How should you take your CBD for best results?

If you are new to CBD, read up on what it is and some of the benefits you might experience when taking it. The body can absorb CBD in various methods and forms. Each method distributes the CBD in a different way. How to take CBD for best results depends on what it is intended for.

Ask yourself why you are taking CBD and what you want to get out of it. Once you know where you want the CBD to be effective and for how long, you need to plan your administration methods accordingly.

Another factor influencing how well each method works is your own body. Don’t forget, we all come in different shapes and sizes with different metabolic rates.

What might work well for your friend might not work the same way for you. Each individual is different when it comes to dosage and administration method.

Hence it is important that you try your chosen method on a low dosage first to see how your body reacts. The last thing you want is a poor reaction to a higher dose. It also means finding your ideal CBD consumption will take some experimentation.

Some methods are more popular and effective than others. Most of the new product ideas are coming from the USA and Canada as CBD is more established in those countries.

There are also products on the market looking like straight out of a blue sky thinking session. Often with questionable effectiveness. Here are the 4 main ways of how to take CBD for best results.

4 ways to take your CBD for best results
4 ways to take your CBD for best results


The product for this method of administration is an oil or tincture. Sublingual application means dropping the oil or tincture beneath your tongue.

After inhalation, the sublingual application is the second fastest way of getting CBD into your bloodstream. Blood vessels under the tongue make sure the oil goes into the body. By bypassing the digestive system it goes faster into your bloodstream than oral ingestion.

When a substance is placed under the tongue it circulates straight into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes. Thanks to plenty of capillaries in that area any active ingredients get absorbed straight away.

As that method bypasses the digestive system the CBD oil does not go straight into the liver where it is broken down.

This administration method targets the whole body. You will start to feel an effect after about 15 mins to 1 hour after ingestion. Any effect will subside after about 6 to 8 hours.

Due to the long-lasting effect of this method, you shouldn’t re-dose for at least 3 hours after ingestion. Otherwise, you might experience the combined effect of both doses for a short period. This is less of an issue when taking smaller doses though.

Don’t swallow straight away!

The sublingual method only works its magic if you do not swallow the oil or tincture immediately. For the method to work, you need to keep the oil under your tongue for at least a few minutes before swallowing.

You can increase the absorption rate by swishing the oil around and hence increase the surface space. When the oil reaches more capillaries it will circulate faster into the bloodstream.

If you, for any reason, swallow the oil too soon it will digest the same way as an edible. In that case, you will have to wait a bit before you feel the desired effect and it also lasts for a prolonged amount of time.

Pipette in small jar with oil in it and whole dropper flat on the side

Oral ingestion

This is the most popular form of taking CBD. You can put CBD in almost anything you consume on a daily basis. The favourites include CBD gummies, chocolate and CBD coffee.

With this method, the CBD takes longer to show its effect as it has to pass through your digestive system first. It metabolites in your liver before hitting your bloodstream.

Oral ingestion digests CBD the same way as any other supplement. Research shows that CBD is absorbed more if ingested on a full stomach. Even though you have to to wait for somewhere between 1 to 2 hours before feeling any effect it will last for an extended period (up to 12 hours). Due to the long-lasting effect, this method is best for long term supplementation.

If you’re struggling with measurements or want something more convenient CBD capsules are ideal. They come in pre-measured sizes and you won’t taste them as you swallow them immediately.

Oral ingestion also works on the whole body and you shouldn’t re-dose after at least 3 hours of ingestion. Your body will be able to digest about 20% to 30% of the ingested CBD with this method.


Topical application means using a CBD cream or lotion and applying it onto your skin. With this method, CBD does not enter your bloodstream, or at least only a tiny fraction of it will.

Topical application is best for spot treatment. It allows you to target certain areas of your body instead of affecting the whole body. Choose this method if you want to use CBD to help you with muscle aches, joint problems or tensions.

The skin is not as good as mucous membranes in absorbing CBD though. For this application to work best choose a product high in CBD and apply generously.

Transdermal CBD patches are an easier way of topical administration and are gaining in popularity. Using a transdermal patch you don’t have to worry about dosing.

CBD patches provide accurate ratios and only need to be applied to the skin. High-quality patches will be water-resistant with optimal reservoir design for gradual absorption.

Certain patches come with added natural ingredients providing extra health benefits. CBD patches are particularly popular in yoga classes. They tend to work best on body parts with the best access to blood vessels like the lower abdomen.

Always read the instructions that come with the patches before applying them to your skin.


Vaping is the fastest way of getting CBD into your bloodstream. The compounds are distributed through your lungs into the bloodstream and go into your heard and brain right away. From there, they pass bit by bit through to the liver for breakdown.

This method also bypasses the digestive system hence the speed of absorption. Vaping helps to absorb greater amounts of CBD faster but the substance stays in your system the shortest amount of time of all consumption methods.

Vaping also works on the whole body. You will start to feel an effect after seconds or minutes after taking a puff. But the effect subsides after about 2 to 3 hours. The bio-availability is highest with this method meaning your body will be able to use about 34% to 46% of the inhaled CBD.

Unfortunately, vaping can include other chemicals and toxins that could be problematic for your health. There has been an outbreak of vaping related illnesses in the USA.

The Centres of Disease Control (CDC) are investigating the case. This is a serious matter with 47 deaths and 2,290 cases of lung-injury reported as of 20th November 2019.

According to the most recent findings, one of the reasons for the outbreak is the usage of vaping products from informal sources. Such sources include friends, in-person dealers or shady online dealers.

These products tend to be cheap and may contain synthetic cannabinoids which are not intended for human consumption. They are more dangerous than naturally occurring cannabinoids.

Bearded man vaping with vaper in his right hand and lots of smoke

Alternative CBD products

The jury is still out on the effectiveness of below products. Some seem to be more “out there” than others.

CBD Candles

This candle collection is a collaboration between YIELD and Black Dahlia. There are 4 different series in the collection and each candle contains 150mg CBD. The idea behind CBD candles is to use the melted wax as a topical which you can use for your hands or as a massage oil.

Once melted, let the wax cool down to your preferred temperature and use accordingly. A primary use case for those candles is likely to be Spa places and Wellness centres. It is questionable though if and how much of the CBD burns away while the candle is lit.

A creative idea nevertheless.

CBD Pillowcases

One company in the USA announced it will be adding CBD to its product line of pillows and pillowcases. It is unclear how it intends to do that though. Hemp can be used to extract fibre which in turn can be used to fabricate cloth.

But the fibre comes from a different part of the hemp plant than the CBD. One could infuse the pillows with CBD oil to get some kind of topical effect when sleeping on it.

The CBD oil would disappear after some time though. This is the first of its kind and “imaginative” comes to mind.


How to take CBD for best results depends on what you would like to achieve and over which time frame. For shorter time frames vaping is your best option. Given the current issues with lung injuries in the USA, I would stay away from that though.

For long term supplementation sublingual or oral ingestion is best. If you take CBD for sleep support a few drops of CBD oil beneath your tongue 30 min before bedtime should do the trick.

If you can’t be bothered to figure out your perfect dosage CBD capsules or transdermal patches are for you.

How do you prefer to take your CBD? Let me know in the comments below.

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