CBD, the abbreviation for cannabidiol, can be consumed in multiple forms. Depending on how you take CBD, it can effect you in different ways.
What is a CBD delivery method?
A delivery method is how that CBD is consumed. For example, a CBD vape is a different delivery method compared to using a CBD balm or lotion, and so using these products would effect you in different ways.
Different delivery methods can also vary in time for how long it’ll take for you to feel the effect. Another determining feature is also how much CBD enters your blood stream, and the CBD strength as a whole.
One of the most popular forms of CBD consumption is vaping it. Using a CBD vape is the quickest delivery method, with almost instantaneous results. However, this means that the CBD wears off relatively quickly compared to other delivery methods.
Inhaling CBD vapour means that it will reach your lungs and bloodstream quicker, generally taking around 5-15 minutes. Because of this, CBD vaping is a popular delivery method for those who are busy or on the go. By vaping CBD, you can fit it in around a hectic schedule, whether that’s popping out on your lunch break, or a couple of puffs before bed to help you sleep.
This delivery method is ideal for those looking for a short-term hit, and is highly recommended for those with anxiety, as well as relieving PMS symptoms.
The effects of vaping CBD tend to wear off within 1-3 hours, depending on the strength of CBD E-Liquid you have.
- Onset: 5 – 15 minutes
- Duration: 1 – 3 hours
- Good for: short-term relief of acute symptoms
Oral: Edibles & Drinks
Taking CBD orally is a highly popular option, and it generally has the longest-lasting effects. This form of CBD delivery method is great for those looking for a cumulative effect of CBD.
CBD builds up in your system over time, so taking it orally is great for those living with long-term conditions or chronic pain. These types of conditions tend to benefit from larger, longer-acting doses of CBD to help combat symptoms, hence why taking it orally is popular within the disabled community.
Although this format takes longer for the CBD to kick in—around 90 minutes—the effects last a lot longer, around 4-6 hours, which is great for helping with sleep issues.
- Onset: 90 minutes
- Duration: 4 – 6 hours
- Good for: alleviating chronic symptoms
Sublingual: Oils & Tinctures
Sublingual CBD, which typically comes in the form of an oil, is a good middle ground as a delivery method compared to the others we’ve discussed.
To use Sublingual CBD, you will need to place a couple of drops under your tongue and hold it there for 30 seconds to a minute. This allows the mucous membranes in your mouth to absorb the CBD into your bloodstream.
After holding the drops under your tongue, you can swallow it, where it will then enter your liver and digestive tract to spread throughout your body.
This delivery method is great for combating chronic pain and inflammation. The CBD will take around 20 minutes to fully hit your system, and generally lasts between 2-4 hours, which is great for both short and long-term use.
- Onset: 20 – 60 minutes
- Duration: 2 – 4 hours
- Good for: targeting most symtoms; very universal
Topical: Balms, Lotions, and Salves
CBD applied to the skin has been proven to help ease pain and lower inflammation. Particularly sports athletes with localised pain can benefit from using a topical CBD cream, salve, or lotion.
It will start to take effect within 20-40 minutes once it has been applied to the relevant area, and often has other ingredients that are beneficial to the healing process, such as essential oils like lavender. Topical CBD tends to last for around 4-8 hours.
One major difference with topical CBD compared to the other delivery methods we’ve discussed is that it doesn’t absorb into the bloodstream. If you’re looking to use CBD to help with an internal issue, topical CBD won’t be the best option for you, but can be used as an extra alongside an oral format for joint pain, for example. For the best results, apply topical CBD after a hot shower or before or after exercise.
- Onset: 20 – 40 minutes
- Duration: 4 – 8 hours
- Good for: localised pain & soreness of joints & muscles
As we’ve discussed today, there are a range of options you can choose from with CBD, and each delivery method will provide different results.
It’s worth noting that if you do take any prescription medication, it’s important to speak with your GP or pharmacist before starting to take CBD. They can help you decide the best product and dosage for you.
CBD interacts well with most medications, but everyone is different, so if you aren’t sure, please speak with a medical professional.