Choosing a CBD oil can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. This guide breaks down how to pick what's right for you.
by Dan Ketchum
CBD has become more accessible than ever, but with that accessibility often comes an overwhelming amount of hype and jargon to cut through – ironic for a remedy with such potential to help you chill out and relax.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a guide that will help you learn the basic CBD types and dosages to start your journey off on the right foot.
That way you’ll develop a strong understanding of how to choose a CBD oil that’s right for your unique needs and lifestyle.
The CBD Spectrum
Don’t let those CBD labels intimidate you with insider lingo like “isolate” and “full-spectrum.” These terms simply refer to how the cannabidiol is extracted from the hemp plant. If you’re wondering how to choose a CBD oil, understanding the difference between these extraction methods — and deciding on a preference of your own — is the perfect place to start.
- Full-spectrum: This type of CBD contains all of the compounds naturally found in the plant, such as terpenes (aromatic oils that contribute to the plant’s flavor and scent profiles), essential oils and other cannabinoids. Some research, such as an oft-cited study from the British Journal of Pharmacology, points to a system of synergy among cannabinoids, terpenes and oils that may bolster their therapeutic benefits, known as the “entourage effect.”
- Isolate: It’s all in the name here — this CBD oil isolates the cannabidiol from all the other compounds of the plant, making it the purest form of CBD. In most cases, CBD Isolate comes from hemp plants, often making its THC (the psychoactive part of cannabis) content slim to none.
- Broad-spectrum: Broad-spectrum CBD offers a middle ground. It retains the terpenes, essential oils and other plant compounds, but it completely removes the THC from the equation. This allows for products to retain the potential benefits of the entourage effect, while appealing to anyone who may be nervous about THC.
There is no one-size-fits-all, standardized CBD dosage chart, but a few guidelines can help center you. Healthline recommends starting with about 20–40mg per day, with individual factors such as your body weight and how much you’ve eaten each day, to determine where you fall in that range. From your starting point, increasing your intake by about 5mg per week makes for a generally safe bet. Always track your CBD dosage as you learn how your body reacts and consult with your doctor before exploring how CBD fits into your daily routine.
In the CBD community, there’s a tried-and-true mantra that’s helpful to remember when it comes to dosage: start low and go slow. This means to start off with a lower dosage and slowly, steadily adjust accordingly depending on how your body responds to the dose. Don’t rush; take the time to listen to your body.
CBD That’s Uniquely You
Variety is one of the strengths of the CBD scene, with cannabidiol appearing in everything from oils and tinctures to ointments and lotions to tea and snacks. While absorbing CBD via inhalation (such as vaping) delivers nearly immediate effects, you don’t have to smoke to use CBD. Edible CBD products such as gummies are an option, but it can take up to two hours to feel the effects of oral ingestion; this can be sped up by taking CBD sublingually, which means holding a few drops under the tongue before swallowing – it’s by this method that The Root of It All CBD products produce a steady mellowing effect. Topical products do not reach the bloodstream, but instead interact with the endocannabinoid receptors closest to the surface of the skin, targeting external factors such as sore muscles.
Because of the variety of products offered, knowing what’s in each product alongside the CBD is also crucial, as these varying ingredients help the CBD target specific goals.
At The Root of It All, we infuse our plant-based, vegan, allergen-free Ayurvedic essential oils with CBD. For instance, Ayurvedic remedies like basil and sweet fennel promote calm feelings while chamomile and lavender encourage restful sleep — the effects of which are both amplified by the balancing properties of CBD. It’s all about finding a CBD option that targets the same goals as yours, whether those goals are achieving better focus or getting a good night’s rest.
Dan has been a freelance writer and small business owner since 2009. In the healthcare realm, he’s fortunate enough to have collaborated with the likes of Civilized Life, Cetaphil, LIVESTRONG, VitaGenne, DermStore, FOCL, JillianMichaels.com and more as a writer, with work appearing in publications such as USA Today, The Seattle Times and the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate, among others.