We get this question all the time at Apotheke, and the best answer we can give is, ‘it depends.’ It depends on your symptoms, what you hope to achieve with a CBD regimen, and most importantly, what form fits your lifestyle so that you will remember to use it. This article attempts to demystify the options to help you make an informed choice.
Inhalation (also known as vaping): How does it work? CBD enters the lungs in the form of a vaporizer juice. It is diffused into the bloodstream quickly, bypassing the liver. Inhalation is one of the more efficient CBD delivery systems, but it is also the fastest to wear off. Who should use this method? This method is best if you are using CBD to address symptoms related to breathing issues such as asthma and COPD. Things to watch out for: Make sure you understand the ingredients in your CBD vape juice. CBD oil by itself is quite thick and needs to be thinned in order to vape. Be sure to choose products made with all-natural thinners such as vegetable glycerin (as opposed to polypropylene glycol). It’s also important to choose the correct vaping tool. Reusable tools require regular cleaning and coil replacements to prevent debris from entering your lungs. Many CBD suppliers are now providing disposable vape pens. While more expensive, they are typically much safer.
Topicals (massage oils, balms, lotions, patches): How does it work? These products are typically made for local pain-relief and healing. They work only on the uppermost layer of cells, so the amount that enters the bloodstream using this method is very limited. Who should use this method? This method is best for pain management associated with arthritis and sore muscles, or for short acute episodes related to post-workout pain or minor injury. Topicals are often used for localized pain in combination with another delivery method to address the actual inflammation source through the bloodstream. Patches are another great option to deliver a constant CBD dose transdermally, best for anxiety or ADD/ADHD.
Sublingual (under the tongue): How does it work? Pure CBD oil, tinctures, and concentrates can be administered under the tongue allowing the CBD to be absorbed by the capillaries in the mucous membranes, directly into the bloodstream, bypassing both the digestive system and the liver. Place the drops under your tongue and hold it as long as possible (60-90 seconds is ideal). Swish and swallow the remainder to allow the CBD to slowly digest. This delivery method can have both immediate and long-lasting relief. Who should use this method? This method is best to help with sleep disturbances, anxiety, inflammation, attention disorders, and pain management. This method combined with a topical is ideal for arthritis and other auto-immune conditions.
Ingestion (capsules, gummies, or mixed with food and beverages) How does it work? The easiest method to deliver CBD is to ingest it. Swallowing the concentrated oil allows it to pass through the digestive system and metabolize in the liver. The active compounds then enter into your bloodstream. This is how most of your daily vitamins are delivered. Who should use this method? Children and those who struggle with the taste or texture of the oil and are not able to take it sublingually.
The current CBD market is not closely monitored, so the first step in getting the results you want is to make a careful choice in the brand and delivery method that best meets your requirements; and to understand your options within each delivery method as there are many! At Apotheke Wellness, our mission is to educate first, making sure each customer leaves our store knowing exactly how to get the most out of the CBD product they choose.
Originally published by Jodi and Sarah in Nature's Pathways magazine, January 2019 issue.