How To Take CBD Oil: Methods, Doses & Side Effects​

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.

However, even if you 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 via the US food and drug administration or UK food safety authority, 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.

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. 

The UK Centre for Medical Cannabis carried out the most extensive assessment of the UK CBD market to date, in July 2019 which was publicised on the news. Testing 30 of the most commonly used CBD oils in the UK, finding over 38% of them featured less than 50% of the advertised CBD content, including one oil bought from a pharmacy containing 0% Cannabidiol.

With a little research, however, it’s reasonably easy to figure out these low-quality 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 copies of these third-party lab tests, 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 the 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. The gold standard are brands which can provide seed to shelf traceability.
  • 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 taking CBD oil, and the best one mostly depends on you and the benefits you’re hoping to feel from Cannabidiol.

Let’s take a look:

CBD Oil Tinctures Under The Tongue

using CBD drops

Using drops under the tongue, letting it sit for 60-90 seconds before swallowing is the method of taking CBD that 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.

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.

It also has been reported to hold benefits for those attempting to quit smoking cannabis.

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.

This is often not considered an optimal form of taking CBD for those using for its wellbeing benefits. Today’s product manufacturers are racing to create full- and broad-spectrum vape pens 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.

To learn more about the best ways of vaping CBD, take a look at our ultimate guide to vaping CBD! 

We also have a post on the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate.

CBD Capsules, Pills & Edibles

CBD capsules and tablets

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

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 as via an oil.

This is because anything edible goes 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 bio-availability 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 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 CBD edibles yourself!

To learn more about about making your own 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

CBD oil dropper

You might be surprised to hear that there is no written official recommended dose when it comes to CBD.

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

  • Your size and weight
  • Cannabidiol tolerance levels
  • What you are trying 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 dosage, 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 marijuana 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 marijuana 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 tinctures are possible, they are rare and CBD is typically well-tolerated by most people.

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 GP before starting a CBD regimen. Your doctor may have to conduct routine liver monitoring or adjust your CBD or medication dosage.

Hopefully this post has been useful for you and if you want to explore our range head straight into our CBD shop.

cbd dosage

Conclusion

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 CBD, and be sure to discuss it with your GP if you’re unsure of anything.

However, as long as you do your research, put in the time to find a good quality CBD oil, and be careful not start low and slow, CBD is a safe food supplement to take.

You might just find it provides some well-being benefits too!

To learn more about what science says about CBD, as well as how it works with the human body, check out the following posts:

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Disclaimer: Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Nature & Bloom and its staff. This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention for any disease. Nature & Bloom products have not been evaluated by the MHRA.