how to use CBD
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Last updated on 20 September 2021

What’s the most effective method of using CBD?

That all depends on you. CBD products come in the form of oils, capsules, suppositories, vape oils, and topical creams.

So, how to use CBD?

The best method for you would depend on personal preference and desired effect. For example, a person suffering from arthritis pain may prefer to use a topical cream on the joints to ease the pain. However, there’s nothing wrong with opting to use the other methods as well. How you choose to use CBD depends on the dose you want, and how long you need the effects to last.

There is no rule on how to take CBD oil. The goal is to make sure that the cannabinoids get into your body and give you the relief you are looking for. Most people that use CBD prefer edibles or tinctures because the effects tend to last longer than with using other methods. Inhalation is great for relieving symptoms within minutes, yet the effects do not last as long.

It’s also worth noting that you are not limited to using one method! Some people prefer to use one method in the morning and use another method in the evening. For example, some people may prefer to take an edible or tincture in the morning and vape at home in the evening. Hence, the method you choose is a matter of the results you want, how long you want it to last, and what is suitable in your case.

There are four main ways to take CBD

Inhalation, edibles, sublingually, and topically. Each of these methods are explained in detail below.


This is the way people associate with cannabis the most because of smoking. But a far healthier way for inhalation of cannabinoids is vaporizing. If you want to vaporize CBD you can use a vaporizable CBD oil. You can also vaporize a cannabis strain high in CBD, however, this method is limited to the local laws in the country or state you live in.

Obviously, with THC it’s the same method, but again, that is dependent on your country’s laws. Read about the legal status of CBD around Europe here, and if you live in the USA, read our in-depth guide on CBD Oil in the US. One thing that remains clear about vaporization is that it’s one of the fastest and efficient methods.

How long does vaporizable CBD oil take to work?

Inhalation works the fastest and you can just stop as soon as you feel it’s enough. Through this method, the effects activate the quickest. Within about 30 minutes you will be at the greatest peak feeling and the effect lasts about 1-4 hours depending on the intake.


Edible CBD may come in the form of food, candies, chocolates, or chewing gum.

How long does it take for edible CBD to work? How long does CBD last?

This method lasts the longest but it takes longer to kick in because your body has to metabolize the CBD. With this method, it may take anywhere from 1 – 2 hours to feel the full effects but it will last longer.

It’s advisable to be careful when taking edibles containing THC. This is because when THC is consumed, it gets converted to a stronger compound, unlike CBD. When consuming edibles with CBD you have the freedom to be more flexible, and the strongest side effect that you may experience is fatigue. It’s highly unlikely to cause anxiety or any other uncomfortable side effects from CBD edibles.


This method consists of taking the CBD oil under your tongue and is done by using a dropper. CBD oil is a liquid extract of plant or herbal materials, which are intended for oral use. They are commonly used with a dropper, or you can measure your desired amount. The word ‘tincture’ usually refers to something which is extracted with alcohol, but some CBD tinctures are extracted using the CO2 method. This method of extraction is the best because it is the cleanest and most efficient. In the case of alcohol extraction, some toxic residues can be left behind.

How to take CBD under the tongue

How does CBD oil taste?

Flavored or unflavored? It depends on your personal preference. CBD oil tends to taste earthy and bitter. If you like the taste of cannabis, you will probably like the taste of CBD oil. However, there are a ton of options with flavors if the earthy flavor is not your thing.

How long does it take for tinctures to work? How long does it last?

The sublingual method of taking CBD is the second fastest method after inhalation. You will feel the effects of the CBD within approximately 30 – 60 minutes and the peak effects will be felt in 1-2 hours. It should last anywhere from 2-6 hours. Some people take this method 3 times a day.


CBD skin products come in ointments, creams, and lotions. Topical creams are not psychotropic and are typically used to treat pain, inflammatory skin rashes, and bacterial skin infections. Cannabinoids are thought to work well on the skin because of their potent anti-inflammatory properties. Both CB1 and CB2 receptors have been found throughout the skin, and the endocannabinoid system is thought to play an important role in the immune response of our skin.

What can CBD creams be used for?

  • Pain relief (arthritis pain, muscle, joint)
  • Joint swelling
  • Inflammatory skin conditions
  • Acne
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Rash
  • Bacterial infections such as MRSA
  • Skin Cancer
  • Neck and back pain
  • Nerve pain

CBD is used topically, for skin conditions from acne to eczema and even for joint pain. According to studies1,2 CBD has been shown to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent.  So, for conditions like a rash, acne, or anything that’s on the skin that is being caused by inflammation are conditions that CBD can help with. CBD not only works well with skin conditions but also it can be used topically to relieve pain.

For arthritis, back pain, or sore muscles we recommend using a CBD cream in the area. It works especially well on the knees, elbows, and hands. Studies have shown that CBD can also be used to treat tumors or skin cancer. These studies have shown that when CBD is applied on the skin, it can encourage a stop in the growth and spread of the cancer cells. The hemp plant has anti-bacterial properties which have the potential to fight against MRSA. MRSA is a bacterial infection responsible for a lot of problems due to its resistance to many antibiotics.

How much CBD should you take?

If you’re just getting started on your CBD journey, it is recommended to take small doses of CBD and carefully observe what is happening. Everyone’s body and reasons for taking CBD are different and having one recommended serving size will not suit everyone. We recommend users to experiment until they find out which dosage works for them.

To learn how to correctly dose CBD, read our dedicated CBD dosage guide.


  1. Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S., Hegde, V. and Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future Medicinal Chemistry, 1(7), pp.1333-1349. []
  2. Bruni, N., Della Pepa, C., Oliaro-Bosso, S., Pessione, E., Gastaldi, D. and Dosio, F. (2018). Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment. Molecules, 23(10), p.2478. []


CBD Expert | View posts

With close to two decades of successful stint in the Media industry, I felt I was surely missing a piece in my life puzzle. I took a break and set out to seek the purpose of my life. I travelled, lived out of a suitcase, let things flow into life without resisting, and after five challenging years, I found my rhythm. I love to write about Cannabis and Health and try my best to simplify esoteric concepts into simple ideas for life.

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