For the last few years, CBD has experienced a great boom in popularity all over the world, but which method of consumption is right for you?
What barely a decade ago was a substance known only to true enthusiasts and scientists is now something that over 30 per cent of adults in the US admitted trying.
With CBD becoming such a success, it’s natural that various industries have tried to enter this lucrative market. Because of that, there are many different methods of using CBD – from traditional oils to personal hygiene products to face masks.
But which methods of using CBD are actually the best for you? In large part, it depends on your priorities.
While CBD has more or less the same general effects on you no matter what way you take it, in certain cases, some ways might be much better suited to your needs and expectations.
If speed is your priority, choose the inhalation methods
Sometimes there is no time to be lost. Perhaps you had an awful day and want to get rid of your stress as soon as possible. Maybe your chronic pain has started intensifying again.
No matter the situation, you want to feel the beneficial effects of CBD right away. If that’s your goal, you might want to try the inhalation methods.
Out of all the different ways to administer CBD, these are some of the fastest ones – you might start to feel effects within the first few minutes.
The onset time of this method is so fast for a reason. The moment you inhale CBD, it travels with the air you took in directly to your lungs. There, the cannabidiol is absorbed through the alveoli straight into your bloodstream.
In general, there are two main ways of administering CBD through inhalation – by smoking or vaping it. Both should deliver the CBD just fine, although vaping CBD is considered to be a less harmful option.
No matter if it’s tobacco or CBD-rich hemp flowers, smoking plant material involves burning it. This, in turn, releases a lot of combustion-related toxins that you then inhale.
On the other hand, vaping CBD doesn’t rely on burning the CBD-infused e-liquid but rather on heating it until it becomes a vapour. Because no incineration is taking place, a lot of these harmful substances are simply not present there.
But even if vaping CBD is the less risky method, you should still pay attention to what you buy.
To ensure the best experience, then depending on your preferences you should get CBD, THC, or Delta 8 cartridges from a reliable source.
If you train a lot, consider CBD topicals
For some, staying fit is an absolute priority. After all, engaging in regular physical exercise is proven to be very beneficial to both your physical and mental health.
Unfortunately, this comes at a price. Because your muscles are under constant and intense strain, microscopic tears form more frequently. This may result in more cases of inflammation and even pain.
It’s not hard to imagine that your workout motivation might suffer if your entire body is sore. CBD can help you in that regard, given how it has anti-inflammatory effects, but what sort of product should you get here?
In this case, CBD topicals would be a good choice.
In most situations, muscle pains and inflammation are highly localised issues. It means that instead of taking systemic CBD products like CBD capsules or soft gels, it might be better to apply CBD salves or creams directly to the area where you’re experiencing pain.
Topical products are absorbed through the skin, meaning that you can administer a lot of the substance straight to the sore area and expect results in a short time, instead of waiting an hour or more for ingested products to start working.
If you prioritise taste, CBD edibles might be for you
CBD products have many benefits, but the taste is not always one of them.
To illustrate the point, CBD oil is often reported to have a sort of strange, earthy flavour to it. What’s worse, one of the more efficient ways of consuming CBD oil is by taking it sublingually, meaning that you have to hold the drops under your tongue for over a minute.
Understandably, it might be a dealbreaker for many users.
If a good flavour is absolutely necessary for you to enjoy the benefits of cannabidiol, various CBD edibles might be the perfect solution here. You’d be pleased to know that these usually come in the form of various sweets.
Do you want to get your daily CBD dose without attracting unwanted attention from your co-workers or family? CBD cookies might be what you need.
Do you want something that is perfectly tasty and easy to take on the go at the same time? Perhaps you should try CBD gummies. Would you like to experience your childhood once again for a moment and feel the beneficial effects of CBD at the same time?
The CBD cotton candy is there for you to satisfy both of these desires.
Apart from a great taste and a large selection of different treats, CBD edibles are also one of the longer-working types of cannabidiol products out there – the effects usually last hours.
As you can see, the priorities matter a lot when it comes to picking the right CBD methods of administration.
If you want a quick onset time above all else, inhalation methods such as vaping or smoking are probably your best bet.
If you love being active and want to reduce the unpleasant effects of inflammation or muscle pain, topical CBD products might be worth trying. Finally, if you value taste and the total duration, you should consider different CBD edibles.
But these are simply suggestions – no matter what goal you have in mind, you should always do your own research and try to figure out which method of using CBD will be the most comfortable for you personally.
After all, the one who knows your preferences best is you yourself – good luck with your CBD experience!
Four of the best CBD transdermal products
Ruby Deevoy, picks the best CBD patches and transdermal products for joint and muscle relief.
Cannabis journalist, Ruby Deevoy, picks the best CBD patches and transdermal products for joint and muscle relief.
One of the most common reasons people choose to try CBD is to relieve pain – whether that’s discomfort from chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and MS, or temporary muscle aches from an intense workout.
In many cases, with a high quality transdermal product, CBD and whole plant cannabis has been reported by users to have a hugely positive impact on these and many other joint and muscle issues – and the science backs it up.
CBD for arthritis
Both topical and oral CBD has been used in both human and animal model studies to demonstrate potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
Although many people are a little sceptical of how effective topical application can actually be, results from this research has revealed remarkable potential, with one study showing that transdermal CBD gel significantly reduced joint swelling, limb posture scores as a rating of spontaneous pain, immune cell infiltration and thickening of the synovial membrane. This resulted in relief from arthritis pain with no notable side effects.
Interestingly, although THC and CBG (both of which directly activate CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system) are usually found to be more effective on pain than the CBD molecule, when it comes to inflammatory conditions like RA, it’s CBD that stands out.
CBD acts on CB2 receptors, which decrease cytokine production and immune cell mobilisation, as well as acting on other receptors involved in pain and inflammation modulation, such as serotonin and capsaicin
Although the International Association for the Study of Pain presidential task force on cannabis and cannabinoid analgesia have expressed that they feel there are still a lack of trials proving that CBD is an effective treatment for pain, other research bodies and anecdotal evidence say different.
CBD for DOMS
DOMS (or, delayed onset muscle soreness) is the proper name for those sometimes debilitating aches and pains many people experience after a workout. Although this pain is generally a good sign, indicating that your muscles are healing, strengthening and growing, it can stop you going about your day and prevent you from smashing it at your next session. Fortunately, CBD can help.
Once again, a large part of this is down to the anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD, as many studies have shown that CBD can reduce muscle and joint inflammation. In addition, CBD has also been shown to stimulate muscle spasticity and accelerate muscle recovery via transdermal and internal products.
Topical vs Transdermal – what’s the difference?
We previously covered ‘best CBD skincare’, where a number of excellent topical products were listed. This review is specifically looking at transdermal products which, although applied to the skin, contain permeation enhancers in the ingredients to create products that go into the body through the top three layers of the skin. Topicals target the skin, but are not as readily absorbed, so will not be as effective on internal discomfort.
Transdermal CBD products, like muscle balms, gels and patches, have been designed to reach deeper tissues, like your muscles, and even further into your body.
If you’re keen to use products made entirely from natural ingredients, you’ll be pleased to hear that many terpenes naturally present in cannabis can act as permeation enhancers. There’s also certain fatty acids, glycols and over 350 other chemicals that brands can choose to use in their transdermal formulations.
If you’re unsure whether a product is topical or transdermal, don’t be shy to ask the brand you’re buying from. Of course, all the ones listed here are transdermal.
Do CBD patches really work?
CBD patches are an exciting addition to the CBD market, and they can be really effective! Even though they’re new to the CBD industry, they’re not new in pharmaceutical administration, so there are a number of studies explaining how they work and showing that their effects can be comparable to oral dosing, if not more effective.
One mouse model study revealed that a low dose of CBD delivered via a patch (on a knee-joint swelling) provided better absorption than oral administration.
Using a CBD patch allows you to target areas of the body for a slow release, which bypasses ‘first pass metabolism’ – a process that occurs when taking CBD capsules or edibles, where the concentration of a drug is greatly reduced before circulating in the body. What’s more, there’s evidence to suggest that transdermal patched prolong the effects of the drug being delivered, with less fluctuation in dose.
Four of the best
Biosportart 2,000mg Gel, £49 biosportart.co.uk
Interestingly, this potent gel is made using citrus-derived CBD, rather than cannabis. I was sceptical at first as an avid advocate for the cannabis plant, but there’s no denying that this is seriously effective – almost like a numbing gel! It’s pricey, but worth it if you’re in a lot of discomfort.
The Tonic CBD Patches, £27/£40, thetonictribe.com
Long-lasting, discrete and great for reducing swelling of inflamed muscles. Patches are ideal for people who are keen on ease of use, aren’t great at remembering to reapply products and aren’t keen on feeling wet or greasy after application! They’re available in two strengths and you can leave them on for up to 36 hours.
Grass & Co Ease Balm, £39.50, grassandco.com
Perfect for post-workout muscle recovery, thanks to 300mg CBD alongside arnica, peppermint, camphor and eucalyptus. Testers found they were able to recover faster after putting their muscles to the test when using this product.
Dermactiva Warming Muscle Cream, £24.99, dermactiva.co.uk
An honorary cannabis seed oil mention! There’s no CBD in this cream, but a Colombian heritage blend of cannabis seed oil, ginger, chilli, horse chestnut and calendula makes for a great product that works particularly well on aching hands.
How CBD may help ease hay fever symptoms
UK pharmacies are reporting a shortage of hay fever medication – could CBD offer an alternative option?
With UK pharmacies reporting a shortage of hay fever medication – could CBD help ease symptoms?
Pharmacies across the UK are reporting a shortage of Chlorphenamine maleate, the active ingredient in commonly used allergy medicines, such as Piriton.
High-street giant Boots, told the BBC on Monday 9 May, that a “small number of lines” are currently out of stock due to an “industry-wide shortage” of the ingredient.
According to the Met Office pollen counts are expected to remain medium to high for the rest of the week.
Boots has said that it still has a number of other medications available to treat hay-fever symptoms, however, if you’re looking for a natural alternative – without some of the side-effects – it could be worth giving CBD a go.
What is hay fever?
Hay fever is particularly common at this time of year, as it is caused by an allergic reaction to pollen, typically when it comes into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes and throat.
While there is no cure or treatment, a number of over-the-counter antihistamines that can help alleviate some of the symptoms – such as Chlorphenamine maleate.
But even when they are available, many of these carry side effects – the most common of which are drowsiness and dry mouth – meaning that many people prefer not to use them during the day.
Some promising studies suggest that the CBD’s beneficial properties could be helpful for hay fever sufferers.
Cannabinoids and allergies
More research is needed, but while there have been no human studies so far, a number of animal studies have shown some positive signs.
A 2013 study gave a number of guinea pigs an antigen to stimulate a contraction in their throat muscles, which can be a common symptom of hay fever. Researchers found that “cannabidiol reduced … airway obstruction”, adding that CBD “may have beneficial effects in the treatment of obstructive airway disorders”.
Two years later, in 2015, another study looked at the link between the mediation of CB1 receptors and mast cells, which are responsible for releasing the histamines that cause the symptoms of hay fever.
Although the results were inconclusive, they suggested that CB1 receptors may mediate the hypersensitivity of the immune system, which in turn could be used to lower histamine levels.
Elsewhere a more recent study found that a synthetic cannabinoid, designed to replicate THC, could prevent peanut allergy, as well as reducing the effects of anaphylactic reactions.
One thing that CBD is well-known for, is its anti-inflammatory properties.
These can prove invaluable during an allergic reaction, working to reduce any swelling or irritation and limiting further histamine production.
In fact, CBD’s interaction with the human endocannabinoid system has been shown to reduce almost all of the most common side effects that accompany an allergic reaction, such as opening airways to make breathing easier, easing nasal pressure and relieving congestion and mucus.
CBD may not be a proven treatment for the prevention of the symptoms of hay fever, but at the very least it can help to ease them – even if just until the shelves are restocked.
CBD without the chemicals – UK retailer launches ‘pure’ cold-pressed oil
The Good Level has launched cold-pressed organic CBD products, made without chemicals.
People who enjoy the purported benefits of CBD can now get their hands on cold-pressed products that don’t use chemicals and are entirely organic.
It’s thanks to the cold-press extraction method, developed by British retailer The Good Level and its partners, that cannabidiol (CBD), from the hemp plant, avoids potentially harmful elements while at the same time delivering the full spectrum of touted benefits.
CBD has exploded in popularity in recent years, and most products are classed as “novel foods“, under UK and European Union regulations. However, because cold-pressed CBD uses the most natural extraction process possible, it is not labelled novel.
An expanding product range now encompasses everything from oils to moisturisers and teas, taken to help a range of ailments, including sleep trouble, anxiety and pains, as well as faster recovery from sports and also skincare, to aid in the reductions of blemishes and wrinkles.
Careful control of hemp, grown in Britain
The Good Level, which operates an online store, as well as a physical shop, in London, created a 5% cold-pressed CBD oil that’s chemical-free and only uses extra-virgin olive oil sourced from various European countries. The company’s hemp comes from a British farm where it’s organically grown without the use of pesticides.
“CBD has been around for thousands of years, in its pure form, in Egypt, India and China,” said Jonny Alberto, co-founder of The Good Level. “What we’re essentially doing is relaunching the product for the modern world.”
The company has a range of educational materials on its website to provide information about CBD and its uses to a public that may have little or no knowledge about the substance and its professed benefits. They conducted a nationwide survey*, of British adults, to find out what people are thinking about CBD. Among its findings were:
- A majority both knew something about CBD products and their claimed benefits (53%) and would be willing to try CBD to help with ailments, sleep and other issues (62%).
- 10% had never heard of CBD while 7% use CBD products and 19% had no opinion.
- Just 4% falsely believed CBD is illegal in the UK.
CBD: A recipe for success
The boom in CBD has led to different ways of using the products, and many people are now adding drops of their favourite CBD oil to various dishes they make, as well as drinks. Popular choices for CBD additions include soups, curries and casseroles, and drops can be mixed in with a salad dressing too, to give an entirely different flavour, and experience.
Drawing inspiration from CBD bars in such places as Los Angeles and Sydney, some are also mixing CBD oil with mocktails — providing the relaxation they need from stressful work days but without the alcohol, or killer hangover. Popular mocktails include Mai Tais, CBD Juleps, Hemp Hot Toddies, Gin and CBD Tonics and lots more non-alcoholic creations to help you unwind.
And, says Alberto, cold-pressed provides the full spectrum of benefits that people seek with quality CBD products, while the company is able to keep an eye on hemp farming because it’s done in the UK and not abroad.
“We’re controlling the quality all the way through, from farming to the extraction process, because that’s what our customers want,” he said.
You can check out The Good Level’s new range of cold pressed CBD products here.
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