Discovering which type of CBD is right for you
Enjoy Hemp & CBD safely by finding the right type of CBD product.
These days, there’s a massive selection of CBD products available both on the high street and online. It’s great that there’s a choice, but it can also be very confusing. CBD enthusiast & Director of Simply Canna; Dave Hartshorne shares his advice on what to consider when choosing the right CBD product for your needs.
The basics of CBD
CBD is a plant extract. This means that the overall quality of the CBD depends firstly on the quality of the plant and secondly on the quality of the extraction. Reputable CBD brands will give you full details of both either on the packaging or on their website (or both).
As a rule of thumb, the highest-quality CBD products in the UK come from hemp plants organically grown in the EU. The most desirable extraction method is supercritical CO₂ extraction. This is both quick and thorough and hence preserves the most goodness.
The initial extraction will produce what is known as “full-spectrum CBD”. This is basically CBD just as it comes out of the plant. This may be further refined into broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate. As the name suggests, CBD isolate is pure CBD. Broad-spectrum CBD is mostly CBD but also contains other natural chemicals which may be beneficial for some conditions.
The basics of CBD products
From a purely scientific perspective, there are three criteria which determine the effectiveness of a CBD product. These are concentration, bioavailability and onset time.
Concentration is essentially self-explanatory. Bioavailability refers to the ease with which your body can process a CBD product. Onset time refers to the speed with which your body can process a CBD product. In other words, onset time indicates how long it will be before you feel the effects of your chosen CBD product. All three concepts are closely linked.
As a rule of thumb, consuming CBD through the respiratory system (vaping) maximizes bioavailability and minimizes onset time. Consuming CBD sublingually (in tinctures) slightly reduces both bioavailability and onset time, but onset time is still noticeably faster than with true edibles.
Both the bioavailability and the onset time of edibles depend on how easy it is for the body to metabolize them. This means that drink powders, nanoemulsified capsules and confectionery all tend to have the same sort of bioavailability as tinctures. The onset time, however, tends to be slightly longer.
Regular capsules and baked goods both have limited bioavailability and a relatively slow onset time. Topicals also tend to have low bioavailability but the fact that they are applied exactly where they are needed means that the onset time is fairly short.
CBD is liposolvent, this means it dissolves in fat rather than in water. This is why most CBD products use some kind of oil as a carrier for the CBD itself. Up until recently, it has not been possible to do this with capsules.
Now, however, scientists can produce capsule casings which are designed to homogenize with water. This reduces the amount of CBD which ends up being absorbed by fatty tissues. It, therefore, increases bioavailability and reduces onset time.
CBD and your lifestyle
In the real world, however, choosing the right CBD product for you isn’t just about raw science. It’s also about how you live your life and, hence, what you want from your CBD. Here are some points you might want to consider.
Will you want to take CBD in public?
CBD is completely legal but that doesn’t mean people take kindly to the smell it can make. Also, eliquid can leak or spill. Edibles might be a better choice.
Do you need to dose consistently?
If you need a consistent dose, then capsules are often the way to go. Tinctures may also be a reasonable option. Vaping and CBD edibles both need you to read your body (or mind) and dose accordingly.
How long do you want the effect to last?
As a rule of thumb, CBD products with short onset times also tend to wear off quickly and vice versa.