With the recent rise in popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) and the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill in December, numerous CBD products have hit store shelves across the U.S..

The sheer quantity of CBD products now available can be overwhelming. At the smoke shop where I work, some of the most frequent questions are about the differences between the different forms of CBD, dosages and their effects. This information is paramount when it comes to getting the most out of your CBD, so here are some tips to help you navigate through several of the most popular ways to take CBD and the nuances that separate them and their effects.


CBD tinctures are made by steeping cannabis flower or isolate in high-proof grain alcohol and then slightly heating the mixture over a considerable span of time until the cannabis is properly infused and the alcohol boiled off. Often, manufacturers add other oils to improve the taste of their tinctures. Tinctures are designed to be administered in small doses on account of their high potency, usually with a 1 mL dropper, and can be administered in a couple of different ways. You can mix your CBD tincture into your food and drinks to taste, or you can take it sublingually, which means dropping it under your tongue. There is some researchout there that suggests taking CBD tincture sublingually increases the bioavailability of CBD, or the proportion of CBD which enters circulation in your body and is able to produce an active effect.


CBD edibles are food items infused with CBD. Edibles usually come in the form of gummies and other candies, but there are products out there that include CBD-infused honey, cake pops, and more. CBD edibles affect the body differently than the other forms. Because ingesting CBD requires it to pass through your digestive system, the effects of CBD edibles take a little while to kick in — anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours — as opposed to tincture or vapor, which produce effects you can feel almost instantly. But, CBD edibles also come with a host of benefits. While they take longer to take effect, edibles provide longer-lasting effects than other methods like smoking or vaping because the CBD is released slowly over the time it takes your body to digest them. They are also easy to find in stores and online, make at home, dose, and take discreetly.


Unlike all of the other methods of taking CBD, CBD flower has to be smoked — you know, like the other stuff — and always contains low levels of THC, though not nearly enough for it to have any kind of psychoactive effects. In fact, the interaction between the THC and the CBD that occurs when you smoke CBD flower is what sets it apart from the other methods. When you smoke CBD flower, the CBD and the THC undergo a synergizing process known as the “Entourage Effect,” in which they work together to amplify each other’s chemistry and effects. For example, CBD amplifies THC’s pain relieving and antiepileptic properties.


CBD topicals are creams, ointments, balms, salves, or lotions that you apply directly to specific areas of your body, typically to areas in which you’re experiencing pain or inflammation. The CBD in CBD topicals is delivered to the body via application, and can be used to treat a number of different nerve, muscular, joint, and even skin problems.

Vape Oil

CBD vape oil is oil or liquid infused with CBD that’s designed to be heated up and turned into vapor, which you inhale. The most popular CBD vape oil options on the market largely come in the form of pre-filled cartridges, but a lot of vendors also sell bottles of CBD vape oil that you can put into your own vape mod or pen. Vaping CBD is discrete and convenient, and allows you to feel its effects a lot quicker because the vapor you inhale into your lungs goes directly into your bloodstream. This makes it more desirable to some CBD users as opposed to the other methods. CBD vape oil also allows you to customize your dosages. Pre-filled CBD cartridges usually come with pre-set doses of CBD so you can choose your optimal dose, and you can put any amount of the vape oil you want into your vape. You can even mix CBD vape oil with other vape juice to make your own CBD vape oil concoction.