What are the common ways to consume CBD?

Cannabis commonly referred to as marijuana is a plant with a significant role in both the medical and recreational sectors. Regardless of the species or strain, cannabis is composed of two major chemical compounds which act on the endocannabinoid pathway which regulates mood, appetite, memory, and pain. These two chemical compounds are CBD and THC. While they have the same molecular formula, their structural formula varies and this influences their mode of action. Based on their interactions with cannabinoid 1 receptors, CBD is less psychoactive than THC hence used to treat anxiety, depression, seizures, and inflammatory disorders. The common ways to consume CBD are elaborated below.


Sublingual route

Under the tongue lies a mucous membrane through which substances can easily diffuse through. Cannabis designed for this route is usually soaked in flower oil or alcohol. They are free from sugars and additives. This route is effective as it preserves a large amount of CBD which could otherwise be altered by digestive enzymes and the liver’s first-pass effect. In addition, this route has a shorter time of action compared to the gastrointestinal tract. It is also advisable for people allergic to additives and preservatives. This is one of the ways to consume CBD which is highly recommended.

Topical route

This route simply refers to external application over the affected area commonly used for inflammatory reactions. In this route, CBD is formulated as a cream, lotion, balms, salves, or transdermal patches. There is increased bioavailability in this route as CBD is subjected to neither digestive enzymes nor the first pass effect. The only setback in this method is that unlike sublingual, the skin is thicker and less permeable than the mucous membrane. In this case, cannabis used should be with a high amount of CBD and should be applied in large amounts.

Inhalation route

This method allows CBD to be taken either through vaping or smoking. Just like the nebulization of drugs such as salbutamol, CBD solutions can be nebulized and inhaled using vaporizers or nebulizers.CBD is first dissolved in oil before this method is applied. Cannabis rolls can also be heated and the smoke inhaled directly to the lungs. This is one of the ways to consume CBD which is highly discouraged as it exposes one to carcinogens that can cause the development of lung cancer. The inhalation route has the shortest time of action as the results are achieved in less than ten minutes.

Ingestion route

This is the most popular route. Cannabis is directly swallowed where it is acted upon by the digestive enzymes and absorbed. People who don’t like its taste usually add oil or take it with food. Some cookies and sweets have CBD as part of their ingredients. This is one of the best cbd gummies with the longest time of action. It takes hours for effects to be experienced. One should be cautious not to take the excess as it seems to have no effect at the beginning. This is the best route during work as it does not require any special attention.


More ways to consume CBD are being identified in the field of medicine due to its ability to reduce pain. Despite the adverse side effects of cannabis such as psychoactivity, its medicinal effects are highly valued. Research should be conducted on ways of extracting pure CBD free from traces of THC to reduce psychoactive effects. The general public should be educated on the effects related to each method of consumption to reduce the chances of the development of lung cancer.