You’ve probably landed here after hearing from a friend or colleague about Cannabidiol aka CBD for short. The public interest in the cannabis compound has skyrocketed in 2022, and it is only becoming more mainstream as time goes on.
It’s getting to the point that casually chatting to your grandfather, can lead to an introduction to hemp tea… Yep, that contains CBD! Even talking with your barber, discussions about the wellness booster shots available at the spa in town lead to talk of CBD cannabis oil. The list goes on, and it feels like people from all walks of life are using an assortment of CBD products.
But hold on a minute, if there are so many different brands and CBD products available, where do you start to get CBD info? How do you go about choosing CBD strength, product type or frequency of use?
Don’t worry. We are about to dive right into these exact questions. If you are interested in learning the CBD oil basics, keep reading as we have compiled a guide aimed at clarifying the fog of CBD for beginners!
But before we jump ahead, you might have one clarifying question first:
What is CBD and how does it work?
Cannabidiol is a legal and non-intoxicating cannabis compound (cannabinoid), found abundantly in hemp – a variety of the cannabis family.
CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis, and while it doesn’t get you high, research suggests it could hold the key to several therapeutic benefits, through its interaction with The Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
The ECS is in charge of maintaining balance within our body via the regulation of other systems to ensure they are functioning correctly. It is a system that processes cannabinoids like CBD, and we also produce our own (internal) cannabinoids too!
It has 2 receptors, CB1 and CB2, from which the effects of cannabinoids like CBD are derived. Research indicates the CB1 receptor can effect pain signals and the CB2 interacts with inflammatory responses.
While the ECS was only discovered in the 1990s, and has only recently started being taught at medical schools, its importance today is paramount. Researchers have already concluded that the ECS is “one of the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health“
Check out our in depth post on the potential benefits of CBD oil to learn more about how CBD oil works.
CBD studies and use as a supplement
While in the majority of cases CBD is sold as a food supplement, the US FDA and recently the (EU) EMA has licensed Epidolex, a product containing a highly purified CBD Isolate solution as a medicine to reduce the likelihood of severe epileptic seizures in children.
Outside of studies related to Epidolex, most of the research analysing the use and efficacy of CBD to date are pre-clinical. Still, there is a vast quantity of growing anecdotal reports aligning with research conducted to date.
Granted, there is undoubtedly more investigation to be done, and new CBD research awards are being snapped up as fast as they are available to study the compound and decipher its potential moving forward.
How to get started with CBD?
First things first, CBD is available in a wide variety of formats but as a beginner seeking how to use CBD, starting with an oil used sublingually under the tongue is the most popular way use it. But, that doesn’t mean its necessarily the way you should start trialling the compound as a part of your wellness routine, there are other ways too which we will detail in this CBD guide!
To figure out what is right for you, it’s best to review what you want to get out of the situation, and more specifically a product category to get started with.
For example, CBD skincare products such as salves, creams and gels are applied onto your skin, and the effects are felt locally. Whereas other ways to use CBD offer a more generalised result.
Taking a step back and first ask yourself if you want to feel the effects in a specific spot over a generalised benefit can radically reduce the assortment choice and make you a step closer to finding your first trial product!
What CBD products should I consider first?
As mentioned above, CBD drops are by far the most popular way to use Cannabidiol at the moment. Still, before we dive into specifics its key we outline three overarching pillars which you can apply to any CBD purchase moving forward.
So what are they?
We mentioned earlier that CBD is extracted from the hemp plant, which contains over 100+ other cannabinoids too. As a result, when CBD is derived from hemp, depending on the levels of refinement, the CBD containing extract can be 1 of 3 different types:
- Full Spectrum CBD – Considered a whole plant extract, contains a variety of cannabinoids including CBD and THC. Also contains terpenes (plant metabolites that have their own effects) and other essential oils as found in the hemp plant.
- Broad Spectrum CBD – The same as a full spectrum product but without any detectable THC. Especially useful for individuals who are drug tested.
- CBD Isolate – The purest form of CBD. Cannabidiol Isolate is often 99%+ CBD. It comes as a white powder and is commonly found in CBD vape liquid.
It’s generally well accepted that CBD works synergistically with other compounds found in the cannabis plant to improve the overall effect, also known as the entourage effect.
As a result, it’s advised to use a full or broad spectrum CBD product ideally to maximise the potential benefits felt. These three different types of CBD are available in all the different ways CBD is used, including oils, vapes and edibles.
On the flip side, if you are sensitive to the earthy taste of CBD, staying clear of raw CBD products is a good shout, as these contain chlorophyll which gives it a strong flavour.
CBD Isolate based products have no earthy taste as Isolate itself is tasteless, so you might prefer this if you use an oil. Nonetheless, broad-spectrum CBD with little or a better flavor driven by added terpenes also exists today.
What methods should I use to consume my CBD?
While using CBD drops is the most common first port of call for new users, it isn’t a pre-exquisite to moving ahead in your CBD journey. Nevertheless, it offers the most consumer choice brands wise, and it’s often the most accessible type of product to pick up and read customer reviews about.
However, if you already vape, then you might consider picking up a CBD concentrate to use in a dab pen or a buy a broad spectrum CBD vape pen.
Because research suggests vaping is the most effective way to consume cannabinoids like CBD, as it offers the highest bioavailability rate (54%), followed by using CBD oil under the tongue (around 30%).
Consequently, it’s more economical to use a vape, and the effects are felt near instantaneously which is useful if your someone who likely needs to feel the effects immediately than wait 15-20 minutes as you would with an oil.
But as there are more choices than just vaping CBD or using drops, let’s quickly run through the advantages of each way you can use CBD:
CBD Oil Drops
+ Easy to find different types of oils, including flavored ones to mask the earthy taste of CBD.
+ Relatively portable in a small bottle and quick to use.
– Some oils can taste very earthy, especially raw CBD oils.
– Can be difficult to dose without a measured pipette (note – all Nature & Bloom oils contain a measured pipette as standard).
CBD Capsules And Pills
+ Super easy to dose with as each capsule contains the same amount of CBD.
+ Handy on the go and for the elderly.
– CBD capsules have the lowest absorption rate when it comes to taking CBD outside of topical products. You will need a higher dose vs using an oil or vape.
– Can take some time to kick in due to your stomach contents.
CBD Vapes And Dabs
+ If you are already a vaper you can fit CBD into your lifestyle easily.
+ CBD concentrates are highly effective when vaped and are delivered immediately for fast acting benefits.
+ The most effective way to use CBD absorption wise.
– Might need additional equipment if you are new to vaping.
– Most CBD vape juice is Isolate based, so you miss the entourage effect. Be sure to buy broad spectrum concentrates instead!
+ Easy to target one target area for localised benefits.
+ Great to start with if you are highly sceptical about CBD but want to try something less intrusive/new.
– Can be expensive vs other methods in terms of CBD content per milligram.
After you decide what method you want to try, you might be wondering how long does CBD last?
Most people usually find a bottle of CBD oil lasts them around 4-5 weeks on average, although for some of them it can be 9-10 weeks.
Other consumption methods really depend on how much you find yourself using, it varies from person to person.
So, it depends on you and your usage pattern… The only way to find out is to get started!
What strength is the best for a beginner?
Starting low and going slow is the most common way of starting with CBD.
Because there is no one dose which works for everyone, instead you have to find your sweet spot with a particular product and this can take some trial and error.
Remember we talked about the three primary sets of CBD on the market today? Combine this with natural variations in each hemp plant along with the way our body utilises CBD via the endocannabinoid system, and you have a whole host of possibilities on dosing!
In short, it means there is never really one single dose which is going to be equivalent across different people and your sweet spot might change across time.
So start with a small amount, see how your body responds, and continue adding to this slowly across time to find your optimum dose. This can take some time and effort, but it’s worth it! To learn more about how to do this, check out our post on dosing CBD.
How long will it take for CBD to work?
One of the most common questions related to hemp is how long does it take for CBD oil to start working?
The answer is it depends, but consistency and patience is vital!
Dependent on how you take CBD and your own end cannabinoid system, the uptake and duration will vary. For example, if you vape you should feel the effects within a matter of minutes, whereas if you use CBD capsules, it could take an hour or more depending on what you have eaten.
Most people find that CBD can work better for them if they take it regularly, like a vitamin for their endocannabinoid system. Just as you would any other supplement, patience and consistency matter here.
So once you start taking CBD, continue for 4-5 weeks before assessing if it makes sense to proceed ahead with the product you have (assuming no side effects).
It’s also essential to check for any CBD drug interactions with anything else you are taking along with talking with a health professional for medical advice before starting any new supplement!
Before you worry about what happens if you have too much CBD, don’t be too concerned. Research studies have tested doses beyond 600mg (our lower strength oil contains nearly 500mg CBD in an entire bottle!), and CBD has been classed as safe by the World Health Organisation.
Third Party Testing
Currently, the CBD market is unregulated. As a result, the reports of snake oil are rife throughout the industry as some bad actors attempt to take advantage of the so-called ‘green rush’ by selling products unfit for sale and potentially illegal.
Genuine brands have taken it upon themselves to carry out tests via third party laboratories, confirming product contents and safety.These tests should be carried out at a batch level, as each batch is likely to vary in both the exact cannabinoid content and other related plant constituents.
Always look for third party tests from any brand or reseller you are buying CBD from, if you can’t find one at the very least for cannabinoid content (confirming the CBD content, and importantly THC content are what they say they are).
Best Products For CBD Beginners
The most popular products are our CBD oils by far, and most people start on a lower strength oil to test the water and get started.
Whereas vapers prefer cartridges and concentrates, delivering an immediate hit of CBD.
But, for those of you who are wary of consuming a new substance, you might want to try a cream or gel instead. This will mean you feel the localized benefits of CBD directly on the skin.
If you’re still undecided but want to learn more about using CBD oil, check our post on the different ways to take CBD, and then head back to the blog to read a heap of information about CBD!
- CBD will not get you high and it interacts with our bodies ECS.
- Vaping offers the most effective way to use CBD but drops under the tongue offer the second highest bioavailability.
- It can take time to find your sweet spot for CBD dosing. Start low and go slow, but be persistent.
- Always check for third party testing certificates for any CBD product you wish to use (if you need help do reach out to us!) to avoid buying something which doesn’t contain what the label says it does.