Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that are derived from the cannabis plant, the two most popular of which are, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the cannabinoid that is known for its psychoactive properties, meaning it is the part of cannabis that induces a “high.” Conversely, CBD does not have any psychoactive effects. It does, however, possess a wide range of health benefits. In fact, CBD has been known to reduce inflammation/physical pain, mitigate the likelihood of seizures, and is even used to combat anxiety. However, figuring out how best to consume CBD can be a daunting task, especially considering the ever-increasing amount of consumption methods.
To better understand CBD consumption methods, one must first understand the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is biological networks of cannabinoid receptors that help the body maintain homeostasis (biological harmony in the face of environmental changes). Simply put, the endocannabinoid system makes sure that the body’s processes are operating smoothly by regulating temperature, mood, appetite, etc. The endocannabinoid system is activated by what are known as cannabinoids, which the body naturally produces. Cannabinoids from the cannabis plant (such as THC and/or CBD) mimic these natural cannabinoids, which in turn can be used to combat a variety of health issues. CBD derived from cannabis is a particularly effective cannabinoid and can be ingested in a number of ways.
So what are some of the best methods for absorbing CBD to receive its health benefits? Some of the most popular consumption methods include oral ingestion, inhalation, and topical application, all of which have their own set of pros and cons. Perhaps the most common method is oral ingestion by way of CBD oil or food cooked with CBD oil, as it is incredibly quick and convenient to consume. However, this process takes somewhat longer for the body to absorb the CBD due to the digestive process, which is lengthy and not particularly effective in absorbing high concentrations of CBD. Administering CBD oil under the tongue is a more potent method of oral ingestion, as it bypasses the digestive system and therefore reaches the bloodstream much more quickly. In addition to CBD oil, inhaling CBD through vaporizers is an incredibly common method of consumption. Like dissolving CBD oil under the tongue, inhalation is also one of the quickest ways of absorbing CBD into the body. Vapor passes through the lungs directly into the bloodstream, and therefore the effects of CBD are felt immediately and more potently than other methods. Thus, CBD vaporizers are a great option for anyone seeking immediate relief. However, it is worth noting that CBD vape cartridges sometimes contain toxic chemicals, so it is important that one be mindful of other potential ingredients in vape products.
Lastly, CBD can be absorbed topically by using CBD creams and/or ointments. CBD ointments are a great option for targeting a specific area that needs relief, although they are not particularly potent. That is, the skin absorbs CBD so that it interacts with nearby receptors, however, it will not be absorbed into the bloodstream. Thus, each method is best suited for different uses and being knowledgeable about vaping, CBD oil, and CBD ointments can help one maximize the benefits of CBD.