Easy to take and quick to kick in, CBD oil is one of the most popular ways to enjoy the benefits of CBD. If you’re looking to give it a try for yourself, you might be wondering: how do you take CBD oil? In this article, we’ll answer all your questions about taking CBD oil. But first, here’s a quick overview of what it is and how it works.
What is CBD oil?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It’s one of many “cannabinoids” found in the hemp plant along with hundreds of other natural compounds like fatty acids, vitamins, terpenes and flavonoids. To make CBD oil, CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and blended with a carrier oil like MCT, olive oil or coconut oil.
You’ll usually see one of three things on the label of your CBD oil:
- “Full-spectrum” means that it contains CBD and all of those other compounds from the hemp plant.
- “Broad-spectrum” CBD oil is full-spectrum oil minus THC, a cannabinoid that’s also found in cannabis (the one responsible for the “high” feeling).
- “CBD isolate” means that it contains only CBD.
How does CBD oil work?
There’s an incredibly complex system in your body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), responsible for keeping everything in a state of balance. Sleep, immunity, mood, body temperature, reproduction, pain, appetite, skin health… you name it, the ECS is involved!
Endocannabinoids – cannabinoids produced by your body – keep this system running smoothly by acting on receptors and enzymes all over the body. When you take external cannabinoids, like CBD, they act on these receptors and enzymes in a similar way. We’ve still got a lot to learn about the ECS, but researchers believe that’s how CBD produces its various wellbeing effects.
So now you know what CBD oil is and how it works, let’s talk about how to take it!
How do you take CBD oil?
CBD oil usually comes in either comes in a dropper bottle or as a spray. Both drops and sprays are equally effective, but some people prefer sprays because they deliver more precise doses.
You take CBD oil sublingually. That means you drop or spray the oil under your tongue and hold it there, where it’s absorbed directly into the bloodstream via the sublingual vessels. Taken this way, you can expect the CBD to take effect in around 20-30 minutes.
Other ways to take CBD oil
You can also take CBD oil in capsule form. Some people prefer capsules because they’re cleaner, more precise and more convenient than oil drops, while others prefer them because they’re not so keen on the strong, earthy taste of CBD oil.
The main drawback of CBD capsules, though, is that they have to reach your bloodstream via your digestive system and liver. This detour means they take longer to kick in than CBD oil, and some of the CBD is lost along the way (referred to as lower bioavailability).
You can also take CBD oil by mixing it into smoothies, baked treats or other recipes. However, this method also has slower absorption and lower bioavailability. And depending on what you’re making and how much CBD you want to take, the taste can be overpowering.
If you don’t really like the taste of CBD oil but you still want the quick effects and high bioavailability, look for one of the many flavoured CBD oils available. On the other hand, if accurate dosing is your main concern, then go for a sublingual CBD oil in a metered spray bottle. If you’re looking for great taste, precise dosing and convenience, try CBD sweets like ZenBears CBD Gummies, with exactly 10mg per gummy and a pharmaceutical coating for maximum absorption.
Finally, you can mix CBD oil into creams, lotions or gels and apply it to your body (called topical application). People often do this for muscle aches, skin complaints, or other situations where you want to directly target a specific area. However, only a tiny amount of CBD actually makes it into your system, so if you’re looking for general overall benefits, this won’t be the most effective use of your CBD oil!
Further reading: 5 Ways to Make your CBD Oil Taste Better
How much CBD oil should I take?
There’s no set rule for how much CBD oil you should take, so it usually takes a bit of trial and error to find the right dosage for you. If you’re new to CBD, we recommend starting with a low dose of about 10mg of CBD oil so you can see how it affects you. Wait at least three hours before your next dose, and if you don’t feel the desired effects, increase your dose to 20mg.
Keep doing this until you find the dose that’s right for you. If you think your dose is a little too high, e.g. you’re feeling some uncomfortable side effects (more on those in a sec!), then drop back down to your last comfortable dose and stick with it.
How do I know how much CBD oil I’m taking?
For CBD oil, you’ll usually see a number like 100mg, 500mg, 750mg, and so on. That’s the total CBD content in the whole bottle. Some brands will tell you the content of CBD per millilitre and how many drops/sprays you need to take, but if they don’t, you can work it out yourself with three simple steps.
Step 1: How much CBD is in each millilitre of oil?
Total CBD content (mg) / Total bottle volume (ml) = mg of CBD per ml
So in a 10ml bottle with 1,000mg of CBD:
1,000mg / 10ml = 100mg of CBD per ml
Step 2: How much CBD is in each drop/spray?
Unless it says otherwise, assume that every 1ml is 20 drops or sprays.
mg of CBD per ml / 20 = mg of CBD per drop
100mg of CBD per ml / 20 = 5mg of CBD per drop
Step 3: How many drops you need to take for your desired dose?
Desired dose / mg of CBD per drop = number of drops
So if you want a 20mg dose of CBD:
20mg dose / 5mg of CBD per drops = 4 drops
Can you take too much CBD oil?
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommends taking no more than 70mg of CBD a day. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has studied CBD extensively and found that it would take a huge amount of CBD oil to have any significant health effects. Basically, you’re highly unlikely to overdose on CBD oil unless you’re drinking multiple bottles a day!
That said, you might experience some mild side effects if you overdo it on the CBD oil. The most common ones are nausea, an upset stomach, tiredness or a change of appetite. This usually happens when you’re new to CBD or you use a stronger product than you’re used to, but don’t worry – they resolve quickly and they won’t do you any lasting harm. Take a break, and then ease back in with a lower dose.
While you won’t overdose on CBD oil, CBD can affect how some prescription medications work. If you’re taking medication, it’s best to run it by your doctor before you take CBD oil so you can discuss how to do it safely.
Where can I buy CBD oil?
We’ve got you covered! When it comes to CBD, you can’t always be sure that what you’re buying online is safe or legit – unless you buy from a reputable brand like CBD Shopy.
Every single one of our CBD oils is made from the highest-quality hemp, grown under the strictest organic farming conditions, and manufactured with gold-standard processes in world-class facilities. And unlike some of the rogue brands out there, we provide you with independent, third-party lab reports to verify the content, quality and safety of your CBD oil. Shop our full range of CBD oil drops and sprays here.