There are tons of ways to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of CBD, but not all of them are created equal.
With all the different options out there, it can be difficult to decide what CBD intake method is best for your unique needs. The best way for you to take CBD may be very different than the best way for someone else. This handy guide will go through several of the most common CBD delivery methods, as well as some you may never have heard of before, and detail the pros and cons of each one to help you make an informed decision next time you’re purchasing a CBD product.
By far, one of the most common methods used to consume CBD is edibles. Basically, an edible is food meant to be eaten that’s been infused with decarboxylated hemp flower or CBD extract. Often you’ll find things like CBD gummies, CBD lollipops, CBD candies, or other sugary confectionery that can easily and discreetly be taken almost anywhere. There are also more traditional types of foods that have been infused, like baked goods, and there’s even CBD honey.
The biggest benefit to using an edible is just how easy they are to use. No instructions, no mess, no other accouterments necessary – simply eat your candy, and you’re good to go.
The downside is that CBD has a low bioavailability, especially when consumed orally.
You’ll read the word bioavailability a lot during this article. Essentially, bioavailability refers to the amount of a certain compound that ends up being processed by our bodies. When an intake method has low bioavailability, it means that much of the CBD doesn’t end up in our bloodstream and goes to waste.
When we consume CBD in an edible form, much of the cannabinoid is filtered out by our labyrinthian digestive system before we ever feel its effects. In practical terms, that means that if you eat a 10 mg gummy, you’re actually getting considerably less than 10 mg of usable CBD.
CBD can also be infused into beverages in the same way it can be into foods. You can find CBD seltzer water, CBD soda, hemp water, hemp tea bags, and even CBD infused alcohol.
Like with edibles, convenience is a huge part of the appeal of CBD drinks. There’s also the novelty factor of enjoying a refreshing take on a beloved beverage while enjoying the benefits of cannabidiol.
The main problem again here, however, is going to be bioavailability. Any orally consumed form of CBD will have to traverse our digestive systems, making for inefficient delivery of the cannabinoids.
CBD Oils, CBD Tinctures, CBD Syrups – Oh My!
Concentrated forms of CBD can come in many different forms and go by several different names. You may find CBD oil under a name like MCT oil tincture, CBD oil, or CBD distillate, depending on things like extraction process and cannabinoid profile.
CBD syrups are sweet thick mixtures designed to simulate things like cough syrup. These work on the body more like edibles or CBD drinks since they are consumed orally and have to navigate our digestive systems.
CBD oils and tinctures can be slightly more difficult to use than edibles since they are designed to be used sublingually. This process involves letting the oil rest under the tongue for around 30 seconds so the cannabinoids can be absorbed directly into the veins. Sublingual methods don’t have the highest bioavailability rates, but they are more efficient than oral consumption.
Make sure to distinguish between hemp oil and hemp seed oil since hemp seed oils don’t actually contain any CBD.
Topical CBD methods include any form of CBD that’s applied directly to the skin. This includes things like CBD balms, CBD lotions, and CBD Bath salts.
Topical methods have by far the worst bioavailability of any CBD delivery method; however, they can be good options for those who want to apply CBD directly to specific areas of their body.
Smokable Hemp Flower
One of the oldest methods of consuming cannabis known to humans is smoking. Smokable hemp flower can come in the form of hemp pre-rolls and whole flower. CBD pre-rolls are convenient because they can be used right away and only require a lighter, while whole CBD flower offers the smoker more options to consume it, including rolling your own hemp joint.
One of the key benefits of hemp flower is that inhalation methods offer better bioavailability than any other form of CBD. However, smoking any plant matter can be potentially hazardous to the lungs.
Vaporizers are a newer form of cannabis inhalation. You can find CBD cartridges, CBD vape oil, CBD concentrates that can be used on a dab rig like wax or shatter.
Vaporizing CBD offers the same high rates of bioavailability as smoking CBD, however, you lose out on all the benefits of natural hemp flower. There is also concern around the effects cutting agents used in vape oils such as PG (propylene glycol) or VG (vegetable glycerin) can have on the lungs.
We think that the best way to ingest CBD is with our Elon. This innovative CBD delivery device utilizes concentric heating technology to gently heat CBD flower without combusting it, allowing users to get the maximum bioavailability without worrying about smoke damage on the lungs or harmful additives found in vape cartridges.
Elon works with disposable eco-friendly cartridges called Stems, which are filled with sun-grown artisan hemp flower. Simply plug a Stem into the Elon, and you’re ready to go! The buttonless format makes Elon incredibly easy to use and allows for a perfectly delicious hit every time.Order an Elon Starter Kit to try both of our proprietary blends of hemp flower, Stem Uplift, and Stem Relax.