What's the best way to take CBD?

Researchers are discovering more about CBD every day, but there's still so much we don't know, which can be confusing if you're new to CBD. The big question of "What's the best way to take CBD" is a classic. And if the blogs and youtube videos of users immediately entering nirvana at the first drop under their tongue are to be believed - you're likely to be disappointed. 

One of the main issues stems from that there are so many factors to consider:

  • What concentration are you taking?
  • What's the quality level of the CBD?
  • What other ingredients are in the carrier?

And this is just concerned with the product. Your height, weight, metabolism and age — even what you've eaten that day — can have an effect on the results. But it does have results. The difference is in how long it takes and the impact. Let's have a brief look at the three main methods of ingestion (to add to this list, there is always smoking or vaping, but that isn't our area of expertise). 


Under the tongue

CBD oil and dropper

Also known as "sublingual," this is the most common way to take CBD oil. CBD oil has roughly a 13-19% absorption rate when delivered sublingually, with a few drops under the tongue. In some cases, CBD oil had a bioavailability of up to 35% (what is bioavailability? - see here for more).

According to the Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, it takes  around 10 to 15 minutes for the compound to enter your blood. After this point, the amount of the substance in your bloodstream gradually starts to decrease. 

Sublingual administration is ideal when you're looking for a fast result with maximum results. It's not instantaneous, but it's quicker than orally ingested CBD products like edibles.


By the cheek

CBD taken bucally with pouch

Buccal administration (or "in the cheek") isn't really that different from the sublingual technique. This method involves placing the liquid or pouch between your gums and cheek. It's then kept there while the compound is absorbed into your bloodstream. Buccal administration can be used when consuming products like pouches.


CBD ingestion, edibles or mixing with food or drink

drawing of CBD coffee

If you're trying your hand at CBD edibles, cocktail making or designing a delicious smoothie blend, you'll find that your CBD kicks in much more slowly and with a diluted effect than directly under your tongue. As a result, you can expect to see any potential effects after 30 to 60 minutes

This reduced effect is because the compound must endure the challenging conditions of the digestive system. As with food and drink, the digestive tract breaks down the CBD oil and results in a smaller percentage of CBD entering your bloodstream. This degrading puts the bioavailability of CBD when ingested is approximately 10-20% and some studies found even lower, at 6% absorption. 


Find your routine

CBD routine

Regardless of how you choose to take CBD, anecdotal evidence suggests the results can be cumulative - meaning it can take 2–3 weeks of continuous, daily use to see the full effects. This is why many see CBD as a supplement, incorporating it into their daily routine, not unlike vitamin and mineral supplements. 

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