The 4-Step Guide to CBD
Introduction to CBD
The number of people using CBD is growing at a massive rate. It’s in the news almost every day, and there are now 1.6 million daily UK users, but where do you start? If you’re on the lookout for a simple step-by-step process to talk you through the world of CBD, then look no further.
Key facts first! CBD is safe and legal in the UK. Don’t just take our word for it - check out this report by the World Health Organization. Whatever your reason for taking CBD, our extensive batch testing means you’ll always be safe.
Our 4-steps for CBD
At Vitality CBD we understand that everyone has different levels of expertise and knowledge about CBD. That’s why we’ve put the whole process into an easy-to-understand 4 stage program, going from learning about CBD all the way through to buying your first CBD oil:
- Step 1: What is CBD?
- Step 2: How do I take CBD?
- Step 3: What's my CBD dosage?
- Step 4: How do I buy CBD?
Completely new to CBD? Then just start at step one and follow the journey through to the very end. Feel like you know enough about what CBD is, but want to know the right method to take it? Then hop on at step two. That way you can take in the information whichever way you feel is best.
Talk to us about CBD
If you have any questions throughout, you can head over to our CBD contact page to send us an email, or just pop up on our webchat at any point. Our CBD experts are available there 9am-5pm Monday-Friday. Just click the icon in the bottom right corner of any page!
Right then. Let’s get started!
Step 1: What is CBD?
What is CBD? It’s a question that people across the world have been asking more and more year-on-year. You may have heard it being described as a cannabinoid and cannabidiol, and confusingly those are both correct. Thankfully Vitality CBD are here to outline the basics and do some jargon busting before you buy CBD.
The first and most important thing you need to know is that CBD is short for cannabidiol, a compound found in the cannabis plant. It’s one of over one hundred different cannabinoids that have been identified so far, so-named because they were first discovered in cannabis. Cannabinoids have since been discovered in many other biological systems including our own, but we’ll get to that later.
Where CBD comes from
To understand what cannabinoids are, and why they matter, we first need to discuss CBD’s relationship with cannabis. Cannabis is actually the term for a whole family of plants, which are usually split into two distinct categories: Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. These terms are in turn used as overarching titles for different strains.
Traditionally sativa refers to the tall European plants, and indica to the bushier, shrub-like Indian varieties. For our purposes there are two terms that have far more practical use:
- Hemp refers to strains of cannabis grown for industrial use. These applications include biofuel, rope, paper and CBD.
- Marijuana refers to plants grown for recreational use i.e. getting high. This is why marijuana is often used to refer to cannabis as a drug.
We already know that there are lots of different cannabinoids you can find in the cannabis family, but there are two key ones that help distinguish between hemp and marijuana. The first, and most famous, is THC. This is the compound that induces most of the effects typically associated with smoking cannabis, and is found in high amounts in marijuana.
The second most prevalent cannabinoid is CBD. Research has continuously shown that CBD will not get you high, and is provenly safe for human use. CBD is typically found in high percentages in hemp, whilst there will be very little THC. All of our CBD oils and CBD topicals contain absolutely no THC.
The human body and cannabidiol
What’s most significant is that CBD is very similar to chemicals your body already produces. These endocannabinoids (a cannabinoid the body produces internally) are part of a network of chemicals and receptors known as the endocannabinoid system.
The ECS acts as the body’s assistant manager, with receptors throughout most of the major organs, the nervous system, and the immune system. Essentially it ensures that the body is operating in a state of balance, known as homeostasis. This involves checking that everything is working between key parameters, such as temperature, metabolism and pressure.
When we introduce CBD into the body, the ECS is its sole means of interacting with us. In fact, because it’s so similar, CBD is able to support the ECS quite easily. That’s why we’re so confident in CBD as a natural compound that you can safely introduce to your body.
Step 2: How do I take CBD?
There goes step one! You’ve either learned what CBD is, or skipped ahead (don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone you cheated), and now you’re wondering: what next? It’s all well and good knowing what CBD is, but now you need to figure out how to take it.
CBD ingestion methods have a big impact on how it interacts with your body. That’s why we’ve broken this section down into even smaller steps. First off, we’ll discuss bioavailability and why it matters, before walking through your CBD options.
CBD and bioavailability
Have you ever considered why hospitals will generally administer drugs straight into your bloodstream? It’s due to something known as bioavailability. Essentially, the bioavailability of any given chemical compound is the percentage of it that the body effectively uses. The higher the bioavailability, the more efficiently the compound has been utilised.
The main factor that affects bioavailability is how quick the compound’s path to the circulatory system is, hence why IV drips are typically the most effective method. So, lets look into how intake affects bioavailability!
CBD Oral Sprays & CBD Oral Drops
One of the most popular and widely recognised methods of using CBD are CBD oils. This covers our CBD Oral Drops and our CBD Oral Spray, both of which are used to apply a CBD oil underneath your tongue. CBD oils are just hemp extract blended with a carrier oil.
The reason for applying the CBD oil beneath the tongue (known as using it sublingually) is, you guessed it, bioavailability. Rather than swallowing your CBD oils and sending it through the digestive system, let it soak into the blood vessels beneath the tongue for around 90 seconds. That way it gets into circulation much faster.
The effects will generally be felt within around thirty minutes, and last roughly six hours. This makes CBD oils a great way to dose if you only want to use CBD intermittently. You can take half your recommended dosage in the morning, and the other half in the evening, ensuring you get a full day’s coverage.
When comparing oral CBD options it’s worth considering the carrier oil. The MCT (coconut) oil in our CBD Oral Spray helps mask the taste of the hemp for those who don’t like its earthy tones, whilst the hemp seed oil in our CBD Oral Drops work great with CBD to provide a full-bodied hemp experience.
For more on our oral oils, read our CBD oils guide.
CBD vaping has one of the highest bioavailabilities. By turning your CBD e-liquid into vapour you make it more easily absorbed. Since you’re inhaling it into your lungs, the CBD vape juice has a simple, fast route to your circulatory system.
If you want to use a CBD e-liquid, but aren’t familiar with vaping, first thing’s first: you’ll need a vape device. Our Broad Spectrum CBD E-liquid is best used in a easily found mouth-to-lung device, either by itself or as an additive. However, you cannot mix a CBD vape juice with nicotine due to the way nicotine and CBD act as catalysts for one another.
Due to the higher bioavailability when vaping CBD, the effects come on in around 5 minutes, but only last 4 hours. This is due to the speed with which the body is able to process the compound when vaped. That means vaping is for users who enjoy the process of taking CBD and want to dose semi-frequently throughout the day.
It’s important to note that in some instances bioavailability isn’t the be-all and end-all, largely due to the prevalence of the endocannabinoid system throughout the body. A great example of this would be when looking at CBD topicals, such as moisturising creams and balms.
When applying a cream to your skin the bioavailability is greatly reduced since the compounds must first make their way through the epidermal layer. That means the amount of CBD that actually reaches your circulatory system is very low. However, if you’re looking for a localised external release then the CBD topical will still reach the endocannabinoid receptors in the skin.
That means that CBD topicals definitely have a place in your CBD routine. Our CBD Skin Cream and CBD Muscle Balm both contain a carefully curated blend of essential oils and skincare ingredients designed to support the hemp extract. The key is to be savvy and explore your options thoroughly.
Since the bioavailability of CBD topicals is low, it’s a slower release means of consuming CBD. CBD effects will be felt in around an hour and last for about five hours. Regardless of duration, if you’re looking for an external application then CBD topicals are the obvious way to go.
For more on our CBD cosmetics, read our CBD topicals guide.
One of the most common forms of CBD is CBD edibles. This is where you’ll find CBD Gummy Bears, CBD coffee and even CBD protein bars, alongside more traditional ingestion methods such as CBD Vitamins and lozenges.
Whilst research has shown that ingesting CBD through your stomach reduces its bioavailability, it does make tracking your dosage through the day much easier, and is generally the quickest and most hassle-free way of taking CBD.
CBD edibles and supplements are a great way of, well, supplementing your daily CBD intake. It means that you can just carry a tub of CBD Gummy Bears wherever you go, and dose more discreetly in public. That makes them perfect for being on the go.
With CBD edibles it’ll usually take at least an hour to feel the effects, which will then last for around six hours. However, since the CBD first passes through the digestive system this can fluctuate depending on metabolism.
Step 3: What's my CBD dosage?
You know what CBD is, and you’ve managed to decide on a means of taking it. All settled right? Well you actually still have to choose the strength of your CBD oils or CBD e-liquids, one of the most important factors. That's why we've extensively polled our users to give you the best CBD experience.
Find your CBD dosage
We've surveyed our users extensively, and we've found that our most satisfied users are all using at least 70mg a day. That's why we recommend that first-time users begin with a 1200ml oil, such as our CBD Oral Spray. By starting at a higher dose, you can easily figure out how CBD works best for you.
After a week of using 70mg a day, you have two options: if you're satisfied, try decreasing by 20mg a day, and if you're dissatisfied, increase by 20mg a day. By using your CBD consistently, and experimenting with your dosage, you're at least 76% more likely to have a satisfying CBD experience.
Using multiple CBD products
Some of our users also find that using multiple products simultaneously best serves their needs. It’s perfectly safe to use our CBD Oral Drops and CBD Muscle Balm at the same time for example, or indeed any combination of CBD oils, so long as you keep your dose relatively consistent. Finding the right method is part and parcel of your journey.
These CBD combinations are so popular in the Vitality CBD office that we’ve actually written an article on two of our favourite product combos. Take a look at our CBD product guide, and see if you can find two products that suit you.
Is CBD safe?
It also bears repeating that CBD has been shown to be demonstrably safe, even at very high dosages. In a comprehensive report, the World Health Organization made a definitive statement on CBD:
The evidence from well controlled human experimental research indicates that CBD is not associated with abuse potential.
Step 4: How do I buy CBD?
Rejoice! You now know everything you need to know about CBD, including what it is, how to take it, and where to start with your dosage - all that’s left now is to buy CBD! Our core recommendation is to look for companies that prioritise testing and quality control.
The CBD market is very new, which also means it’s poorly regulated. That’s why we send all of our product batches to a third-party independent lab in order to ensure they meet the quality we expect. In fact, our central belief in user transparency is why we’ve made all of our CBD lab reports available online. That means you can match the exact report to the bottle in your hand.
If you feel like you’re still confused on anything CBD, reach out to us on our CBD contact page, or give us a message on our web chat (9am-5pm Monday-Friday). Just click the icon in the bottom right corner of each page and one of our CBD experts will be on hand!
Well, what are you waiting for? Go look at our ever-expanding shop, find the section that fits your needs, and buy CBD now!