By Jenny Menzel, H.C.
Two years after being legalized, many people are becoming educated about the benefits of using cannabidiol (CBD) as a natural relief option for common ailments. They’re even starting to understand the differences between CBD and THC — the psychoactive component of cannabis. As researchers continue compiling evidence of CBD’s medicinal value, CBD oil has emerged as the most popular form of delivery. Yet, when it comes to results and reviews, there are mixed feelings about CBD’s benefits.
While knowing how to find the best CBD oil certainly helps to procure positive results, there are other tricks you can try that may maximize CBD’s effectiveness. Trying one (or all) of the following tips may significantly boost the healing properties of CBD oil, lending to your personal CBD success story.
8 Ways To Get Results From Your CBD Oil
1. Buy High-Quality CBD from Reputable Suppliers.
In absence of regulations from authorities like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), finding high-quality CBD products has proved challenging, with one study finding only 31% of online CBD extracts to be accurately labeled. Thankfully, quality CBD oil manufacturers invest in third-party testing from independent labs certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). These ISO-certified labs test CBD products without bias, providing a lab report of their findings called a certificate of analysis (COA). Other ways to know a supplier is reputable: They will have great online reviews, be in good standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and offer money-back guarantees to assure you they care about your CBD shopping experience. These experts will guide you into understanding which CBD oil may work best for your particular health needs.
Takeaway Tip: Look for positive customer reviews from CBD companies using ISO-certified labs that test for purity and label accuracy.
2. Know the Dosage That’s Right For You.
The most important trick to know for getting CBD to work best for you is to remember that you are an individual, and CBD operates differently for different people with different needs. Once you know you can trust a quality CBD supplier, you can monitor how certain dosage levels affect you. The general consensus is to start low and slow. The task of finding the right dosage will be largely a trial-and-error endeavor, not unlike finding the correct dosage for any new dietary supplement. Some people may experience results quickly, and for others, it takes time. Spend a few days at one dosage before increasing it.
Takeaway Tip: Variables like weight, height, and health conditions contribute to achieving a proper dose. Research your product before purchasing, read its instructions thoroughly, and begin slowly.
3. Pair It with Fats to Maximize Absorption.
When we talk about bioavailability, we are discussing the amount of a compound that can reach the bloodstream. CBD's bioavailability through the stomach is actually quite poor because it is lipophilic — meaning it becomes activated when it interacts with fats (oils). Our bodies are made up of 60% water, so it is thought that oils don't readily absorb into the human body. Because of this, nanotechnology is being explored as an option to make CBD liposomes. This process breaks CBD oil into tiny nanoparticles that mix with water, therefore mixing best with the human body. You can also try taking your CBD with foods that contain fat, like nuts, a slice of avocado, or a spoonful of coconut oil.
Takeaway Tip: Purchase CBD that either has an oil base listed in the ingredients or one that uses nanotechnology to ensure your body can absorb the most benefit from CBD. If those aren’t available, try taking your CBD with foods that contain fat.
4. Chew Your CBD.
When excited about the hope CBD oil inspires, it’s tempting to rip the box open after purchasing it and throw a dropperful down your throat. However, when you take CBD oil, it’s important to “chew” it to enhance its bioavailability. Chewing your CBD means holding it in your mouth long enough to mix with saliva. Our salivary glands produce watery saliva that breaks down the contents in our mouths, alerting our stomach of the necessary enzymes to initiate digestion. Holding CBD oil in your mouth (particularly under your tongue) allows it to be broken down and absorbed into your bloodstream to maximize your dosage.
Takeaway Tip: Give CBD oil an ample amount of time to break down in your mouth by “chewing” it. When enough saliva has been introduced to the CBD oil, it is absorbed into the bloodstream through capillaries, then transported throughout your body where it interacts with the many cannabinoid receptors.
5. Use Full-Spectrum CBD Oil.
Cannabis is packed with more than just CBD. It's loaded with other health-supporting cannabinoids, like CBG, and tons of terpenes — all of which work better together as a team. This teamwork produces the phenomenon called the “entourage effect.” While there may be instances where CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD is called for, the entourage effect only exists by taking full-spectrum CBD oil. Get familiar with the CBD lingo to understand the differences between full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate so you can benefit from this synergistic cannabis combo.
Takeaway Tip: To receive the most benefit from CBD, purchase CBD oil that has the term “full-spectrum” listed somewhere on the label — ideally in the list of ingredients.
6. Store Gummies in Your Car or Purse to Never Miss a Dose.
Just as we forget to take a daily vitamin or medication, sometimes life gets busy, and we may forget to take our CBD. Purchasing a number of CBD products to keep in multiple locations might help — at work in a desk drawer, your car console, or a purse or backpack. If storing in your car, keep in mind that while cold weather may not damage the medicinal value of CBD, the carrier oils may coagulate as the temperature drops, making it difficult to dose as you normally would. One way around this is to store CBD gummies in your car during the winter months for quick dosing.
Takeaway Tip: Chewing on CBD gummies is a great alternative for when CBD oil is inconvenient. Keep a few gummies in your most frequented places to never miss a dose.
7. Combine With Melatonin to Regulate Your Sleep Cycle.
If you’ve gotten away from a normal sleep schedule due to shift work, jetlag, or just a hectic life period, get back on track fast by adding melatonin to your CBD oil. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by our pineal gland when it gets dark, hinting to our bodies that it’s time to sleep. When the sun comes up, melatonin production shuts down, and cortisol release increases — helping us wake up with the sun. Some CBD oil includes melatonin for this purpose, helping our body regulate its natural circadian rhythm. Since we produce melatonin naturally, we don’t want to overuse the supplement. Using this combo for a shorter amount of time may help get your body back into the habit of a healthy sleep cycle faster.
Takeaway Tip: If you’re looking to use CBD oil specifically to help you sleep, the addition of melatonin may be a great short-term solution. After a healthy sleeping cycle is achieved, you may find switching to only using CBD is enough to maintain your natural circadian rhythm.
8. Add It to Your Coffee.
While making a “super coffee” with CBD isn’t verified by science to produce any enhanced therapeutic benefit, it’s popular to add CBD oil to coffee, along with other fats like butter and palm oil. The fats are thought to pick up the CBD and help distribute through the system, but mostly, it’s a creative and enjoyable way to deliver CBD to the body.
Takeaway Tip: If you’re a coffee drinker, play around with CBD coffee recipes or other beverages to see if you notice a difference.
- Bonn-Miller MO, Loflin MJE, Thomas BF, Marcu JP, Hyke T, Vandrey R. Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online. JAMA. 2017;318(17):1708-1709. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.11909
- Zhornitsky S, Potvin S. Cannabidiol in humans-the quest for therapeutic targets. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2012;5(5):529-552. Published 2012 May 21. doi:10.3390/ph5050529
Jenny Menzel, H.C., is a Certified Health Coach and branding specialist for various alternative healthcare practices, and volunteers her design skills to the annual grassroots campaign, the Lyme Disease Challenge. Jenny was diagnosed with Lyme in 2010 after 8 years of undiagnosed chronic pain and fatigue, and continues to improve by employing multiple alternative therapies, including Āyurveda, Chinese Medicine and Bee Venom Therapy.