You’ve probably heard plenty about the benefits of CBD, and at this point, you might be curious to know how to incorporate it into your routine and which form of CBD is best for you.
With so many options available today, it can be overwhelming to try and figure out which products would be most helpful for your individual needs and goals. Here, I’ll break down the different forms of CBD out there, plus how and when to use them.
CBD Capsules and Gummies
Capsules are probably the most convenient form of CBD because they can be taken anywhere, anytime. They’re also typically taste-free and easy to swallow.
CBD gummies, meanwhile, are great for those that want to take smaller doses of CBD throughout the day. (They tend to come in five- or 10-milligram doses and can be taken at your convenience.)
Both forms have to pass through the digestive system in order to be absorbed. As a result, they have a lower bioavailability than other forms of CBD. This means that a good amount of the CBD you take is lost in metabolism as the capsule or gummy passes through your system. So, if you take a 10-milligram CBD capsule or gummy, you will not get 10 milligrams worth of effects.
Because of this process, CBD you ingest also takes longer to do its thing. However, its effects last longer than other forms of CBD.
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If you are taking CBD to support quality sleep, either a capsule or gummy may be a good option. They slowly release CBD throughout the night, allowing for that longer-acting effect.
Since you may not notice any effects for one or two hours, take your CBD well in advance of your desired bedtime.
If you are new to CBD, oils (also called tinctures) are often a great option because they allow you to be very precise about how much you take.
Cannabinoids have a biphasic effect, meaning low and high doses can have opposite effects. (Low doses may contribute to feelings of wakefulness, while higher doses can contribute to sleepiness.) To find your ideal amount of CBD for each effect, start low (like five to 10 milligrams) and slowly increase by five milligrams.
The downside of oils is that some people have flavor or consistency issues with the carrier oil (often either MCT oil or hemp oil).
Read More: 6 CBD Products Doctors Love (And Use Themselves)
There is also some room for error with oils. The best practice for using them? Hold the drops beneath your tongue and avoid eating or drinking for at least 10 minutes afterward. This supports maximal absorption.
Tinctures take effect within 15 to 30 minutes. As a result, they are great if you’re looking for quick results, like post-workout or when your day gets hectic. They’re also helpful if you’re having a hard time settling down at night and need help relaxing.
When applied topically, CBD is absorbed directly through your skin and into the local muscles and other tissues. It takes effect to support achy muscles or joints quickly—and you can use as much as you like. (No sleepy side effects to worry about here!)
Plus, many topical CBD products are formulated with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, so they can do your skin some good, too.
Regardless of the form of CBD you choose, it is important to pay attention to your body and your body’s reaction to the CBD. I encourage you to use your intuition and experiment with different methods in order to find your ideal daily CBD routine. And always remember that your routine will be dynamic and need to be altered depending on your current state and goals.
Dr. Jacky is a double board-certified physician with extensive training in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care. Her expertise in Western medicine is complemented by the use of alternative treatments—cannabinoids, in particular. Dr. Jacky believes in feeding the body, mind, and soul in order to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.