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With so many CBD products on the market, it can be hard to know where to begin when choosing the one that works for you. There are various factors to take into consideration, for example your general health, how active you are, your current habits, your goals for taking CBD and which product will most conveniently fit in with your lifestyle. This guide offers the pros and cons of each CBD product to help you make an informed choice.
CBD vaping describes the process of absorbing vapourised CBD vape liquid directly into your lungs.
Bioavailability is the word used to describe the amount of CBD that your body is able to make use of. It is measured as a percentage and represents the total amount of the substance that was absorbed and put to active use. Consuming CBD by vaping has a much higher bioavailability than other methods because it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream via the lungs, rather than going through the digestive system. This means it will act much quicker than other methods.
Convenient and discrete
A CBD vape is a very portable and convenient device that can be easily carried around in a bag or pocket. Due to the popularity of vaping, people are unlikely to ask you what kind of substance you are inhaling. You can also choose an e-liquid that has a smell that people don’t associate with CBD products or cannabis, such as berry or custard doughnut.
Although vaping has been found to be far safer than smoking, there is still believed to be some small risk to heart, lungs, oral health and brain development in people under 25. There is also a risk of addiction: whilst CBD vape liquid itself isn’t addictive, the actual act of vaping can become so.
CBD oil is usually taken sublingually straight under the tongue or used as an additive to food.
If taken sublingually, CBD oil has a relatively high bioavailability, meaning your body will feel the effects pretty quickly. However, the bioavailability is much lower if added to food or drink as it has to go through the digestive system first.
With more brands popping up all the time, the cost of CBD products has become much more competitive. Because you use a relatively small amount of CBD oil at a time, generally a few drops, it is more cost effective than, for example, buying a CBD drink.
Getting used to the taste
The natural taste is usually described as ‘earthy’ or ‘grassy’ and can be hard to get used to. It may also make food or drink taste strange if used as an additive. However, there are different flavours of oil you can try if you find the natural taste unpleasant.
There is now a huge range of CBD-infused food and drink on the market, from gummies and chocolate to cola and coffee.
Longer lasting results
Though CBD food and drink products have a lower bioavailability than CBD oil or vape liquid, the effects last longer as they have to go through the digestive system, which takes time. It is also easier to be sure of the dose you are taking, as it will be marked on the label.
CBD food and drink has been formulated to taste good, so is a great choice for people who don’t vape or don’t enjoy the taste of CBD oil. With so many gummies, lollipops and chocolate products available, CBD food is ideal for people with a sweet tooth.
Easily fits into your lifestyle
Taking up vaping or remembering to add oil drops to food or drink can initially feel unfamiliar or uncomfortable, or you might simply forget. Having CBD in food and drink products that you use on a daily basis, for example chocolate or coffee, means you don’t have to remember to take it - it’s already there.
Less cost effective
Buying CBD food and drink products may work out more expensive in the long run than something like CBD oil, as you are paying for the whole product rather than just the CBD.
CBD food and drink is less discrete and convenient than something like oil or capsules, which can be easily consumed in places you wouldn’t usually eat or drink, for example at work.
CBD capsules come in a variety of strengths and are usually swallowed whole with water, just like taking a regular vitamin.
Easy to dose
Taking CBD in capsule form means you will get the exact same dose every time. This can be harder to measure with CBD products like oil or vape, where the onus is on you to measure the correct dosage.
Convenient to use
Capsules are quick and convenient to use, won’t cause mess like oil or food can, and are easy to carry around. They are also discrete, as they come in a blister pack or a bottle, meaning they look medicinal and won’t draw attention to you.
Little or no taste
Capsules have very little taste when compared to oil. What flavour there is will be contained within the capsule, which is quickly swallowed down.
Like all products that have to go through the digestive system, the bio-availability of CBD capsules is relatively low.
Easy to forget
Due to the fact that they are so discrete, it can be very easy to forget to take capsules on a regular basis, meaning their overall effectiveness may be diminished.
CBD skincare products come in the form of moisturiser, lip balm, massage oil, muscle rub and much more, and the types of products available on the market are increasing all the time.
Higher medicinal benefits than regular skincare products
Cannabidiol, one of the active compounds in CBD products, offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits which can be highly effective in treating skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. CBD also helps to reduce the production of sebum, which is a major cause of spots and acne.
Very low bioavailability
Because it is applied topically, the CBD in skincare products doesn’t enter the bloodstream and is instead absorbed through the skin's surface to interact with nearby cannabinoid receptors, meaning that the bio-availability in these products is low compared to vaping or ingesting CBD. If you wish to experience the health benefits associated with CBD, it may be worth using skincare products in conjunction with another product.
Choosing the right product depends on many often highly personal factors, including everything from what you enjoy the taste of to whether you work in an environment where you are able to openly take CBD. By weighing up the pros and cons of the many CBD products available, you’ll be able to pick something that is just right for you.