Over the last few years, a wide range of CBD-infused products has hit the shelves, claiming to do everything from eliminating anxiety to curing chronic pain.
Do these claims actually have any merit, though? And, if they do, is eating a CBD-infused candy bar really the best way to reap the drug’s benefits? Read on to learn more about the benefits of CBD and how you should consume it to start reaping those benefits.
What is CBD?
First, let’s clarify what CBD actually is.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it is one of many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
CBD has been getting a lot of attention recently as researchers have started to learn more about its uses and the physical and mental health benefits that it can provide.
CBD shares a number of health benefits with tetrahydrocannabinol (also known as THC), another highly studied cannabinoid. The difference between these two, though, is that, while THC causes the mind-altering effects most commonly associated with cannabis, CBD does not.
CBD Vs. THC
In addition to differences in their effects, there are also major differences in the ways that CBD and THC work within the body.
THC binds to the body’s natural cannabinoid receptors, specifically the CB1 receptors. When it stimulates these receptors, users experience the psychoactive properties of cannabis. CBD, on the other hand, does not stimulate the cannabinoid receptors. Instead, it stimulates other receptors throughout the body, including the serotonin receptors, which influence several of the body’s most important functions, including mood, sleep, memory, digestion, and appetite.
CBD also minimizes many of the effects of THC. For example, it increases the density of CB1 receptors in the brain. When there are too many CB1 receptors for THC to bind to, the psychoactive effects of cannabis are mitigated, but many of the other effects, including its ability to relieve pain and inflammation, remain.
CBD has the ability to extend the duration of THC’s effects, also, by inhibiting enzymes that cause the body to metabolize THC. It can even reduce the feelings of paranoia that cannabis can sometimes create by acting as an agonist against another cannabinoid receptors known as GPR55.
Ways to Consume CBD
As you can see, CBD is pretty cool. And, when it’s derived from hemp, it’s legal in all 50 states. That’s why products that are stuffed with the stuff are popping up everywhere. If you’ve spent any amount of time on the internet, you’ve probably seen CBD-infused chocolates, candies, and even spices. Plain or flavored CBD oil and CBD gel capsules have also become incredibly popular since they’re easy to take and dose.
Edibles like these are, for most people, the most palatable (no pun intended) method of consuming CBD. But there are plenty of other options out there as well, including:
CBD tinctures are made by combining alcohol or vegetable glycerin with CBD extracts. They can also be made with a combination of CBD and THC.
Tinctures typically come in a dropper bottle just like CBD oil, and they can be taken with food or drink it dropped directly into the mouth. You can also put them under the tongue for faster absorption through the mucous membranes.
CBD can also be administered in the form a topical balm, salve, or lotion. There are also transdermal patches that are said to provide longer-lasting relief.
These options are typically used by people who want to use the drug specifically to help with pain, soreness, or inflammation. However, some people also swear by cannabis topicals for skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Others use them for headaches and even menstrual cramps, too.
CBD Vape Liquid
Vaping CBD isn’t as popular as other administration methods. This likely has to do with the fact that many people think vaping is just like smoking and are turned off by smoking’s negative side effects.
In reality, though, vaping is not harmful to the body. When you vape CBD, you’re only consuming vapor — there is no smoke or any of the dangerous chemicals that come with it.
Vaping also increases the bioavailability of CBD since the drug goes through the lungs and into the bloodstream, rather than having to make its way through the digestive system.
Which Method is Most Effective?
Of the methods mentioned above, vaping is typically considered the most effective method of administration, especially if you’re looking for immediate relief from nausea, anxiety, or pain.
There are two reasons for this:
First, there is the fact that vaping allows the drug to take effect much faster than it would if consumed orally.
Vaping sends CBD through the lungs and into the bloodstream, so you only have to wait a few minutes to feel the effects. When you consume CBD orally, you have to wait for the digestive process to take place, which can be anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour.
Second, there is the increased bioavailability that vaping provides.
When you consume CBD orally, you only get about 15 percent of the actual drug. The rest is lost in transit as it passes through the digestive tract. Vaping, on the other hand, brings the bioavailability of CBD up to 50-60 percent. That’s a pretty significant difference!
Since you get more of the actual drug when you vape, and you get to feel the effects faster, you can use less product less frequently and still get the same effects. This means your supply will last longer, which is good news for your bank account, especially since high-quality CBD products are expensive.
If efficiency and cost-effectiveness are your top priorities, then it’s probably in your best interest to vape CBD instead of using an oral or topical product. However, if you’re simply not comfortable vaping, then you can still reap the benefits of CBD through another administration method.
As long as you’re buying from a manufacturer who uses high-quality CBD, there’s no wrong way to go about it. It’s up to you and your personal preferences!