With the cannabis industry booming, there is an increase in the variety of cannabis-related products available. Whether individuals prefer to smoke cannabis or take it in another form, options abound. As the cannabis industry has expanded, there has been an increased demand for edibles, topical creams, and other products.
State laws and attitudes regarding cannabis have continued to shift, allowing CBD products to be sold online and in retail markets.
Individuals looking to purchase CBD for consumption may wonder what product is best. In this article, the advantages and disadvantages of CBD edibles vs. CBD oil will be discussed and analyzed.
What Is CBD?
In analyzing the differences between products, it is crucial to understand what CBD is. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a substance found in cannabis plants.
Another main compound found in cannabis is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC and CBD share many similarities in structure, but a small difference in molecular arrangement makes CBD non-intoxicating. THC, however, directly impacts cognition and perception and can cause heightened anxiety and paranoia.
How CBD Works in the Body
CBD works via an indirect route and does not drastically activate or initiate changes in the brain. Studies do show, however, that CBD may cause the delayed reuptake of chemicals such as anandamide.
Anandamide is an endocannabinoid (a cannabinoid made by the body) that affects a series of crucial physiological processes. It impacts digestion and hunger, glucose levels in the blood, and ensures delivery of specific signals to the brain.
CBD typically causes minimal side effects. However, some users have reported dry mouth, fatigue, or other symptoms. Individuals that choose to consume CBD should inform their physicians and maintain any doctor-approved treatment plans and regimens.
Hemp-derived CBD is available for purchase across many states in the U.S. The Farm Bill of 2018 took hemp-derived CBD from the list of federally scheduled and regulated substances. Individuals can consume hemp-derived CBD in most states that contain no more than 0.3% THC in various forms, including capsules, oils, and edibles.
CBD edibles are food items that contain CBD. They are often consumed much like other comestibles and can come in various forms, including gummies, CBD-infused beverage enhancers, and chocolate bars. Due to their minimal THC content, CBD edibles do not commonly cause a change in cognition.
Instead, most individuals experience little to no side effects. However, some have reported drowsiness, nausea, and diarrhea.
CBD edibles differ significantly from edibles made with THC. Foodstuffs made with THC often come with some perceptible effects like a feeling of fatigue or malaise, paranoia, drowsiness, physical or mental impairment, or red eyes.
The Advantages of CBD Edibles
Some users of CBD may prefer edibles for several reasons. First, it can be a convenient way to ingest CBD. Consumers can store gummies and candies for later consumption and travel. Edibles may also help individuals avoid the dangers that smoking presents.
Smoking can cause damage to the lungs. According to a major federal study on marijuana, smoking cannabis-related products presents a very small risk to the lungs. However, smoking cannabis has been associated with chronic cough and phlegm production.
Another advantage that CBD edibles have over CBD oil is a more pleasant taste. CBD oil’s flavor has been described as earthy, grassy, and nutty, and its bitter aftertaste can be off-putting for some. However, some find a way around CBD’s unpleasant taste by adding it to their meals and drinks, which can help mask the flavor.
On the other hand, CBD edibles, such as CBD gummies, come in a variety of different flavors. The addition of sweeteners used in gummies can make meeting one’s CBD needs a little easier on the palate.
CBD oil offers many of the same potential benefits that CBD edibles do. CBD oil is also non-intoxicating and generally easy to use when traveling. The difference between the two lies in the mode of transmission.
CBD edibles can be consumed directly or added to beverages, depending on the type of product. CBD oils are CBD extractions placed in a carrier oil that are used sublingually in a tincture.
Both options allow for a convenient way to consume CBD on the go. However, taking CBD oil sublingually from a tincture is not as discreet a consumption method as eating a CBD gummy or other CBD-infused edible when in public.
One advantage that CBD oil has over CBD edibles is that it has a greater bioavailability when consumed sublingually. Bioavailability is defined as the degree and rate that a drug or other substance (in this case, cannabidiol), is absorbed. CBD’s bioavailability is determined by the method of consumption.
Studies show that CBD, when consumed intranasally, has the highest bioavailability rate at 34-46%. When consumed sublingually, CBD is said to have a bioavailability rate of between 13-19%. On the other hand, oral consumption of CBD has a lower bioavailability rate, which one study showed can be as low as 6%.
Another advantage that CBD oil has over CBD edibles is the length of time it takes for the cannabidiol to take effect. When consumed sublingually, it can take between five to twenty minutes for the effects of the CBD to be felt. Whereas, when consumed orally, it can take between 30-120 minutes.
Final Thoughts on CBD Edibles vs. CBD Oil: Which Is Best?
CBD oils and edibles present advantages and disadvantages over other methods of consumption. When deciding which can be better, consumers must think of a variety of factors. These factors should include accessibility, ease of use, and possible side effects. Consumers should also consider the shelf life of the item and their preferences when it comes to taste, and the amount of CBD used per serving.
Personal preferences and life situations factor heavily in deciding if CBD oils or edibles are best.
While some may prefer edibles over oils, many may feel that oils fit better with their lifestyle. Any individual taking a prescribed medication that is considering consuming CBD should first consult with their doctor beforehand to ensure that it is safe to do so.