Updated September 2021
Understanding the various ways to take CBD is important to make your individual choice on the best method for you. This article will help you learn some of the basics about CBD and the pros and cons of the various methods to take it. CBDfx is one of our brand partners that has a wide selection of quality CBD products. A part of their line-up is dedicated to CBD vaping. We will dive more deeply into CBD vaping as one of those methods and use the CBDfx vape products as an example of the options that are available to you.
What is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Cannabis plants have over 100 cannabinoids and hundreds of other natural chemical compounds such as terpenes. CBD works with your body’s endo-cannabinoid system (ECS) to ensure healthy functioning of many of your body’s systems and organs.
Marijuana v. Hemp
Marijuana and hemp are simply different names for the same plant (cannabis), identifying it as either containing THC or not. ITHC-heavy strains are legally identified as marijuana since any products with greater than 0.3% THC are not federally legal. Recreational and medical marijuana are of course legal in some states. Hemp is the name for cannabis which contains extremely low levels of THC. CBD products in general contain less than 0.3% THC and are therefore 100% federally legal.
What does CBD Do?
Ingesting CBD triggers the neurons in your ECS and tells your body to get back into balance, which can create a variety of powerful health benefits. To complicate matters slightly, the other cannabinoids and terpenes also have some individual characteristics. If you concentrate specific types of cannabinoids and terpenes together you can create mixtures that focus on energy, relaxation, anti-inflammation and so on.
The Entourage Effect
Taking all the elements of the cannabis plant as one, creates what is called the “entourage effect” which essentially means that there are additional positive effects resulting from the combination of the individual elements.
Products that take advantage of the entourage effect are called “full-spectrum” or “broad-spectrum”. The difference is that in “broad-spectrum” products, every bit of THC has been removed. CBD-isolate products contain only the specific cannabinoid, CBD, by itself.
Ways to Take CBD
Did you know that your body naturally produces cannabinoids? It does and that is how your ECS operates. By taking additional cannabinoids and terpenes, it provides additional stimulus to those ECS neurons to help parts of your body.
There are many ways to take CBD and dozens of product types available on the market. In simple terms, CBD typically enters the body in one of four ways. The four ways are: absorption through your mouth’s tissues (sublingual and buccal), absorption through your skin (topical creams, serums, bath bombs, face masks, massage oil and more), absorption through your lungs (smoking flower and vaping CBD) and through your digestive tract (edibles, capsules, and drinks).
# 1 – Sublingual CBD
Sublingual CBD is arguable the most effective method. We have detailed instructions on how to do this in our educational post on the sublingual method. Place the CBD Oil or tincture in your mouth, swish it around to coat your cheeks and gums, and then let it sit under your tongue for 60-90 seconds. Taking any substance under your tongue is what sublingual means and allows the membranes there to absorb the substance directly into your bloodstream. Buccal is a similar term but refers to absorption inside your cheeks.
Sublingual CBD is extremely effective because through that direct absorption process, the CBD, or any substance for that matter, does not pass through your digestive tract or liver. Anything going through your gastro-intestinal tract is attacked by bile and stomach acid before going through the first-pass digestive process in the liver. Both can reduce the potency and chemical composition slightly. Sublingual CBD ensure rapid absorption and maximum potency.
#2 – Skin Absorption
Absorbing CBD using topical CBD products through your skin can happen in many ways. The product choices include pain creams, lotions, gels, balms, face masks, massage oils, face serums, cleansers, bath bombs, and more! Each product is designed for a specific purpose. Pain creams are designed to penetrate and help your joints and muscles. Lotions and creams may be intended to moisturize or heal your largest organ, you skin.
Often there are additives to the products to help create additional benefits. Some examples include Manuka Honey added to CBD cream to enhance its healing properties and menthol added to CBD pain cream for a cooling effect.
Topical absorption is really a great method to target specific pain areas or your skin itself, but not as effective for overall health or non-physical health challenges, such as anxiety or depression.
#3 – Lung Absorption (CBD Vape Products)
Absorption through your lungs occurs through your alveolar membrane. It allows the CBD to dissolve directly into the blood stream. One of the benefits of this is that there are fewer metabolizing enzymes in your lungs than your digestive tract, so the potency remains high and CBD uncorrupted.
The speed of effect is one of the number one reasons people use CBD Vaping products. Anything inhaled enters the bloodstream as quickly as if it were injected. In addition to the effect itself, people enjoy the physical act of breathing in and exhaling a natural or flavored scent. CBD flower itself can be rolled and smoked to the same effect.
The downside of lung absorption is the introduction of foreign, heated chemicals into your lungs. Even though CBD vaping is quite different from Nicotine vaping, it does involve heating up the CBD and carrier agent and inhaling it into a very delicate organ, your lungs. CBD vaping requires devices made specific for CBD vaping (different temperature) and the frequency of CBD vaping needs to be much more limited. Please contact us or read the product description for details.
#4 – Consuming CBD (Edibles, Drinks or Capsules)
Consuming CBD through eating, drinking, or swallowing a capsule is extremely popular. While it does have its drawbacks, there are some distinct advantages as well. We have talked about the damage that the GI tract and liver can do to the CBD, so that should always be a consideration. However, the potential loss of potency or chemical consistency is not so significant to make this an unviable method.
CBD capsules are really great for individuals that don’t feel comfortable holding oil in their mouth or vaping but want CBD as part of their daily health routine. Many of us are used to taking a capsule daily as a multi-vitamin or other medication, so adding more fits right in. Anything that increases your potential to consistently take CBD for your health is a positive thing.
Edibles are many people’s favorite way to ingest CBD. CBD gummies come in so many forms and flavors that it provides almost unlimited options. Gummies can also contain other additives for additional effects such as melatonin for sleep or spirulina for nutrients. CBDfx, our focus brand for vaping in this article has the CBDfx Turmeric and Spirulina Gummies and the CBDfx CBD Melatonin Gummies are two examples. You should also never forget the many candies such as Green Roads Dark Chocolate.
Drinks like Green Roads CBD Coffee are great. Another fun thing, though, is that when you use oils and tinctures, you can add them to drinks such as tea or cocktails. Read more for cocktail recipes here.
Despite the potential negative impacts of the GI tract, edibles and capsules provide portability, selection, great taste, and comfort for those who don’t vape, smoke or want to take CBD oil sublingually.
CBDfx Vape Products – Portfolio Example
The different CBDfx vape products give a good overview of the different options available for CBD vaping.
Disposable CBD Vape Pens
Many people prefer not to carry a vape device that they must refill with juice or another cartridge, and prefer a disposable vape pen. As with the vape juices, disposable vape pens are available in several flavors of vape juice and several terpenes flavors. The difference is that the terpenes are designed to reflect the makeup of their parent cannabis strains. The other vape juices offer more artificial flavors.
Disposable Vape Pen flavors from CBDfx include Blue Raspberry, Pineapple Express, and Strawberry Lemonade. We will not attempt to describe the flavors; the names are descriptive, and you really need to try them. They contain 250mg of CBD and are easy to carry and disposable.
CBD Vape Cartridges
Although we don’t carry pre-filled cartridges as part of our CBDfx vape products, there are also CBD vape juice cartridges. These are pre-filled and can be used inside for the CBDfx Vape Kit device, as well as others. These include the Savage Strawberry Citrus and Pineapple Blast varieties with 500mg of CBD.
CBD VAPE PRODUCTS – Summary
We talked about what CBD is and how it can benefit your overall health or specific health challenges. Learning how to take CBD, including the four major ways we covered, can help you make the right decision for you. Some of that depends on your personal preference, comfort level or desired effect. Many people who have never vaped before, decide to try CBD vaping. CBD vaping is a great alternative, although with some health risks. The CBDfx vape products selection provides a great example of the various ways to vape CBD.
If CBD vaping is for you, we covered various product types – the device itself, vape juices, terpenes, disposable vape pens and replacement cartridges. If you have any questions about products or how to choose the right method for you, please contact us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, DAVID JADWIN
David Jadwin is the co-owner of The Green Dragon CBD with his son, Matthew. David worked as a senior business executive for more than 30 years helping companies grow and succeed across many different industries in all parts of the world. David is active in researching CBD health topics and can be seen on many educational YouTube videos. Please feel free to connect with David on LinkedIn and follow The Green Dragon’s account.