Cannabidiol, or CBD, has quickly become one of the most popular therapeutic ingredients, offering a variety of potential health benefits. CBD is a cannabinoid, a variety of compounds unique to marijuana and other plants in the Cannabis genus. The other popular cannabinoid is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Unlike THC, CBD does not produce any euphoric sensations or possess any psychoactive properties. CBD is a relatively inert compound compared to THC and has more potential for physical relief. In other words, where THC creates the characteristic “high” associated with cannabis, CBD is known to support physical relaxation and calm the mind.
You may be convinced to try CBD, but we understand that you might feel a little intimidated or unsure about where to start. Here are some quick tips for using CBD products for beginners.
1. Start low and slow.
As CBD therapy is so customized, there’s no established standard or recommended daily serving size of CBD. The starting point for the average user is anywhere from 10 to 40 milligrams per day. People may take 40 to 60 milligrams to support healthy sleep. Those looking for support for neurological disorders may take up to 1,200 milligrams per day.
The biggest mistake with anyone trying CBD for the first time is starting with too much at once. If you have little to no experience with CBD or marijuana in general, you should by no means start at 1,200 milligrams per day. Even 10 milligrams per day might feel too much. Start as low as possible with 1.25 to 2.5 milligrams per day and go from there. If you don’t feel anything after a few hours, increase the serving size. This will take some experimentation, and as your body gets accustomed to the CBD, you’ll gradually need to increase the serving size.
2. Consider different delivery methods.
While smoking is the best-known method of taking CBD, you can now find a wide range of delivery methods, including edibles, pills, topical creams and lotions, and oils and tinctures.
Pills and edible forms tend to be the easiest for beginners, but it’s important to understand that CBD has relatively low bioavailability, which means that only a fraction of the CBD you ingest will survive your digestive system and actually make it into your bloodstream. Some experts suggest that up to 60 percent of CBD can be lost in the process of digestion. Edibles also tend to take longer to take effect as they need to go through the entire digestive process before they get broken down in the intestines, releasing the CBD into your system. You can generally expect to wait 2-3 hours before you feel the effects.
Sublingual CBD oils are also an excellent and easy option for beginners. This concentrated form of CBD is placed under the tongue, which has highly absorbent blood vessels, allowing for faster delivery than with normal edibles. With sublingual oils, you can feel effects within minutes.
Topical lotions and creams work by penetrating the skin to activate endo-cannabinoid receptors in your muscle tissue. This offers more localized relief to support joint health and general inflammation.
Smoking or vaping CBD oil is one of the fastest ways to feel the cannabinoid’s effects, but the process can be a bit daunting for beginners. Vaping and smoking can also be difficult to judge the serving size based on how much you inhale (which isn’t exact with every breath). On the other hand, it may be a great option for those who are already familiar vaping. Additionally, many people can find the actual act of vaping relaxing. The soft clouds it produces and deep breathes can further promote relaxation and calmness.
The delivery method really depends on what you want to soothe and on how immediate you’d like the effects. Topical forms take less time and are designed for more localized issues. Internal forms of CBD offer more generalized relief but may take longer.
3. Look for high-quality CBD products.
Just like with anything else you put into your body, look for CBD products that use good quality ingredients. Most experts recommend whole-plant CBD extracts, which offers a wider range of other phytochemicals and compounds. Be aware that some CBD extracts may still contain trace amounts of THC, but don’t worry. Studies suggest that THC and CBD work synergistically, meaning that that small fraction of THC can help your CBD work better.
CBD aside, if you’re using edibles or other forms, look for all-natural ingredients and avoid trans fats, preservatives, thinning agents, and other unhealthy additives.
4. Expect some trial and error.
Based on tolerance levels, metabolic rate, delivery method, and anything you ate or drank prior to taking the CBD, your reaction may be completely different from someone else’s. In fact, your own experiences with CBD may vary from day to day as you figure out the serving size and regimen that works best.
5. Stay hydrated.
Again, everyone’s experience is different, but some people using CBD products may experience dehydration if they’re already not hydrating properly. CBD or not, it never hurts to drink more water throughout the day.
6. You may experience some side effects.
Some users may experience mild side effects, including:
Low blood pressure
If you do experience side effects, you can expect them to subside over time. Side effects are generally uncommon, especially at lower serving sizes. If you do experience more serious symptoms, consult your doctor.
7. Be patient.
There is a huge range of CBD-infused products, which means that finding the right serving size or form can take some time. If you’re patient and willing to try new things, CBD products can help support just about every aspect of your physical and emotional health. If you’re having some trouble, it’s okay to step back and re-evaluate your needs.
Read Elephant’s Best Articles of the Week here.
Readers voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares:
Click here to see which Writers & Issues Won.