Herbalista's CBD's 4-step guide
The number of people using CBD is growing at a massive rate. It’s in the news almost every day, but where does the truth lie? If you’re on the lookout for a simple step-by-step process to talk you through the world of CBD, then look no further.
Key facts first! CBD is safe and legal. Don’t just take our word for it - check out this report by the World Health Organization. Whatever your reason for taking CBD, our extensive batch testing means you’ll always be safe and secure.
At Vitality CBD we understand that everyone has different levels of expertise and knowledge about CBD. That’s why we’ve put the whole process into an easy-to-understand 4 stage program, going from learning about CBD all the way through to buying your first oil:
Completely new to CBD? Then just start at step one and follow the journey through to the very end. Feel like you know enough about what CBD is, but nervous about the right way of taking it? Then hop on at step two. Each section is designed to be both standalone, and feed into the sections around it, so you can take in the information whichever way you feel is best.
Talk to us
If you have any questions throughout, you can head over to our contact page to send us an email, or just pop up on our webchat at any point. Our CBD experts are available there 9.30amp-6m Monday-Friday. Just click the icon in the bottom right corner of the page and one of our CBD experts will help with whatever question you have.
Right then. Let’s get started!
Step 1: What is CBD?
What is CBD? It’s a question that people across the world have been asking more and more year-on-year. You may have heard it being described as a cannabinoid and cannabidiol, and confusingly those are both correct. Thankfully Vitality CBD are here to outline the basics and do some jargon busting.
The first and most important thing you need to know is that CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant. It’s one of over one hundred different cannabinoids that have been identified so far, so-named because they were first discovered in cannabis. Cannabinoids have since been discovered in many, many other biological systems including our own, but we’ll get to that later.
Where CBD comes from
To understand what cannabinoids are, and why they matter, we first need to discuss CBD’s relationship with cannabis. Cannabis is actually the term for a whole family of plants, which are usually split into two distinct categories: Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. These terms are in turn used as overarching titles for different strains.
Traditionally sativa refers to the tall European plants, and indica to the bushier, shrub-like Indian varieties. For our purposes there are two terms that have far more practical use:
- Hemp refers to strains of cannabis grown for industrial use. These applications include biofuel, rope, paper and CBD.
- Marijuana refers to plants grown for recreational use i.e. getting high. This is why marijuana is often used to refer to cannabis as a drug.
We already know that there are lots of different cannabinoids you can find in the cannabis family, but there are two key ones that help distinguish between hemp and marijuana. The first, and most famous, is THC. This is the compound that induces most of the effects typically associated with smoking cannabis, and is found in high amounts in marijuana.
The second most prevalent cannabinoid is CBD. Research has continuously shown that CBD will not get you high, and is provenly safe for human use. CBD is typically found in high percentages in hemp, whilst there will be very little THC. All of our oral oils and topicals contain absolutely no THC.
The human body and CBD
What’s most significant is that CBD is very similar to chemicals your body already produces. These endocannabinoids (a cannabinoid the body produces internally) are part of a network of chemicals and receptors known as the endocannabinoid system.
The ECS acts as the body’s assistant manager, with receptors throughout most of the major organs, the nervous system, and the immune system. Essentially it ensures that the body is operating in a state of balance, known as homeostasis. This involves checking that everything is working between key parameters, such as temperature, metabolism and pressure.
When we introduce CBD into the body, the ECS is its sole means of interacting with us. In fact, because it’s so similar, CBD is able to support the ECS quite easily. That’s why we’re so confident in CBD as a natural compound that you can safely introduce to your body.
Due to the current state of UK legislation on CBD, we're not able to properly discuss CBD and how it interacts with the body. That’s why at Vitality CBD we make no medical claims, and no reference to CBD and its effects. However, we do encourage you to undertake your own research from respected sources in order to get a fuller picture.
Step 2: How do I take CBD?
There goes step one! You’ve either learned what CBD is, or skipped ahead (don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone you cheated), and now you’re wondering: what next? It’s all well and good knowing what CBD is, but now you need to figure out how you want to take it.
CBD ingestion methods actually have a surprising impact on how it interacts with your body. That’s why we’ve broken this section down into even smaller steps. First off, we’ll discuss bioavailability and why it matters, before walking through your CBD options.
Have you ever considered why hospitals will generally administer drugs intravenously straight into your bloodstream? It’s due to something known as bioavailability. Essentially, the bioavailability of any given chemical compound is the percentage of it that the body effectively uses. The higher the bioavailability, the more efficiently the compound has been utilised.
The main factor that affects bioavailability is how quick the compound’s path to the circulatory system is, hence why IV drips are typically the most effective method. As part of our discussion of each of your options for consuming CBD we’ll also provide an outline of each method’s bioavailability.
Oral Sprays & Oral Drops
One of the most popular and widely recognised methods of using CBD are CBD oral oils. This classification covers oral drops and oral sprays, both of which are used to apply a CBD oil underneath your tongue. As such, they’re usually just a hemp extract blended with a carrier oil.
The reason for applying the oil beneath the tongue (known as using it sublingually) is, you guessed it, bioavailability. Rather than swallowing your CBD oil and sending it through the digestive system, let it soak into the blood vessels beneath the tongue for around 90 seconds. That way it gets into circulation much faster.
The effects will generally be felt within around thirty minutes, and last roughly six hours. This makes oral oils a great way to dose if you only want to use CBD intermittently. You can take half your recommended dosage in the morning, and the other half in the evening, ensuring you get a full day’s coverage.
The only real difference between most CBD drops & CBD sprays is the applicator. Our CBD Oral Spray turns the CBD tincture into a smooth fine mist, perfect for an easy application. Meanwhile, our CBD Oral Drops keep things simple with a pipette, meaning you can better taste the oil’s flavour.
When comparing oral CBD options it’s also worth considering the carrier oil. Our Oral Spray & Oral Drops actually contain different oils to give you a greater choice. The MCT (coconut) oil in our spray helps mask the taste of the hemp for those who don’t like its earthy tones, whilst the hemp seed oil in our drops work great with CBD to provide a full-bodied hemp experience.
In much the same way as CBD has blown up recently, vaping blew up about six years ago, and since then has only continued to grow exponentially. The two industries actually have a strong relationship, since vaping is one of the most efficient means of taking CBD.
The reason for this is, once again, bioavailability. By turning the CBD into vapour you increase the dispersion of molecules, therefore making it more easily absorbed. Since you’re also inhaling it into your lungs where there are a huge number of blood vessels, the CBD has a simple, fast route to your circulatory system.
If you want to use an e-liquid, but aren’t familiar with vaping, first thing’s first: you’ll need a vape device. Our Full Spectrum CBD E-liquid can be used in any vape device, either by itself or as an additive. However, you cannot mix a CBD vape juice with nicotine due to the way nicotine and CBD act as catalysts for one another.
Due to the higher bioavailability when vaping CBD, the effects come on in around 5 minutes, but only last 4 hours. This is due to the speed with which the body is able to process the compound when vaped. That means vaping is for users who enjoy the process of taking CBD and want to dose semi-frequently throughout the day.
It’s important to note that in some instances bioavailability isn’t the be-all and end-all, largely due to the prevalence of the endocannabinoid system throughout the body. A great example of this would be when looking at CBD cosmetics, such as moisturising creams and balms.
When applying a cream to your skin the bioavailability is greatly reduced since the compounds must first make their way through the epidermal layer. That means the amount of CBD that actually reaches your circulatory system is very low. However, if you’re looking for a localised external release then the CBD will still reach the endocannabinoid receptors in the skin.
That means that topicals definitely have a place in your CBD routine. Our Skin Cream and our Muscle Balm both contain a carefully curated blend of essential oils and skin-care ingredients designed to support the hemp extract. The key is to be savvy and explore your options thoroughly.
Since the bioavailability of topicals is low, it’s a slower release means of consuming CBD. Effects will be felt in around an hour and last for about five hours. Regardless of duration, if you’re looking for an external application then topicals are the obvious way to go.
One of the most common forms of CBD is supplements. This is where you’ll find CBD Gummy Bears, CBD coffee and even CBD protein bars, alongside more traditional ingestion methods such as vitamin tablets and lozenges.
Whilst research has shown that ingesting CBD through your stomach reduces its bioavailability, it does make tracking your dosage through the day much easier, and is generally the quickest and most hassle-free way of taking CBD.
Supplements are a great way of, well, supplementing your daily CBD intake. It means that you can just carry a tub of CBD Gummy Bears wherever you go, and dose more discreetly in public. That makes them perfect for being on the go.
With the supplements it’ll usually take at least an hour to feel the effects, which will then last for around six hours. However, since the CBD first passes through the digestive system this can fluctuate depending on metabolism.
Step 3: What's my dosage?
You know what CBD is, and you’ve managed to decide on a means of taking it. All settled right? Well you actually still have to choose the strength of your CBD, one of the most important factors. Our users
Find your dosage
We've surveyed our users extensively, and we've found that our most satisfied users are all using at least 80mg a day. That's why we recommend that first-time users begin with a 1200ml oil, such as our CBD Oral Spray. By starting at a high dose like this, you can more easily figure out how CBD works best for you.
After a week of using 80mg a day, you have two potential paths: if you're satisfied, try decreasing by 10mg a day, and if you're dissatisfied, increase by 10mg a day. By using your CBD consistently, and gradually experimenting with your dosage, you're at least 76% more likely to have a satisfying CBD experience.
Using multiple products
Some of our users also find that using multiple products simultaneously best serves their needs. It’s perfectly safe to use our CBD Oral Drops and CBD Muscle Balm at the same time for example, or indeed any combination of CBD oils, so long as you keep your dose relatively consistent. Finding the right method is part and parcel of your journey.
It also bears repeating that CBD has been shown to be demonstrably safe, even at very high dosages. In a comprehensive report, the World Health Organization made a definitive statement on CBD:
The evidence from well controlled human experimental research indicates that CBD is not associated with abuse potential.
Each of our oils comes with a recommended dosage clearly outlined on the box. We suggest you match this dose, but it’s worth noting there will be no potential for harm even at much higher dosages. You can safely adjust your dosage beyond our recommendations on the box - everyone has a different optimal CBD point.
Step 4: How do I buy CBD?
Rejoice! You now know everything you need to know about CBD, including what it is, how to take it, and where to start with your dosage - all that’s left now is to buy some CBD! Our core recommendation is to look for companies that prioritise testing and quality control.
The CBD market is very new, which also means it’s poorly regulated. That’s why we send all of our product batches to a third-party independent lab in order to ensure they meet the quality we expect. In fact, our central belief in user transparency is why we’ve made all of our CBD lab reports available online. That means you can match the exact report to the bottle in your hand.
We’re clearly biased on the matter, but we truly believe that our product line caters to the full range of CBD users, from beginners to experts. Our years of research and development have resulted in a range of premium CBD products sourced only from sustainable, organic farms.
If you feel like you’re still confused on anything regarding CBD, reach out to us on our CBD contact page, or give us a message on our web chat (available 9am-5pm Monday-Friday). Just click the icon in the bottom right corner of each page and one of our CBD experts will be on hand to answer any queries.
Well, what are you waiting for? Go look at our ever-expanding shop and buy CBD now!