Health & Wellness

How to Use CBD Oil

By Melena Gurganus
Christin Hume

CBD oil sold in the United States is predominantly extracted from hemp, which is a sub-strain of cannabis sativa. As a cannabinoid, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in our bodies to produce a wide range of potential health benefits, like pain relief or anxiety reduction. CBD oil is commonly sold in small bottles with droppers, and you can administer it in a variety of ways to find your preferred option.

Sublingual Application

If you want fast-acting results from CBD, applying sublingual drops is likely your best option. For this method, you’ll use a dropper to place CBD oil underneath the tongue, and hold the oil in place for 30 to 60 seconds. You can then swallow any remaining CBD oil, which will later be absorbed during the digestive process. During this sublingual application, it’s necessary to let the CBD oil sit beneath your tongue as recommended, since this allows for beneficial cannabis extracts to enter your bloodstream quickly. Simply swallowing the product as soon as it touches your tongue will delay the effects of CBD, but still elicit possible health advantages.

Ingesting CBD Oil

The flavor of CBD has quite an earthy taste that can deter some people from dropping it directly underneath their tongue. However, there are other ways to use CBD oil for those that find sublingual application to be a bit daunting.

For starters, you can add CBD oil to dessert or food recipes as a way to ingest CBD, while masking its natural flavor with other ingredients. CBD oils work well when mixed into sauces, such as gravy or pasta sauce, since the consistency is similar to that of oil. Butter or coconut oil are also great for infusing CBD into a dish, but you should avoid direct contact between CBD oil and high temperatures. If the oil becomes too hot, it can reduce its effectiveness as other plant extracts, like terpenes and cannabinoids, may be removed at high temperatures above 320 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

If incorporating CBD into a recipe seems like too much of a hassle, there’s always the option of adding CBD oil into coffee or tea. These beverages will conceal the taste of CBD oil, and help it dissolve evenly throughout the drink (especially when it’s hot).

When you combine CBD oils with your food or drinks, the effects may seem less noticeable than more direct application styles. Although, this is likely due to the fact that there is a more steady release of CBD when it goes through the digestive tract. The digestive system must first break down both the food and the oil in order for cannabis extracts to be absorbed into the bloodstream, where they can spread to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. Ingesting CBD oil may mean that the benefits will take longer to set in, but they also tend to last longer.

Using CBD Oil Topically

There are CBD-infused lotions and balms that are designed for use on the skin, but CBD oils can be applied topically as well. CBD has been shown to help skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, as well as chronic pain in localized areas. However, we do recommend exercising caution when using CBD oil directly on the skin, as some people may be more sensitive to highly concentrated plant extracts.  

[ Learn about other CBD products ]

How much CBD oil should you use

Since CBD oil is not prescribed by physicians nor approved by the FDA, there is no definitive dosing strategy. More studies and research are needed before exact doses can be pinpointed, so it’s up to CBD consumers to determine what works for them. This will be different for every person, and your perfect dose of CBD will depend upon your body weight, metabolism, and the health issues you are targeting. Generally, some people suggest that one to six milligrams per every ten pounds is a good starting place, but you may need to go through a few stages of trial and error to find the right amount of CBD to produce your desired effect.

If you feel nauseous or overly drowsy, this may be a sign that you’ve taken too much CBD oil. It’s rare for people to experience these adverse side effects, but reducing your dose could help you avoid negative reactions in the future.  

[ Read more about CBD oil dosing tips ]

Precautions to take before using CBD oil

While there are several different ways to administer CBD oil. Some people confuse CBD oil with vape juice or e-liquids. CBD oil is not intended for use in vape pens. It should not be inhaled through the lungs. CBD vape oils that are specifically designed for vaping or inhalation are the only CBD-infused products that should be used in a vaporizer.

Cannabis plant extracts, including CBD, have not been evaluated by the FDA and it’s best to thoroughly research a brand before purchasing their CBD products. If you currently take medication for any condition, you should talk to your doctor before introducing CBD oil as a health supplement.  

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