The benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) as medicine is increasingly becoming more popular, as people learn of its valuable health benefits in treating a vast range of conditions from anxiety to cancer. CBD-rich cannabis strains and products are the medicine of choice especially for people who prefer not to experience the psychoactive effects of tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC).
However, for first timers, it can be overwhelming to navigate the CBD product market alone. We’ve created this guide to help you best determine what kind of CBD products are best suited for your needs.
Volume of CBD Product
While there’s no such thing as too much CBD, it’s important to know how much each product contains. Different products will have varying concentrations of CBD. When buying CBD or hemp oil products, ask about how much CBD it contains and not just hemp. CBD products are measured based on its CBD and hemp oil content.
Concentration of CBD product
Concentration is another important consideration for many people when buying CBD products. Concentration refers to how much CBD it contains compared to the overall volume of the product. There are many different concentrations available in the market, ranging from normal strength to potent CBD concentrations. The CBD concentration you buy will depend on your own personal needs or preferences.
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CBD can be consumed through many different ways to suit each patients’ needs. Some consumption methods may be more ideal for certain illnesses than others for different reasons, such as how long until it takes effect.
Strains with high CBD content are in high demand because they offer fairly quick relief from conditions such as pain, epilepsy, seizures, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and more. These are consumed the traditional way – by smoking a joint or lighting up a bowl, which is still by far the most popular consumption method of choice for cannabis. CBD rich strains can also be used in the creation of edibles, homemade topicals or infusions. Popular CBD-rich cannabis strains include Charlotte’s Web , Cannatonic, and Harlequin. Smoking cannabis takes at least 5-10 minutes for its effects to kick in.
- Wide variety of CBD-rich strains to choose from
- Good for treating a multitude of conditions
- Won’t get you stoned
- Not discreet
- Not ideal for people who have respiratory conditions
CBD oil is the most concentrated form of CBD in the market, much stronger than strains or other kinds of products. High-quality oils are made pure and potent, with usually no other flavors or sweeteners. They also come in different strengths so that patients can choose a CBD oil that’s right for their medical needs.
The lack of added flavor in most CBD oils may be undesirable for patients who dislike the neutral flavor. However, CBD oils can be consumed by mixing them in food, drink, and even dessert to mask its taste. CBD oils are consumed orally or through vaporizers. You don’t have to be sick to enjoy the health benefits of CBD oils; consuming it daily can improve general health and well-being. CBD oil is good for the skin, heart health, pain, stress, and sleep too.
- Easy to use, usually taken sublingually
- Versatile, can be added onto food and drink
- Quick absorption when taken sublingually
- High CBD content with no preservatives, flavors, or additives (if you’re buying good quality CBD oils)
- Offers the full cannabinoid profile (usually includes CBN, CBC, CBG and much more)
- Concentrated, a little will go a long way
- Some find that CBD oils have an unpleasant flavor
- Doesn’t mix with water-based liquids
There are many different CBD tinctures to choose from, each with varying strengths and flavors. Tinctures are the preferred ingestion method for many patients because of serving size precision since you can easily increase or decrease dosage with a single drop, as all tinctures are manufactured with precise droppers. CBD tinctures are administered sublingually; they act much quicker because the cannabinoids are absorbed immediately through the vessel-rich tissues located in the cavity beneath the tongue.
Another way to use tinctures are to mix them into your drink and even food. Tinctures are a versatile way to medicate with CBD. Many manufacturers also add flavor to make them more enjoyable to consume, such as vanilla, peppermint, cinnamon, and sometimes with added sweeteners. The major benefits of using tinctures are the fact that they are discreet and portable.
- Easy to use, fast acting when taken sublingually
- Comes in a multitude of flavors
- Full cannabinoid profile
- Usually contains less mg than capsules
- Includes other ingredients than just CBD oil
Vaporizing CBD works by heating it up where it converts from liquid to vapor, which is then inhaled. A good quality vape pen is a safe way of inhaling CBD since you consume vapor instead of smoke. The hemp oil that is converted into vapor is made in many different delicious and fruity flavors to choose from. Vaporizers are small, narrow, and elegant which makes it easy to be handheld and portable. Also known as vape pens, these products can be stored in your pocket and be used discreetly.
There are many different kinds of vape pens in the market. Vaporizers need to be powered; some come with rechargeable batteries while others use butane. If you opt for battery-powered vape pens, make sure that you ask the store for a warranty in case it stops working a few days after your purchase. On the other hand, there are also desktop vaporizers which are not portable, but ideal for those who prefer to vape in the comfort of their own home.
Choose vape pens that are durable. There are some that are made of glass, which may not be the best option. The price range for vaporizers go from ultra cheap to expensive, but at the end of the day you should go for one that suits your needs and won’t break easily. It’s also important to choose a safe vape pen such as those that won’t break while you’re using it; for safety reasons as well as durability glass vapes may not be the best option no matter how elegant they look.
- Easy to use especially if you’re on the go
- Helps maintain healthy CBD levels in your body throughout the day
- Different flavors to choose from
- Vaporizing devices come in many options
- Poor quality vape pens in the market are unsafe
- Butane-powered vape pens are carcinogenic
Creams, salves, balms, and other topicals made with CBD are beneficial for treating localized conditions such as arthritis in the hands, or acne on the face. CBD topicals allow for accurate medication because the cannabinoids are absorbed through the skin.
Even though CBD topicals are made with potent concentrations, they act slower compared to other forms of ingestion because skin absorption takes the longest to take effect. Many CBD topical products on the market are made with other quality ingredients, including shea butter, coconut oil, and others which may make them more expensive compared to other kinds of cannabis products.
- Can treat localized pain such as arthritis, muscle pain, and skin conditions
- Easy to use, portable, can be applied anytime, anywhere
- Ability to penetrate deep through the skin
- Slow acting in some cases
- Limited therapeutic benefits
CBD capsules work just like other kinds of capsules. They contain dissolvable material, in this case powdered hemp oil with high CBD concentrations. For many patients, CBD capsules are the easiest and most convenient kind of CBD product to consume because they don’t have taste or smell, can be taken any time of day, and are portable.
Another advantage of CBD capsules is that it makes dosage easier. Packages come with detailed information on the number of capsules and the CBD content of each. Dosage can be increased simply by taking more CBD capsules. For those who need more potent CBD medication, the capsules can be taken with other CBD products such as tinctures or oils.
- Easy to use, convenient, standardized dosages
- Effects can last up to 12 hours
- Full cannabinoid profile
- Can take 1 hour to kick in
- Dosage adjustments have to be in increments of each capsule
CBD edibles are ideal for patients who prefer to medicate by eating something tasty. Edibles are designed to taste good, making the whole experience more pleasurable than other forms of consumption. CBD edibles are usually made with oil or infusions, and come in many different forms from candies to baked goods.
- Easy and convenient
- Usually made with a fat source to help the body absorb CBD oil more effectively
- Long lasting effect, sometimes up to 6 hours
- More expensive per mg compared to most CBD products because they contain other ingredients and flavors
- Longer time to take effect
There is no standardized dosage or one-size-fits-all approach in using CBD products. Patients need to take into consideration the fact that concentrations differ depending on preparations; some come in 1mg per dose or as much as hundreds of mg per dose. Talk to your doctor or a budtender to give some recommendations for starting a dose and work your way up gradually.
Generally speaking, for mild conditions you can start with 10mg, and for severe conditions you can start with 25mg and increase as needed.
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