CBD Delivery Methods: Which One is Best For You?

cbd delivery methods

Posted on April 27th, 2021

The popularity of CBD products has been on a sharp rise over the past few years, thanks to its potential health benefits. This awesome natural supplement may have health benefits including managing pain, anxiety, nausea and insomnia. And, while we need more research to confirm these claims, more and more people are adding the supplement to their routine. People are trusting the promising existing research and the mounting anecdotal evidence from experienced users. If you would like to start using CBD but don’t know how to get started, you have come to the right place. After reading up on why CBD really works, you should figure out which product to start with. Read on below to find out everything you should know about the different CBD delivery methods you can try out.   

CBD Delivery Methods

Oral Administration  

The most common method of taking CBD is through oral ingestion. There are many CBD products made specifically to be taken orally, including oil, capsules, edibles, drinks, gummies and many more. 

When you take CBD orally, it travels to the stomach, which filters it before it makes it to the bloodstream. Since CBD is not water soluble, swallowing it has a low absorption rate. So something like a pill would have a low bioavailability. Fortunately, you can boost this rate by mixing it with suitable carrier oil that is fat soluble. This can help boost the absorption rate to between six and twenty percent.

After consuming CBD orally, it takes about 2 hours for you to feel its effects. This is due to the fact that it has to go through the entire digestive process before making it to the bloodstream. However, once there, its effects can last for six or more hours. The extended effects make oral delivery a great option for those looking for long lasting CBD effects like pain relief.

Pros: The main advantage of taking CBD orally is the wide variety of CBD products for oral use. Oral products are available at variable price points. Thanks to the wide selection of CBD products available for oral use, users get the freedom to choose something that is within their price point. Oral CBD like capsules are also very easy to take and travel with. Also, capsules don’t have the natural hemp taste that some people dislike.

Cons: On the other hand, absorption is slow and variable. This is mainly due to the fact that the CBD has to go through the entire digestive process before making it to the bloodstream. 

Vape CBD Oil Vs Sublingual Use - sublingual consumption of CBDSublingual Administration  

CBD can also be taken sublingually. This simply refers to dropping a few drops of CBD oil or tincture under the tongue. Alternatively, you can spray the CBD (using a spray bottle) inside the cheek or under the tongue.

This method of administration is considered to be one of the most effective ways of taking this natural supplement as the CBD passes directly into the bloodstream. As the CBD does not encounter any biological processes or enzymes that can break it down, it has higher bioavailability. Levels ranging from 12 to 35 percent of the substance can end up making it to the bloodstream. Be sure to hold it in your mouth or under the tongue for a few minutes before swallowing whatever remains. This is to ensure that most of the CBD absorbs.

Pros: If you choose to take CBD sublingually, you can expect to feel the effects in a matter of 30 minutes or less. This makes this method a great option for those in need of quick relief. 

Cons: On the downside, dosing can be a problem when using this administration method. To accurately measure each dose, consider using a marked dropper. Furthermore, remember to shake the CBD bottle thoroughly before drawing from it using the dropper. Some may say that another downside is the flavor of the tincture. There are some tincture flavor options out there, but it can be tough to mask the hemp taste.

Topical CBD Delivery Methods  

CBD products such as lotions, creams, balms and patches allow for topical administration of CBD. Depending on the nature of the product in use, topical application works in different ways. 

When using lotions, creams and salves, the CBD in these products does not travel to the bloodstream to have effect. Instead, the CBD absorbs into the layers of the skin at the application site before interacting with nearby receptors. Through this action, topical CBD results in a more localized effect. 

However, transdermal patches work in a different way. These products normally come with a variety of ingredients and higher concentrations of CBD. They aim to ensure that the compound travels to the bloodstream after passing through the skin. As such, the effects of these patches can extend to the entire body of the user. 

Since they are designed to release CBD over a prolonged period of time, transdermal patches are considered to have longer lasting effects. They also have decent bioavailability.

Pros: The different types of products make it easy for users to find something that meets their exact needs. You can choose between something that offers localized relief or whole body effects. Salves and lotions also moisturize while providing pain relief.

Cons: On the flip side, to be sufficiently effective, these products need to have higher concentrations of CBD (and other active ingredients). This can make them costlier than other alternatives. Also there is the natural possibility of making a mess with any kind of lotion/cream.


Inhalation is definitely one of the most popular CBD delivery methods. For a quick dose of CBD directly into the bloodstream, people can vape CBD oil or smoke hemp flowers. 

To produce a vapor, vaporizers heat up CBD oil or dried material. The CBD vapor travels into the lungs where it absorbs directly into the bloodstream. This allows it to quickly circulate throughout the body.  

This method delivers the highest CBD bioavailability, ranging between 10 and 60 percent. Users have said they feel the first effects of CBD a few minutes after the first inhalation. Overall, it normally takes about 30 minutes for the full effects to kick in. These effects can last for two or more hours. 

Pros: Inhalation is the fastest CBD delivery method. Also, it provides the best bioavailability of any practical method.

Cons: Just like with oral administration, one of the main drawbacks of inhalation revolves around dosing. In general, it is hard to ascertain the amount of CBD you are taking when vaping. 

Furthermore, the rate of absorption is highly variable. It depends on a person’s rate and volume of inhalation, concentration of the CBD product, as well as how long you hold each breath. 

Last but not least, some vaping oils contain harmful ingredients such as propylene glycol that can break down into formaldehyde when hot.

Enhancing CBD Delivery Methods

As you can see, there are different ways of taking CBD. Regardless of how you choose to take it, you need to find ways of ensuring that you maximize absorption. Here are a few tips on how you can enhance the effectiveness of different delivery methods. 

-Choose A Method You Like: For starters, you need to choose a method that you actually like. If you don’t like the earthy taste of hemp, consider inhalation or capsules. By choosing a method you like, adding CBD to your routine and taking the necessary dosages will be much easier.  

-Get The Dosage Right: If you want to enjoy the benefits of CBD, proper dosing is essential. To help you with dosing, choose accurately labeled CBD products that also come with clear dosage instructions. You can also ask your physician to give you some tips on how to dose CBD.

-Only Use High Quality Products: High quality CBD products from reputable manufacturers and retailers have advantages. For example, they contain specified concentrations, clear dosage instructions, as well as a clear list of ingredients. With such products, you will be able to ascertain how much CBD you are taking and also have a clear idea of what you are introducing into your body.  


From the existing anecdotal evidence and research studies, CBD has a variety of safe potential health benefits. However, before you add CBD to your routine, you will need to start by choosing the right CBD delivery method. There are a number of them including oral, inhalation, topical application and sublingual. 

It is important to note that none of these methods is all around better than the other. As such, the most suitable method for you should be the one that matches your needs and preferences. Delivering the right amount of CBD into your body/bloodstream to facilitate the desired effects is the main goal. 

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