How CBD Can Be Taken: 4 Different Delivery Methods

CBD is a hot product, and we’re thrilled to see how much it is changing people’s lives around the world. As it grows in popularity, however, we’ve noticed that users and non-users both are often confused about how it should be taken.

In fact, many do not realize how many different CBD-based products there are or how many different ways CBD can be consumed! There might even be some options out there that might work better for you than how you are using CBD now.

Today, we’re going to break down the top four CBD consumption methods so that everyone reading can have a complete understanding of their options, the pros, and the cons. Let’s get started!

Method #1: Orally

The first way that CBD can be taken, and one of the most common consumption methods, is to take it by mouth. Taking CBD orally is very popular, so there are a lot of different products out there to allow for it.

Directly consuming CBD can be one of the least-effective absorption rates if it is not done properly. Why is that?

Oral Absorption Rate

CBD is full of molecules that can easily dissolve in fats, but they don’t dissolve in water very well. Due to how digestion works, this means that taking CBD directly has a low absorption rate. This can be slightly improved by mixing CBD into a carrier:

  • • Gummies
  • • Oils
  • • Edible food items
  • • Capsules with oil in them

The oil helps the CBD make it into the body more effectively, raising the absorption rate to between 6% and 20%. The final absorption amount will depend on how much your body takes away from the product during digestion and filtration.

Timing & More

When using CBD orally, it takes up to 2 hours to feel the effects. This is because the CBD must travel through the metabolic process before hitting the bloodstream and then being absorbed by the body.

Once the effects start, however, they tend to last much longer than other consumption methods. For this reason, many people prefer to use CBD orally as they are looking for long-term relief.

Method #2: Sublingually

Another way that CBD can be consumed is by putting it under the tongue. This delivery method, also known as taking CBD sublingually, isn’t as popular as oral consumption. 

How Is CBD Taken Sublingually?

One common way of extract CBD is to mix it into an alcohol-based extraction known as a tincture. Tinctures are very strong in their concentration, so you only need to take a few drops at a time for it to be effective. The user simply places a few drops under their tongue, and then the CBD will begin to enter the bloodstream.

Is Sublingual Consumption Effective?

When CBD is taken this way, it doesn’t need to make its way through the bloodstream. Instead, it is directly absorbed. Similar to tinctures, CBD sprays can also be sprayed straight into the mouth and be absorbed quickly.

CBD taken sublingually absorbs into the body much more effectively than taking it orally because it does not need to go through the metabolic system. This means that it encounters no enzymes the liver that would usually breakdown the CBD. 

As such, the bioavailability or absorption rate of CBD taken sublingually is usually between 12% and 35%.

Timing and More

CBD taken under the tongue works immediately as it enters the bloodstream right away. However, some of it is usually swallowed as well, so you will also have more longterm effects after the CBD makes its way through the metabolic system.

Method #3: Inhalation

Have you ever heard of vaping?

Using a vaporizing stick, also known as a vape, to use CBD is becoming very common. All that you need to do is load in a CBD cartridge. These cartridges are available in many different CBD oil percentages, so you can customize the concentration or type of cannabis strain that you want to use.

How Does Vaping Work?

A vape pen heats up the CBD oil without releasing any smoke in a way that vaporizes the oil. The absorption rate of vaping, on average, is around 33%. Still, the absorption rates can reach as high as 56% depending on the cartridge used.

Timing and More

CBD reaches the bloodstream incredibly quickly whenever using a vape. This is because the CBD comes through the respiratory system rather than the metabolic system. The respiratory system is full of very small, thin veins. As such, the absorption efficiency is incredibly high, and the CBD molecules can get into the bloodstream almost immediately.

As mentioned above, this is one of the most popular ways to consume CBD oil. The effects are immediate when used that way. The effect in the end, however, is determined by the strength of CBD cartridge used with the vape pen.

Method #4: Topically

CBD can also have beneficial effects when it is applied to the skin and allowed to absorb, but there are a few things that you should know about using it this way. Primarily, you should remember that the CBD won’t be reaching your metabolic system or bloodstream, so the effect will be quite different.

How Do Topical Products Work?

When topical CBD products are applied to the skin, they spread over the skin, and the CBD will eventually move through some of the skin’s layers. Then, it can bind and interact with cannabinoid system receptors located in the skin.

The CBD itself never gets into the bloodstream when this method is used. All positive effects are caused by the interceptors in the skin, not by more common methods of blood absorption. This typically means that the CBD concentration in all topical products needs to be very high for them to bring effective relief to the user.

Another popular CBD topical product is a transdermal patch. These patches deliver a specific amount of CBD to the body over time. Due to added chemicals that allow CBD molecules to make it into the bloodstream, when delivered via a patch, the CBD will have a higher absorption rate.

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