The next step is to select the delivery method or methods that will work most effectively for your medical condition.

Sublingual: With the sublingual option, drops of CBD oil are placed under the tongue, where they can easily be absorbed by the blood vessels located there. I recommend a flavored CBD oil to make the taste more tolerable. CBD oils used under the tongue are medically referred to as sublingual CBD oil, but colloquially are called tinctures.

Ingestion: There’s also the option of eating CBD. You can buy prepared products, such as chocolates or gummies made with CBD oil, or you can make your own. See Part 5 for a selection of sweet and savory CBD recipes.

Topical: The form of CBD oil that’s used on the skin. Topicals can be used to alleviate symptoms caused by medical conditions of the skin or to alleviate certain types of pain. In my practice, CBD topicals have been particularly effective in helping to relieve localized muscle pain.

There are a couple ways to go about this option. Topicals made with CBD can be purchased, or CBD oil can be directly applied to the affected area. You can also make your own CBD topicals using the spa and wellness recipes in Part 5.

Inhalation: There are two ways to inhale—smoke or vaporize. Smoking entails heating something to the point that it burns, while vaping involves heating something below its burning point.

It’s not a common practice to smoke CBD, and I don’t recommend it anyway. It creates harmful toxins and is pretty much like breathing in pollution. However, it is a common practice to vaporize CBD oil. Research shows that by avoiding the process of burning, vaping significantly reduces the amounts of harmful toxins that are produced. Typically, CBD oil is vaped in a device known as a vape pen. It comes with a cartridge filled with CBD oil.

Rectal: This may be an unexpected option, but it is an effective delivery method for people who are unable to inhale or consume CBD. It comes in the form of a suppository.

Important Considerations

Keep in mind that some delivery methods can work very effectively for certain medical conditions and not so well for others. For example, the external use of CBD in the form of a topical doesn’t work to relieve anxiety, and the internal use of CBD in the form of edibles may not be the best choice for a localized area of muscle pain.

Another important consideration is your medical history. Over the years, I’ve treated a number of patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery, a procedure in which the size of the stomach is reduced to induce weight loss. These patients did not absorb edibles well, so we had to use alternative delivery methods. As another example, for a patient with a lung condition, like asthma, vaporization is not an appropriate delivery method, as it could worsen the patient’s symptoms.

Also consider the nature of the symptoms. Vaporization, for example, is particularly helpful in situations that require immediate relief, such as with episodes of breakthrough pain. When inhaled, you’ll notice the effects of CBD within 5 to 10 minutes.

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