2020 Ultimate CBD Buyers Guide


Jul. 28 2020, Updated 10:46 p.m. ET

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CBD, which is also known as cannabidiol, is one of several phytocannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant. While cannabis, or marijuana, is well-known for the psychoactive high that it produces, cannabidiol provides the many health benefits associated with marijuana without the high. Cannabidiol has been used for pain relief, to promote cardiovascular health and as a natural sleep aid. It also has been used to treat epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma, Huntington’s disease, diabetes and more.

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While cannabidiol is generally assumed to be a single product type, the reality is that there are a wide range of products available that may affect your body in different ways. To maximize the benefits that you may enjoy, you need to understand what these products are and how they may work in your body.

Differences Between Isolates, Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum

Once you begin shopping for the right oil, cream or other cannabidiol product, you will notice that these products are labeled as isolate, broad spectrum and full spectrum. Some are also labeled as hemp products. Be aware that hemp does not contain any cannabinoids or other phytocannabinoids. CBD isolate products only contain cannabidiol. Broad spectrum products are those that have cannabidiol as well as other phytocannabinoids that have substantial health benefits. Other phytocannabinoids include CBN, CBG and others. Full spectrum products are a step higher. They have all phytocannabinoids in cannabis plants, including small levels of THC and THCA. When determining the right type of product to purchase, you should first determine what benefits you want to take advantage of. This is because the various phytocannabinoids offer unique health benefits.

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Selecting the Right Strength

One of the more common questions that those who are new to cannabidiol have relates to how much they should take. Depending on whether it is inhaled, ingested, applied topically or used in other ways, the uptake in your body varies. In addition, people react to cannabidiol in different ways. Some people may require a stronger product than others to enjoy the full benefits. Because you cannot know how your body will react to the product until after you have tried it, start with a small dosage of the lowest strength product available. After approximately one week, you can step up to a slightly higher strength as needed. For each incremental step up, allow time to observe how your body reacts. You should also be aware that the quality of products varies dramatically, so you could conduct thorough research before making a purchase.

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Cannabidiol Flower

The CBD flower is derived from the hemp plant, and it contains minimal or no THC. Typically, the flower is smoked in the same way that weed is. One of these methods is with a vape pen. Because the product is inhaled, it can quickly be absorbed into the bloodstream without having to be metabolized. It is the fastest way to take advantage of the benefits of cannabidiol. In fact, you may experience the benefits within 10 minutes. You can try various inhalation techniques to increase the amount of phytocannabinoids that enter your bloodstream. Generally, this product is used for anxiety, insomnia, pain relief and several other purposes.

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Cannabidiol Concentrates

CBD concentrates are products that have been thoroughly processed so that they contain up to or even more than 80 percent cannabidiol. All of the phytocannabinoids that you ingest or consume in various ways will not be absorbed by the body. CBD concentrates may be preferred by those who need significant and rapid results for pain relief, anxiety, inflammation and more. Because of the high concentration of phytocannabinoids in these products, they are typically more expensive than other products. For the best results, look for a product that has a concentration level above 80 percent.

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Cannabidiol Oils

CBD infusions, or oils, are generally consumed orally. This could include with the administration of CBD sublingual spray, by dropping the CBD elixirs under your tongue or even by swishing the liquid around in your mouth. The cannabidiol is absorbed into the blood stream, so keeping the oil in your mouth as long as possible without swallowing will help you to maximize the benefits that it provides. Any cannabinoids that do not pass into your blood stream may be swallowed. Ingesting cannabidiol also has health benefits, but it results in slower uptake.

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Tinctures and Elixirs

Cannabidiol oils, elixirs and tinctures are commonly assumed to be the same, but there are important differences. Oils and tinctures are both consumed orally or with drops placed under the tongue. While CBD oil is usually pure cannabidiol placed in a carrier oil, tinctures and elixirs often combine CBD oil with other healthy elements. For example, tinctures may include MCT oil, hemp seed oil or other products. Elixirs may add other ingredients as well, such as superfood extracts. The uptake into the body is similar that of cannabidiol oil.

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CBD Edibles

There are many types of edibles that you can try, and these include everything from gummies and infused nutrition bars to honey sticks, cookies, chocolate and more. The cannabidiol is ingested and absorbed in the digestive tract. Because of this lengthy process, it may take up to six hours before you enjoy the full benefits of this substance in your body. Notably, the benefits may also last the longest. Typically, CBD edibles are used regularly for long-term maintenance rather than for immediate, short-term benefits.

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Cannabidiol Beverages

An alternative way to consume cannabidiol is through a wide range of infused beverages. You can find everything from infused coffee and kombucha to water and non-alcoholic wine. Beverages are among the new CBD-infused products on the market, and they may be a convenient and delicious way to incorporate cannabidiol into your diet to take advantage of its health benefits.

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CBD Creams, Lotions and Salves

The various types of CBD creams, salves and lotions are designed to be used topically. Commonly, they are used to alleviate muscle and nerve pain. They also have anti-inflammatory benefits, such as for relief from arthritic symptoms. CBD topicals and creams are not easily absorbed by the body, so they must be applied liberally. Some people enjoy the best results when a transdermal patch is applied directly to the problem area. Usually, CBD creams, salves and lotions are used in conjunction with oral or inhaled products for the most comprehensive results. While lotions and creams are comprised of water and oil bases, salves are comprised of oil and beeswax bases. Salves are thicker and may be easier to apply thickly to specific areas.

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Cannabidiol Bombs

A topical alternative to creams and lotions is a bath bomb. CBD bombs are designed to be dropped directly into your bath water. They quickly dissolve, and more of the cannabidiol may be absorbed into your skin as you soak in the tub. The health benefits may be compounded if your CBD bombs contain essential oils. While the bombs are most commonly used for relaxation and to reduce anxiety, they may also aid in pain relief and offer other health benefits.

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Where to Seek Guidance

Now that you know more about cannabidiol, you can see that the wide range of health benefits offered by cannabidiol and other phytocannabinoids are derived from the plentiful range of product types and usage options. Everything from the type of product that you select to its potency, its quality and how it is used can impact the health benefits that you enjoy. Before using cannabidiol for the first time and before using different product types, you should consult with your physician. In addition, you can reach out to an expert at your preferred source for cannabidiol products for personalized advice regarding dosage, strength and other matters.

Cannabidiol’s health benefits have been enjoyed by people around the world for countless years, and these benefits are yours to appreciate as well. Now that you understand more about the cannabidiol products, you can begin exploring the options in greater detail and can make an educated decision to promote your well-being.


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