Wondering how to take CBD oil?
In this quick guide, we’ll explain the four main ways to take CBD oil and what the best dosage is depending on your needs.
Why trust us? Most of the information out there on CBD is written for scientific journals, by companies trying to sell you something, or by trendy sites only interested in this week’s buzzword. Our goal is to provide the most accurate information about CBD and do all the high quality research so you don’t have to. Read more here.
(Not sure what CBD oil is? Read: What is CBD Oil?)
Now let’s dive in!
How to Take CBD Oil: 4 Methods
When it comes to consuming CBD oil, there are four main methods:
- Inhaling it by smoking or vaping it.
- Applying it to your skin topically.
- Taking it under the tongue (sublingual).
- Ingesting it using edibles.
We’ll break down each of these for you!
1. Inhalation (Smoking/Vaping)
Inhaling CBD oil is one of the fastest ways to feel its effects since it goes straight into your lungs and bloodstream. There are two ways to inhale CBD: smoking and vaping. We’ll discuss each.
Smoking CBD Oil
You can smoke cannabidiol concentrate using an “oil rig” (see below), which is similar to a water pipe. It works by heating the “nail” (the chamber where you place the CBD oil concentrate), then putting the oil into the nail with a dabber (a small metal tool used to transfer the oil concentrate from its container to the oil rig). This produces smoke, which you inhale.
Alternatively, you can smoke it by rolling a joint out of high CBD marijuana. However, this method means you’ll also be consuming some THC, which would have a psychoactive effect. Click here to learn the differences between THC vs CBD.
Pros of Smoking CBD Oil
- The highest concentration of CBD oil and the fastest way to consume it.
- Easily manage how much you consume.
Cons of Smoking CBD Oil
- Smoking can be harsh on the throat and lungs.
- High concentration can be more than some people want.
- Requires additional tools (like an oil rig, dabber, and/or joint paper).
Vaping CBD Oil
You can vape CBD oil with a vaporizer pen. If you’re new to vaping, a vape starter kit (image below) can be a great way to start out.
Vaping is a great alternative to smoking if you still want the maximum possible effect, but without the harsh feel of smoke (like medical marijuana) in your throat and lungs.
Pros of Vaping
- High concentration means maximum possible effects.
- No harsh smoke to aggravate your throat and lungs.
- Easily control your dosage amounts.
Cons of Vaping
- The high concentration may be more than you want to feel.
- Requires extra purchases (CBD vape pen and accessories).
2. Topical Application/Balms
The next way to use CBD oil is through topical application — meaning, you place it on your skin in the form of a balm, lotion, or ointment.
This method is probably the easiest as it doesn’t require any special tools or knowledge to use. Simply figure out the dosage you want (we’ll help you with that in the next section), then apply that amount of balm to your skin.
This method is best for sore muscles, migraines, and skin conditions like acne. You can apply the balm directly to any sore areas, such as a sore neck, back, or feet. You can also apply it to your temples to help relieve migraines!
Here’s a neat video explaining 10 ways to apply CBD topicals:
Pros of Topical Application
- Easy to use.
- No extra tools or accessories required.
- Great for sore muscles and chronic pain.
- Has the mildest effects of all the consumption methods.
Cons of Topical Application
- Has the mildest effects of all the consumption methods (you might require more CBD).
- While the effects happen quickly, they don’t last as long in comparison to other methods.
3. Sublingual (Under the Tongue)
You can purchase CBD oil tinctures — little bottles that look like eye drops (see below) — to take your cannabidiol sublingually (under your tongue).
Simply apply a few drops under your tongue from the dropper, hold it in your mouth for ~30 seconds, then swallow! This method is discreet, effective, and gives you feelings of calm and well-being. It’s believed that pure hemp oil concentrates are a good way to add a large number of cannabinoids to your daily routine — more the merrier.
Pros of Sublingual Consumption
- Easy to use and requires no extra tools or accessories.
- Discreet — you can use them in public easily without drawing attention.
- It’s easy to control how much you use.
- Long-lasting effects when taken this way.
Cons of Sublingual Consumption
- Results may vary from person to person.
- Oil takes longer to have an effect than the previous two methods.
- Some CBD tinctures contain alcohol — if you’re trying to avoid this, look for oils made with vegetable glycerin.
Last but not least we have edibles! Adding CBD oil to your food is a fun and easy way to take your CBD. Unlike THC edibles, which are known to be too potent for some, CBD edibles (such as CBD gummy bears or lollipops) won’t cause any kind of psychoactive effects. It’s commonplace to get CBD edibles in full-spectrum form, however you can also get CBD isolate in your gummies.
Aside from purchasing pre-made CBD-infused foods, you can also make your own CBD edibles, such as CBD-infused butter or pasta. Just be aware of how much oil you put in your food.
Note: Be careful about how much you eat! Effects from edibles can take 2-4 hours to kick in, so people often eat too much. It’s always better to wait a few hours and see how you feel before eating any more.
Pros of Edibles
- Longest-lasting results of all CBD consumption methods.
- Practically endless options of how to create (and eat) CBD edibles.
- Also very discreet — you’re just eating something!
Cons of Edibles
- Can take up to 4 hours for effects to kick in.
- Getting the right dose can be tricky and takes some experimentation.
How Much CBD Oil Should You Take? – Dosage Information
CBD oil dosages are hard to calculate, especially when it’s your first time. The reason being, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t established formal nutritional guidelines or health benefits for CBD products.
There is no Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for CBD oil yet. While many companies have serving suggestions on their products, these were created by the company, not by official research or standard guidelines.
So how much CBD oil should you take?
The answer depends on why you’re taking it, your weight, and the strength of your CBD oil. Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different, so dosage will vary. That’s to say, that some will find relief with 5mg twice a day, while others are closer to 100mg four times a day and higher!
Note: We’re not doctors and can’t give you any legal or medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your supplement intake.
Depending on if you’re taking CBD oil for pain, anxiety, seizures, cancer, or another reason, you’ll want more or less CBD.
While it’s difficult to give you exact CBD dosage and serving size recommendations because the effects vary from person to person, we recommend using this dosage calculator to help you find your ideal dosage amounts. (1)
Once you’ve got your RDI, start with the minimum recommended dose from the CBD calculator. If you feel that isn’t enough for you, slowly up the dose of mg of CBD until you feel comfortable with the results.
“Start low and go slow” is the motto you should follow!
Warning: It IS possible to take too much CBD oil. While you cannot fatally overdose on CBD and there are very few negative side effects, too much has been shown to cause drowsiness, lethargy, upset stomach, temporary drop in blood pressure, nausea and diarrhea. The exact amounts that lead to these side effects of CBD are unknown, which is why you should start with small amounts and slowly increase the dose over time until you experience your desired result. (2)
Now you know how to take CBD oil! It can be inhaled, topically applied, taken under the tongue, or consumed as edibles.
What’s your favorite delivery method and amount of CBD? Let us know in the comments below!
Next, check out the history of CBD to learn more about this miracle compound!