We’ve come a long way since CBD’s early days. Initially, customers had a few suppliers to choose from. Now, vendors are endless, as are the product choices they offer.
Gone is the era of untested, crudely-made CBD oil. Although oil is still a staple – if not the backbone – of cannabidiol sales, customers now have a slew of innovative choices, along with a few novelties.
But the differences between CBD products aren’t just geared for preference. Everyone’s symptoms are different. If you hope to add CBD to your life, the type you buy can make or break your experience.
We covered a lot of this information before, so let’s quickly revisit that. For the full story – and more – check out our post of the top 10 CBD questions.
Hemp vs. Marijuana
Contrary to popular belief, “hemp” and “marijuana” are words that have no basis in science. Both refer to the Cannabis sativa L. plant.
However, the terms are used to differentiate between federally legal “hemp” (under 0.3% THC) and illegal “marijuana” (over 0.3% THC).
Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, and CBD Isolate
There are three categories of CBD to choose from, with some being more common than others. All have advantages and disadvantages, so keep those in mind to find the best fit.
- Full-spectrum retains all the whole-plant compounds, including up to 0.3% THC. Excellent potency but THC may be an issue. Strong “hempy” taste.
- Broad-spectrum undergoes a similar extraction process to full-spectrum, but removes all traces of THC.
- CBD isolate is up to 99% pure CBD with no additional compounds. Least potent, but also flavorless and mixes well with food.
Is CBD Legal?
Federally, CBD is legal – as long as it maintains no more than 0.3% from sourcing to extraction. However, some states enacted restrictions on CBD and hemp-derived products. If you’re unsure, check your state’s cannabis laws.
Is CBD Dangerous?
So far, there’s no evidence suggesting CBD is dangerous on its own. However, it can seriously interact with many medications. Don’t add CBD to your health routine without a green light from your doctor.
Does CBD Have Side Effects?
CBD rarely has side effects. In those cases, they’re mild and short-lasting. Some include:
- Dry mouth
- Appetite changes
Now that we covered the basics, let’s look at our options. If you’ve had a chance to shop around, you’ll find some products are pretty plain and health-focused, while others try to add a little recreational novelty.
Once we unpack these, you’ll have a firmer grasp on which cannabidiol you choose.
CBD Oil and Edibles
CBD oil consists of full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate extract. Manufacturers then suspend the cannabidiol in a carrier oil, like MCT, coconut, grapeseed, or olive.
Some vendors offer flavored oils. If you need something to mask the taste of your tincture, natural flavoring can provide a nice addition.
If oil isn’t your thing, gel capsules also let you get your daily dose without potential spills, smells, or unpleasant taste.
And of course, everyone loves gummies – including us. These products are the perfect solution. Gummies and similar CBD snacks offer the benefits of oil with mess-free, accurate dosing, and natural flavor.
Edible CBD’s popularity is well-deserved. Companies have gone above and beyond to ensure quality and – in the case of Tessera Naturals – improve bioavailability.
If oils and other edibles are on your radar, here are a few things that make them great:
- Easy, accurate dosing
- Usable in some recipes
- Lasts up to 8 hours
Oil isn’t the perfect format for everyone. Before you consider this product, keep the following in mind:
- Low bioavailability (unless it’s nano-CBD)
- “Hempy” taste (except isolate)
- Can take at least 15 to 30 minutes before triggering effects
Who Should Use CBD Edibles?
Because of CBD oil’s delayed, generalized effects, the product is best as a daily health supplement or for non-focal symptoms.
If you need quick relief, edibles aren’t your best choice.
Smoking and Vaping
CBD vaping gained popularity as e-cigarettes also became mainstream. Now, many companies offer vape liquids and prepackaged oil cartridges.
However, some producers decided to take advantage of hemp legalization and offer dried hemp flower or pre-rolled joints.
Although Tessera Naturals understands the appeal and value of such products, there are still too many unknowns about the long-term effects of vape oils or cannabis smoke.
Inhalation offers a vastly different experience compared to its edible counterparts. That experience brings a unique set of benefits, these include:
- Higher bioavailability than standard oil or edibles
- Takes effect in minutes
- Authentic smoking experience
- Many formulas and flavor options
Vaping or smoking CBD has its advantages. For some, it’s the only option. However, this format has some issues:
- Shortest duration of effect (2 to 3 hours on average)
- Nearly impossible to dose
- Long term use could be harmful
When we imagine topicals, things like creams and balms come to mind. But this simple niche has since branched out substantially. Although some niche products aren’t available everywhere,
Muscle rubs and moisturizing creams are two very common topical examples. But some businesses sell things like CBD bath bombs, shampoo, massage oil, and even timed-release patches.
Although the effects of edibles and smoked CBD share some common ground, topicals are in a league of their own. Here are a few reasons to try them.
- Focal effect – rub directly onto the affected area
- Nearly instant relief (in some cases)
- No chance of THC ingestion
- Many product options
- Can be infused with other beneficial skincare ingredients
- Can’t precisely dose
- Won’t relieve generalized symptoms
Disappointment is something many new CBD users experience with their products. But sometimes, all you have to do is switch things up.
Every option has advantages and disadvantages. You have to consider which advantages fit your needs, and decide which – if any – drawbacks are dealbreakers.
- CBD products can be ingested, smoked, or applied topically.
- Ingestion offers long-lasting, generalized effects, but they take time to materialize
- Smoking is fast-acting, with a shorter duration and potential health risks
- Topicals are meant for external use and offer focal relief
- There’s no perfect choice, so choose options based on your needs.