It seems as if CBD is everywhere these days, including grocery stores, major drug chains, gas stations and websites. It’s popularity (which has exploded in the past year, with nearly 1 in 7 Americans saying they tried the compound) comes in light of some evidence which says that CBD can be helpful in addressing numerous physical and mental issues.
However, CBD’s newsness has left many confused about what it can do and how it can be helpful. In light of that, here’s a guide on CBD’s most popular products.
Types of CBD: Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Isolate
All CBD is not created equal, and if you’ve shopped for long enough, you may have noticed that there is a serious difference between CBD types. Roughly speaking, they are:
What’s the difference? Fans of full spectrum point to the Entourage Effect, a supposed process by which all naturally occurring compounds within full spectrum CBD interact to create a better experience and have a more impactful result for the users. Broad spectrum users believe that the Entourage Effect still occurs in broad spectrum, even without the THC.
Research on the Entourage Effect has been mixed.
It is important to note that full spectrum CBD cannot get you high. While it is doubtful that full spectrum CBD use will show up on a drug test, it is possible, so if that is a concern for you, it is safer to stick with broad spectrum products.
CBD Tinctures are distilled CBD which has been mixed with other flavors and some type of carrier oil which allows for CBD to be diluted and taken by the user. They come in liquid form and can be taken two ways: Sublingually (under the tongue), which ensures that the CBD impact will be felt in a very quick period (often under fifteen minutes), or mixed in with another food or drink, like tea.
CBD Tinctures are a great way for beginners to start to use CBD. It is easy to control for dosage, as the dropper which comes with all tinctures can give a very accurate measure of how much CBD you are consuming. It’s effects can be felt quickly, and you can mix it with other foods or drinks if you don’t like the flavor. Determining what kind of flavor you like is arguably the biggest challenge, but thankfully, most online shops come with plenty of options.
Balms, Lotions or Topicals
CBD Balms or Topicals are essentially skin-care products. With them, the CBD is put in a form which can be scooped and rubbed directly onto your body. This can be great for skincare, as CBD appears to have numerous benefits when applied directly to the skin. Additionally, it can be helpful for dealing with a variety of skin disorders, including rosacea, eczema and psoriasis. Furthermore, some CBD products are mixed with other skin-healing agents, thus increasing their potency.
CBD topicals are also good for more than just skincare, as some studies have shown that topical CBD may be able to relieve pain.
The biggest problems with CBD skin care products are speed and dosage. Since skin care products have to travel through your skin, muscles and fat before being absorbed into the bloodstream, it takes the longest of the various methods of CBD consumption. Additionally, it can be difficult to control for dosage when taking a topical, as most people can’t easily determine how much CBD they are using on their skin, and different people have different rates of absorption.
Edibles are CBD products which have been mixed into food, usually a sweet treat like gummies. Because they have to travel through your digestive system, it can take some time before the edibles start to make an impact, often as much as 30 minutes or more, depending on if you have a full stomach, your overall size and your metabolism.
There are at least two potential problems with CBD edibles. The first is legal confusion, as the FDA’s lack of regulations and consumer protections for CBD has meant that some types of CBD edibles may still be illegal. The second is from a pure health prospective: Most CBD edibles come in snack foods like gummies, cookies or candy. While this can be nice for a treat, it can be a problem if you are trying to watch what you eat or have food allergies.
CBD can be put in an oil format which can then be put in a vape. That oil is then turned into a steam which can be inhaled, allowing the user to experience the effects of CBD very quickly, often in as little as ten minutes. The oil which is vaped often comes in different flavors.
There are, however, some safety issues when it comes to vaping, as there is significant concern over the long-term effects of using vapes or other related products. Vaping or e-Cigarrete use is also illegal in many public places, thus limiting where you can actually vape. Last, it is very difficult to control your dose when it comes to vaping, as it can be virtually impossible to tell how much CBD you are actually inhaling and how much is actually getting into your body.
Capsules & Pills
CBD often comes in many capsule or pill forms. This is the most “no frills” way to consume CBD and allows for strict control over the amount you consume with minimal other consumption issues.
The method of CBD which is best for you depends on what sort of experience you are looking for, what product you are most comfortable taking and what will work best for your body. To that end, when you try CBD, move slowly and be prepared to experiment in order to determine what method and dosage works best for you.