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Which Kind of CBD Should I Use

September 14, 2018

We are often asked what form of CBD should I use? If you’re not familiar with CBD products this can be confusing and the possibilities seem endless. It is actually pretty simple once you understand some key differences. In this article we’ll give you the info you need to find the product that is best for you.


There are basically 3 main ways to use CBD; ingestible, topical and vape. I’m not going to cover smoking CBD, if you’re smoking CBD, you probably already know most of this anyway. When deciding which way you want to take CBD the main points to consider are why you’re taking CBD? How long do you want it to last? How quickly you want it to work?



Ingesting CBD is the most popular way to take CBD. This can include everything from oils (tinctures) to gummies, food, isolate powder, mouth sprays, capsules, the list is endless. Essential any form of CBD you put in your mouth. Some ingestibles work faster than others due to their form and the time it takes your body to digest them, however by and large these products all work in a similar way. You eat the edible product, your body digests it, CBD gets into your bloodstream and does its job from there. Ingested sources of CBD take the longest to get into your bloodstream, but will last the longest and will have a full body effect. Taking CBD orally is simple and will most likely help you achieve your desired results. In our experience people interested in chronic pain, inflammation, athletic recovery, sleep, arthritis and general anxiety find ingesting CBD preferable.


Topical forms of CBD have become extremely popular recently and products from shampoo to foot rubs have sprung up everywhere. The main misconception with topicals is that they get into your bloodstream, this is incorrect for topicals. Topicals work in a localized way, the area you use it on will be affected by the CBD but only on the area it is applied. Topicals are not transdermals, transdermals have numerous chemicals in them that allow the CBD to pass through your skin directly into your bloodstream and throughout your body. There are some transdermal CBD products on the market, however they are expensive and the flow of CBD into your body is not always consistent. Topicals take effect very quickly and last a moderately long time. In our experience areas with less tissue, such as, fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles, necks and lower backs are good spots for topicals. Most people interested in skin conditions, sore joints, insect bites or bruised and sensitive skin favor topicals.


The final category, vape products, are fairly new, but are gaining in popularity. CBD in vape form is most commonly found in vape pens or juice that can be put into a vaporizer unit. These units or pens are very simple to use and have the advantage of absorbing into the bloodstream very quickly. This quick absorption also means that the effects of CBD in vape form does not last as long, normally 2 to 3 hours maximum. The vape devices that are currently available don’t burn anything, instead they heat the liquid enough to turn small amounts into vapor, similar to a boiling pot of water. It feels more like an inhaler than anything else and is gentle on the throat and lungs. As a quick acting form of CBD, vape products are very popular with people interesting in anxiety relief, pre and post workouts, anyone having trouble eating and general stress reduction.

Each different form of CBD has benefits and drawbacks, however knowing why you want to use CBD and how each form interacts with your body will give you the best chance of finding the right form or combination of forms to use. The list below of some common products should give you a quick cheat sheet for the next time you buy CBD.

Cbd form

How long to take effect

How long it lasts

Best use


15 - 30 min

4 - 6 hours

Daily - full body


30 - 45 min

5 - 8 hours

Daily - full body


2 - 10 min

2 - 3 hours

Quick acting - local


2 - 10 min

1 - 2 hours

Quick acting - full body

Cbd isolate

15 - 30 min

3 - 4 hours

Mix with food or liquid- full body

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent medical or legal advice in anyway. Before taking any supplements you should consult with your doctor.

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