

Topical CBD can be applied to the skin for local relief, and it is not absorbed into the bloodstream. Onset is 15 minutes, so discomfort may be quickly eased by a topical application. The duration of effects is 2-4 hours, and can be reapplied as needed. We offer three forms of topicals: salve, which is highly concentrated and warms to the touch; muscle cream, which gives cooling relief; and body butter, which nourishes the skin. There is no bioavailability, since topical application does not allow CBD to enter circulation.

Which CBD is right for you?

Only you can answer that. We are happy to discuss options and can make recommendations about how to begin. Every person has different needs and our bodies may require very different doses. The best way to start is "low and slow." Keep track of your CBD journey with our Sample Logs. Our customer service team is always here to help. Give us a call if you have any questions! 303-479-3631


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