We have heard both good and bad things about smoking and vaping cannabis. And if you are one of the health-conscious ones, smoking pot to take advantage of its medical benefits is out of the question. Good thing there is another more accepted way to deliver CBD to your system, and that is through oral consumption.
Let’s talk about the pros and cons of taking CBD orally, how it is absorbed by the body when taken orally, the different ways to do it, and the various products you can use.
How CBD is absorbed by the body
Cannabinoids, including CBD or cannabidiol, are lipophilic molecules. What this means is that cannabinoids do not dissolve in water but are able to dissolve in fats. As a result, cannabinoids are not readily absorbed by your body when you eat or consume them directly.
CBD, therefore, is dissolved into fats, like seed oils, that can be digested easily. CBD can also be infused in butter, which you can use in cooking or baking. In this oil or butter form, CBD can be readily metabolized by your body. However, absorption is rather slow at only 6 to 15 percent.
Why does oral CBD consumption have a low absorption rate? For one, there’s this thing called “first-pass metabolism,” wherein compounds that are digested by the stomach pass through the liver first before entering the bloodstream. The effectiveness of these compounds is lessened because the enzymes in the liver break down the CBD before it gets absorbed by the body.
When CBD and other cannabinoids are consumed orally, it typically takes one to two hours before you can feel their effects.
One advantage of taking CBD orally is that you can feel its effects for a much longer time compared to other consumption methods because CBD is processed slowly by your body. This makes oral administration of CBD a great option for those who want long-term effects and a widespread relief from pain.
Another good thing about taking CBD orally is that it is a discreet method of administration. Unlike smoking or vaping, you can take your medication without drawing too much attention to it. This is also a great method if you need multiple doses throughout the day because it does not really take too much time to do, and you don’t have to run outside to do it.
Different Oral Products
The various CBD products that you can take orally include:
CBD oil. CBD-infused oil is just CBD extracted from the cannabis plant plus a carrier oil. There are many different carrier oils and you will have to pick a CBD oil with the right carrier oil for you. Carrier oils include coconut oil, hemp seed oil, olive oil, almond oil, and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil.
You can swallow CBD oil directly, or you can put it into capsules and take them like you do regular pills. CBD capsules are tasteless and are therefore a perfect option for those who don’t find the smell, flavor, or consistency of CBD oil pleasant and so couldn’t swallow it as is.
CBD tinctures. These are alcohol- or vegetable glycerin-based extractions that contain other ingredients like vegetable glycerin alcohol, ethanol, or vinegar. Tinctures are, therefore, less concentrated than CBD oil. CBD tincture on its own can be very bitter, so it is usually mixed with artificial flavoring or with a pleasant-tasting carrier oil such as orange or peppermint. You can take CBD tinctures directly using a dropper.
CBD-infused edibles. Edibles are basically CBD oil or CBD tincture that is added into food such as salads, or into beverages like shakes and smoothies. You can also try CBD teas. There’s also CBD butter, which you can use for cooking or for baking goodies like cookies and brownies. There are also CBD gummies and candies for the sweet-toothed. Some also mix CBD with stronger-smelling or stronger-tasting drinks like cocktails or coffee so that the “newly cut grass” flavor of cannabis becomes undetectable.