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Methods of CBD Consumption

A guide to all methods of CBD consumption. We make using CBD as simple as 1-2-3. From oils to creams. This is how you consume your CBD products safely.
Hayley Smith
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5 Different CBD Delivery Methods: Which One is Best for You?

If you want to experience some of the benefits of taking CBD into your daily life then it’s important to familiarize yourself with the different CBD delivery methods available.

You’ll want to work out how to consume your CBD so that it suits your lifestyle, as well as what works the best to help alleviate or manage your symptoms.

It’s becoming clear that the potential medical benefits of CBD are far-reaching.

Depending on whether you’re using CBD for pain or taking CBD for stress & anxiety, and whether your problems are short or long-term, may affect the CBD delivery method you choose.

In fact, CBD has a multitude of interesting benefits you should be aware of before consuming CBD for the first time.

Today we look at some of the more popular ways of taking CBD and by highlighting the pros and cons of each, we hope to help you decide which will be best for you.

1. Inhalation (Vaping and Smoking)

vaping cbd flower

Inhaling your CBD by vaping it or smoking it can offer symptom relief in as little as 10 to 15 seconds.

Of all the different CBD delivery methods, this is the fastest-acting as the CBD will find its way into your bloodstream in just a few seconds thanks to 1,000’s or capillaries that can be found on the insides of your lungs.

Smoking CBD flower is an experience in itself for those that enjoy this intensely aromatic plant and like to enjoy it as Mother Nature intended.

Read more about CBD pre rolls

Read about smokable CBD flower

If you prefer to vape then it’s important to choose a battery that will hold enough charge to last you throughout the day so that you have it when you need it.

Pros & cons of inhaling CBD

  • Fast symptom relief
  • Easy dosing
  • Pleasurable experience for many (especially for smokers)
  • Visible quality (for smokers)
  • No combustion (for vapers)
  • You can personalize your dose
  • Not very discreet
  • Not a viable option for non-smokers
  • Requires extra tools (papers or cartridges and battery)
  • Needs to be charged (for vapers)

People generally prefer smoking or vaping their CBD either because they enjoy the experience, or due to the faster effects felt via inhalation. If you are looking for fast pain relief or need to ease anxiety then this could be a great way of doing it.

Learn how to roll a CBD joint here

2. Sublingual (Under the Tongue)

CBD tinctures

Another popular method of CBD consumption is to take a couple of drops under the tongue.

Invest in a good CBD oil or tincture that comes with a pipette attached to the lid with which you can dispense the drops.

After working out exactly how much CBD is in every drop, slip the desired amount of liquid under the tongue, letting it sit there for as long as possible (around 90-120 seconds is best).

Capillaries under your tongue will absorb the compounds and transfer them to your bloodstream in around 20 to 40 minutes.

Pros & cons of sublingual CBD

  • Efficient route to bloodstream
  • Relatively discrete
  • Versatile (can be taken orally in food or drink also)
  • Easy to work out dosing
  • Longer-lasting effects
  • You can personalize your dose
  • Can taste bitter/hempy
  • Difficult to get dosing exact
  • Uncomfortable way of consuming CBD

Sublingual dosing is a great way to get the CBD to your bloodstream relatively quickly, for those of you that don’t enjoy smoking. It’s also really easy to work out dosage.

3. Orally (Capsules, Edibles, Drinks)

cbd edibles

Taking your CBD orally is one of the longest-lasting CBD delivery methods available (along with patches). There are a number of different ways to take CBD orally that include drops of tincture added to your food and drink (or simply swallowed), gel capsules, CBD gummies, chocolate, coffee, tea…

When you take your CBD orally, it must first pass through your digestive system before it finds its way into your bloodstream. This makes it the slowest method of consumption at around one to three hours (depending on your metabolism and when you last ate).

Some of the compounds will also be lost during the first pass metabolism process in your liver which causes many people to feel that this method of consumption is wasteful. But it is still the preferred method for many long-term users that appreciate the lasting effects, easy and exact dosing, as well as the discretion that capsules and edibles offer.

It may take a little longer to work out your ideal dosage, but you can always “top-up” with faster-acting products.

Pros & cons of edible CBD

  • Longest-lasting effects of all methods of consumption
  • More exact dosing (capsules and gummies)
  • Quick and easy
  • Very discreet
  • Versatile
  • Can be quite delicious
  • Slowest onset of effects
  • Usually has additives like sugar and colorings
  • Expensive option

Taking CBD orally is often preferred by people managing chronic symptoms such as pain, spasticity, and depression, as once it’s in, the CBD stays in your system for a long time. It can be more difficult to work out the dosage you need, but you’re able to “top-up” throughout the day very easily and discreetly once you’ve worked out your optimum dosage.

4. Topically


Applying your CBD topically, directly to your skin by way of a cream, ointment, or lotion allows you to direct the CBD to exactly where you want to feel the results.

Generally-speaking, the CBD found in topicals is designed to target local cannabinoid (CB2) receptors in the upper skin layers. Only a small amount of CBD will end up in your bloodstream as cannabinoids are inherently hydrophobic, meaning the CBD will stay exactly where you want it.

There are creams and salves for aches and pains, skin care formulas to heal and protect your skin, as well as face/foot masks, bath bombs, and more.

Pros & cons of CBD topicals

  • Can be applied to exactly where you need it
  • Very easy to use
  • Effective on skin and muscle problems
  • Creams and lotions can only target site-specific needs

If you are experiencing localized pain, or want to use CBD to help treat acne or other skin problems then a small amount of cream applied directly to the area of concern will be ideal.

5. Transdermally


Although patches also go on the skin, they also usually contain penetration enhancers that help carry the CBD into your bloodstream.

A transdermal skin patch will facilitate a slow and steady release of CBD into your system over a period of eight+ hours. They’re extremely convenient for people that want a discreet method of taking their CBD, without the worry of having to “top-up” throughout the day.

Plus, some patches can even be worn at night. 

However, these chemicals that help penetrate the skin (and sometimes the patch adhesive) can irritate a minority of people. Something to think about if you have sensitive skin.

Pros & cons of transdermal CBD

  • Discreet
  • Very easy to use
  • Slow release
  • Fewer “top-ups” required
  • Can irritate some people with sensitive skin
  • Can quite expensive

Patches will be suited to those looking for a long-lasting, steady release of CBD, with ultimate discretion and less “top-ups” needed.

A Method to Suit You

Now you know your options, you should have a better idea of what might be the most suitable for you. Above all, your method of taking CBD should suit you and your lifestyle.

If you try one method and don’t like it, then try something else!

You may even choose to invest in a couple of different CBD products to suit different occasions. For example, a tincture in your morning coffee, gummies for while you’re at work, followed by a couple of CBD joints in the evening.

Everyone is different so listen to your body and find a routine that works for you.

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