Health & Wellness

A CBD Beginner’s Guide on Ingesting vs. Vaping

By Josh Hall

With most therapeutic offerings, you wouldn’t think that the variety of ways you can use the product would rank near the top of a benefits list that also includes relief from pain, anxiety, and seizures. But then again, cannabidiol (CBD) isn’t like most therapeutic offerings.

CBD’s delivery mechanisms, which can be simple as swallowing a capsule, may provide much more than just analgesic and inflammation-fighting properties. They supply a host of flexibility and possibilities that allow users to find a product that works best for them, the condition or ailment they’re hoping to address, and their personal preferences.

For newcomers to CBD, the decision on how to use it will often come down to products that fall into two main categories: those that you ingest and those that you vape. If you’re interested in dipping your toes into the proverbial CBD waters—not to be confused with CBD-infused water (which is a real thing, by the way)—we’ve got the information to help you make a decision.

Background on CBD that you ingest

Medically and scientifically, “ingestion” is the act of taking or absorbing something to the body for digestion. We accomplish this by swallowing what is most often food, drink, or medicine. Ingestion tends to be a popular form of delivery for CBD newbies for a multitude of reasons, particularly the convenience and simplicity of the products.

When most of us think of ingesting, we think of a taking a swig of water and downing a pill or capsule. CBD capsules are an attractive option for users who want to avoid some of the downfalls of other ingestion methods—like taste or heightened levels of sugar—but they’re far from the only method available.

However, ingesting that CBD product does mean lengthy travel time until it reaches its destination. The compound must go through your entire gastrointestinal tract, traveling through the stomach, intestines, and liver. Because this process is so involved, it can have a significant impact on the bioavailability of the CBD. In fact, it can take up to an hour for someone to feel the effects of ingested CBD.

Types of CBD that you ingest

Perhaps the most prominently used and readily available ingestible form is CBD oil. This method is incredibly versatile, and manufacturers use it in many different and unique ways. In addition to adding the oil to capsules, infusing the CBD into edibles is another fashionable approach.

Edibles are a tasty way for someone to receive CBD’s abundance of benefits, and CBD gummies are all the rage right now. These bite-sized treats can look and taste exactly like what you ate as a kid but with a little extra kick, and they are increasingly available online.

Like oil, melted CBD crystals can be added to foods, dissolved in drinks, or even swallowed whole. And CBD tea, with both pre-infused packets and those that you mix yourself, provide yet another option for fans of ingestion.

Benefits of CBD that you ingest

In many cases, you won’t find an easier way to use CBD than through ingestion. It can also be discreet if you choose to consume it in public since gummies or a cup of tea look like something you’d buy over the counter at your nearest corner store. While it takes longer to feel the effects of CBD that you’ve ingested, it can also last longer because the liver metabolizes the compound before it crosses over the blood-brain barrier. Some estimates have even pegged it at 12 to 24 hours in duration.

Background on CBD that you vape

Before we talk about what it means to vape a CBD product, along with the types and benefits, we should briefly outline what it means to vape. Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling vapor that’s produced by an E-cigarette or a CBD vape pen. These devices include a tank, which holds the e-liquid or vape juice, and an atomizer that heats the juice. Depending on your budget and how often you plan to use the device, you can buy a vape pen with rechargeable batteries or even a single-use vape.

Types of CBD that you vape

The most important thing to remember here is that you can’t vape all CBD oils. When most people use the phrase oil, what they’re really referring to are tinctures—or extractions from the plant taken sublingually (under the tongue). Contrary to what some may believe, you should not attempt to vape with a tincture. CBD oil heated in a vape pen will burn much faster than vape oil, negatively affecting the taste and your experience. Not only can this take a toll on your lungs, but because CBD oil is much thicker than vape oil, using it in a vape pen can severely clog your device. The thickness and consistency of vape oil is the biggest difference between the two.

Manufacturers produce vape oil with the help of a thinning agent that allows it to make its way through a vape pen easily. It’s this thinning agent that also creates the cloud of vapor that appears when someone exhales after puffing on a vape pen.

Benefits of CBD that you vape

The most significant benefit to vaping your CBD is how efficiently it courses through your body. Remember how the ingested CBD had to travel throughout your stomach and intestines? Because of what is known as the “first-pass effect,” oral CBD consumption can result in the liver absorbing a lot of the beneficial aspects of the product. When you vape, the goodness goes directly to your bloodstream through your lungs. Because of that efficiency, you may even be able to reach the same result as you would with other products, but at a lower dose. There have also been some studies that show vaping CBD can limit the number of cigarettes you smoke.

Explore to see what’s best for you

There are a couple things we always tell those who are just starting to use CBD. The first is to start slowly and ramp that up in small increments until you find the lowest dose that reaches the benefit you’re hoping to achieve. The other thing we always encourage is to try different products and delivery methods and see which you prefer. For some people, the fear of what vaping can do to their lungs is too much to overcome, so they prefer using CBD that they can either ingest, take under their tongue, or rub onto their skin. Then again, others appreciate and value the efficiency achieved through vaping. Whatever you decide, you really can’t go wrong.

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