A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding CBD Products and How They Work

For quite some time now, CBD has started to get more and more attention. The media is talking about it, people living with chronic conditions are considering using it, and others are just curious about what this new miracle treatment is. But despite constant media buzz, people are still not sure what CBD is, what its effects are, and how they can start using it.

We want to tell you straight from the beginning that CBD is far from being a miraculous treatment that cures everything in sight. However, its potential effects on people struggling with anxiety, pain, and several chronic diseases have determined scientists to start looking more into it, and the discoveries are quite impressive.

That is why, recently, the market has got bombarded with a variety of CBD products aiming to help tackle many issues individuals have been struggling with for decades. To help you better understand what each type of CBD product designed for and how you can use it, we have put together this comprehensive guide. But first, you need to understand what CBD is, and what it can treat.

selective focus photography of person holding drop bottle

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is one of the over 100 chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, together with THC. I had to mention THC, because we need to make a clear distinction between the two and eliminate the misconception that CBD can make you reach a euphoric state. It’s THC that has psychoactive effects and can get you “high,” not CBD. 

Many scientific studies have been conducted to understand the effects CBD has on a person’s mental and physical health. Showing it can help alleviate pain, anxiety, depression, as well as treat several symptoms in chronic diseases, such as Parkinson’s and epilepsy.

Our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids, which attach to some particular brain receptors, responsible for regulating pain, inflammation, appetite, and many other functions. CBD is similar to the cannabinoids our bodies produce and, when consumed, it attaches to those receptors and impacts the way our brain responds to pain or anxiety, ultimately reducing it.

If you read the label, you will see that CBD products also contain small traces of THC. That is because a small amount of THC is needed to potentiate the effects of CBD. But the THC dosage in these products is below 0.3%, meaning it won’t alter your state of mind in any way.

Depending on your preferences, as well as purpose, CBD can be taken in many forms, including oils, creams, edibles, and capsules. To better understand what type of CBD product you need, we will be discussing them individually.

Oils and tinctures

Oils and tinctures are the most popular form of taking CBD, and the most common CBD product you will find on the market. People prefer to buy CBD oil instead of other types of products, because of its multipurpose use, and because it quickly absorbs into the bloodstream.

Most people take CBD oil sublingually, which is why it is absorbed faster than other products, such as capsules or edibles. Both beginner and experienced CBD users prefer this product, as it is very affordable, easy to use (it comes with a dropper, usually), and can often be flavored, to cover the earthy taste CBD can have. Typically, you should start seeing effects in about 30 to 90 minutes, but long-term results do require constant use. 

Creams and lotions

Often called CBD topicals, creams and lotions help cure localized issues, such as muscle or joint pain, acne, or eczema. Instead of being absorbed into the bloodstream, topicals will be interacting directly with your skin, which is why you should start seeing localized results much faster.

If you use topicals to treat localized pain, you should be able to see results within the first uses, but for acne or eczema, you need to use the product at least a few times. Because they are discreet and easy to use, you can include them in your daily routine, and their effect can last for hours.

Capsules and pills

The most common use for CBD capsules is to treat seizure disorders or digestive issues because it gets absorbed much slower into the blood system. In fact, quite recently, the FDA approved the first high-potency CBD prescription drug, Epidiolex, which used to treat seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two forms of epilepsy.

Capsules and pills are usually preferred by those using CBD, as it does not have that bitter earthy taste that oils or tinctures typically do. The only drawback, however, is that pills get absorbed much slower into the body, meaning it can take longer to see effects. 

CBD edibles

Edibles are more fun and enjoyable way to take CBD, as it comes in a variety of forms. You can find gummies, candies, chocolate, and even spreadable butter. Apart from being very tasty and fun to use, they are also portable and discreet, meaning if, for whatever reason, you don’t want people to know you are taking CBD, the only thing they will see is you snacking on some gummy bears.

Another advantage of edibles is that you know what dosage you are taking, as the prescription details are on the package. And if you are afraid something may happen if you end up snacking on an entire bag of gummy bears at once, worry not. There is no such thing as a CBD overdose.

Vaporized CBD

Vaporized CBD oil can be inhaled just like e-cigs, using a vape pen. Because the compounds are inhaled into your lungs, they get absorbed into the bloodstream very fats, meaning it is the quickest way to experience the effects of CBD.

The only inconvenience is that you also need to purchase a vape pen, which you will use to inhale CBD oil. If you are not a smoker, the method may seem quite unusual at first, but you will get used to it in time.