Undoubtedly, the number of cannabis products has grown in leaps and bounds. As legal and cultural attitudes towards hemp and cannabis continue to change for the better, and growth in cannabis technology, you can expect an abundance of choice for consumption.
In contemporary times, people looking to consume cannabidiol can do so by vaping or smoking, or gobble down an edible in the form of chocolate. Alternatively, they can apply it on their feet as an organic salve or even place some drops beneath their tongues. Industry professionals and doctors refer to these different ways of consumption as delivery methods. In more medical terms, they refer to them as routes of administration. The various techniques include sublingual consumption, inhalation, topical absorption, and ingestion. Each of the courses of administration has both its pros and cons. Each person chooses the one which is most appropriate for them.
The CBD Products Delivery Methods
Ideally, you should try the different methods until you find the one that works for you.
Of course, there are so many ways that you can consume CBD. But how would you determine the best one for you? Among the factors to take into account include the safety and purity of the product, the reason for consumption, potency, and ingredients, among others. But one of the most important and often overlooked is bioavailability.
Simply, bioavailability is the quantified absorption rate. It is how much of the CBD that becomes available for use by the body systems. Consuming 10 milligrams of CBD does not mean that all of it becomes available to your body. There are various variables to consider.
Well, the delivery method is as vital as it gets because it determines how and how much CBD reaches your body systems. Some plans are more efficient than others, and they allow your body to metabolize the CBD in varying ways before entering the blood system. Typically, it is through this process that you lose some of the CBD.
Other factors that affect absorption include biochemistry, state of your endocannabinoid system, the food that you consumed, metabolism, and the frequency of CBD consumption. As mentioned earlier, all these factors are different depending on the dose, time of the day, and personal characteristics.
The bioavailability figures mentioned above are average percentages. Please note that they are a work in progress, and scientists are always working to understand and improve them.
Ideally, you should understand how different CBD products work and how your body absorbs them. That way, you can figure out a working formula on the consumption, and get the best out of the products. It will also help to get the most to cater to your needs.
You can also improve the bioavailability by your diet. Typically, cannabinoids are lipophilic compounds or fat-loving. A healthy level of saturated fats in your body enhances the bioavailability of CBD. Well, some of the healthy foods with a healthy amount of fats include lamb, beef, eggs, and dairy products with high amounts of fat. Coconut oil, pork, and avocado are the other types of food that you can take to improve absorption. Some of the animal studies suggest that bioavailability improves with the consumption of the listed foods and CBD.
But apart from bioavailability, it is crucial to choose the products and delivery methods that you are most comfortable with.
In contemporary times, inhalation is more than smoking a joint. It also includes Vaping, a method that was not popular until recently. You, therefore, have the option of either rolling up particular strains of CBD dominant cannabis flower or Vaping.
Inhalation has a quick onset of only a couple of minutes. The peak effect is within 30 minutes, and that means you can get immediate relief when you need it most. For example, when you want to get relief from pain or anxiety, vaping is the quickest option. Typically, CBD goes straight to your lungs and to the bloodstream without any delay. Inhalation has a high bioavailability of about 35%, second only to transdermal.
The only shortcoming of inhalation is the toxic substances in the smoke. The elements can be carcinogenic and irritate the lungs. Smoking is, therefore, least favorable, and if you have a choice, go with vaping. Also, the therapeutic effects of this method are the lowest, lasting only three or four hours.
Smoking remains the popular method for CBD consumption. Undoubtedly, CBD is growing in popularity, and growers are finding new ways of focusing on strains with right CBD concentration. If you live in a state with a good program for adult or medical use, then the chances are that you will come across the following good strains. Here are some of the CBD-rich strains you may come across at your local dispensary. All the ratios stated below are CBD vs. THC.
● Sweet and Sour Widow (1:1)
● Omrita RX (1:1)
● ACDC (20:1)
● Remedy (15:1)
● Pennywise (1:1)
● Valentine X (25:1)
● Harlequin (5:2)
● Charlotte’s web (24:1)
● Cannatonic (5:1)
● Sour Tsunami (1:1)
● Ringo’s Gift (24: 1)
● Dancehall (20:1)
Having access to different flowers or chemovars gifts you with the broadest selection. You can use the flowers to smoke or make edibles and tinctures to use at home. So, if you find a particular strain that you love and it does not have legal issues in your state, then why not?
Smoking is not hard, and you don’t require any specialized equipment. You only need to grind and roll before you smoke it away to pain relief or reduced anxiety. You are also free to use a pipe if you prefer.
And even though cannabis smoke is healthier, according to research, it still has the same disadvantages as cigarette smoke. The method leads to lung irritation and inflammation, and therefore not ideal for patients. This is especially so if you’re dealing with inflammatory conditions or weakened immune systems. Also, smoking is the least discrete of the methods, and some of us would never be caught doing it.
Vaporizers function by heating the cannabinoids without producing smoke and the toxins associated with smoking. The heating is below the combustion level, and only provides a cannabinoids-rich vapor that may be visible depending on the weather.
You will typically find vaporizers that work with concentrates or flowers or even both. The heating method is either convection or conduction. The conduction models are generally compact and discrete. They usually heat the product directly, easy to use, quick and inexpensive. Vaporizers that come with a concentrate cartridge are induction models, and they allow you to adjust the temperature easily. Cheaper models are not easy to adjust the temperature and can cause inconsistency in combustion.
Note that convection has a more even distribution of heat. These vaporizers are ideal with flowers and when you need to preserve terpenes. In comparison to the conduction models, the convection vaporizers are larger and more expensive. But that does not mean you will not get a portable model. There are many of them in the market.
Temperature control with convection vaporizers is precise. Well, some of the newer models come with apps that you can install in your smartphone to control the temperature. Given the fact that the different terpenes and cannabinoids have varying boiling points, temperature control is critical. It means that you can consume the various compounds in stages, and depending on the benefit you are looking for. Of course, they are less discrete than conduction models, but they offer a quick way to medicate.
What is a Concentrate or Extract
It is a blanket phrase used to describe hemp or cannabis product where the extraction of the plant compounds mostly occurs using a solvent. The finished product is usually in a concentrated form. These are also extracts, and you can use this term to describe different products regardless of the delivery method. Among the most popular concentrate products include CBD oil, tincture and vape products.
When purchasing a cartridge or concentrate for vaping, make sure that it is all organic, without any additives or flavors. Some of the thinning products such as polyethylene glycol and propylene glycol, usually added to concentrates, are potentially carcinogenic when heated. Avoid vape products with these substances at all costs. You should also inquire about the extraction method, which is, if not stated on the package. The majority of the States require the companies to state the ingredients on the product label.
The ‘First-pass effect’ Is an excellent place to begin when looking at ingestion methods. Your liver processes everything that goes inside your mouth before it can become available for use by your body systems. The same case applies to cannabinoids in a process called First Pass metabolism before they can get into the bloodstream.
By passing through the liver, cannabinoids undergo changes that alter the way your body uses them and the effect they will have. A good example is the THC containing edibles that are quite potent than other methods. Usually, the stomach acid and enzymes break down a big part of the product, and only a small portion gets to the bloodstream.
To increase bioavailability, some producers coat the cannabinoids with cyclodextrins, a ring of starch-derived sugars. That is why the onset is usually longer than the other methods, depending on the metabolism and what you ate that day. The effects of the ingested CBD products will last longer. And because of the first pass effect by the liver, the bioavailability is usually much lower – between 6% and 15%. Based on your GI tract, the absorption rate can be inconsistent and much lower.
Ingestion is a very discreet, convenient, and easy way of consuming CBD products. There are various CBD products available to take this way. Based on the prolonged effect, ingestion is, therefore, preferably for all night or all day effects. Self-filtration is also natural and because most of the CBD products label contains information on concentration.
The method is also the perfect option for people with IBS, IBID, and other inflammatory bowel conditions. The medicine gets to where the problem is, and that is the main idea.
Any infused CBD drink or food is what we refer to as edibles. The fast-growing category has products such as chocolate bars, Energy bars, lollipops, gummies, and muffins, among others. The primary ingredient for edibles can be butter, infused oils, or raw plant matter.
There is certain notoriety associated with edibles, especially among marijuana enthusiasts. There are stories of a patient or consumer taking too much THC after consuming a delicious edible. However, most of the products out there have a label with ingredient information to help you make a choice. You can determine how much of the particular ingredient you need to ingest, depending on your needs and other factors. With CBD products, intoxication is not an issue, but it is always good to know what you are consuming. Always start low and go slow when experimenting with different combinations of CBD and THC.
If you have access to a Cannabis flower, you can as well make your own CBD infused butter or oils. You can always use a cookbook to help you do it properly. Unfortunately, with homemade edibles, dosing is a little bit difficult. But if dosing is not an issue, you can avoid commercially processed foods by preparing your infusions.
Edibles are not only discrete but convenient as well to take with you throughout the day. Preparing them yourself is more economical than buying from the dispensary. Plus, you get to use your favorite ingredients and cooking methods. Just make sure that the edibles are out of reach of pets and children.
CBD Oil (Tincture)
In most cases, CBD oil and CBD tincture are interchangeable. Most producers use one term or the other to mean the same thing. In some cases, the alcohol-based products are tinctures and made by infusing carrier oil such as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil and coconut oil, among others. The extracted concentrate usually is from hemp or cannabis.
CBD tinctures and oil are quite versatile since you can consume them like edibles or sublingually. If putting a few drops under your tongue or sloshing it in your mouth is a bit tricky, you can add it to the pancakes or cookies. Some will also add it to coffee or smoothies for enjoyable consumption. To enhance the bioavailability, fatty foods are ideal.
Capsules: You can quickly ingest your daily dose of CBD by simply taking capsules. CBD infused oil capsules are especially convenient and easy to consume. They are also discreet, portable, and have standardized dosing. You get similar benefits to edibles without the calories.
Another method that is increasingly becoming popular by the day is juicing. Hemp and cannabis are typically vegetables, and they offer the same benefits as the green vegetables that you usually take. For example, they have potent antioxidants, iron, fiber, and calcium, among others.
Furthermore, cannabis juice has similar benefits to those of CBD and THC. In terms of potency, juicing is one of the best ways of consuming CBDA. On the downside, juicing requires fresh hemp or cannabis, and that can only be available in states that you are free to grow your own. Check the adult use, medical and other laws and regulations on cannabis use.
Sublingual and Mucosal
The delivery method depends on the mucous membranes in the cheeks and under the tongue for CBD absorption. The capillaries in the connective tissue diffuse the CBD, which then enters the bloodstream. And because this method bypasses the liver and stomach, it’s bioavailability is much better. It is also a reasonably fast-acting method. Animal studies indicate that terpenes such as terpineol, pinene, and linalool have a better bioavailability in the mouth.
Before becoming illegal in 1937, cannabis tinctures were quite popular. Even though tinctures are the typical sublingual medication, other products have been redesigned to allow for oral or sublingual consumption.
Tinctures are convenient, effective, and easy to consume CBD. They are also the best for self-titration because you can quantify the amount by drop or millilitre by millilitre. You can easily regulate the amount of CBD that you consume. Tincture bottles are usually 30 millilitres or 1 oz. and typically contain droppers to pull up the contents quickly. Some bottles come with a cap that a syringe can easily penetrate. Either method is convenient and allows you to push the materials under the tongue.
The best droppers will come labeled for more straightforward measurement. Usually, there are about 20 drops in the dropper, and it often is 1 millilitre. Most CBD tinctures have a general potency of between 10 and 20 milligrams per millilitre, but that does not mean you cannot find higher. Tinctures are highly portable and discreet, but you must make sure to secure the cap before transportation. You can have homemade tinctures with vegetable glycerin or high-proof alcohol. Well, the internet is awash with tips, recipes, and pointers.
The only disadvantage with tinctures is that the flavor is bitter and strong. Furthermore, the alcohol-based tinctures can have a burning effect inside your mouth. You can mix with honey if this happens. Glycerin and oil-based tinctures are ideal for mixing with food and beverages. If you want to have your mixture, make sure that you get organic and food-grade vegetable glycerin. Others may contain industrial processing byproducts or GMO corn or soy.
You can make sure to sneak in a bit of the CBD into your body through lozenges. With about five milligrams of CBD, lozenges do not have such a significant concentration, but they are discrete, portable, and convenient. Even better, they utilize the mucous membrane in your mouth to work.