Guest post by Karhlyle Fletcher
In the wonderful world of CBD, the options just keep growing. From dog treats to massage oils, from fresh herbal extracts to straight dabs, there’s no shortage of CBD products.
So, do all of these methods work and feel the same? Well, no. Although CBD is present in all hemp products, the way it enters your system dictates the time it will take to activate, and how it will affect your body.
Classic methods such as smoking and vaping buds are quick to activate: The high starts to take effect within seven minutes. These are heavy-hitting methods, and the classic high associated with them is relatively unique. For traditional edibles and other products, the effects can take more than an hour to kick in.
Because most or all of the THC has been removed from CBD products, CBD’s relaxing nature is more noticeable. Dabbing CBD usually results in an intensely relaxing experience. However, most consumers seem to be interested in a milder experience with CBD, and thus the majority of products focus on lower and more precise dosages.
Capsules, low-sugar edibles and tinctures are common products offered by CBD companies because they’re approachable to the consumer. Many people entering the world of CBD aren’t looking for the experience of getting high. Especially with the rising interest among older people, it’s natural that such easy-to-use products are growing in popularity.
From CBD isolate to broad and full-spectrum extracts, CBD offers something for everyone. Even those who prefer traditional cannabis will likely find there’s a lot of fun to be had with CBD products.
The hemp plant includes a variety of cannabinoids, including CBD. Thus, smoking hemp flower is incredibly similar to smoking cannabis buds. The difference is that hemp flower delivers what Cannabis indica cultivars promised: little to no THC.
If you’re seeking an unassuming, relaxing, legal and affordable option for cannabis, look into smoking hemp flower, especially if you’re sensitive to psychoactive effects. THC is thought to be the psychoactive component in cannabis, and so hemp with little to none of it could be the perfect choice for those who feel too spaced out from other cultivars.
It smells, smokes and tastes pretty much the same. It grows sticky, and can be ground up and rolled into a joint, or packed into a bowl.
The terpenes retain their bushy, skunky nature, and every other compound is contained within the buds. Even for those who prefer the strains with bursts of high energy, smoking hemp flower is an experience that some have found enjoyable.
Traditional edibles and drinks use oil-soluble CBD in their ingredients. This is often put into some sort of carrier oil or other fat, and then ingested through a sugary product, such as a soda or a brownie.
You can buy diverse CBD cooking oils and other niche products, such as sugar-free CBD gummies. Generally, all traditional edibles take between 45 minutes to an hour to fully peak.
This lag is caused by the digestive tract, as the oil-soluble molecules have to be processed by the body before they’re able to enter the bloodstream. After that point, though, edibles are often potent due to inaccurate labeling, and because people eat extra portions when they haven’t started feeling the effects.
Edibles, and especially baked goods, can carry a rich cannabis flavor. The taste of cannabis, or specifically hemp, is earthy and herby. This attribute can be a positive or a negative. Some people find it nauseating, while others think it’s delicious.
Sugary sodas and other such products bypass the taste issue, however. Although the flavor of cannabis is still present, a bubbly, sugary blast is going to swish through your mouth quicker than an edible will take to chew.
Due to this, we suggest people start with sodas. They are often low potency, and so they have minor relaxing effects over an extended time, easing people into the experience.
Tinctures represent a distilled form of CBD, usually a broad- or full-spectrum product. These are made with alcohol and hemp, so they’re highly concentrated and can be absorbed under the tongue. Although the words are used interchangeably by some brands, CBD tinctures are not to be mistaken for CBD oil.
CBD oil is usually made with a cleaner CO2-based extraction process, such as the formula we offer. It also tends to be mixed with carrier oils instead of alcohol. For instance, we use coconut-derived MCT oil, as its fat-soluble nature leads to greater absorption.
Other methods include mixing the oil into drinks and toppings so that it is easily included in a daily routine. When taken directly, they often have a light floral flavor, less prominent than the typical cannabis edible. Several tinctures come with droppers labeled by the milliliter, giving consumers direct control over their dosage.
Vaping has long been heralded as a healthier alternative to smoking. While that is debatable, vaping certainly provides a smoother and lighter experience than smoking, as vaping relies on water vapor instead of smoke.
Dab pens have made this one of the most convenient ways to smoke on the go, and CBD dabs are a legal way to stay lit throughout the U.S. Dabbing is still considered vaping.
Even when using a torch, dabbing involves conductive heating, turning the concentrate into a vapor to be inhaled. Vaporizing flowers can be done at lower temperatures, providing a longer experience and allowing you to get more out of the total cannabinoid content of the herb.
The fat-soluble nature of CBD is why it is traditionally added to butter and oils. However, in recent years, some brands have claimed to make a “water-soluble” version. While this is not technically true, they do use a water-soluble container to deliver the CBD.
The inventor of methadone, Stephen Goldner, uses what’s known as a “pumpkin carriage” method. The CBD sits inside a carriage of water-soluble molecules, much like Cinderella on her way to the ball inside her transformed pumpkin carriage. Moving through the thin skin of the mouth on its way into the bloodstream, the carriage successfully transports the CBD into the body and then melts away, leaving the CBD to be pumped throughout the body.
The purported advantage of this method is that it allows cannabinoids to take effect within minutes. Compared to traditional edibles, tinctures and other methods of consuming cannabinoids, water-soluble cannabinoids supposedly activate faster in the body and don’t require the medium of oils or fats.
This quality allowed Goldner to design a sublingual tablet that has almost no calories, but packs the same punch as an edible. In addition to a faster absorption time, water-soluble cannabinoids are more bioavailable to the human body.
Because of this, lower dosages of water-soluble cannabinoids are claimed to be more potent than higher dosages of oil-soluble cannabinoids. Water-soluble products can include drinkables, edibles and even nasal sprays.
The verdict isn’t yet in for water-soluble CBD. While proponents claim it is up to 10 times more effective than other methods, the assertion that the nanoparticle version of CBD affects the endocannabinoid system in the same way that regular CBD does has not been proven.
Novel methods, such as Goldner’s “pumpkin carriage,” may prove to have superior rates of efficiency, but the research has yet to demonstrate this.
Water-soluble CBD remains one of the most exciting innovations within the CBD industry, but don’t get lost in the hype. Make sure to review the claims and methods behind any potential purchase.
Perhaps the oddest reality about the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is that it exists throughout the human body. Every section of your skin, your body’s largest organ, has endocannabinoid receptors. Thus, while it may be difficult to imagine that a lotion or cream containing CBD will be effective, the entire body is in fact primed to receive such treatment.
Some even argue that CBD products like creams, lotions and massage oils are the ideal media for topical applications, as they must be worked into the body. Not only does this give the cannabinoids more exposure to the endocannabinoid system, but it’s thought that the heat generated by the massage allows cannabinoids to more easily interact with the ECS.
Additionally, most CBD skincare products sport impressive ingredient lists, ranging from saffron to turmeric. Our own CBD cream contains a mixture of refreshing peppermint and soothing lavender. These extras create delightfully scented products that are luxurious to the touch.
Different parts of the body require different skincare products, and there’s a whole world of CBD topicals out there. These include face serums, body lotions and exfoliating creams.
Due to the lack of federal documentation on CBD topicals, the best method is the guess and check. If something seems right for you, buy it and see how it feels on your skin. Many companies, such as our own, offer 30-day return policies, so there’s no risk whatsoever.