The Many Ways CBD Can Be Delivered

by | Aug 23, 2019 | CBD, Learn, Lifestyle | Culture

Those who are interested in CBD will often ask about the differences between the many forms of CBD, dosages, and their effects. This information is paramount when it comes to getting the most out of your CBD, and with the increased popularity of CBD products, all of the options can feel a little overwhelming. Do I use a bath bomb? Skin cream? Serum? Capsules? How do I decide which is the best way to introduce CBD into my body? Here’s a closer look at the different delivery systems and how they work.


For CBD to work, the body has to absorb it. One way to accomplish this is through inhalation. Vaping has become popular in recent years, and is one of the easiest methods available to consume this beneficial supplement. For many people with chronic pain or other conditions treated with CBD, vaping provides convenient and quick relief. Users may feel the effects within 10 minutes of inhalation.


CBD edibles are food items infused with CBD. Taking CBD through capsules, gummies, and other candies are highly popular, but a growing trend that we are seeing is including CBD into everyday cooking. While this method of absorption is quick and easy, edibles must pass through your digestive system in order to work. As such, the effects of the CBD may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to kick in. However, edibles provide lasting effects as the CBD is released slowly over the time it takes your body to digest the compounds.


Skin patches, also called transdermal patches, are small adhesive patches that deliver CBD to through the skin. Unlike topical lotions and creams, transdermal patches cross the dermal barrier to enter the bloodstream and are activated by body heat to release small amounts of CBD over a period of time (4 to 6 hours on average.) For someone who may be adverse to vaping or other methods of consumption, transdermal patches are a fairly simple way to administer CBD to a patient.


CBD topicals are creams, ointments, balms, salves, foams, or lotions that you can apply directly to specific areas of your body. The skin absorbs the CBD and it interacts with nearby cannabinoid receptors, which is useful for treating muscles and pain-perceiving nerves. If your problem area is near the skin, this method of direct application can be highly effective. 


Some people take CBD sublingually, placing a few drops of CBD oil under their tongue. According to Timothy Birdsall, ND – a member of hemp education platform Prima’s medical advisory group – taking substances sublingually allows it to enter directly into your bloodstream. You can understand this method as a “shortcut to digestion”, which is a longer process as the substance needs to be ingested, broken down by the stomach, absorbed by the small intestine, and then metabolized by the liver. However, sublingual delivery isn’t always the best option for all substances. Some B vitamins, for instance, need to be “activated” by the liver in order to do their jobs, but for certain medications it can be a highly effective delivery method. (Source:


Consuming CBD intravenously, through a vein, pumps the substance quickly into the bloodstream. This method, however, is less popular and can be difficult to administer on your own.

It can be a good idea to try multiple methods of CBD consumption to see which works best for you and your condition. If you’re still unsure, ask a doctor for their recommendation.

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