CBD can be found in a huge range of products, with health stores now carrying everything from oils and tincture isolates to CBD-enriched sweets and coffees.

With so much choice, how do you choose the best way to ingest your CBD? There are pros and cons to each method of ingestion, which is why we think it’s important to lay out the differences before you make a decision.

What is CBD?

If you didn’t know already, Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in all cannabis plants – the main two being hemp and marijuana.

It is known for being non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you high or produce any hallucinatory effects. This is how it differs from Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the other main compound found in cannabis. Full-spectrum CBD is extracted from hemp, which has an extremely low THC concentration.

CBD has been reported to help aid symptoms of everything from depression to arthritis and has been legalised as medicine in extreme cases of severe epilepsy.

So, what’s the best way to ingest CBD? We take you through the options.


CBD tinctures (typically in oil form) are taken sublingually by dropper – you measure out a dose with the pipette, drop the oil underneath your tongue, and allow it to dissolve into your mucous membrane.

As the second-quickest method for absorbing CBD, tinctures take around 15 to 30 minutes to get into your system. Paracetamol, similarly, takes around 30 minutes to start inhibiting pain receptors. CBD offers a number of benefits in addition to painkilling, which could make it effective in quickly treating anxiety or pain.

It may be difficult to correctly measure out your CBD dose when using a CBD oil, however. If you swallow it instead of letting it absorb into your mucous membrane, it will go into your gut and be metabolised. This means you won’t get the advertised dose per drop.

We recommend a starting dose of 1 drop per day. Assess the effects after two weeks and then increase your dose to two drops per day, if you would like to.

CBD Balm

CBD balms and rubs are applied topically (i.e. onto the skin itself). They’re usually mixed with a fat such as beeswax or coconut oil to help the CBD spread over your skin and absorb into it.

If you’re worried about the long-term safety of CBD, you may prefer to use a CBD balm to help treat symptoms of joint pain, eczema, acne, or even inflammation. This is because CBD applied topically is not absorbed into the entire body, but rather a localised section of skin.

CBD balms tend to be expensive as they require a higher concentration to work than orally ingested CBD products. However, the effects of CBD can be felt even in concentrations as low as 2% – Smart CBD’s 2% balm is both effective and affordable.

CBD Paste

Many people that choose to ingest CBD by eating it in paste form report a grass-like taste or odour. This isn’t unusual – after all, CBD is directly extracted from a plant. However, this taste can sometimes put people off ingesting CBD in this way, so be mindful of your preferences when deciding.

If you choose to ingest CBD by eating paste, it’s important to remember that pharmacologically, this is a pretty inefficient method. This is because CBD will enter the body through the digestive tract, where the concentration of your dose may be affected by other food or drinks.

As an alternative CBD ingestion method, consider CBD pearls. These are taken the same way as a pill would be, but the dose is far easier to measure and you will be able to maintain better control over your dosage.

CBD Products from Smart CBD

Smart CBD offers a range of full-spectrum CBD oils, balms, pastes, and pearls in a variety of strengths and concentrations. View the Smart CBD range here.