CBD is only growing in popularity, and these days, there are a wide variety of ways to safely consume CBD. The one that works best for you will depend greatly on your individual needs and personal preferences, but the main differences in consumption methods stem from their bioavailability—that’s the amount of CBD that is actually absorbed into your bloodstream.
CBD edibles are exactly what the name implies—CBD-infused foods or drinks that can be consumed orally. Within the category of edibles, there are tons of options: chocolate bars, gummies, mints, tea, coffee, honey sticks…the list goes on.
CBD edibles taste great, and certain kinds can even mask the “earthy” flavor some people dislike about other CBD products. The effects of this method of CBD consumption last around four to six hours. Discreet and convenient, you can take CBD edibles anywhere, anytime, judgement-free.
However, edibles do take longer to activate, usually about an hour or two, as they need to be digested before they can enter the bloodstream. Additionally, your body only absorbs 20 to 30% of the CBD you consume due to the first-pass effect.
Normally, CBD is a hydrophobic compound; using nanotechnology, CBD can be broken down into tiny clusters that are more easily absorbed by your body. Fast-acting water-soluble CBD can be dropped into water or your favorite beverage, and like edibles, water solubles are discreet and tasty.
One of the biggest advantages of water-soluble CBD is its high bioavailability. Because water solubles are already broken down into small particles, your body can absorb much more of the CBD—around 90%—creating an effect that can last 11 to 12 hours.
CBD can be smoked in a pre-rolled joint or vaped via cartridge or oil. This consumption method allows the CBD to enter your bloodstream almost instantly. With middle-of-the-road bioavailability, your body will absorb 30 to 55%.
However, smoke inhalation does carry the risk of respiratory issues, and the safety of vaping is still an ongoing study.