What’s the Best? Understanding the Different Types and Forms of CBD

CBD is the name and treating virtually every ailment is the game. Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably been hearing all about CBD and CBD products. You may have also heard that more than 42 percent of CBD users have dropped their traditional pharmaceuticals in favor of this all-natural alternative. 

While CBD is most commonly used to treat anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and insomnia, it’s also used as an overall health supplement. It’s even used by athletes to aid in workout recovery. In addition, there are a variety of forms of CBD to suit all individual needs.

If you’re thinking about jumping on the CBD train, start with this guide to the different forms of CBD. Keep reading to learn about the different CBD products out there and which is best for you.

The Many Forms of CBD

CBD, which is short for Cannabidiol, is one of the many natural chemical compounds found within the Cannabis Sativa plant—otherwise known as Marijuana. However, unlike THC, CBD it’s considered to be non-psychoactive, meaning that it won’t get you high. 

CBD works by modulating the receptors throughout our bodies. We humans, as well as animals,  have what is called an Endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for regulating all of our bodily systems. Basically, CBD is thought to work in two ways: by mimicking endocannabinoids and binding with the receptors throughout our bodies and also by prohibiting the enzyme which breaks down our endocannabinoids so that they have more time to do their job. 

That’s the easy part to understand. Where first time CBD users get confused is with the different CBD types out there—distillates, isolates, wax, crystals, extracts, full-spectrum, broad-spectrum—what does it all mean?

Here’s the breakdown:

Extracts and Isolates

The two main forms of CBD that you’ll find on the market come from extracts, isolates, or a combination of the two. So, what’s the difference?

CBD extract is the thick, oily, dark, honey-colored substance taken from the plant via the method of extraction. Extracts usually contain the fatty acids of the plant as well as the cannabinoids and flavorful terpenes. All of these plant materials together provide for maximum health benefits.

This form of the extract is what is considered as “full-spectrum” CBD. By legal standards, it will also have up to 0.03 percent of THC—which is still not enough to get you high. You can find extracts sold alone, typically packaged as an oral syringe for dosing purposes. 

CBD isolates are exactly what you think—pure, isolated CBD. At 99 percent and up, this is the most potent form of CBD. It takes the form of a white crystalline powder or a slab, hence the names “crystals”, “wax”, “shatter”, etc. 

CBD isolates are created by way of a crystallization technique, yielding pure CBD without any of the other pant materials—including THC. While it can be taken alone, it is also mixed with extracts to create what is considered a “broad spectrum” CBD product. When you see a product labeled as “broad spectrum”, it means that it contains all of the plant materials minus the THC.

While many people swear by CBD isolates, the truth is, it’s not as effective as a full and broad-spectrum CBD extract because it doesn’t provide all of the synergistic effects that a whole pant product. This is also known as the entourage effect.

How Isolates and Extracts Are Used

CBD extracts and isolates are the core of each CBD product on the shelves. As previously mentioned, the two can be combined to create broad-spectrum products or used separately for full-spectrum and isolate products.

The product types will also vary in potency to fit a wide range of needs, usually measured in milligrams and milliliters (for tinctures). The type of product you choose will depend on a few factors:

  • The condition you’re trying to treat
  • Whether you need systematic or localized relief
  • Your overall health (which should be evaluated by your doctor before introducing CBD to your daily regimen)
  • Your overall tolerance to drugs and supplements

As mentioned above, if you plan on taking CBD for any health ailments, you should consult with your doctor first—especially if you are currently taking prescription medications, as CBD can interfere with their rate of absorption if taken at the same time.

Now let’s take a closer look at the CBD products out there:

CBD Oils and Tinctures

Oils and tinctures are arguably the most popular CBD products on the market today. They’re made by diluting the CBD extracts in a full-fat carrier oil such as hemp oil, coconut oil, and/or MCT oil. These oils are what help the CBD extract to be easily absorbed by our bodies.

Some are also infused with flavoring agents since they are taken sublingually. The sublingual method involves holding the dose of CBD oil/tincture under your tongue for a period of time. This allows for quick absorption into the bloodstream via the hundreds of tiny capillaries. The beneficial effects take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and will last up to eight hours.

CBD oils and tinctures are perfect for you if you cannot take anything in pill form or utilize vapes or smokeable. Visit this link for more about CBD tinctures.

CBD Vapes

Vaping CBD juice or e-liquids are the second most popular method, especially for those who already use medical THC because THC/CBD products are available in states where it’s legal.

Vaping CBD typically involves a vape pen and a CBD cartridge. Usage is pretty self-explanatory, and most pens will vibrate or blink when you’ve inhaled the full dosage. With vaping, the beneficial effects come on almost immediately since you’re inhaling the product which is like a straight shot to your bloodstream. Those effects will last up to three hours.

While there is some controversy over vaping and the potential danger it can cause to the lung tissue, many people still opt for this method because of its high bio-availability. 

CBD Capsules, Pills, and Edibles

CBD capsules and pills are used as a more systematic treatment for several ongoing conditions. While there is less bioavailability with ingestible products, they still provide long-lasting relief.

Those who take CBD pills and capsules are usually people who are more comfortable with taking things in pill form, especially because the dosages are much easier to specify. They also provide for a delayed-release, which is beneficial for those who are taking other medications.

Edibles, usually in the gummy-bear form, are a bit more discreet—and tasty. Much like CBD pills and capsules, the dosage per bear is specified. They’re like chewable vitamins. Edibles also come in chocolate form, powders for smoothies, infused water, and other treats.

Creams, Lotions, Salves, Balms, Chapsticks, Etc.

CBD-infused topicals are typically used to treat isolated areas where you may be experiencing joint pain or inflammation. Many of these products are combined with other ingredients like essential oils or menthol for added relief. While they are meant to treat localized areas, there are also transdermal products available which can also be absorbed into the bloodstream for added relief. 

CBD topicals can provide relief for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis as well, and they get to work within 15 minutes, providing relief for hours. There are also thousands of beauty products infused with CBD that have popped up within the past few years as natural, “green” skincare and beauty hit the demand list. 

Please Read the Labels

Not all forms of CBD are created equal. CBD is only regulated in terms of federal and state legalities as our government along with the FDA are still trying to navigate its course further.

This means that there are those trying to take advantage of the market with poor-quality products. So on your search for a CBD product, keep these things in mind:

  • Avoid products that include additives such as natural flavoring, citric acid, propylene glycol, and anything you can’t pronounce. 
  • Check the label for third-party lab testing. If the company does not advertise this openly, they may be hiding something
  • Only purchase USA-grown and cultivated CBD products 
  • Only purchase Organic and non-GMO CBD products

The quality of your product matters. Especially if you suffer from certain conditions, any chemical additives can worsen your symptoms and become toxic to your overall health. The best CBD products are the ones with minimal ingredients.

Which Product is Best for You?

You can use multiple forms of CBD together or just stick with one. We suggest that you begin with a CBD oil, as it is the most popular CBD product on the market today. And don’t forget to consult with your doctor before taking CBD for any health conditions or if you are already taking prescription medications.

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