Finding Your Optimal Serving Sizes and Formats
So you’ve decided to join the growing revolution of people using cannabidiol (CBD) for relief and support with anxiety, arthritis, pain, menopause symptoms, insomnia and other health issues. Now comes the truly hard decision: tinctures, topicals, vaporizers, edibles… Which is best for you? And how much should you take?
If you’re overwhelmed by the wide variety of CBD products, you are not alone. Each method delivers CBD to your body in a different way, which affects what it can be used for and how often you’ll want to take it. Adding to that confusion is the fact that each of our bodies responds differently to CBD, meaning there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to help you design a cannabinoid treatment plan that fits your individual health goals — whether you’re choosing your first CBD product, or just optimizing your current routine.
Clarify Your Goals
With more than 65 different targets throughout your body, CBD has a staggering variety of therapeutic properties. Focusing on just one or two or those properties will help you find the best product and dosage quicker.
Ask yourself what you want CBD to improve. Do you want emotional support? Do you have a lot of arthritic pain? Are you just curious to see if life is somehow “better” with it?
Many people benefit from tracking their progress. This is a good time to download the Health Tracker Questionnaire. Creating a baseline record will help you judge the effectiveness of your CBD treatment.
Where Does the CBD Need to Reach?
In order for CBD oil to be effective, it must get to where it’s needed. For most health goals, figuring out the location of CBD’s target will be straightforward.
If your target is located anywhere close to your skin or a mucous membrane, you could first try a localized product like a topical. This delivers the highest concentration of CBD exactly where you want it.
Otherwise, CBD needs to travel through your bloodstream to reach its target — whether that’s to your brain, immune system, or other locations. Vaporizers and oral products are best for this purpose.
What’s Your Time Frame?
How long CBD works in your body is a balance between how you ingest it and how quickly your body eliminates it. Some methods deliver a sharp, quick peak of CBD, while others offer a slow, steadier concentration.
If you’re looking for immediate, then CBD is not for you. However, if you want to maintain steady levels of CBD throughout the day, then an oral product would be more appropriate.
Many people benefit from a combination of delivery methods. Here are some examples of how people use CBD products keeping in mind that this list is not inclusive of all issues helped by CBD oil:
|Anxiety||1-3X daily orally|
|Depression||1-3X daily orally|
|Inflammation||1-3X daily orally + topical as needed|
|Arthritic Pain||1-3X daily orally + topical as needed|
|Sleeping Issues||1-2X daily orally|
Everybody’s Different: Finding Your Dose
It’s always recommended to start with a very low dose to make sure you don’t react poorly to any of the product’s ingredients. We recommend starting with 2-3 drops twice daily for one week. At the beginning of the second week, please update your health tracker. If you feel that you are getting along fine and you seen your symptoms slightly getting better or no change at all, then you need to increase your dosage to 4-6 drops twice a day for another week. On the third week continue to assess how you are tracking. PLEASE NOTE: that if your symptoms were improving until the last time you increased your usage, then go back down to that last usage as this is where your body is at optimum CBD absorption.
Even if you know how much CBD is in each serving, that value only represents the maximum amount that could be entering your body — most of that CBD will never reach your bloodstream or its targets.
But there are tricks that can help increase the amount of CBD your body absorbs.
If you’re taking an oral formulation, try holding it under your tongue or swishing it around your mouth before swallowing.
CBD Sources & Quality
Once you find your optimal CBD method and dosage, be aware that it may change if you switch products. Some manufacturers are less trustworthy than others, so different CBD sources may have different effects.
What’s the best type of CBD to use? Well everyone has different recommendations on this subject, CBD oil can be a trial and error process. Some feel that a CBD Isolate (which means that all other terpenes have been removed) is an answer for them while others need the CBD/THC combination and yet others require a full-spectum CBD.
CBD: Can You Take Too Much?
If you’re worried about taking too much, just know that clinical trials have prescribed CBD doses up to 1,200 mg daily for months without observing any serious side effects. That’s more CBD than an entire bottle of Foria Basics, or 60+ suggested servings per day!
Although CBD is generally considered safe, it could lower your blood pressure. CBD can also interfere with your body’s ability to process certain pharmaceutical drugs. Both CBD and grapefruits inhibit cytochrome p450, so take extra precautions if you are on a medication that comes with a warning not to consume with grapefruit. Topical or inhaled products could help minimize this interaction.
Ways to take CBD
Oral – Swallowed
Types: CBD oil, tinctures
Pathway to targets: When CBD is ingested, it passes through the digestive tract, where it’s absorbed into the bloodstream and travels throughout your body.
Time-frame: This is the slowest route for CBD to reach its targets, but also the longest period of time that it’s active. Peak bloodstream levels are reported anywhere between 1-6 hours. Best for long-term supplementation.
- Food. Food affects your body’s ability to absorb CBD, and more cannabinoids are absorbed on a full stomach. CBD is fat-soluble, and consuming with a healthy dose of fats can increase the amount of CBD that reaches your bloodstream 3-fold — which is why Foria Basics contains MCT coconut oil.
- Pay attention to THC. Swallowed products are first metabolized by your liver before circulating through your body (first-pass metabolism). If your CBD product contains THC, it is only there to help boost the healing properties of the CBD. Please let us know if you have any concerns prior to trying a bottle with CBD.
- Time in your mouth. Everything above applies to CBD that is swallowed immediately. However, while it sits in your mouth, it can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream. See below…
Oral – Sublingual or “Buccal”
Types: CBD oil, tinctures
Pathway to targets: CBD can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream from capillary-rich areas underneath the tongue, along the gums and cheek. From here, it avoids first-pass metabolism and is sent throughout your body.
Time-frame: This route gets CBD into your bloodstream faster than swallowing. Under the tongue (sublingual) is generally quicker than against the cheek (buccal).However, because most of the CBD will eventually be swallowed, peak bloodstream levels range from 0.5 – 5 hours.
- Food. Researchers have recently discovered that the total amount of absorbed CBD increases 5-fold if the person has recently eaten. Chewing helps increase blood flow to your mouth, which could help increase absorption.
- Increase surface contact. It’s often suggested to keep CBD oil in your mouth for 1.5 minutes or more before swallowing. During this time, increase absorption by vigorously swishing the oil around your mouth and even between your teeth — this increases the surface contact between the oil and your capillaries. (If you’ve tried oil-pulling as a tooth-and-gums cleanser, this will be familiar.)
Types: Creams, lotions
Pathway to targets: Topical CBD diffuses across your skin and reaches local targets, like muscles, inflammatory cells, and pain-perceiving nerves. Very little, if any, enters the bloodstream — unless it is designed for transdermal activity.
Time-frame: Varies, depending on the target.
- Often paired. Topicals are great for on-the-spot treatment. But for long-term health goals, people often get the best results when they pair topicals with oral CBD products.
Everything we’ve been discussing — the pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol — is a complicated subject that scientists are still actively piecing together. There are no established guidelines for the best way to use CBD to achieve your health goals. Prepare for a truly unique experience that deserves patient and loving experimentation.
Here is a quick overview that you can use for printing or document saving purposes:
We wish you much success on your journey!