The Best Way to Take CBD: A Beginner’s Guide

If you are searching for the best way to take CBD, you will be out of luck. There is no single best way to take CBD since every individual has different preferences and needs. While you cannot learn the absolute best way to take CBD, you can learn which method is likely to be the best one for you. 

Beginners should take the time to look at the various methods of consuming CBD and which situations they are best for, as this will help you choose the ideal method for you. You should also familiarize yourself with some helpful tips to make your CBD consumption go more smoothly and maximize your experience. 

What Is CBD?

If you are a CBD beginner, then you should also make sure you know what it is. CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is one of the main cannabinoids found in cannabis. The other famous cannabinoid in marijuana is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. 

CBD Is Non-psychoactive

One of the most important things to know about CBD is that it is not psychoactive. The high associated with marijuana comes from THC, not CBD. In other words, consuming CBD will not get you high, unless it also contains THC. 

CBD Does Not Show up on a Drug Test

You should also know that the current drug tests check for THC, not CBD. This means that if you opt for a THC-free CBD product, it should not show up on a drug test. 

If you are subject to passing regular or random drug tests, make sure that you choose a CBD product without THC to remain compliant.

CBD Does Not Show up on a Drug Test

CBD Can Come From Hemp or Cannabis 

It is also important to note that CBD can come from either cannabis or hemp. Both of these plants contain CBD, although hemp tends to have higher quantities. As a bonus, hemp has less than 0.3 percent of THC, so hemp-based CBD is unlikely to get you high and is unlikely to show up on a drug test. Keep in mind, however, that even trace THC quantities may show up on drug tests, and everyone’s body reacts differently, so you may still notice the small amount of THC that naturally occurs in hemp. 

It Is Legal at the Federal Level

Because CBD is non-psychoactive, it is legal at the federal level in the United States, with many countries having similar laws. The caveat is that for a CBD product to be legal, it must contain less than 0.3 percent of THC, meaning that it has to be hemp-derived. 

CBD products that are cannabis-derived are only legal in jurisdictions that allow for legal marijuana consumption. 

Choosing the Best Method to Take CBD

There are a few ways to take CBD, each of which will appeal to a certain type of person and have unique advantages and disadvantages. 


Edibles are baked goods, gummies, candies, and other items that you consume that have CBD. These are a good option for those who want a discreet consumption method or if you do not like the taste of CBD. Keep in mind that edibles take longer to begin working because they must first pass through your digestive system. This means that they can take as long as two hours for the effects to start. 

Additionally, edibles have lower bioavailability than other CBD consumption methods. Your digestive tract and liver will partially break them down before the CBD, meaning that you only absorb between 20 and 30 percent of it. Edibles can also be challenging for those with common food allergies. 

You can also make your own edibles, but this takes some effort, and you will have to be extra careful with dosing. 


Many people consider CBD capsules as a subset of edibles since they are digested in the same way. Expect the same long wait time for the effects to begin. People who choose capsules appreciate their discretion as no one knows what you are taking and the fact that they are pre-dosed. 

Sublingual Products

There is a full range of sublingual products, with oils and sprays being the most common. You can also find lozenges. These products are held under your tongue, making them very easy to use and relatively discreet. 

Because sublingual products do not have to go through your digestive tract, they begin working more quickly. Keep in mind, however, that because the results start faster, they also wear off more quickly. 

Sublingual Products

Smoking High-CBD Flowers

There is also the option of taking CBD by smoking a flower like you would with any other type of cannabis. With this method, you would want to choose a cannabis strain that is high in CBD. 

This is a good choice for those who like the familiarity of smoking or who want to incorporate CBD into their marijuana social activities. There are some hemp flowers that have CBD and low enough THC to be considered hemp, but these are hard to find. You are more likely to need to choose a cannabis strain with high CBD content to use this method. As such, it is only a good choice if you live in an area with legal marijuana consumption. 

You should also keep in mind that smoking CBD from flowers can expose you to certain carcinogens, just like what would happen if you smoke marijuana. It can also cause lung irritation. 

On the bright side, smoking high-CBD flowers tend to give you fairly quick results since the CBD goes right into your bloodstream via your lungs. 


If you want to consume your CBD, so you feel its effects mostly on a particular area of your body or on your skin, then topicals are likely the best choice. These are salves, lotions, creams, and patches infused with CBD. 

This method delivers concentrated effects on the given area. Keep in mind that skin has poor permeability, so you will need to use products with a higher dose of CBD to end up absorbing and making use of the same amount you would with sublingual products or vaping. On the bright side, many CBD topicals also feature ingredients known for therapeutic effects, such as camphor or menthol. 


Vaping is an option for consuming CBD that is growing in popularity due to its high bioavailability. Vaping CBD involves using a vaporizer that has CBD concentrates or oils and heats it up to a high temperature, so you can inhale the vapor. As with smoking CBD, it lets the substance enter your bloodstream incredibly quickly, giving you fast-acting effects. 

Vaping also has very high bioavailability, with nearly all of the CBD making it into your bloodstream. As such, you need a lower dose when vaping CBD than you would with edibles. 

Because you are not combusting the entire flower with vaping as you would with smoking, this method does not expose the user to the carcinogens that smoking does. Vaping can avoid that problem by heating the cannabis enough to vaporize it but not enough to cause combustion. Right now, more research is needed on the long-term safety of vaping CBD. To minimize the safety risks, always ensure you choose tested vape products, as you do not want to inhale chemicals or contaminants. 

Overall, vaping is a good choice for those who want to feel the effects of CBD very quickly and want some discretion in their method. It also appeals to many people with the various flavors available, which can be very appealing for those who dislike the natural taste of cannabis. 


The Best Dose for Beginners

Part of the best way to take CBD is choosing the right dose for your needs. There is no suggested dose, so you will have to go through some trial and error to find your ideal dosage. It depends on the effects you’re looking for as well as your body chemistry, weight, and method of consumption. Remember that vaping and smoking will require lower doses than sublingual products, which in turn require lower doses than edibles and topicals. 

Start Small

The best rule to follow is to start with a small dose of CBD and then work your way up. Ideally, you will choose a low starting dose, try it for a few days, and then increase it. You could have some CBD then take more in a few hours if you have not noticed results, but this makes it harder to calculate your starting dose in the future. It also requires waiting long enough for the effects to kick in. Remember that this could take hours with edibles. 

You Will Not Overdose

The good news is that if you accidentally consume too much CBD, you are unlikely to experience serious negative consequences. Research has shown that people can take as much as 1,200 mg every day for months without major negative effects. As a point of comparison, most people will start by taking more like 5 to 15 mg of CBD. Most likely, you would just feel tired. You may also notice a drop in blood pressure, depending on your medical condition. 

How to Choose Your CBD Product

The best way to take CBD will depend on your situation and preferences. You will have to choose your consumption method from those mentioned here and consider a few other factors. 

Full-spectrum Vs. Isolates

CBD products can be isolates or full-spectrum, the latter of which is also sometimes referred to as broad-spectrum. Most people will want to opt for full-spectrum products as they will also contain all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in cannabis. These components all interact together to enhance the effects of each other. In other words, you will get more from CBD with other cannabinoids than you would with CBD isolates. 

The caveat here is THC. Some full-spectrum products will contain THC, and some will not. Unless a product specifically states it is THC-free, you should assume that any full-spectrum product has at least small amounts of THC. This means if you want to ensure you avoid psychoactive effects or pass a drug test, you should only choose full-spectrum CBD products if they are clearly labeled as THC-free. 

Lab Testing

Lab Testing

Always choose a CBD product that has been lab-tested, preferably by a third-party and with the test results available for customers to view. There is currently no FDA regulation for CBD products, so most reputable companies will hire an independent laboratory to test their products. These tests confirm the labeled levels of CBD and THC, as well as the lack of potentially harmful ingredients such as contaminants or pesticides. 

The ideal is to find independent lab testing, but even in-house lab testing is better than no testing at all, despite the potential for bias. 

The Plant Used

There are a few factors at play in terms of the plant used to create your CBD product. As mentioned, CBD can be hemp- or cannabis-derived. You are more likely to come across hemp-based products as they will be lower in THC naturally and have a wider legal range. If you prefer cannabis-based CBD and live somewhere where it is legal, you should be able to find it, as well. 

The other aspect of this is the growing practices involved. You should always choose CBD that comes from organically grown plants that were not treated with chemical fertilizers or pesticides. This helps ensure that the product will be free from contaminants and other harmful ingredients. 

Beginners Should Consult Their Doctors

It is also a smart idea to talk to your doctor before you begin using CBD. It can interact with certain medications and medical conditions, which you do not want to happen. Although this will not affect most people, it is still wise to ensure that CBD is safe for your particular medical situation. 


The best way to take CBD will depend on your goals and preferences. If you want quick results, consider vaping. If you do not like the taste of CBD, consider an edible. If you want something pre-portioned and discreet that can become part of your routine, consider a pill. There are CBD products for all preferences. 

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