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What’s the best way to take CBD?

With so many varieties of CBD on the market, it can sometimes be tricky to work out what’s right for you.



The best way to take CBD depends on personal preference

With so many varieties of CBD on the market, it can sometimes be tricky to work out what’s right for you.

The best way to take CBD depends very much on personal preference and what you want to achieve, but, with a bit of research, you’re sure to be able to find a product that’s right for you.

Find a reputable source

This should be your first job, as there are a lot of producers who may not be adhering to the correct standards, meaning the CBD oil you buy may contain unknown and unwanted chemicals and pesticides.

It is best to source CBD from manufacturers who are open about where their CBD is sourced from – most reputable ones will specify this information. UK and European regulations are very strict and ensure the highest-quality products enter the market. 

What are you using it for?

While some people have heard about CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects and want to try it to ease an old sporting injury, others may be looking for a way to relax without reaching for the wine.

What you need it for will affect which method will work best for you, so it’s a good idea to be clear on this from the outset.

The main methods

Simply put, there are two main ways of using CBD – orally or topically – so here’s Cannabis Health’s beginners’ guide.

Oils and tinctures

These come in droppers or sprays and are absorbed directly into the blood vessels in the mouth and under the tongue. 

They take effect in as little as 15 minutes, which means it’s a good option for people using CBD for a time-specific issue, such as insomnia. However, it’s not a very user-friendly method, so if you need to take CBD in public, it may not be for you.


A more discreet option, edibles, such as gummies, are easy to take out and about, as well as being sure of the dosage each time.

They also taste pleasant (unlike oils, which can taste quite bitter) and have a longer-lasting effect. 

Because the CBD has to travel through your digestive system first, they may take longer to take effect – between one to two hours on average.

Balms and creams

Topical methods of using CBD could be a good idea if you’re looking for help targeting a specific part of the body, as with an injury. 

They can work effectively for skin or joint issues, but will not be absorbed into the bloodstream, and so will not be suitable for anyone using CBD for issues such as anxiety, stress or insomnia.


CBD patches work in the same way as nicotine patches, by releasing cannabinoids into the bloodstream at a steady rate.

This can be useful for those with busy lives who want to avoid taking repeat doses throughout the day.

What’s more, there is research suggesting that patches are one of the most efficient ways to use CBD – even more so than oils.

That’s because CBD taken orally has to be metabolised by your body before it starts circulating in your bloodstream. CBD that is taken through the skin, on the other hand, doesn’t have to go through this intermediate step, so more of it gets to circulate in your blood. 

Whichever method you choose, it can often be a case of trial and error before you find what works, which is why it’s crucial to do your research before you start your cannabis journey. 



Cannabis Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. All content on this site is intended for educational purposes, please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

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