CBD Oil vs Cream: Which is better?
As the CBD (cannabidiol) boom makes its way around the world, we are seeing more and more people deciding to try CBD products to give their general health and well-being a boost. Although there are a number of different ways that CBD can be taken – you might prefer to vape it, take it in capsule form or eat it as an edible – many people prefer to take it in drops or a spray under the tongue.
Another delivery method which is often overlooked by people is through using a CBD cream or topical. This can be a different experience to the others as instead of getting into the endocannabinoid system through the bloodstream (as with a CBD oil taken under the tongue), it is ‘absorbed’ into the body through the skin.
By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD can help to regulate a number of factors in the body and boost homeostasis.
Each method can give you a different ‘CBD experience’ and to be able to compare the two methods – and find out which one is best for you, there are a number of factors to consider:
- The speed that the CBD comes into effect
- The amount of time that it is effective
- How easy it is to take or use
- Issues with dosage
- How discrete it is to use
CBD oil is made by taking the extracted CBD from the cannabis plant and mixing it with a carrier oil. The best method of extraction is usually using a process which involves the use of CO2 – the same process as taking caffeine out of coffee or tea. It is then mixed with an oil such as MCT, coconut, hemp seed or olive oil to help the CBD to become absorbed into the body (due to the fact that CBD isn’t water soluble).
CBD oil drops are taken in drops or a spray under the tongue. When it is taken, the CBD oil is held under your tongue for 2-3 minutes to allow the CBD to be absorbed through the lining of the mouth and into the bloodstream.
- How long does it take to come into effect and how long does it last? -CBD oil taken sub-lingually is one of the fastest ways to get CBD into the bloodstream. There are many blood vessels near to the surface of the lining of the mouth which can quickly absorb the CBD, meaning that you should feel an effect within about 20 minutes. It does also, however, begin to lose its effect quickly too.
How easy it is to use -Taking CBD oil sublingually is an easy delivery method. The bottle can be easily carried around and it is easy to put in your pocket or a bag so that you can then use it whenever you need to. Some people don’t enjoy the flavour of CBD oil as it has an ‘earthy’ or ’green’ taste, but there is now an increasing number of flavoured CBD oils available. The taste can also be covered by eating or drinking after taking the oil if you don’t like it.
- Dosage - Controlling dosage is easy with tinctures. The bottle will usually come in a spray form or with a dropper. You can then count the number of sprays or measure the correct amount in the dropper and then apply it under the tongue.
- Discretion - Taking CBD oil sub-lingually can be very discrete and no-one needs to know that it is being taken if this is an issue for you.
CBD topicals like balms and cream work in a different way to the CBD oil which is absorbed into the bloodstream. CBD cream is applied to the skin, where it is absorbed and can help to promote homeostasis in the cannabinoid receptors near to the surface of the skin. In CBD cream, the CBD is infused into a lotion which can be firstly easily spread over the skin, and secondly easily absorbed through the skin.
- How long does it take to come into effect and how long does it last? - Although it takes longer for CBD to become absorbed into the skin, it should also stay effective for longer. It will typically take between about 40 minutes and 2 hours for the CBD to be absorbed and interact with the endocannabinoid system.
- How easy it is to use - CBD cream is really easy to use. Simply rub in the cream thoroughly into the skin where you are looking for an effect. Make sure that you wash your hands and the area before applying it to avoid any dirt or bacteria getting trapped on the skin.
- Dosage - Due to the fact that the CBD is not entering the bloodstream, you can use CBD cream as and when you wish. Check the concentration of CBD in the cream on its packaging to get an idea of how much you are taking.
- Discretion - CBD cream is just as discrete to use as any other skin cream or lotion. No-one needs to know that the cream that you are applying contains CBD if you don’t want them to. Although the CBD is the same, there is a big difference between whether you take it under the tongue, or in a cream. Whilst CBD oil can affect the whole of the endocannabinoid system, when you apply CBD cream, you are interacting with only a localised part of the system.
Depending on your particular circumstances, one method would be probably best suited to you, but one of the good things about CBD is that you can chop and change according to how you feel.