After using CBD myself, and interacting with cannabidiol users on places like Reddit.com/r/CBD, I’ve become well versed with using CBD. That includes the different methods, and the different doses.
Allow me to help you get started on the right footing with your CBD use.
How to Use CBD (Cannabidiol)
The best way to use CBD depends on the condition you’re trying to treat, how soon you need relief, and how you react to the first few uses.
I know this risks sounding like a typical ambiguous internet answer designed to keep you reading further down the page, but learning how to use CBD has a bit of a learning curve. If you have five minutes I’ll explain in a clear cut manner below.
Pick a Method
If you’ve already picked a method to use or consume CBD, you can skip this section. Otherwise, I’ll briefly lay out all of your options below. The best method to choose depends on your circumstances.
How to Use
Consuming CBD oil is my preferred method of using CBD. Using CBD oil is pretty straightforward. You put the CBD oil under your tongue using a milliliter dropper, hold it there for 30 seconds or longer, then swallow. You can even chase it down with juice or water.
I enjoy CBD oil so much, I started making my own CBD oil at home as a hobby, and to save a bit of money. Afterwards, I started adding the cannabinoid CBG to my CBD oil for, in my opinion, an even better experience.
Advantages of using CBD oil:
One advantage of using CBD oil compared to other methods of using CBD, is it’s easy to measure an exact dose when you’re using CBD oil. Other methods like smoking or vaping hemp flower are hard to know exactly how much CBD you’re consuming.
Another advantage of using CBD oil is the reasonable cost. Making your own CBD oil at home is easy and affordable. I recommend reading my homemade CBD oil guide.
Disadvantages of using CBD oil:
The biggest disadvantage of using CBD oil is the amount of time it takes for the effects to kick in. In my personal experience CBD oil takes anywhere from one hour to three hours to kick in.
I’ve heard the same from several other people. So if you’re looking for immediate relief, this option may not be best for you.
CBD Oil Dose:
CBD oil comes in different strengths, and it’s always measured as mg/ml (milligrams per milliliter).
You want to focus on the total number of milligrams (mg) you consume. A strong CBD oil might contain 25mg of CBD in 0.5ml of oil, while a weak CBD oil will contain 25mg of CBD in 1.5ml of oil.
Some people will feel the relief of CBD after consuming 25mg, and for others it will take 50mg, 75mg, or over 100mg of CBD. It all depends on the ailment and other factors like body weight and sensitivity.
I suggest starting with 25mg of CBD and working your way up to whatever dose provides the relief you’re looking for.
How to Use
Another popular method for people to consume CBD is by vaporizer. There are almost unlimited number of different vaporizers available. A trusted source with a nice selection of vaporizers is Grass City.
There are a few different ways to consume CBD with a vaporizer. The two most popular methods are vaporizing hemp flower, and vaporizing a CBD oil cartridge. A third, less popular method would be to place CBD isolate into a vaporizer and consume it that way.
Vaporizer Temperature Setting
Some inexpensive vapes operate at one single temperature. But the more advanced vapes will let you set a any one of temperature between roughly 300 and 425 degrees fahrenheit.
When using hemp flower in a vaporizer, it’s best to start out at a lower temperature like 360 or 380 degrees fahrenheit, then step your way up to 400 then finish at 420.
The reasoning is the various hemp terpenes have different boiling points. So being able to operate the vape at a range of temperatures ensures you evaporate as many of the different terpenes as possible.
Advantages of Vaporizing CBD
There are distinct advantages to vaporizing CBD or hemp flower containing CBD. The main advantage is the effects of the CBD will be almost immediately noticeable.
Another advantage of consuming CBD with a vaporizer is being able to taste the different flavors of different hemp flower strains. Just like there are wine connoisseurs, there are hemp connoisseurs who enjoy sampling different strains that have different terpene profiles.
I enjoy stopping by the HempFlowers Subreddit on occasion to read what the hot new hemp strain is.
Other advantages of using vaporizers, according to study groups are factors like portability, concealability, and efficiency.
Disadvantages of Vaporizing CBD
The main disadvantage of vaporizing hemp flower or CBD cartridges is you’re inhaling vapor form of hemp terpenes (oils), and other plant matter into your lungs.
I was unable to find any studies that specifically list negative health effects of vaping. But it’s logical to assume the terpene oils and carrier oils from hemp flower and vape cartridges are being inhaled and affecting the body in a potentially negative way.
Other disadvantages cited from study groups were factors such as weaker medication delivery (in contrast to others who said it’s stronger); device cost; and technology-use barriers.
How to Use
CBD isolate is a good choice for people who don’t want to consume the trace amount of THC present in full spectrum oil. It’s also good if you want to make your own oil or edibles at home in a less expensive way.
When using CBD isolate, you need to measure out the proper dose in milligrams. I recommend starting at 25 milligrams and working your way up until you reach the desired effect.
It’s important to understand that CBD molecules are carried to the body’s cells by fatty oils. For this reason, it’s better to consume CBD isolate with some sort of MCT oil or other carrier oil like olive oil.
If you’re eating a hamburger, steak, or other meal that’s high in fatty oils, that will likely be sufficient. People also make their own CBD butter to add to baking recipes.
Advantages of CBD Isolate
There are a few benefits to CBD isolate. The first benefit is that it’s cheaper to buy in bulk, and then use to make CBD oil or edibles. I recommend bulk CBD Isolate from Extract Labs as a quality option.
Another advantage is being able to avoid trace THC. Some people need to ensure they pass a drug test, so THC free isolate is the only option.
Last, the ability to put the isolate in practically anything makes it an attractive option.
Disadvantages of CBD Isolate
You don’t get the benefit of full spectrum CBD (this can actually be a positive or negative depending on your circumstances). If you plan to add isolate to an edible it still needs to be mixed with a carrier oil like MCT oil to ensure it works well.
How to Use
Edibles are another method of consuming CBD. You can buy them in select places, or you can make them yourself at home. You eat them and wait 1-2 hours for the effects to kick in.
The Treedibles Subreddit as well as cannabis cooking blogs like WakeAndBake.co are great resources for recipes if you want to give home cooking a try. My CBD THC potency calculator will also help you get the right amount of CBD into your edibles.
There are also CBD oil pills that work in the same way as edibles. No matter which form of edible you take, it involves CBD mixed with a carrier oil that’s mixed into food and eaten.
Advantages of CBD Edibles
The advantages of CBD edibles range from convenience to great taste. You can even make a hobby out of cooking your own CBD edibles.
Disadvantages of CBD Edibles
The disadvantages of CBD edibles are factors like cost (if you buy from a store or website), long term storage (some edibles don’t maintain form as well over time), time to cook, and risk of ruining the edibles in the cooking process.
It also takes time for CBD edibles to kick in, so they may not be the best option for people who need immediate relief.
There are a few other methods you can use to consume CBD. These methods are more recreational, and might not be the first choice for somebody using CBD for some sort of relief.
People use other methods like bongs and joints to consume CBD. Even though you would think these methods are similarly efficient to vaporizing CBD or taking CBD oil orally, people report different effectiveness when switching between methods.
So when you aren’t in immediate need of relief and you have some time to experiment, you may decide to try one of these other methods if they interest you.
A Trustworthy CBD Vendor
I’ve personally used several products from Extract Labs, a Colorado based CBD company. If you’re looking for a trustworthy vendor I highly recommend checking out their CBD and CBG product offerings.
Questions About Using CBD
Why doesn’t CBD work for me?
There are a couple reasons CBD might not work for you.
The first is that you’re taking too low of a dose. Especially if you’re taking 25mg or less. Try increasing your dose up to 40mg or 50mg and adjust from there.
Another reason CBD might not work for you is the method of consumption. It sounds strange but I’ve read several stories of people who switch from smoking CBD flower to vaporizing CBD flower who say it makes a huge difference. I’ve also seen similar stories of switching between other methods.
How much CBD Flower, Oil, or Edibles should I consume?
It comes down to two factors – the dose of CBD that works for you specifically, and measuring out that dose properly with the method of consumption you’re using.
If you find 50mg of CBD is a good amount for you personally, and you have CBD oil that’s 25 milligrams per milliliter, that means you need to consume two milliliters to reach the 50 milligram level.
If you have CBD flower and you’re trying to consume 50 milligrams, you need to do some math based on the flower’s potency.
First calculate your flower’s total CBD. Use my potency calculator if you don’t already know the potency. If you have one gram with 20% total CBD, that equals 200 milligrams of CBD, so to get 50 milligrams you would need one quarter gram.
Is there a specific type of CBD that will work better?
This is only for people who use CBD flower. But the answer is that different hemp strains have different levels of terpene oils that induce slightly different effects.
Berkshire CBD offers a collection of CBD hemp flower based on the effects the terpenes are likely to induce. I’ve purchased flower from Berkshire CBD before and I can highly recommend it.
Will CBD trigger a drug test?
Drug tests are triggered by THC metabolites. In order to use CBD and still pass a drug test, you need to buy CBD oil or CBD isolate that’s labeled 0% THC. If the product is not labeled as containing 0% THC, you risk it containing a trace amount of THC.
Full-spectrum CBD oil contains trace amounts of THC and should be avoided if you need to pass a drug test.
Will CBD make me tired?
CBD can make you tired if you take enough of it. The slight tiredness usually becomes apparent a few hours after the effects begin. But it’s nothing close to taking a cough or allergy medicine that makes you drowsy.
This effect is one reason I like mixing my CBD with CBG, which reduces that tiredness effect for me. Read the article I list in the next section for more details.
If you’re taking CBD to help you sleep, I personally recommend using CBD three or four hours before bedtime so you benefit from the slight tiredness that can come afterward.
Combine CBD and CBG for even better results
Try combining your CBD with CBG (cannabigerol). I always enjoyed using CBD, but in my experience cannabigerol (CBG) takes away some of the less desirable effects of CBD when they’re combined together.