CBD 101: Ways to Consume and Use CBD

CBD can be consumed in a variety of ways.

All bodies are different with receptors that respond to cannabinoids and forms of consumption differently.

It may take time to find the right dose and consumption method that fits your desired effects or needs, so we wanted to break down the ways to consume CBD, so you can find what works best for you!


Administration – Blood vessels in the mouth and under the tongue absorb the compound. Fill the dropper to desired amount, drop oil directly under the tongue, hold for 30-40 seconds before swallowing. For consistency, it’s best to avoid eating immediately before or after when using a CBD tincture.

Onset – 15-60 minutes depending on the size of the dose

Duration – may last 4-6 hours


Administration – When struggling with inflammation, sore muscles, or chronic pain, many people choose to apply CBD topically. Some people choose to use a CBD balm or CBD salve – and you can also apply CBD oil directly to your skin or mix it in with your favorite lotion. Cannabinoids applied topically will not be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Onset – 15 minutes

Duration – 2-4 hours


Administration – CBD can be smoked or vaped, and is one of the most underrated ways to consume. Cannabinoids enter the bloodstream directly from the lungs.

Onset – immediate

Duration – 2-4 hours depending on the dose

While vaping is very popular, we caution against a lot of the vape options currently on the market as many of them aren’t made with medical grade materials. For more information, read our recent blog post about CBD vape pen safety.


Administration – Cannabinoids like CBD can be added to food and drinks, making it an easy way to administer. CBD is absorbed through the bloodstream digested by the liver and distributing pretty evenly throughout the body.

Onset – 1-2hours, but may be erratic

Duration – may last 6-8 hours


Administration – While applying transdermal patches to the skin may seem similar to using a topical, the effects are completely different. Transdermal patches release cannabinoids at a constant rate into the bloodstream. 

Onset – 15 minutes

Duration – may last up to 12 hours

Onset 15 minutes and usually lasts 12 hours.

Do you have a favorite method of using CBD? Tell us below!

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