methods of taking CBD

Gummies, Tinctures, Flowers…oh my! The many methods of taking CBD.


When you first walk into CBD+CO, you will most likely see hundreds of different products with cool sounding names and colorful packaging. And just like looking at a Chinese buffet, you may wonder, “Where do I start?” Rest assured, the friendly pros behind the counter will help you with any questions you may have. However, it’s important to note that we are not doctors or pharmacists and cannot recommend any dosage or make specific claims about the effectiveness of any product. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common CBD products and how they are used.


Method: Smoking or vaping

Starts working: Within minutes

Lasts for: An hour or two

As its name suggests, this is the actual flower or bud of the plant. Typically, it will be sold as either loose flower—that you roll into a cigarette or use in a vaporizer—or pre-rolled into a CBD cigarette. Smoking or vaping flower is the fastest way to deliver CBD into your body. However, it also has the shortest rate of effectiveness, making it good for acute symptoms.


Method: Drops or spray under the tongue

Starts working: Within an hour

Lasts for: Between four to eight hours

Tinctures are a CBD extract mixed with a solvent (usually ethanol). Typically sold as either a liquid or aerosol spray, tinctures are placed under the tongue and are quickly absorbed through the bloodstream via the mouth. Tinctures are usually sold with a dropper or other measuring device that allows the user to control the amount of CBD being entered into their body. It has a relatively short onset time and a longer effective rate than smoking or vaping, making them a great choice for broader symptoms. Tinctures usually are offered in a variety of flavors.

Gummies (and other edibles)

Method: Orally

Starts working: Between one and three hours

Lasts for: Up to 10 hours

Edibles have CBD oil blended into other ingredients to make a candy or other type of edibles. Gummies are by far the most popular edible and are sold in a range from individual packs to large containers. They are a great option for travelers or those who don’t prefer the taste of tinctures. Since CBD edibles are digested via the stomach and absorbed through the intestines, they take quite a bit longer to start working. Additionally, the onset time can be shorter or longer, depending on how much food is in your body. However, edibles have the longest effectiveness rate, making them great for chronic symptoms.

Topicals (creams and lotions)

Method: Applied to skin

Starts working: varies

Lasts for: varies

Topical creams and lotions have CBD extract blended with other natural ingredients (usually essential oils, vitamins and beeswax). Similar to other topical formulas, CBD creams and lotions are applied directly to the area where the symptom occurs. The onset time and effective time are highly dependent on how much is applied and how the skin reacts. Most CBD-based topicals are free of any chemicals that react negatively with the skin, but those with sensitive skin should proceed with caution. Since CBD creams and lotions do not penetrate the bloodstream, they are a good option for minor symptoms.

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