CBD 101: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide on How to Use CBD

Nearly 15% of Americans use cannabidiol products, reports a 2019 Gallup survey. About 40% of consumers take these supplements for pain. Others see them as a safe, natural way to relieve anxiety, stress, or insomnia. Cannabidiol, or CBD, has long been studied for its anxiolytic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Unlike other cannabinoids in the hemp plants, it has no psychoactive effects. Depending on the strain used, it may help with fatigue, depression, arthritis, IBS, and more. This brings up the question: how to use CBD for pain, anxiety, and other ailments? And what’s the best way to take it? 

That’s what we’re going to discuss today. Read on to find out more about CBD and how to reap its benefits!

Discover the Benefits of CBD

This natural compound is widely used for pain relief. In one study, both CBD and THC decreased pain in patients with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions. Subjects also experienced improved bladder control and reduced muscle spasms.

Another study assesses the benefits of CBD for patients with chronic pain. Most participants reported pain relief, decreased anxiety, and better sleep within three weeks. As the researchers note, this substance is safe and well-tolerated.

CBD dosage depends on the condition that is being treated, as well as on the strain used. If, say, you take cannabidiol for joint pain, you’ll use a different dose than someone with anxiety or sleep disorders.

Research indicates that a single dose of 300 milligrams of cannabidiol can reduce anxiety levels. Doses of up to 600 milligrams are just as safe and effective.

CBD may benefit athletes, too. Due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, it facilitates recovery and promotes healing. Over time, it may enhance sports performance and attenuate exercise-induced tissue damage.

A 2020 review suggests that CBD may improve bone health and speed up healing from acute skeletal injuries. Moreover, it supports cardiovascular function and strengthens the immune system. In clinical trials, it also reduced stress and sports performance anxiety.

Oral vs. Topical CBD

Now that you know more about the benefits of CBD, you may be wondering how to use it safely. This compound is well-tolerated even at high doses, such as 1.5 grams per day, according to the above review. But there are several other aspects you need to consider before taking CBD supplements.

First of all, determine why you want to use cannabidiol. Is it because you’re stressed or dealing with pain, anxiety, or other health condition? Next, decide whether you want to use oral or topical CBD products.

Oral CBD products have higher bioavailability than topical formulas, meaning they are better absorbed into the body. Consumers may use CBD oil, tinctures, softgels, capsules, gummies, and other products.

If, say, you prefer CBD tinctures, you’ll have to pour a few drops underneath your tongue. Hold it for 30 seconds to one minute before swallowing. CBD oil, capsules, and other edibles must be ingested.

Generally, gummies and capsules are the most convenient option because each piece delivers the same amount of cannabidiol. This allows you to easily adjust the dosage without the need to use a measuring spoon or a food scale.

CBD oil is more versatile and can be added to smoothies, salads, and homemade snacks. Just make sure you don’t overheat it. Your best bet is to use it in raw desserts, fresh juices, or even coffee.

How to Use CBD Topicals

CBD topicals are suitable for joint and muscle pain, inflammation, or skin disorders. Although these products have lower bioavailability than oral cannabidiol, they can relieve aches and swelling.

Depending on your needs, you may opt for CBD balms, lotions, creams, bath bombs, and more. CBD balms, for example, moisturize the skin and reduce pain. In addition to cannabidiol, they may contain camphor, menthol, and other ingredients with pain-relieving activity.

The American Academy of Dermatology states that topical cannabis may improve the symptoms of acne, eczema, and psoriasis due to their anti-inflammatory action. Plus, they have none of the side effects associated with topical corticosteroids.

All you need to do is to apply a tiny amount to the affected area. For example, if you have sore muscles, massage the area with CBD cream until it’s fully absorbed into the skin. Repeat as many times as needed or follow the instructions on the packaging.

To sum up, topical CBD products are ideal if you experience pain or swelling in a particular area, such as the knee or elbow. They may also benefit those with eczema and other skin conditions.

Oral CBD, on the other hand, is absorbed faster into the bloodstream and has a wider range of uses. Although you may apply CBD oil to the skin, this product is more effective when ingested.

If, for some reason, you prefer to use it topically, mix it with a carrier oil, such as olive oil or argan oil, before applying it to the affected area.

Isolate vs. Full Spectrum

Another aspect to consider is whether you want to use CBD isolate or full-spectrum CBD. Choosing one over the other comes down to your needs.

Full-spectrum CBD contains several other compounds, like THC and flavonoids, in addition to cannabidiol. These substances exhibit therapeutic properties, such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. All CBD products sold in the U.S. cannot exceed 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis.

CBD isolate, by comparison, only contains cannabidiol. Manufacturers remove THC and other cannabinoids during processing. These products have a lower price tag than full-spectrum CBD as they don’t contain any of the beneficial terpenes and other compounds that make CBD so effective.

A third option is broad-spectrum CBD. These formulas contain cannabidiol, flavonoids, terpenes, and other phytochemicals, except for THC.

Full- and broad-spectrum CBD products are the most effective because of their composition. The phytochemicals in cannabis protect against inflammation and oxidative stress, among other benefits.

Harness the Power of CBD

Make sure you know how to use CBD before choosing a formula. Determine whether you’d benefit more from CBD edibles or topical products and then try to figure out the right dosage. Always start with the minimum effective dose and increase it gradually. 

In the meantime, browse our online store for other products that can make you a better athlete, speed up post-workout recovery, or relieve stress. You might also want to see the rest of our blog. We’ll show you how to use CBD for pain relief, what to look for in nootropics, and more!

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