New to CBD Oil? Here Are 3 of the Best Ways to Use It
And how to find the right method for you.
Considering CBD products are some of the trendiest wellness supplements on the market, it's no wonder people want to know how they can use CBD oil. CBD has popped up on restaurant menus, cocktail listings, and even at-home recipes.
With all the rage surrounding this hemp extract, it can be hard to know the best way to take it or find out how much is right for you. Here’s everything you need to know about how to use CBD oil and find high-quality products in an ever-growing market.
What exactly is CBD oil?
CBD is a cannabinoid found in cannabis, and it's most often extracted from the hemp plant, which is a sub-strain of cannabis with very low levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD oils won't cause the same psychoactive effects as marijuana since they contain no more than 0.3% THC by law. This is a huge upside for many people who want to add a natural plant extract like hemp oil into their daily regimen without worrying about getting "high."
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How to take CBD oil
While there are plenty of CBD products like gummies, vape pens, capsules, and lotions, CBD oils are by far the most popular application style. Whether you want to ingest a tincture directly or add a few drops of oil to your next meal, CBD can be taken in a variety of ways.
1. Ingest CBD oil in food or beverages.
Putting CBD oil directly into your mouth may not be for everyone, but there’s always the option to ingest CBD with your food. You can discreetly add CBD oil to a dessert or recipe, as long as you safely keep the cooking temperature to a minimum.
CBD also pairs well with smoothies, coffee, tea, or other beverages. There are several flavored CBD oils that make them a perfect ingredient to incorporate into a variety of dishes or drinks.
If you prefer a flavored choice, FAB CBD is a solid option. The brand makes a range of flavored CBD oils—its citrus and berry flavors are great for morning smoothies and its vanilla flavor pairs well with morning coffee.
To buy: FAB CBD Oil, from $39; fabcbd.com
Another quick and easy way to utilize CBD in a dish is with a salad dressing. A natural flavored product like CBDistillery’s hemp oil is great for this purpose since the earthy, nutty hints from this CBD oil pair well with a light vinaigrette.
To buy: CBDistillery CBD Oil, from $29; cbdistillery.com
When consuming CBD oil in a food or drink, the effects of CBD may take longer to set in, but they may also last for an extended amount of time. This is due to the digestive system, which requires more time to fully break down the compound for it to be absorbed by the body.
2. Take CBD oil under the tongue.
For a more straightforward approach, you can take CBD oil sublingually, or below the tongue. This is the fastest way to see effects when using a traditional tincture.
For this method, take a dropper of CBD oil and place the liquid below your tongue. Then hold the oil in place for 30 to 90 seconds before swallowing. It’s necessary to let the CBD oil sit beneath your tongue as recommended to allow the cannabinoids to enter your bloodstream.
3. Apply a homemade CBD salve.
There's no shortage of CBD-infused creams and balms that are designed for skin application, but you can also use CBD oils to make your own homemade topicals. All that’s needed are a few simple ingredients, and you’ll have the ability to customize your CBD topical to best suit your skin and wellness preferences. To learn how to make your own CBD salve, read the recipe below, which was specially designed by Jenelle Kim, Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. As a skincare expert with many years of experience developing CBD topicals, Dr. Kim’s homemade salve recipe was created to soften your skin and soothe your aching muscles.
CBD salve recipe
- 2 teaspoons of beeswax
- 2 teaspoons of cocoa butter or coconut oil
- 6 - 8 teaspoons of carrier oil (hemp seed oil, jojoba oil, and avocado oil are good options)
- 1 milliliter of CBD oil
- Essential oils of your choosing (optional)
Using a double boiler, add an inch or two of water into the bottom container. Heat the water over low to medium heat, and add in the beeswax and cocoa butter (or solid coconut oil) to the top of the double boiler.
Slowly melt the ingredients until the mixture is smooth, and stir frequently to prevent scorching. Once melted, add in your preferred carrier oil and a dropper full of CBD oil of your choice. Stir well.
If you’d like to add in a few drops of essential oil, be sure to remove the mixture from heat and allow it to cool slightly (but make sure it does not harden). For this recipe, I like using peppermint or eucalyptus essential oils to offer a soothing scent and cool sensation. You can also slightly increase or decrease the amount of CBD used in this recipe to suit your needs!
Before the salve completely cools and hardens, pour the finalized mixture into a small mason jar or sturdy container, and apply to the skin whenever necessary.
What are the health benefits of taking CBD oil?
CBD oil works through the endocannabinoid system, which is home to thousands of cannabinoid receptors throughout the human body. When you ingest CBD, it stimulates these receptors and can affect many bodily functions to promote wellness. For this reason, many people take CBD in the hopes of alleviating certain health issues. Some of the most common benefits of CBD oil that consumers report include:
Anxiety and stress reduction
Many people have started to turn to CBD oil as a way to alleviate anxiety or reduce stress levels. This is primarily due to the fact that CBD has natural calming abilities that promote relaxation without the high, and several studies support the notion that CBD has anti-anxiety effects.
Chronic pain relief
CBD is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which is why CBD oils have quickly become a popular natural remedy to aid in pain management. CBD also lacks many of the negative side effects that some over-the-counter drugs may cause, such as gastrointestinal bleeding from prolonged NSAID use. Hemp oil isn't a cure-all for your pain, but it may have some benefits to offer.
Just as CBD can help you unwind and de-stress after a long day, it may also help you get a better night's sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night, CBD oil may help with either issue, and you won't wake up feeling groggy in the morning like many other sleep-promoting supplements.
Are there any side effects?
It's clear that there are appealing potential benefits that draw people to CBD, but more clinical trials are necessary to fully understand the long term effects of cannabidiol. The World Health Organization generally considers CBD safe, as it has few side effects. Most of these side effects are mild and may include nausea, drowsiness, and a dry mouth.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it could be a sign that you’ve taken too much CBD oil. It’s rare for people to experience these adverse side effects, but reducing your dose could help you avoid negative reactions in the future.
How much CBD oil should you take?
You may need to go through a few stages of trial and error to find the CBD oil dosage for you. For instance, you may require a tincture with a higher CBD content if you are trying to relieve pain than if you are aiming to get a better night's sleep. The cardinal rule to remember is that you start slow and work your way up, especially if you are new to CBD oil.
What to Know Before Using CBD Oil
It’s worth mentioning that cannabis plant extracts, including CBD, have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). So when it comes to CBD extracts, it’s important to know that you’re getting a quality product. This is why third-party lab testing is essential for hemp-derived products like CBD oil, because hemp plants have a unique quality that allows them to soak up heavy metals and toxins from the soil in which they are grown. Checking these lab tests and making sure they include pesticide, heavy metal, and chemical solvent analyses, in addition to a cannabinoid profile, will help ensure the product is clean and comes from a trustworthy brand (oh, and a terpene profile analysis is also a plus).
If you currently take prescription medication for any condition, you should talk to your doctor before introducing CBD oil as a health supplement.