Taking CBD - Oils, and Gummies, & Vape, Oh My!

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Too many options make a decision nearly impossible. Right? Without a degree in pharmacology or a doctorate, understanding what is in CBD oils, gummies, or vapes is challenging to say the least. Isolate or full spectrum, terpenes or original, and then there are the endless choices of dosage - as little as 25 milligrams per 30 milliliters up to a whopping 5000 milligrams.

That’s more than 160 milligrams per dropper!

Deciding on what type of CBD products you like, let alone what is actually effective, can be challenging with so many options on the market today. CBD oil tinctures have exploded closely followed by gummies and other consumption methods. Many prefer a faster uptake such as inhalation as ingestion requires up to two hours for full effect in some cases.

There are a variety of options when it comes to CBD; oils, gummies, topicals, vapes, and capsules or pills. Depending on what you want to achieve, there could be one method that is most beneficial for you.

  1. CBD Oil Tinctures: Oral ingestion of CBD oil. CBD oil tinctures come in dropper bottles, typically 30 milliliters or one ounce. Normal consumption involves placing the tincture under your tongue (sublingual).
  2. CBD Gummies: Gelatin gummy snacks infused with CBD coming in a variety of flavors. Most are available in specific amounts for your convenience.
  3. CBD Topicals: Oils, creams, balms and lotions containing CBD isolate, broad spectrum, or full spectrum varieties. Options are available as low as 25 milligrams per serving.
  4. CBD Vape: Smoking alternatives have grown in popularity and now include CBD vapes. Vaping CBD is one of the most efficient and effective ways of using CBD as it is directly inhaled and absorbed by the lungs.
  5. CBD Capsules and Pills: CBD oil users who experience digestions issues or seizures may prefer to take capsules or pills as an alternative. Some have even suggested that CBD capsules or pills could provide more consistent serving measurements.

Make sure to understand the product you are considering, and especially the Certificate of Analysis, a document stating the volume of CBD contained in each bottle. Do yourself this favor as a search of discount retail outlets such as Groupon will show many inaccurately labeled CBD oil tinctures.

When evaluating effectiveness, a variety of consumption methods must be considered.  

Depending on your specific concerns, taking CBD oil tinctures may be the most effective method, although not the fastest by any means. Some studies suggest that there is a ramp-up period along with physiological benefits helping maintain health, promote brain function, and include anti-inflammatory & anti-oxidative qualities1.

Many products on the market are effective, containing close to the amount of CBD isolate, broad spectrum, or full spectrum on the label. Becoming familiar with exactly what is in your CBD of choice will help you prepare for any adverse side effects, and as always, it is highly suggested you check with your healthcare professional prior to starting any CBD product.

Research is continuing every day, but the limited history and relatively negative stigma around the cannabis plant have restricted progress. As new developments are published regularly in journals as well as online, the term caveat emptor always applies. According to Swiss scientist Natacia Bruni and her colleagues, there is a high risk of products not living up to their identity. Their report Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment states:

“While medicinal cannabis has already entered mainstream medicine in many countries, particular care should be taken in a period in which the on-line availability of a variety of CBD-based products for therapeutic purposes, such as oils, tinctures and vapors, has rapidly expanded and, along with it, an increase in potential health risks for patients/consumers may be expected.”2

As you become more familiar with the benefits of CBD, what works for you, and what you prefer, you may find others asking for your input. With such a wide range of ailments and general health benefits, CBD is projected to grow steadily over the next few years. If you’ve done your homework, you should have nothing to worry about when making healthy choices for your body.

No matter what choice you make, please don’t hesitate to ask for help as there are many knowledgable professionals in the industry. Doctors and researchers alike are still in the early phases of understanding exactly what taking CBD does to affect overall health or specific health concerns.


Source: 1. Iffland, Kerstin, and Franjo Grotenhermen. “An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies.” Cannabis and cannabinoid research vol. 2,1 139-154. 1 Jun. 2017, doi:10.1089/can.2016.0034
2. Bruni, Natascia et al. “Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 23,10 2478. 27 Sep. 2018, doi:10.3390/molecules23102478