CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is a natural compound found in Cannabis plants such as industrial hemp and marijuana. Cannabis plants have over 100 different kinds of special compounds called cannabinoids, and cannabidiol is one of the most plentiful.
Unlike another cannabinoid, THC, cannabidiol does not cause the “high” that is often associated with marijuana and cannabis. CBD is actually known best for its ability to promote wellbeing, and as far as experts can tell, it’s 100% non-habit-forming and completely safe to use. If you’re interested in adding CBD hemp oil to your routine, here’s the 411.
What is CBD Hemp Oil Good For?
Because cannabidiol interacts with the human endocannabinoid system, modern medicine isn’t sure of all of the potential benefits of using CBD oil quite yet. However, cannabidiol is the subject of many ongoing studies that seek to find out more about this very topic. Anecdotal accounts of CBD oil use, however, report that this compound can be good for supporting both mind and body. CBD oil is speculated to helpful for the following and more:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Broken Bones
- Mad Cow Disease
- Bacterial Infections
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Substance Abuse/Withdrawal
- Heart Disease
Put It Under Your Tongue
If you want to begin using CBD hemp oil, one of the most popular methods is sublingual application, or putting it under your tongue. You’ll want to keep it there for 60-90 seconds before swallowing.
How does this work? The area under your tongue is full of tiny blood vessels called capillaries that are very close to the surface. When you put a dropperful of CBD oil in direct contact with the membranes that contain those capillaries for an extended period of time, the CBD starts to get absorbed directly into your bloodstream. This bypasses the usual path of digestion, where compounds must wait until they hit the small intestine to get absorbed, and by so doing, enables the user to experience the effects faster.
Pure CBD oil, as well as tinctures and concentrates, is best for using sublingually. The higher quality, the better!
Many people prefer to take their CBD by eating or drinking it. Because you have to wait for the cannabidiol to reach your small intestine to get absorbed and then metabolized by the liver, it takes longer to feel the effects post-ingestion. The effects are also unlikely to be as strong as if you took the CBD sublingually or via inhalation. However, they are likely to last longer.
There are many ways to get your CBD fix via ingestion. You can take it in pill form, dissolve a dropperful of CBD oil into your beverage, buy CBD-infused gummies, or make your own edibles. CBD oil needs to be infused into a fat, oil, or spirit for best results in cooking. Avoid heating it past 350°F, as this may diminish the cannabidiol’s beneficial effects.
Some people prefer to take their CBD hemp oil via inhalation, or vaporizing. Vaporizing is different from smoking. Vaporizers heat the CBD oil just enough to release its active compounds, without causing it to smoke and creating the harmful compounds that are released during combustion. When you inhale vaporized CBD, the cannabidiol is able to directly enter your bloodstream via your lungs. This direct method enables almost instant effects.
CBD e-liquid is generally best if you want to inhale your CBD oil. Vaporizers range in size from tabletop plug-in units to small battery-powered pens.
Use it Topically
In some cases, you may want to apply CBD oil directly to your skin. In a similar way to how your skin absorbs lotion when applied, your skin can also absorb CBD. The CBD won’t reach your bloodstream this way, but it will reach local cells. This makes topical CBD oil products ideal for localized pain relief or treating skin conditions.
CBD oil can be directly rubbed onto your skin, or you can get a CBD-infused lotion or salve. Some companies also sell CBD-infused body wash, shampoo, and conditioner. It is not known how effective these products actually are.
If you have decided to give CBD hemp oil a try, ask yourself: where do you want it to go? If your target is close to your skin or to a mucous membrane, then you’re likely to have the best success going with topical application. If you want long-term effects or relief from gut complaints like IBS, then you may find that ingesting it is more effective. If you want fast, widespread effects, or effects for harder-to-reach areas like your brain, then it will be best to take your CBD oil sublingually or via inhalation.
As a final note, CBD oil can have a few minor side effects: dry mouth, appetite changes, diarrhea, drops in blood pressure, lightheadedness, fatigue. In very rare cases, liver damage is possible. Scientists have yet to determine an effective ideal dose for CBD oil, so start on the safe side by starting with a low dose and then gradually increasing it if needed.