It's no secret that CBD oil contains many health benefits from reducing anxiety to alleviating depression and improving sleep. But taking CBD for the first time can seem overwhelming. You may be wondering which product is best for you, what the ideal amount you should be using is and how long it takes to experience the desired effect.
Here are a few things that you should know to get started, so you can ensure you get the best experience possible from your CBD products.
What are the most popular ways to take CBD?
CBD is offered in a variety of forms that also have varying concentrations. Each differs in the amount of time it takes to feel the desired effect and how long it will last.
This is the quickest way to get CBD into your bloodstream which means the effects are felt immediately. Depending on what's legally available where you live, hemp and CBD flower are commonly smoked.
You can consume CBD as tablets or capsules, in gummies, mints or candies. These are absorbed by the digestive system and start getting absorbed 30 minutes to 2 hours after you’ve swallowed them.
- Oils and tinctures
Oils tend to be more concentrated with CBD and may be added to food and drinks, or taken directly.
Tinctures are alcohol-based solutions made by soaking the cannabis flower in alcohol. They can be flavoured with other herbs
Both can be used as a sublingual, that is a substance you place under your tongue and allow it to be absorbed. This helps you feel the results quicker.
- Topical creams
CBD creams, ointments, and lotions can be applied directly to the skin. They can be used for treating muscle pain and inflammation as well as relieving symptoms of certain skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. CBD content is usually high in concentration in topical creams since the skin's absorption rate is low.
Vapes offer a fast-acting, smokeless and convenient way to consume CBD. However, you should take caution when using them. Due to no regulations in manufacturing, some vaping companies have been found to add harmful substances to their vapes, such as vitamin E acetate, making them risky to use.
What will impact your CBD dosage?
- Body Weight
CBD encounters other bodily tissues before it reaches the endocannabinoid system. Therefore the process, speed and effectiveness with which it travels around the body varies with weight. The more someone weighs, the more they may have to take in order to see and feel results.
As we age, our metabolic rate changes. This can affect the way our bodies metabolise CBD. A 60-year-old may not have the same experience as a 20-year-old with the same dose.
Older people also tend to become more sensitive to the side effects of medication, so it's important to take note of these factors at different ages.
Due to differences in hormones and physiology, effects can be varied in males and females. It is thought that females have more intense experiences than males and hence males may have to dose higher to reach desired effects.
- Symptoms you are treating
Some conditions may require a higher dose than others. For example, if a person is using it to control epilepsy they would need a higher dose than someone using it for anxiety.
- The concentration of CBD and the form in which you take it
Products can be full spectrum, which contains small amounts of other cannabinoids, like THC, as well as flavonoids and terpenes. These have the added benefit of flavour and scent.
Or they can be isolated, which means that they have gone through further refining, so they only contain CBD.
What dosage of CBD should you take?
Dosages are usually expressed in milligrams but it’s important to note that there is no one dose that fits all. Everyone responds to it differently so it's about finding the right amount that suits you and your needs.
The best recommendation is to dose low and slow. Whether you’ve taken CBD before, it's your first time using it or you’re thinking of changing from one method to another, you should listen to your body so you can adjust your amounts as needed.
Taking too much at one time or re-dosing can pose a risk to your health and have negative side effects. These can include dry mouth, nausea, diarrhoea, upset stomach, drowsiness, lightheadedness and general disorientation.
The aim is to find the minimum effective dosage that gives you a satisfying result. This can take trial and error.
For example, if you're smoking or vaping, you should take a few puffs and see how you feel. Since these have immediate effects, you'll be able to tell straight away how much is good for you.
When it comes to oils, edibles and other quantifiable methods, it's advisable to start with a dose of 5 milligrams. You can then adjust by 5 more milligrams every couple of days if you feel this is not enough until you reach the optimal dosage.
To better understand how your body reacts to your first dose of CBD, you can take some general notes including:
- The amount you took and how you took it
- When you started feeling the effects
- How strong the effects were
- How long the effects lasted
This information can help you decide how much CBD to take next time, as well as when to take it.
It is also important to chat with your medical practitioner if you’re taking any prescription medication as CBD may interact with them as well as have an effect on the result of your usage.
How long does it take for CBD to work?
Since CBD can affect everyone differently, its effects last from 2 to 6 hours, depending on how much you use, how you use it and your tolerance.
For example, if taking CBD for therapeutic reasons such as better sleep, you may only see the results after taking it over a period of time. Some people may find that they have a higher tolerance so would need to take larger doses to feel any beneficial effects.
In general, it takes:
Edibles and capsules: up to 2 hours
Oils and Tinctures: 15 to 45 minutes
Creams, lotions, ointments: 45 to 60 minutes
Smoking and Vape products: 15 to 30 minutes
When it comes to trying any CBD product for the first time, it's best to dose low and slow. That way you can try what works best for you and your needs. You can try using a dosage calculator to give you an idea of where to start and then always adjust the dosage as you become more experienced.