New to CBD? We've created a guide to help beginners navigate using CBD for the first time.
We'll discuss what CBD is, the different ways you can take CBD, how to choose quality CBD products, and what to expect when you start to use CBD products.
Getting Started with CBD
Before you dive into taking CBD, it's good to understand what CBD actually is, where it comes from, and the different options you have to take it.
What is CBD
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is a cannabinoid naturally found in cannabis. Specifically, CBD is found in high concentrations in hemp, which is a type of cannabis that readily grows in a variety of different conditions.
Unlike other well-known cannabinoids, like THC, CBD doesn't have an intoxicating effect on the user. It won't make you high like marijuana (another kind of cannabis) will, because it doesn't have high enough concentrations of THC and other cannabinoids that can create the classic “stoned” effect marijuana is famous for.
Ways to Take CBD
There's a lot of different ways to take CBD, and each style of CBD offers unique benefits:
CBD can be absorbed through the skin, which means it can be directly applied to areas of inflammation for pain relief. CBD creams are common for this reason and are often used to relieve aching muscles or joint pain related to conditions like arthritis.
CBD inhalers (or vaporizers) are a common way to use CBD. With this method, cartridges in the device are connected to batteries, which heat the CBD oil inside. This vaporizes the oil, which can then be inhaled by the user. Inhaling CBD creates a fast effect, but the effect doesn't last as long as ingesting CBD through capsules or oils.
CBD capsules are another common choice to take CBD. With capsules, all you have to do is swallow your preferred dose like you would a vitamin. Since the CBD is more concentrated, the effects will last much longer than the CBD you inhale. However, since it has to work its way through your digestive system before it hits your bloodstream, it will take longer to feel the effects.
Unlike oils, capsules are pre-doses and tasteless, which may appeal to customers looking for a hassle-free way to take CBD.
CBD oils were one of the earliest ways to take CBD, and they continue to be a popular choice. To use them, an eyedropper is used to pull out the oil (and the dropper is sometimes marked with measurements), and then the desired dose is dropped underneath the tongue. Oils, like capsules, offer a potent CBD experience, though they also take longer than inhaling CBD.
Unlike capsules, oils have a few roadblocks that may not appeal to some customers. First, the taste of oils can be strong, and the natural flavor of cannabis may not be appealing to some customers. Even when flavors are added, many customers don't enjoy the taste. Also, it is difficult to precisely measure doses with oils, especially if your eyedropper doesn't have measurements marked.
CBD patches are an easy way to get controlled, sustained doses of CBD. Since the CBD will pass through your skin, customers enjoy high levels of bioavailability, and patches can easily be worn during the day or through the night. Patches can take up to an hour to start taking effect, so other product forms will be a better choice for fast-acting relief.
CBD is unregulated by most governments, including the U.S. and the U.K.) which means there's no legal enforcement of purity or quality standards. This can make it difficult for beginners to find a quality product (and beginners who end up with subpar CBD products can be turned off from using CBD entirely).
Fortunately, there's a few quality markers to look for when shopping for a CBD product, which can help new and veteran customers alike find a high-quality, reliable brand:
Any trustworthy CBD brand will provide 3rd party lab results of their products. This is the only reliable way to know if the CBD product is pure. If a brand doesn't offer independent 3rd party lab results, then we encourage you to continue looking for a brand that is willing to be transparent and honest about the product they're selling.
Another hallmark to look for in CBD is bioavailability. CBD bioavailability refers to how much of the CBD ends up making it to your bloodstream before it's destroyed by your digestive system or otherwise removed by the body. Bioavailability is important because it allows lower doses of CBD to be more effective, which means you can take less CBD at a time, saving you money.
Not all brands will talk about the bioavailability of their products (even high-quality brands). To help set you on the right track, we've ranked the common forms of CBD by their level of bioavailability, starting with the styles with the easiest absorption:
- Topicals (creams/patches) (up to 80% bioavailability)
- Inhaled forms of CBD (up to 35% bioavailability)
- Capsules (6% bioavailability, if not specifically formulated for absorption, like PhenoGel)
- Oils (6% bioavailability)
Choosing a brand that focuses on bioavailability is important to get the most out of the CBD you use. PhenoLife has made bioavailability a top priority among our products, creating formulas that are easily absorbed and are slowly released into your bloodstream.
How it Works
CBD works by interacting with your endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating functions like appetite, mood, and sleep. It also works as an anti-inflammatory, which is why some people look to CBD to treat certain kinds of pain (more on that in a few sections below).
Time it Takes
When customers ask about how long it takes for CBD products to work, there's really two answers to that question. When you first take CBD, you'll feel some of the effects within 15 minutes – 1hr (depending on which form you take). Customers may feel relaxed, calm, sleepy, as well as some pain-relief effects.
However, for major results, it'll take at least a few days (and usually around a week) for enough CBD to build up in your system to feel the true effects. Below, you'll see a graph specifically for PhenoLife products that shows the timeline you can expect for the full results to be felt:
Impact on Body
Research also suggests that CBD may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties, This means it may be able to help relieve inflammatory pain associated with conditions like:
- Chronic back pain
- Arthritis or other inflammatory joint issues
- Crohn's disease or other inflammatory digestive issues
- Any pain associated with inflammation
The antioxidative properties may help to manage or prevent diseases associated with oxidative stress, which would include:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Inflammatory disorders
More research is needed to make any concrete claims about managing inflammation or diseases associated with oxidative stress, but the current research that is available is very promising for CBD.
Impact on Mind
Research suggests that CBD can help to manage a variety of anxiety disorders. If anxiety or stress is impacting your daily life, making it hard to focus on hobbies or work, or if it's impacting your sleep, then CBD may end up being a great option for you.
Unlike other traditional anti-anxiety medications, like Xanax or Zoloft, CBD has very mild side-effects, and the vast majority of customers are able to tolerate CBD with no issues at all.
Impact on Sleep
Finally, CBD may help customers fall asleep and stay asleep in several ways. First, if you struggle to sleep due to chronic pain or anxiety, and CBD helps to relieve those issues, then your quality of sleep may improve. CBD also has the potential to help manage sleep disorders not induced by pain or anxiety, especially in high doses.
Unlike prescription medication sleep aids, CBD does not come with any significant negative side-effects (like extreme sedation, erratic behavior, or heavy grogginess the following day).
CBD offers an excellent route for customers who want to tackle health challenges that have been difficult to resolve. However, different methods of CBD can be more or less effective, as well as different formulas that contain CBD.
If you have questions about how to choose the best CBD product for you, let us know! We're happy to answer your questions and make sure you get into a CBD choice that's perfect for your needs.