We take a look at what CBD therapy is best for you, and why.
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, has really taken off in the past few years. More and more CBD companies are springing up by the day, and a mind-boggling array of products is now available.
This is great for consumers for two reasons. Firstly, more competition means that companies will be forced to review their pricing to remain attractive to customers in an ever-growing industry. Secondly, more variety means more choice, which is definitely a bonus in most situations!
However, you can have too much choice. For many people, especially those buying CBD for the first time, the sheer quantity of available products can be overwhelming. Even once you’ve found a reputable brand, there are usually multiple strengths and forms to consider.
So, how do you know what CBD oil therapy is best for you? In this article, we attempt to answer this question as best we can, and help to make your CBD decisions that little bit easier.
Choosing the Best CBD Oil Therapy for You
There are many different things to consider when buying CBD, whether you are trying it for the first time or have been using CBD for a while. You might assume that all CBD brands are created equal, but sadly this is not the case.
Despite the growing popularity of CBD, the industry is still unregulated, and that means that companies can get away with some extremely low standards. Whether it be publishing misleading information on their websites or using potentially dangerous extraction techniques, subpar companies can get away with a lot.
So, how do you know that you are choosing a product which is not only safe but also provides all of the benefits it claims? Here are some of the key things to look out for when buying CBD:
How Was the CBD Extracted?
There are many different ways of extracting CBD, including carbon dioxide (CO2), olive oil, dry ice, and solvents. CO2 extraction is currently considered the gold standard as it is safe, effective, and delivers a pure end product which is free from contaminants.
Does the CBD Come from Cannabis or Hemp?
CBD can be extracted from cannabis or industrial hemp. Although industrial hemp is a variety of cannabis, it is unique in that it only produces trace amounts of THC. THC is the compound responsible for weed’s psychoactive effects and is present in marijuana used for medicinal or recreational use.
If your CBD comes from cannabis, it could contain higher levels of THC than oil extracted from hemp. Although it still may not be enough to get you high, it could cause a problem if marijuana is not legal where you live. Even if you do live in a legalized state, you could get in trouble for carrying CBD extracted from cannabis across state lines.
CBD from industrial hemp, on the other hand, should contain less than 0.3% THC. It is therefore legal in all 50 states, and you can carry it with you wherever you go.
Is it Full-Spectrum CBD or an Isolate?
Another important decision when it comes to buying CBD is whether to choose full-spectrum oil or CBD isolates. The difference is that while CBD isolate contains CBD and CBD alone, full-spectrum products contain a whole range of other compounds produced by the cannabis or hemp plant. This includes other cannabinoids (including trace amounts of THC) along with other beneficial ingredients such as terpenes and flavonoids.
It is widely believed that full-spectrum products are more effective due to a phenomenon known as the ‘entourage effect,’ meaning that cannabis compounds work synergistically when taken together to provide more significant benefits than any one compound taken alone.
However, if you have a job where you are subject to routine drug tests, for example, you may not want to risk having even trace amounts of THC in your system. In this case, a CBD isolate may be more suitable for you.
Has the CBD Undergone Third-Party Lab Testing?
Third-party lab testing is a crucial way of identifying whether your CBD oil really contains as much cannabidiol (and other cannabinoids) as it says it does, as well as ensuring it is free from harmful contaminants.
Any reputable company should publish third-party lab reports on their website or at least make them available upon request. This demonstrates confidence in their products and should act as some reassurance regarding the overall quality of the brand.
Related article: The 25 Best CBD Brands for 2020
The Best Form of CBD Therapy for You
So, once you’ve found a brand that you are happy with, how do you proceed? There is a vast array of different CBD products on the market, and it can be challenging to know where to begin.
Here are the most popular ways of taking CBD oil along with their advantages and disadvantages:
Oils and tinctures are the traditional way to take CBD. A few drops are usually placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve for around 90 seconds before swallowing.
The main advantage of this is that CBD is absorbed directly into your bloodstream through your gums. This means that it can bypass the digestive system and has a better bioavailability that edibles or capsules. You can also adapt your dosage more easily than with some other CBD products.
The major downside of CBD oil is the taste. Many people dislike the natural flavor of CBD, although companies have combatted this issue by providing products with other flavors such as mint or citrus. It can also be difficult to get an accurate dose when using droppers or sprays.
CBD capsules are exactly what they say they are; CBD oil in a capsule form. The real advantage of CBD capsules is that they are convenient and easy to take. You can carry them anywhere and get a fixed dose every time.
The disadvantage of CBD capsules is that they need to pass through your digestive tract before they can enter your bloodstream. This reduces bioavailability, meaning that you do not benefit from the full dose of CBD and it will be slower to take effect.
CBD edibles come in many different forms; gummies, chocolates, brownies, the list goes on. You can buy ready-made edibles to get a guaranteed dosage, or you could even try your hand at making your own.
While edibles offer a convenient and tasty way to benefit from CBD, like capsules, they need to be digested first. Another potential downside of CBD edibles is that they can contain a lot of sugar which is not necessarily what you want when you are trying to improve your health!
CBD topicals include creams, ointments, and muscle rubs, and they are a great way to get cannabidiol to a particular area, fast. Commonly used for issues such as pain or skin conditions, CBD topicals offer targeted relief without losing potency due to digestion.
The disadvantage of CBD topicals is that they will only be effective in the areas where you apply them, so you will not receive any systemic benefits.
CBD Vape Oils
CBD can also be vaped, and this is one of the most effective methods of consumption in terms of increasing bioavailability.
However, the idea of vaping is off-putting for many people, and the long-term effects of vape oils on your lung health are still unclear.
To summarize, here are the major pros and cons of each form of CBD oil therapy:
|Form of CBD Oil Therapy||Pros||Cons|
|CBD Oil||Absorbed directly into the bloodstream to improve bioavailability|
Easy to adapt dosage
May be difficult to dose accurately
|CBD Capsules||Convenient to take|
|Poor bioavailability due to digestion|
|CBD Edibles||Tasty and convenient|
Pre-made edibles offer accurate dosing
May be high in sugar
|CBD Topicals||Offer targeted relief for skin conditions and pain||No systemic benefits|
|CBD Vape Oil||Good bioavailability as absorbed directly through the lungs||Long-term effects of vaping are still unknown|
In addition to these popular forms, there is a wide range of other CBD products available. These include CBD infused beverages, CBD massage oil, CBD suppositories, and even CBD pet treats, to name just a few.
Related article: The Best Forms of CBD Products
Choosing the Right CBD Dosage for You
Once you have selected a high-quality CBD brand and decided which form is best for you, the final hurdle is dosage. Unfortunately, the issue is not clear-cut as CBD dosage is a very individual matter. How much cannabidiol you need will depend on several factors including medical conditions, the severity of your symptoms, and your body weight.
The best way to determine the right CBD dosage for you is to start with the minimum and gradually increase your dose until you find one which is effective. Start with just one drop of oil on the first day and see how your body reacts.
If you experience some relief and do not experience any adverse effects, continue at that dose for as long as it is effective. If you do not experience either relief or side effects, increase the dose to two drops on the next day and maintain that dose for a few weeks. If you still see no changes, increase to three drops, and so on.
By increasing your CBD dosage gradually in this way, you not only reduce your risk of developing side effects but also avoid wasting money by taking more than you need every day.
What CBD Oil Therapy is Best for You? Final Thoughts
Choosing the right CBD for you can be confusing, but it is definitely worthwhile. If you do not put sufficient thought into buying CBD, you could end up with a product which is ineffective, or worse still, causes more harm than good.
We hope that this article has succeeded in making your CBD shopping experience more straightforward. However, if you are using CBD to treat a specific medical condition, we recommend that you talk to your physician first. They will be able to confirm whether CBD is a suitable treatment for you and what dosage you should be taking.