cbd applications

One of the more confusing aspects of CBD products to newcomers is the number of options for taking it. Once users get beyond the short learning curve, the variety becomes a blessing in disguise because users get to have a preference. One way is not necessarily better than another. In this article, we will review popular ways to take CBD and CBD effects

Vape Pens

For fast-acting relief, you can’t beat CBD vapor. All you have to do is breath in. Within seconds cannabidiol (CBD) enters the bloodstream. Because the full dose circulates throughout the body immediately after passing through the lungs vaping isn’t as long-lasting as topical and edible products. 

Vape pens offering a level of unmatched portability. Unlike dab pens, there is no setup, and single-use vapes can be recycled when they run out of oil. The pens can be stored almost anywhere, at virtually any temperature. 

There is no timing needed versus a CBD gummy that may take an hour to digest. Topical and edible CBD will change consistency at certain temperatures which can turn a dose into a serious mess. I once had a jar of topical CBD cream liquify after a summer flight. The liquid managed to leak all over the inside of my suitcase — not a problem with a vape pen. 

Use vape pens that only contain hemp oil and natural terpenes. Thinning agents like Vitamin E acetate haven’t been tested enough to know if they are safe long-term 

Dose size: approximately 1.5 mg per inhalation

Best Uses: Anxiety, Insomnia, Arthritis, Nausea, Digestive issues, Nerve pain


Dabbing CBD is very similar to vaping. Dabbing involves using a tool to place CBD concentrates on a heating element at a temperature that causes it to vaporize prior to combustion (burning). Some look like bongs (water pipes), and others resemble vape pens. So while not as portable as vape pens, they can undoubtedly be one of the better options on the go.

Dab rigs, which resemble bongs, require water, a heater, and a dabbing tool so it’s not a portable solution. Most people keep their dab rig at home, and models fashioned by artists can cost thousands of dollars. I reliable rig can be had for less than $50 and will last forever. 


While dabbing is more of a process than vape pens, it is the absolute purest way to vape CBD. Reliable oils get tested for purity and should not contain any thinners or added flavors.

Dose size: approximately 1.5 to 10 mg per inhalation

Best Uses: Insomnia, Anxiety, Injuries, Arthritis, Nausea, Digestive issues, Nerve pain

Transdermal (Topicals/Creams/Gels)

Research has demonstrated that applying topical CBD products to the skin gets significant amounts into the bloodstream, actually more per milligram than oral liquids.

You need to be careful not to get creams on other people or pets who can absorb it by mistake.

For those who can’t use the medicine orally or are suffering from nausea, a condition researchers have found CBD can effectively treat; transdermal products are perfect.


Creams and gels are topical products that often contain added moisturizers and anti-inflammatories, which can be especially helpful for muscular injuries, sunburn, and arthritis. Some manufacturers claim that proprietary additives can even increase the absorption of CBD. Since there is no heat or combustion, these additives can work effectively. The latest research has found that added oils and antioxidants can oxidize when heated, potentially converting into harmful by-products, which is why they aren’t a good idea in vape pens.. 

In addition, some topicals are time-released CBD patches or gels that users apply directly to the skin. The onset takes 15-30 mins and can be long-lasting, up to 8-12 hours, as the patch breaks down. Nicotine patches have been popular for years and these work much the same way.  Time-released patches offer a consistent delivery and dosing with a slow release of cannabinoids into the bloodstream.  CBD effects on the body do vary. 

Dose size: approximately 5 to 50mg

Best Uses: Injuries, Arthritis, Relaxation, Nausea, Digestive issues, Nerve pain, Sunburn, Windburn


Edible CBD products can contain the highest concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD) available, but studies show they are the most poorly absorbed. Oral CBD oil must be broken down by digestive enzymes and then processed in the liver. This journey destroys some cannabidiol before it reaches the bloodstream. Letting the tincture rest under the tongue for up to a minute can aid the uptake process by achieving some sublingual absorption. 

Liquids kick in after 25-60 mins and last 3-6 hours, depending on the dosage. CBD for pain might take a little longer to offer relief. Some are incredibly concentrated containing upwards of 1,000 mg CBD per fluid ounce. Keep them away from light and heat in an airtight, opaque bottle to preserve their effectiveness.

Liquid CBD has traditionally been suspended in alcohol, but the latest products use dietary oils like medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) from coconut oil to enhance absorption. MCTs may increase the uptake of CBD into the bloodstream because the unique fat bypasses the liver on the way to the brain and bloodstream.

Users can achieve the largest, though not best-absorbed doses of CBD by taking liquids, Remember this method is not fast-acting. Don’t take liquid CBD right before a speech expecting it to calm your jitters. A landmark study in Brazil did find that 600mg administered hours before public speaking reduced anxiety. Doses that high would be hard to achieve with a vape pen, timing is just imperative.

Best Uses: Pain, Healing, Insomnia, Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Longevity, Sleep quality, Digestive Issues

Dose: approximately 10-100 mg (products vary)

CBD effects do vary between users and dosages.

CBDinside is an independent, New York based CBD comparison platform. Many of the CBD products that appear on this site are from companies from which CBDInside receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CBDinside does not include all CBD companies or all CBD products available in the marketplace.

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