A Simple Guide for Using CBD

By now, most people have heard of CBD. If you want more nuanced information, read the CBD section on my website or check out my other blog posts.

I’ve put together a quick guide on the common ways to use CBD. It is particularly useful if you are seeking to maximize CBD benefits to promote overall health and wellness.

There are seven factors for consideration:

  1. Ease of use
  2. Level of ‘healthiness’
  3. Absorption rates
  4. Length of time before you feel its effects
  5. How long effects typically last
  6. Discretion
  7. Versatility


Incorporating CBD-infused food products into your meals is great for people who are health-conscious, have low immune systems, and recovering from illness. It’s a great way to use CBD as part of a holistic lifestyle. When paired with healthy foods, you’re getting maximum benefits!


  • Effects last longer than sublingual, topical, smoking or vaping
  • CBD-infused foods have tons of cooking variations– soup, salad dressing, brownies, cookies… you name it!
  • Since it’s food…no one will know you’re taking CBD!
  • Food preparation is moderately convenient, especially if you do food prep!


  • More time-consuming to prepare than a sublingual
  • May take 1-4 hours before effects kick in (but they last longer!)
  • Takes a few tries to perfect dosage level



Edibles, such as gummies, chocolates, or mints, are very convenient pre-made items. However, they tend to have many fillers, sugars, and preservatives. They can be more costly per unit than purchasing CBD-infused food products like CBD coconut oil or tinctures.


  • Effects are quite lasting, longer than topical or smoking (and vaping)
  • Edibles are very convenient
  • Discreet- it’s food!
  • Quick and easy to use


  • Tend to be filled with fillers, sugars, and preservatives
  • May take 1-4 hours before effects kick in (but effects are long-lasting)
  • Takes a few tries to perfect dosage level
  • CBD edibles aren’t typically healthy. Read: candy, fillers, junk, etc.
  • Can be more costly per unit than CBD-infused foods like coconut oil and olive oil, or tinctures



CBD sublinguals are designed to be absorbed under your tongue. They are long-lasting and easy to use. Check labels for additional ingredients to ensure you’re not consuming unwanted ingredients.


  • Easy to use
  • Convenient
  • Discreet
  • Easy to control dosage with the dropper
  • Lasting effects


  • Tinctures may take longer to take effect than foods and edibles
  • Some tinctures contain additional ingredients– check labels!



CBD topicals are typically for skin conditions or muscular issues. Topicals include lotions, creams, dermal patches, etc. 


  • Easy to use
  • Great for sore muscles and chronic pain, especially when containing menthol, arnica, eucalyptus, etc.
  • Localized effects (great if you don’t want systemic effects)


  • Mildest of all CBD methods
  • CBD effects are not long-lasting but very localized


Smoking (also vaping)

Although less common, the hemp plant’s flowers and leaves can be smoked in a joint. A cartridge with CBD oil can also be used in a vaporizer or e-cig.

These methods go directly to the bloodstream and have fast effects. However, smoking can damage the lungs. Cartridges for e-cigs and vape pens often contain harmful chemicals and additives– and may cause severe lung damage.

Not the best method– the cons negate the pros.


  • Fast effects


  • Requires extra purchases (CBD vape pen and accessories)
  • Smoking can damage lungs
  • Most cartridges for e-cigs and vape pens contain harmful ingredients that can severely damage lungs

What Works Best for You

There are many ways to take CBD. Use the method that works best for your body, lifestyle, and desired outcomes. It’s a personal choice.

Another critical component of using CBD is quality, potency, and purity. Ensure CBD products are third-party lab tested, USDA certified organic, USA grown, full-spectrum, and C02 extracted. Learn more about this here.

Check with your healthcare practitioner to make sure there aren’t potential side effects or interactions with your medications.