There’s no getting around it anymore because we can all agree CBD is everywhere. Its popularity skyrocketed in the past years and has become so much more than the niche alternative treatment that it was. Additionally, it’s no longer only available in oils and tinctures, but a wide array of products like topicals and gummies.

In America, about 14% of the population uses CBD products either for pain, anxiety, sleep, and much more. If you have decided to join this growing revolution, one of the most important decisions you have to make is how to take CBD. Each method will deliver CBD to your body in a different way.

This will affect what you can use it for, how often you can use it, and the end results you experience. Your body is also going to react in a different way from that of anyone else, so you can’t copy someone’s recommendation exactly. For these reasons, we have compiled the ultimate guide on how to take CBD.

Understand What Your Goals Are

The first thing you have to understand is that you must be of legal age to buy CBD products, and you have to be vigilant to get the best CBD products in the market. Knowing what therapeutic properties you need will help you decide the best way to take CBD.

You also need to be clear about what you’re trying to achieve, whether it’s relief from pain, anxiety, arthritis, insomnia, inflammation, etc. Additionally, you need to know where you want it to reach. For instance, if you have a problem close to the mucus membrane of the skin, then a topical or suppository would be a great option. These CBD products reach exactly where you need them to in the highest concentration.

Beyond that, you need to understand how fast or slow you need the CBD to work after administration. If you’re taking other types of medications, you should also consider interactions. It would be advisable for you to talk to a healthcare professional in this case, although topicals and inhaled products may minimize interactions. Here are different ways of taking CBD:

Oral – Swallowing

Taking CBD orally is one of the most popular methods, and the types of products you can take orally include CBD oil, capsules, powder, tonics, edibles, and tinctures. When you ingest CBD orally, it will pass through your digestive system and will be absorbed into the bloodstream, and travel through your whole body.

This is arguably the slowest way for CBD to reach its target. However, it’s also the longest way for it to remain active in your body. This makes it one of the best options for long-term supplementation because peak levels could stay in your bloodstream anywhere between 1 and 6 hours.

There are several considerations you have to make when using CBD this way. To begin with, the food you eat will directly impact the rate of CBD absorption in your body. More cannabinoids are likely to be absorbed on a full stomach, and foods with a considerable dose of healthy fats will increase the amount of CBD that reaches the bloodstream.

Oral – Sublingual

Sublingual generally means under the tongue and some of the products you can take through this method are CBD oils or tonics. Instead of swallowing them, you place them under your tongue and hold them for several minutes. The product is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through capillary-rich areas, such as your gums and cheeks.

This method generally avoids the first metabolism process and goes directly through your body. This way of taking CBD reacts a lot faster compared to swallowing. That said, you will most certainly swallow some of it, so peak levels range from anywhere between 0.5 to 5 hours.

When taking these types of CBD, it’s also notable that it works better if taken slightly after a person has eaten. It’s recommended to keep the CBD oil in your mouth for about two minutes before swallowing and swish it around your mouth and between your teeth to increase absorption.


The types of CBD products you can take through inhalation include dabs, high-CBD cannabis and hemp strains, pre-rolls, and vape pens. When you take CBD through this method, it passes through your lungs then rapidly goes through your bloodstream.

This is one of the quickest ways for CBD to go through your system. However, it will remain effective for a shorter time, and peak levels could remain for only 10 minutes. Inhalation is also likely to get more THC in your bloodstream, which will be based on the inhalation technique of choice.

It’s also advisable to get a high-quality vape pen to avoid products that contain propylene glycol for cleaner vapor. Always rely on third party testing and independent reviews for your CBD products, especially anything that is inhaled.


Topical products are applied to the skin and can be in the form of oils, lotions or creams. They diffuse across the skin and reach targeted areas, such as muscles, pain perceiving nerves, and inflammatory cells. Through this application method, very little of it, or none at all, gets in the bloodstream, although some products are created for transdermal activity.

How to Take CBD: The Different Methods You Can Use

There you have it! If you’re looking into starting a journey with CBD products and want to know how to take CBD, these are the options you have. Each option has its pros and cons, and you need to weigh all your options before you settle. You can test different products to see which one works best, or you can talk to a professional depending on what you’re trying to achieve, or turn to third-party lab test results and transparent reviews.