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CBD | Science

How to Take CBD Oil: Methods & Doses

Dr Abraham Benavides


Dr Abraham Benavides

Medical Doctor

With the narrative around CBD oil getting more and more positive both anecdotally via news reports and in terms of academic studies, you might be considering taking it yourself.

As a non-intoxicating compound found in the cannabis family of plants, CBD is being used more widely than ever before. 

However, even if you have read up on some of the research and decide that CBD oil is right for you, the next question is – how do you take it?

There are countless brands of CBD oil, each with different contents in varying ratios. There are also different methods of taking the compound, and the product quality can differ wildly between brands.

With no direct regulatory oversight Food and Drug Administration, finding the right product can take some research.

This can be a problem for people taking CBD for the first time, as it’s challenging to figure out who to trust and which CBD product is right for you.

To help make things simpler to understand, we’ve put together this guide on how to find a quality CBD oilhow best to take it, and how to work out your ideal dosage.

First things first:

dosing cbd oil

Find a Brand You Can Trust

Since Cannabidiol is a trending product, the ‘green rush’ has opened the doors to a whole spectrum of brands, resellers and sometimes bad actors flooding the market with CBD which doesn’t contain what it says on the bottle. 

With a little research, however, it’s reasonably easy to figure out these low-quality CBD products apart from those with genuine quality products.

You should ideally look for a CBD oil that is:

  • Third-party lab tested: As CBD is derived from hemp, the content of the hemp extract varies from batch to batch and even plant to plant. Genuine brands third-party test products across a spectrum of tests, ensuring the product contains what it should, and it is safe to consume. These tests are done at a batch level, ensuring each batch is consistent, avoiding variation from bottle to bottle. Should you not be able to see certificates of analysis, do not buy the product and move on.
  • Traceable: Look for signs the brand is open about talking about its supply chain. In particular, to understand how the Cannabidiol is sourced and extracted. Where does the hemp originate from? How do they obtain the CBD from hemp? These questions are essential as hemp is a bio-accumulator, meaning it absorbs heavy metals from the soil, which concentrate in a hemp extract if it’s not tested for. 
  • Full-spectrum or broad-spectrum: Full-spectrum, also known as a whole plant extract, contains other potentially beneficial ingredients from the hemp plant in addition to CBD such as other cannabinoid terpenes, and flavonoids. Broad spectrum is the same minus THC, however, the literature suggests that whole-plant extracts may be more beneficial than isolates or broad-spectrum – this is colloquially known as “the entourage effect”.

Even when you’ve decided on a brand you trust, chances are they don’t just have a single product.

There are also multiple ways to take CBD, including:

How to Take CBD Oil

There are several effective methods of using CBD oil, and the best way to take it mostly depends on you and any potential benefits you’re hoping to feel from Cannabidiol.

Let’s take a look:

How To Use CBD Oil Tinctures Under The Tongue

If you’ve wondered how to use CBD oil, it’s easy! 

To get started, all you need to do is add a few drops (or your exact dose if you know it) under the tongue.

Then letting it sit there for 60-90 seconds before swallowing is the method of taking CBD which provides the second-highest bio-availability (after inhalation).

It’s also one of the easiest ways to take a quick dose when out and about, and increase or decreases doses as needed.

Given this versatility, combined with the fact it is usually one of the easiest ways to use CBD, it is the most common form of consuming CBD.

Remember that oils vary in the concentration of the CBD each bottle holds, denoted by the milligrams (mg) of CBD per container.

Vaping CBD Oil

CBD vape oil

Vaping provides the highest bio-availability, meaning it is a great option for people who wish to get a high dose and feel it rapidly.

Others may find vaping Cannabidiol to be a great way to relax before bed.

However, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oil used sublingually usually cannot also be vaped. As a result, most e-liquids contain isolate, which is pure Cannabidiol. With no other cannabinoids and frequently without terpenes.

Related Read: Best CBD Flower For Vaping

This is often not considered an optimal form of taking CBD for those using it for its wellbeing benefits. Today product manufacturers are racing to create devices like a full or broad-spectrum vape pen and e-liquids to fill this need.

However, there is another way around this for those who prefer to vape their CBD, and these are known as concentrates, for example, CBD crumble.

These sort of products are broad-spectrum, and can be combined with terpenes. Meaning you get a variety of cannabinoids minus any THC (the compound which gets you high) and with intense flavour.

CBD Capsules, Pills & Edibles

Outside of the above methods of taking CBD, it is also available in a variety of CBD edibles, capsules, pills and.

It’s important to research the ingredients in full before purchasing something like this as they often contain very low amounts of CBD oil, and could also potentially have lots of other additives.

If using capsules, look out for full and broad-spectrum capsules. These are usually gel caps which hold the same CBD oil you would use sublingually.

However, do note that using capsules have one of the lowest absorption rates, and you will likely need to increase your dosage to feel similar effects of CBD when consumed via an oil.

This is because any CBD edibles go through the first pass effect via your digestive tract, being broken down by the liver before entering the bloodstream. If you want to learn more about absorption rates, check out our post about the bioavailability of CBD.

As a result, to obtain a similar amount of Cannabidiol in your bloodstream as when using an oil sublingually, you would need to ingest more.

However, they can still be a good option for those who want to take CBD products daily but who dislike the taste of natural, unflavoured CBD oil.

There are of course also lots of edible CBD products available. We wouldn’t blame you if your partial to a CBD gummy, edibles are typically made by adding CBD oil to regular baked goods and snacks. Note how much CBD is in each piece to ensure you take how much works for you, or instead create some yourself!

To learn more about about making your own CBD edibles check out our post on how to cook with CBD oil.

Hopefully, now you have enough information to know which method of CBD is best for you, but how much should you take?

How Much CBD Oil to Take

concentration of CBD

You might be surprised to hear that there is no written official recommended dose when it comes to the amount of CBD you should take.

The optimal amount can vary a lot depending on factors such as:

  • Your size and weight
  • Cannabidiol tolerance levels
  • What you are trying to achieve from using Cannabidiol
  • The quality and other contents of the CBD product you’re using
  • Your endocannabinoid system and if you are predisposed to endocannabinoid deficiency

Generally, the best way to find your perfect CBD dosage is to start by taking a single drop under the tongue, and then slowly increasing the amount over time until you find your ‘sweet spot’.

This is called the low and slow methodology, and it’s a little more complicated than the explanation above, but learn more via our post on CBD oil dosage.

Most people find using it during both the day and evening is helpful, but experiment and find whats right for you.

Quite often, through this method, people will find that the results keep improving for a while and then the improvements stop.

This is how you know you’ve reached your ideal amount of CBD, known as your ‘sweet spot’ and don’t need to increase it any further.

Hopefully, from what you’ve read so far, you can see that getting a good quality CBD oil and taking it properly isn’t as difficult as you may previously have assumed.

If you are new to the world of CBD though, you may still have a few more questions, such as:

Can I Get Addicted to CBD Oil? What About The Negative Side Effects?

Considering how long cannabis has been stigmatised, and it’s potential for abuse, you could be forgiven for asking this question.

You’ll be glad to know that any addictive qualities of cannabis come solely from the THC, and according to the World Health Organisation, CBD holds no potential for abuse or dependence.

While some side effects from CBD have been reported, they are rare and CBD is typically well-tolerated by most people. If you have too much CBD, the side effects are often considered mild. 

Despite this, the following side effects have been reported:

  • High liver enzymes
  • Tiredness/lethargy
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhoea and stomach upset

CBD is also known to interact with several medications, and as a result, it’s important to check in with your physician before starting a CBD regimen. Your doctor may have to conduct routine liver monitoring or adjust your CBD or medication dosage.

man standing


First things first, caution is always good when it comes to putting new substances in your body.

We would recommend you do as much research you can before taking any CBD products.  Be sure to discuss it with your GP if you’re unsure of anything and if you want to discuss any potential health benefits with a professional. 

However, as long as you do your research, put in the time to find a good quality CBD oil, and be careful to start low and slow, CBD is a safe supplement to take.

You might just find your new favourite CBD product provides some well-being benefits without the cannabis high too!

To learn more about what about CBD & THC, as well as how it works with the human body and what products are available, check out the following posts: