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CBD Product Types

Different CBD Products and How to Use Them

Modified Date: August 1, 2020

When it comes to a product  like CBD, it can be hard to know where to start. CBD (also called cannabidiol) has become wildly popular over the last few years, leading to a variety of different delivery methods flooding the market and leaving consumers confused. Fortunately, there are significant differences between the various delivery methods that give buyers a heads-up on which products could be right for them.

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In this article, we will detail eight popular CBD product types, explaining how they work and the best ways to use them. If you’re looking at a CBD retailer wholly dumbfounded on the products that might work for you, keep reading to get a crash course.

CBD Oils - The OG!

CBD oils are perhaps the most popular options within the CBD market. They are where most people start when looking for CBD and they are the flagship product of nearly every brand. CBD Oils are called by other names too—namely tinctures, extracts, and drops. To make the product, companies extract naturally-occurring chemicals like CBD from hemp and then mix the formula with a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil, MCT coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil.

Most bottles of CBD oil typically include a dropper that provides a standard dose of around 1ml. You place the desired amount of CBD oil under the tongue, usually waiting for 30-60 seconds for the oil to absorb before swallowing. This method of delivery is called sublingual delivery. The oil is absorbed into the bloodstream via the small blood vessels at the base of the mouth, bypassing the stomach and digestive tract.

This delivery method starts to take effect after about 15 minutes and can take up to 2 hours to feel the full impact. The results can usually be felt from one to six hours. People use CBD oils for various reasons, including pain and inflammation, anxiety, better sleep, and more.

The Pros:

CBD oils are relatively fast-acting, provide a measured dose, and often come in different flavors and potencies. Makers of craft cannabis often customize their oils with other beneficial ingredients that may boost their effectiveness, such as additional cannabinoids, terpenes, and herbs.

The Cons:

One of the only real negatives to using CBD oil is that many people find the natural taste of hemp hard to tolerate. An easy solution to this is to mix your tincture into a favorite food or drink. The other downside to oils is that they are not as portable as some methods and can leak inside a purse or gym bag.

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CBD Capsules - Portable and Efficient!

CBD capsules are one of the most straightforward methods of taking CBD, and they can easily be worked into your regular daily routine. Because the oil is encapsulated, you get the benefit of having a tasteless CBD experience. Capsules are perfect for those who dislike the earthy taste of CBD oil, or who already have a daily supplement routine to which they could easily add this option. 

A lot of capsules are vegan-friendly, non-GMO, and even Kosher, meaning you can benefit from CBD capsules even if you follow a specific diet. One of the other benefits of capsules is that they can be quickly taken on the go without worrying about spillage, which is a risk when using a CBD tincture.

CBD capsules take longer to digest than oils as they have to pass through your stomach before taking effect, a process that can take up to an hour or more. However, this is a longer-acting method of delivery, with results lasting up to eight hours. People take capsules for the same reasons they take oils—to potentially relieve pain, combat anxiety, or help with sleep.

The Pros:

Capsules made with CBD are highly portable and can be thrown into your purse or backpack for convenient dosing on the go. They are tasteless, so for those who don’t like the pungent flavor of oils, they provide an ideal alternative.

The Cons:

Capsules must pass through the digestive tract before they are metabolized. This process can make them less effective than other methods.

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CBD Vape Products - Lightning Fast!

Aside from smoking or dabbing hemp on its own, there is no delivery method that is faster-acting than vaping. This method is chosen because the CBD is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through capillaries in the lungs, meaning you can feel the effects almost instantly. If you have chronic pain or migraines that come on very quickly, you may not want to wait a long time for a sublingual tincture or a capsule to kick in. In this case, a CBD vape product might be perfect for you.

The Pros:

The effects of vaping CBD can be felt within minutes—perfect for those looking for quick relief. Often, CBD vape oils can be found in fun flavors that enhance the experience. This method may be particularly well-suited to people who like some of the positive effects of cannabis but do not want to get high.

The Cons:

Repetitively inhaling any substance—whether it is through smoking or vaping—has the potential to hurt your lungs. For those who already have breathing issues like asthma or bronchitis, vaping can be an additional irritant. One of the other cons to using a CBD vape juice is that you will need some other accessories also, including a cartridge and battery or a vape kit.

CBD Beverages - Cheers!

CBD beverages are a relatively new product on the cannabis market, and they’re creating quite the buzz among luxury CBD brands. CBD beverages are great for those that can’t tolerate the natural taste of CBD, as the compound is pre-mixed into a sweetened or naturally-flavored drink.

Many brands that create CBD beverages use unique nanotechnology to formulate their products. This sounds more complicated than it is. Nanotechnology simply breaks the particle size of the CBD down further so that it becomes water-soluble. Manufacturers claim that beverages made using this method have a much higher rate of absorption than some other products, and users can ingest less than the typical dose to get the same effects.

Like most methods that involve digestion, it may take up to an hour to feel the effects of CBD beverages, and the benefits typically last for around four to six hours.

 The Pros: 

CBD beverages are a fun way to get your daily dose, and they can be customized further by using them to make cocktails or healthy mocktails. No harmful solvents or chemicals are used, and the resulting CBD is said to have a faster absorption rate.

The Cons:

CBD beverages tend to be one of the more expensive delivery methods, and the products are usually made in small batches. For those on a budget, they may work better as an occasional treat rather than as part of your daily regimen.

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CBD Edibles - Tasty Munchies!

CBD edibles are some of the most versatile products on the CBD market, as they usually consist of treats like gummies, chocolates, candy, and other sweets. They are also a yummy option for those who don’t like the taste of natural hemp, as they are usually sweetened and available in unique flavors. The most common form you will find are gummies, which manufacturers infuse with a predetermined dose of CBD.

Gummies are like other ingestion methods, taking up to an hour to work. You can expect to feel the effects for around four to six hours.

The Pros:

There are many pros to taking CBD edibles, including that they are easy to bring wherever you go and are already pre-measured. You’ll never have to mess around with a dropper or try to figure out a dose on your own as CBD edibles remove all the guesswork. Plus, they taste great!

The Cons:

The only major con that comes with CBD edibles is that since they go through the digestive system, they take longer to absorb than a sublingual tincture or vape product. They also usually come in low potencies like five or ten milligrams each. If you are used to taking 25 mg of CBD a day, you might need several gummies to meet your needs. That could add up over time. The best way to take CBD gummies is probably as a boost to other methods. 

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CBD Beauty & Skincare Products - Spoil Yourself!

CBD beauty and skincare products are applied directly to the face, neck, or body to rejuvenate the skin and leave it feeling moisturized and supple. The skin contains many receptors for cannabinoids like CBD. The main reason why you might use a CBD skincare product is that the compound is thought to act as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. This may help to disguise the visible signs of aging and improve your appearance. There is also some evidence that CBD may help with skin conditions like acne or psoriasis.

The Pros:

One benefit of using CBD skincare or beauty products is that they’re easy to add to your existing routine. If you already apply morning or nightly creams or moisturizers, adding a CBD product in the mix is an additional way to hydrate and calm the skin. 

The Cons:

The only real con to using CBD skincare products is that they are not intended for boosting overall wellness.

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CBD Topical Pain Relievers - Ah...That Feels Much Better!

CBD topical pain relievers are similar to CBD skincare products, except they are created with higher potencies in mind. Topicals are a great addition to your first aid kit and are designed to deliver fast relief for sore or stiff muscles or joints. They are intended to be applied to problem areas to target local pain and inflammation and they go to work soon after application. Topicals have great potential for athletes, arthritis patients, and those who have general aches and pains. Many include other natural ingredients like menthol to cool the area or capsicum to warm it.

There are dozens of topical CBD products on the market, including salves, balms, lotions, creams, gels, roll-ons, sticks, massage oils, bath salts, and more. Results vary, but most people find that they begin to work in the first few minutes to an hour. One advantage to topicals is that you can keep re-applying them until relief is felt.

The Pros:

Topicals are ideal for those who are not interested in taking CBD internally but are looking for relief for minor pain, soreness, or stiffness. Many topical products come beautifully packaged and make excellent gifts.

The Cons:

Topical products are not going to be useful for issues like insomnia or anxiety and are intended to be used on the affected localized area only. The potency between brands varies widely, so consumers should make sure they are getting their money’s worth by choosing products containing higher amounts of CBD.

CBD For Pets - Don’t Forget Your Four-Legged Friends!

For those who want to ensure their furry companions stay healthy and happy too, there are CBD products for pets. Among the offerings, pet owners will find tinctures made especially for cats and dogs as well as delicious bite-sized treats and biscuits designed to provide a measured dose. Even specialty products like CBD peanut butter and paw salve have cropped up in the marketplace.

The Pros:

While our feline and canine companions can’t tell us how they feel, smart pet owners know that a healthy pet is a happy one. Preliminary research suggests that animals respond to CBD in the same positive way as humans do. It’s reported that the compound may work wonders for common issues like separation anxiety and arthritis pain—two conditions common among fur babies.

The Cons:

Since pets can’t speak, you will need to take some extra time to closely monitor the effects of CBD on your dog or cat. Although there are few side effects, the compound affects everyone—including animals—differently. Vigilant observation by keeping a daily log is recommended.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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