How to Use CBD Oil: An In-Depth Step-By-Step Guide
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is extracted from the hemp plant into a massive variety of different products. As the popularity and interest for CBD continues to skyrocket, we look at one of the most effective ways to consume your daily serving of cannabidiol. That way is by using a CBD oil through a range of ways that we’ll be touching on today.
Let’s dive into our step-by-step guide on how to use CBD oil and any important tips or advice you should know before you incorporate CBD into your daily routine.
Before We Get Started
One thing to note: there is no individual “best” way to use CBD oil. Everyone processes CBD differently, so the best method that works for one of our team members may be too intense or weak to be as effective as it could be for you. The goal today will be to look at these variables and break down what would be your optimal CBD oil serving size.Another thing to keep in mind: you can never take too much CBD.
Clinical trials had subjects use up to 1,200mg CBD every day for months – with zero negative serious side effects. This suggests that CBD can be used without a concern of consuming too much. However, we always urge you to speak with a certified health professional or physician before adding CBD oil into your daily routine, especially if you are currently taking other medication.
Different Ways to Take CBD Oil
The CBD oil tincture from Envy CBD is designed for oral application, though there are some CBD oils that can also be vaped.
We’re looking at the ways it can be consumed orally today, as there are even a few methods just for that route and it’s one of the best ways to absorb the most CBD at one time.
This is because the amount of CBD listed on a tincture bottle is not the same amount your body is capable of absorbing. The absorption rate of the individual CBD product, your metabolism, and other variables play a huge role in how much avoids first-pass metabolism and gets sent throughout the body instead.
The most popular way to consume a CBD oil tincture, “sublingual” means that the oil is applied under the tongue. There are capillary-rich areas underneath the tongue, which is a prime target area to get more CBD absorbed into your body with each serving. This method hits the bloodstream faster than swallowing, though it still depends on how long you keep the oil under the tongue.
Step-By-Step for Sublingual Use
1. Shake the CBD oil tincture bottle well before using it.
2. If you’re unfamiliar with your optimal serving size, start with no more than 5 drops of oil directly under your tongue and work your way up until you discover what’s right.
A serving size for many CBD tinctures is a half-dropper, or 0.5ml.
3. For the most optimal results, keep the serving of CBD oil under your tongue for 90 seconds or longer.
You can even swish the oil around your mouth to increase the surface contact between your capillaries and the CBD oil. This is the second fastest way to get the CBD to start circulating throughout the body, next to inhalation through smoking or vaping. The average duration of effect for CBD oil tinctures is 6 to 8 hours, just like you might feel with edibles.The difference is you can expect to feel the effects of a tincture within the first hour, typically within the first 15 minutes of a sublingual serving.
Tips for Sublingual CBD Oil Use
To enhance the absorption rate as much as possible, eat something immediately before using the CBD oil tincture. Researchers discovered that chewing increases blood flow to the mouth. If a person had recently eaten, the amount of CBD absorbed into their bloodstream for the same serving size was increased by 5-fold.
Not everyone likes the taste/texture of a CBD oil tincture. If you’re uncomfortable with keeping it under your tongue, you can alternatively just swallow the CBD oil directly. Though it will take longer to hit your bloodstream, you can still expect the effects to last 6 to 8 hours.
Adding to Beverages
You don’t have to drink it straight, though – you can add it to a beverage or meal to make the oil-based tincture go down much easier. Smoothies, coffee, or any beverage of your choosing is an easy way to mix an oil-based tincture into your diet. People have long been putting coconut and hemp oil in their smoothies, especially when emulsifying it with fruits or nut butters. Likewise, a serving of CBD in your coffee each morning can add another kick of focus and energy to the start of your day.
Step-By-Step for Adding to Beverages
1. Combine all ingredients, excluding the CBD oil tincture, into a blender or cup if you’re using an immersion blender.
2. Blend until mixed, then add the oil before blending until the texture is uniform.
How to Add CBD Oil to Food
Every meal is different, so there’s not an exact step-by-step to add CBD oil to your meal or a delicious snack. Instead, simply cook your meal as usual, adding CBD oil only when you’ve taken the food away from the heat. For example, if you’re preparing a dish or snack in a saucepan, remove it from the burner before adding the CBD oil. Putting CBD oil over direct heat could cause it to lose some of its beneficial cannabinoids, lessening its overall potency and quality. We recommend, if possible, adding CBD oil in at the end for any dish you’re prepping. There are capillary-rich areas underneath the tongue, which is a prime target area to get more CBD absorbed into your body with each serving. This method hits the bloodstream faster than swallowing, though it still depends on how long you keep the oil under the tongue.
Other Tips for How to Use CBD Oil
Now that you know how to use CBD oil and a few ways to enhance the absorption rate for a more effective CBD product, we also have some advice on how to stretch the oil farther. Using these tips followed by one of the directions of steps above for how to use CBD oil the right way, you’ll be able to take your cannabidiol experience to the next level.
Take in Combination with Other CBD Products
You aren’t limited to just CBD oil tinctures. On the contrary, you can hit target areas on the body with CBD topicals, enjoy an alternative CBD experience with gummies or other edibles, and combine these products throughout the day to get the most effective use possible. A combination of delivery methods are what many people are utilizing now to get the most out of their CBD products overall. For example, those that take CBD specifically for anxiety find a vape pen as well as an oral supplement like a tincture one to three times a day helps them more than either product by themselves would.
Experiment with Serving Sizes
Remember, clinical trials have observed no serious side effects to taking any amount of CBD, even upwards of 1,200mg daily for months. The highest strength bottle of Envy CBD oil is 1,000mg, so you can feel confident that there’s not a serving size that will be “too much” for you to handle (though we still recommend speaking with your physician before using CBD oil). The 250mg bottle provides a serving size (half a dropper) of approximately 4.16mg pure CBD, perfect for those new to CBD or those sensitive to cannabinoids.
You can start out with a single serving size and work your way up throughout the day and as time goes on.Your tolerance will build as you take CBD daily, which is why you would want to start at the lowest strength and lowest dose before you work your way up.
Consistency is Key
We’ve been stressing daily use for CBD oil, and it’s because of the stacking benefits you can experience by incorporating it into your regular routine. You may feel the initial effects of CBD the first time you use it, but those effects will be amplified after a month’s time of consistent use. Be prepared for the CBD oil to take time before you really feel any benefit from it. It promotes general wellness by encouraging other bodily functions and receptors to behave more efficiently, but this can’t happen overnight (or throughout the day, if you went for a morning CBD serving). Don’t give up after your first time – try a full CBD oil tincture bottle, which is about a month’s supply, before you decide if it’s right for you or not.
Answers to All of Your Biggest Questions About CBD Tinctures, the Latest Health Trend
What they are, what they do, and what you should know before buying one.
If it seems like cannabidiol (CBD) products are everywhere these days, you’re definitely not wrong. CBD has been gaining in popularity over the past few years, but it really peaked in September 2018 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, an anti-seizure drug made with cannabis-sourced CBD.
While Epidiolex is a Schedule V drug (meaning it can be used to treat health issues), regular cannabis is a Schedule I substance. This means it doesn’t have any accepted medical use. Despite this (not so) tiny detail, countless companies chose to ride on Epidiolex’s coattails to bring a slew of CBD products to the marketplace.
By now you’ve probably seen thousands of them, whether on specialty store shelves or while scrolling through your Instagram feed. Most are self-explanatory—like CBD lotion, which is obviously something you just rub on your skin, and gummies and cookies. Just pop them in your mouth and enjoy.
However, CBD tinctures, which are sold in those pretty glass bottles sealed with a dropper, are more ambiguous. What the heck do you do with those? And why would someone want to buy them? Read on to learn more about CBD tinctures, and what you need to know before trying this trendy health product.
First things first, what is CBD?
CBD is one of many chemical compounds found within the cannabis plant. It’s a close relative of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive chemical found in cannabis. However, unlike THC, CBD cannot get you high—no matter how much you take.
While there’s not a ton of research out there yet, what CBD could give you is possible relief from stress, joint pain due to inflammation, or a better night’s rest.
Got it. So, what’s a tincture?
In very simplified terms, a tincture is a concentrated herbal extract that’s made by soaking herbs in a liquid. Over several weeks, the fluid becomes infused with herbal extracts, and when the herbs are strained out, you get a potent, ingestible tincture.
Over time, the solvent used to make tinctures has changed, but the basic method has remained the same. “In traditional herbal remedies, tinctures were most often made with alcohol,” says Jessie Kater, senior vice president of manufacturing at Curaleaf, a cannabis company lead by practitioners, pharmacists, and medical experts. “Today most cannabinoid tinctures use food grade plant-based oils and flavors as a solvent.”
Should I use tinctures instead of other CBD products?
Compared to other popular products like CBD chocolates and lotions, tinctures have extremely high bioavailability, so they’re very easy for the body to absorb. According to a National Center for Biotechnology Information study, CBD edibles, like gummies or cookies, have less bioavailability because the body has to process both the CBD and the ingredients used to make the treat.
According to researchers, a person will absorb a great deal more CBD if he or she ingests it in a pure tincture. You may also feel the effects sooner. “Due to the way you take tinctures versus other forms of administration, you get a high rate of absorption often starting as soon as the tincture is dropped onto the oral mucosa lining your mouth,” Kater explains.
How do I take a tincture?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, just a quick reminder: Like any new supplement, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting a CBD regime. CBD isn’t ideal for everyone, and it can interact with certain medications, such as Warfarin. Make sure a medical professional knows exactly what you’re taking and in what combination before you start experimenting with CBD in any form.
Assuming you’re given the go-ahead to try CBD, there are two ways to consume a tincture. After squeezing the liquid into the dropper, you can either place it under your tongue (this is known as taking something sublingually) or rub it on your skin. People trying to remedy arthritis, tendonitis, joint pain, and muscle soreness tend to use the latter method, whereas those using CBD for other reasons might take it orally.
These days, there are plenty of tasty CBD tinctures on the market. Curaleaf, for example, sells vanilla, lavender-orange, and ginger-cinnamon flavored drops. However, if you aren’t a huge fan of the taste, you can always mix your tincture into a drink, a smoothie, or your favorite food to make it more palatable.
Wondering how much should you take? This is a bit of a tricky question, as there are no official dosing guidelines for CBD. Dr. Steve Patierno, Chair of CuraLeaf’s Medical Advisory Board and the Deputy Director of the Duke Cancer Institute, suggests starting with a lower strength product and taking just 1 milliliter. (For a 30-milliliter bottle that’s likely a full dropper, but check the bottle to be sure.) You can always take a bit more next time if you don’t feel the effects.
Where can I find a quality CBD tincture?
When looking at any CBD product, it’s important to do a bit of research to find out how and where it’s made. A CBD product meant for human consumption should come with third-party independent testing information, to ensure their safety and purity.
Asking where a CBD company’s industrial hemp is grown, processed, and produced, couldn’t hurt either to see just how transparent a CBD company is willing to be with its potential clients.
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Cannabis is the scientific name for the hemp plant. Its leaves and flowers—often called marijuana—contain a psychoactive (mind altering) resin that can affect how we feel, think and act. It comes in various forms, including dried leaves and flowers or ‘buds’ (marijuana), pressed resin from flowers and leaves (hashish or hash), and concentrated resin extracted with a solvent (hash oil).
While often smoked in a joint or through a pipe or bong (water pipe), cannabis can also be vaporized into a mist. Some people bake or make tea with it, while others turn it into a tincture, a concentrated liquid absorbed by placing a drop under the tongue.
Why do we use cannabis?
Humans have been using cannabis for a range of reasons since ancient times. Some people have used it when socializing to help them relax and connect with friends. Others have used it for spiritual reasons or simply to experience an altered form of consciousness. And still others have used it to soothe anxiety, or manage medical conditions. Cannabis has many benefits but, like any drug, there are risks to using it.
Smoking a joint with a friend on a Friday night is one way to relax at the end of a busy work week. But sitting around for hours smoking joint after joint can create a dull atmosphere and make conversation meaningless. It can also increase the risk of making bad decisions, such as driving before the effects have completely worn off. And while cannabis may help to relieve stress or anxiety, continuing to use it as a coping strategy may harm our health and relationships.
What happens when we use cannabis?
When cannabis is inhaled, chemicals called cannabinoids are absorbed through the lungs and into the bloodstream, producing almost immediate effects. When swallowed, cannabinoids are absorbed through the stomach and intestine. This process takes longer, making it more difficult for the user to carefully manage the dose.
The effects of cannabis can be very different for different people. One person may feel relaxed, another full of energy, and another anxious. Sometimes the same person will have a different experience on a different occasion. A lot depends on the type and amount of cannabis we use at a given time. But other factors that affect us include our
past experiences with cannabis,
present mood and surroundings, and
mental and physical health condition.
There are more than 60 types of cannabinoids, but best known for its psychoactive properties is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
Cannabis can be both beneficial and harmful to our health. For instance, research shows cannabis can help relieve the symptoms of some medical conditions such as pain, nausea and muscle spasms. But heavy use is associated with a variety of harms including experiencing psychotic symptoms.
Many people who use cannabis socially say it helps them relax and increases their sense of well-being. But some people may feel anxious after using cannabis, affecting their interactions with others. And for a few hours after smoking a joint, a person may have a hard time remembering things, which may have an impact on friendships.
Over time, smoking a lot of cannabis can irritate the respiratory tract, increasing risk of chronic coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing. Like tobacco smoke, cannabis smoke contains cancer-causing toxins, though the risk of developing some cancers is less for cannabis users, partly because they tend to smoke less than tobacco users.
In the second three months of 2018, of Canadians aged 15 and older
17% of British Columbians consumed cannabis
14% of cannabis users with a valid driver’s license drove within 2 hours of using
5% were a passenger in a vehicle driven by someone who consumed cannabis within two hours of driving
When is using cannabis a problem?
Using cannabis is a problem when it negatively affects our life or the lives of others. We may think this refers to people who regularly use large amounts of cannabis, but even using on a single occasion can sometimes lead to a problem. For instance, we may make a poor decision such as driving before the effects have worn off. What’s important to recognize is the potential for adverse consequences as well as benefits related to the context of use and over time.
Cannabis use, especially regular use, by young people has particular risks. Like other psychoactive drugs, cannabis can interfere with normal brain development. Early use can also interfere with developing normal patterns of social interaction with peers and have a negative impact on well-being.
The reasons people use cannabis influence their risk of developing problems. For instance, if a person uses cannabis to have fun, only occasional social use may follow. But when a person uses cannabis to cope with a long-term problem such as chronic stress, then more long lasting and intense use may follow.
While most people who use cannabis do not become dependent on the drug, those who use cannabis frequently over a period of time may be putting themselves at some risk. A person who uses frequently may feel they need to use cannabis to feel normal and function during the day.
People who stop using cannabis after regular use may experience mild feelings of withdrawal, including irritability, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping.
Mixing cannabis with other substances
It’s not uncommon for people to mix cannabis with other substances to experience different feelings or offset unwanted side effects. But there are risks to combining cannabis with other substances, including intensified effects that may last longer than expected or wanted. The following are some common combinations and their related effects.
Alcohol and other depressants. These are substances that slow down our heart rate and make us feel more relaxed. Depressants affect coordination and other skills needed for safe driving. Cannabis in combination with even small doses of alcohol impairs our driving ability more than either drug used alone.
Stimulants. These are substances such as energy drinks or cocaine that increase our heart rate and make us feel more energetic. Combining cannabis with stimulants may cloud our judgement about how intoxicated we may be, potentially leading to risky behaviours.
Tobacco. Tobacco smoke contains many cancer-causing toxins. It is therefore safer to smoke cannabis by itself.
How to make healthier choices about cannabis
Whenever we choose to use cannabis, it is helpful to know what steps we can take to ensure that our use is the least harmful possible. The following are some useful guidelines to follow.
Not too much. Managing how much we use in a given period helps reduce risky behaviours.
Tip: Instead of smoking a whole joint or taking a puff every time it comes around, take a puff or two and then wait a few minutes. You may find a smaller amount is enough.
Not too often. Limiting how often we use helps reduce harms to ourselves and others over time.
Tip: Avoid using everyday or every weekend. Plan out the days and weekends you’re not using so you don’t spend your time sitting around and thinking about not using (e.g., spend time with a friend who doesn’t use, go to the gym).
Only in safe contexts. Making informed decisions about where and with whom we use cannabis helps to minimize harms.
Tip: If going out, stay in the company of trusted friends and use safe transportation options.
Lowering the risks
Using a vaporizer is safer than smoking cannabis.
If smoking, take shallow puffs, not deep inhalations. Most of the THC is absorbed in the first few seconds, so you don’t need to puff hard or hold your breath.
Is cannabis legal?
Cannabis is legal for adult use in Canada. Individuals 19 or older in BC may possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in a public place. Cannabis is regulated by the province of BC. Please visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/public-safety/cannabis. Please ensure you know where and when it is safe to use.
What to do if you or someone you know wants to explore change
For information on treatment options and resources throughout BC, call the Alcohol and Drug Information Referral Service at 1-800-663-1441. In Greater Vancouver, call 604-660-9382.