What is CBD and what can it help with?
CBD is one of many cannabinoids found in cannabis, with a wide range of benefits and uses- most notably the ability to relax and soothe the user. It is the most common compound found in cannabis, is the most researched and is generally considered the safest. Unlike THC, the second most common compound in cannabis, CBD doesn't cause intoxication, it's psychoactive enough to reduce anxiety, but won’t get you high like THC does. Some report it produces the same contentment with life that getting high on THC does, without the uneasiness and paranoia that many people experience.
Most people report relief of pain and anxiety, a sense of calm, overall improvement in mood and higher quality of life after taking CBD. It’s versatile; with high doses inducing tiredness and sleep, and lower doses reported to make people more alert.
On top of these benefits, CBD has been proven as an effective treatment for these conditions:
- Heart disease
- Side effects from chemotherapy
- Chronic pain caused by inflammation
- Neuropathic (nerve) pain
But with so many ways to consume CBD, why choose oil?
Takes less time to take effect than edibles & has greater bioavailabilty
Taking CBD oil sublingually by holding it under your tongue is a more direct route of absorption than processing it through your stomach, and therefore takes less time to take effect and has greater bioavailability. Bioavailability refers to the percentage of product you're actually absorbing, so the higher the bioavailability, the more effects you’ll feel from the same amount of CBD.
It's quicker as your mouth has membranes under your tongue and inside your cheeks, which are full of blood vessels able to absorb the CBD directly into your bloodstream. When CBD is eaten in edible form it has to process through your gastrointestinal system first, and has a much longer journey to get to the bloodstream. This results in taking up to 2 hours to feel the effects of an edible, and a bioavailability of 15-20%, compared to 30mins-1 hour and 35-50% bioavailability for sublingual CBD.
Safer than vaping or smoking and lasts longer
Although vaping and smoking kicks in quicker and has slightly better bioavailability than oil, we still don't fully know long term whether vaping has any side effects, just that it's safer than smoking, and obviously we know how much smoking damages our lungs. So oils can often be the best way to consume CBD without any negative consequences. Additionally, you'll feel the effects for much longer, around 6-8 hours, compared to smoking or vaping which wears off after 2-3 hours.
Easier to dose, easier to adjust the dose and can be added to your own food
Using CBD oil requires no additional equipment like vaping or smoking, so can be a lot more convenient to use, it's also a lot easier to work out the dosage, as most brands will tell you how many mg are in each drop, making it easier to up the dose if you need more that day, without having to say cut a gummy in half, that might not have the CBD evenly distributed throughout. If you fancy getting creative and making some of your own CBD edibles, you can simply add CBD oil to the recipe!
The majority of CBD research we have has been done on oil
The majority of the research we have so far has been using CBD oil sublingually, not through edibles or vaping. Whilst more research is needed, we know that CBD is processed differently through different methods of consumption, and some find that CBD feels different when processed in different ways. So for results most similar to research trials, stick with oils. But, as people use CBD for many different types of problems, and different ways of consumption affect your endocannabinoid system differently, the best way of consuming CBD may be different for different people, so it's worth experimenting!
Big range of good quality products (isolates, broad or full)
Taking CBD oil sublingually is the most popular way to take CBD, meaning that there are almost endless options of brands, strengths and flavours. There’s a range of isolates, broad and full spectrum. Everyone has their own preference between the 3, but at Inspired life we usually recommend full or broad spectrum over anything else. Isolates contain just CBD and tend to be the most processed, broad spectrum contains a broad range of cannabinoids and terpenes, with no THC. Full spectrum has a full range of cannabinoids and terpenes, with 0.2% THC. While THC is usually associated with being the chemical in cannabis that gets you high, this level of THC is not enough to get you high, but can make the oil more effective due to the entourage effect. If you think of cannabis as a full and complete plant, where all the cannabinoids work as a team, taking one team member out of the equation is going to make it less effective. So the THC isn't there to get you high, just to kick the other team members into action.
How to take, and where to buy from
Whilst CBD becoming more popular has many benefits, unfortunately this means many companies have jumped on the trend, and started to produce their own oil, whilst having little experience with it. This often results in very low dosage, poorly produced, or highly processed products. To make sure the oil you're taking is high quality, you want to look for oils extracted from the real plant through C02 extraction, like our oils at Inspired Life.
When taking CBD oil sublingually, you want to work out your dosage first (I’d recommend this website, which uses CBD oil trials for different illnesses in conjunction with your weight, to give you dosage recommendations).
When you have the dosage down, you want to hold the oil under your tongue for around 90 seconds to let it absorb properly before swallowing. You should start to feel the effects within 30 mins to an hour.
Note: if you’re not experienced with taking cannabis products, then your endo-cannabinoid system might need a little time to ‘wake up’. This means you may not feel the full effects straight away, but keep dosing daily for at least a week and you should start to feel the benefits!