how to take cbd oil

How to take CBD Oil


So, you’ve purchased CBD oil for the first time. Whether it was advice from friends or online reviews that brought about this decision, you’re ready to give it a try. And now, with a small amber-colored bottle in one hand and a dropper top in the other, you’re asking yourself, “How do I take CBD oil?” 

You’ve come to the right place. Let’s explore the best way to take CBD oil, how much CBD oil to take, and more. 

First Things First: What Is CBD? And What Is CBD Oil? 

CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabis compound — or cannabinoid — found naturally in the cannabis sativa plant. In addition to CBD, this plant contains another 150+ cannabinoids, including the well-known psychoactive compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). 

Hemp and marijuana are both subspecies of the cannabis sativa plant. One notable difference between the two is that hemp contains far more CBD than marijuana, and marijuana contains far more THC than hemp.

In 2018, legislation was passed that legalized industrial hemp as long as it contains no more than 0.3% THC. So, while marijuana remains highly controlled across most of the country, hemp-derived CBD products have steadily become more available and easier to access. 

As for CBD oil, this is made by combining a hemp extract with a carrier oil — such as grape seed oil, olive oil, or coconut oil. 

How to Use CBD Oil

How to Use CBD Oil

CBD oil is most often sold in a small glass bottle with a dropper top, but it's also available as CBD oil capsules. There are several different delivery methods you can use when taking CBD, depending on personal preference.

Sublingually (Under the Tongue)

Placing CBD oil directly under your tongue and holding it there for between 30 and 60 seconds before swallowing allows some of the cannabinoids to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream through capillaries (tiny blood vessels) under the tongue.

In Smoothies

Many CBD oils have a sort of "earthy" flavor, which some people may not be into. CBD oil mixed with a morning smoothie is a good way to hide the taste while still taking advantage of the benefits CBD offers.

In Salad Dressings

Since many salad dressings are made with oil, adding CBD oil to a dressing is a simple way to include CBD in your lunch or dinner.

In Coffee

While it may not be as effective as a smoothie at hiding the CBD’s earthy flavor, you can add CBD oil to your coffee as another way to include it in your daily routine. This is most effectively done by blending the coffee and CBD oil with cream (or ghee, in the case of a bulletproof coffee).

In Baked Goods

You can make your own CBD edibles by adding CBD oil to a variety of recipes, such as cookies, muffins, and breads. Just be sure to refrigerate these after baking to keep them fresh.

In Gel Capsules

CBD oil is available in capsules that can be easily swallowed for those who want a simple way to take CBD oil.

The Best Way To Take CBD Oil

The best way to take CBD oil is sublingually (under the tongue), rather than by swallowing it right away or consuming it in a food or beverage.

There are a couple reasons for this:

  1. When you combine CBD oil with a food or beverage, it’s difficult to get all of the CBD you intended to take. Unless you lick the blender, mixing bowl, plate, and utensils clean, it's likely that some portion of the CBD oil that was used will be lost down the sink during dishwashing.

  2. When CBD is swallowed (without being held under the tongue), it has to pass through the digestive tract and to the liver before it's metabolized, eventually making its way to the heart and into the bloodstream. Holding CBD oil under your tongue first allows a portion of the cannabinoid to enter the bloodstream quickly and without having to be digested first. This increases the potential benefits of the CBD oil.

How To Take CBD Oil Sublingually

  1. Use the dropper top to measure out the amount of CBD oil you want to take.

  2. Place the CBD oil under your tongue and hold it there for between 30 seconds and a minute, to allow as much CBD as possible to be absorbed into your bloodstream.

  3. Swallow the CBD oil.

Now, you may be wondering, how much CBD oil should I take? What's a good starting dose? That will depend on the type of CBD you're using and its particular strength or potency.

Different Types of CBD Oil

Similar to other cannabis products, CBD oils come in different forms. As the variety of options continues to grow, it can be a bit overwhelming. To simplify things, let’s take a look at the three types of CBD oil you might encounter.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil

Full spectrum CBD oil is made with all of the cannabis compounds present in the hemp plant. Remember, hemp contains over 150 cannabinoids, not to mention other cannabis compounds like terpenes and flavonoids (which give hemp its flavor, color, and smell).

Because full spectrum CBD oil contains every hemp compound, it also includes a small amount of THC, but no more than 0.3% and not enough to create a high sensation. 

Broad Spectrum CBD Oil

Broad spectrum CBD oil is similar to full spectrum CBD in that it includes various cannabis compounds, but the THC content has been reduced to zero or near zero. This is why it’s been dubbed “broad” as opposed to “full” spectrum.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is pure CBD in a crystalline form. It includes no other cannabis compounds and is just plain CBD. It can be used to make CBD oils, tinctures, and other products. 

So, why would someone choose one type of CBD over another and which one is best? Let's take a look.

Which Type of CBD Oil Is Best?

It’s been observed that when CBD is taken alongside other cannabinoids (specifically THC), the effects of CBD are enhanced. This is called the “entourage effect.” It can only be achieved with the use of CBD products that contain at least a small amount of THC and other cannabis compounds — namely, full spectrum CBD products.

Thanks to its ability to produce the entourage effect, full spectrum CBD oil is considered to be the most effective among the three types listed above.

Taking CBD Oil vs. CBD Tincture — Which Is Better?

CBD tinctures are another type of CBD supplement that closely resemble CBD oils. They look almost identical in the store and how to take CBD tinctures is essentially the same as how to take CBD oil. Like cannabinoid oil, tinctures can be held under the tongue before swallowing, or combined with foods and beverages. So, what's the difference between the two?

While CBD oil is a combination of hemp extract and a carrier oil, CBD tinctures are made from alcohol-based extracts. After steeping the hemp material in high-proof alcohol, the solution is strained and bottled up as a tincture.

Is one better than the other? It depends on what you're looking for, but in our opinion, CBD oil wins this one for a few reasons:

  1. Unlike an alcohol-based tincture, you can put cannabinoid oil on your skin and easily add it to a multitude of foods.

  2. Those who are avoiding alcohol for personal, health, or religious reasons will likely want to avoid CBD tinctures.

  3. A 2019 study1 found that taking CBD alongside fat (such as a carrier oil) can improve how your body absorbs the cannabinoid, another point in favor of CBD oil. 

How to Take CBD Oil in the Right Amount

So far we've determined that oil-based CBD products are more effective than tinctures, that the best type of CBD is full spectrum, and the best way to take CBD oil is sublingually — but, how much CBD should you actually take?

If you're just starting out on your CBD journey, a good starting dose is 25 mg per day. This can be divided into two or more smaller doses throughout the day.

It's possible that less or more CBD would be appropriate for you, depending on your body weight and metabolism. If 25 mg feels like too much, reduce your dose by 5 mg at a time.

But if you feel like 25 mg isn't enough, resist the urge to increase your daily dose right away. You’ll see why in just a moment.

How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Work?

How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Work

CBD (like all cannabinoids) is fat-soluble. It dissolves easily within the fat tissues of the body, where it accumulates over time and is slowly released into the bloodstream.

In other words, it takes time for CBD to build up within the body's system and begin to produce health benefits. If you've never taken CBD before, it could take up to two weeks or longer for any effects to be felt.

So, start with 25 mg a day, and stick with that dose for at least two weeks. Then, if you feel like you would benefit from taking more CBD, slowly increase your dose, 5 mg at a time.

Just be sure that each time your daily dose increases, you allow a couple of weeks for your body to adjust to the new levels. This will make it easy to determine the right dose for you and help you avoid taking too much CBD, which could cause discomfort for some people.

Finding the Best CBD Oil for You

Not all CBD products are created equal. The hemp industry is relatively new and not yet well regulated. As a result, there are more than a few CBD products on the market that are mislabeled, and even some that contain contaminants like pesticides or heavy metals.

How to Find High-Quality CBD Products

When shopping for CBD, there are a few things to look for to ensure you only use CBD products of the highest quality.

Organic Hemp

It’s extremely important to only use CBD made from organic hemp, and here’s why:

The cannabis plant (marijuana and hemp, included) is a bio-accumulator. This means it absorbs contaminants from the soil at a faster rate than it can release them. Hemp that’s grown in soil contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, or other toxins becomes contaminated with these harmful substances. This in turn means that cannabinoid extracts made from this hemp will also contain these contaminants.

Carrier Oil

The best carrier oil to achieve maximum absorption of CBD is MCT (medium-chain triglycerides), a type of coconut oil that stays liquid at room temperature. The molecules in MCT oil are small enough to easily pass through our mucous membranes, further increasing CBD's absorption rate.

Third-Party Lab Testing & Certificates of Analysis

Because of the risk of contamination and the misleading labels that have run rampant in the CBD industry, many reputable CBD companies have taken to utilizing third-party lab tests to verify the quality of their CBD products. These tests measure exact levels of cannabinoids, heavy metals, and other substances, and the results are made available to the public in the form of a certificate of analysis (or COA).

Obviously, the good CBD products contain just what the labels state, and have no heavy metals or other contaminants.

Safe Extraction Method

There are different ways to extract cannabis compounds from hemp, and some are better than others. The best extraction methods result in a safe, clean, and pleasant-tasting CBD product. One of the best methods is through small-batch extractions using organic sugarcane ethanol — which is exactly how we do it at Cornbread Hemp.

Full Spectrum CBD From Cornbread Hemp

cornbread hemp logo

Cornbread Hemp's mission is to create the highest-quality CBD products possible. Our full spectrum hemp extracts are made from organically grown hemp flowers, produced in small batches, and combined with organic MCT coconut oil for a pleasing flavor.

While CBD oil taken sublingually is the most effective way to take CBD, there are other options for those who prefer edible or topical CBD.

However you choose to use CBD — oils, gummies, capsules, or creams — know that the majority of Cornbread Hemp's CBD products are certified USDA organic, and our hemp is sustainably sun-grown without fertilizers or pesticides, right here in Kentucky. Shop Cornbread Hemp Full Spectrum CBD Oil today

About the Author
Jim Higdon, Co-Founder

Jim is a native of Lebanon, Kentucky. He holds degrees from Centre College, Brown University, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Jim published Cornbread Mafia in 2012 before co-founding Cornbread Hemp. Full author bio here.


MCT— short for medium-chain triglycerides— coconut oil is the best carrier oil for CBD. The molecules in MCT coconut oil are small enough to pass easily through our mucous membranes, increasing the absorption rate.

Sublingually-- under the tongue. Hold the oil under your tongue for anywhere from 30-60 seconds. The active ingredients in the CBD oil have the opportunity to pass under your mucus membranes into the tiny capillaries that live there.

CBD oil taken sublingually provides greater bioavailability of the ingredients to the body, and the effects kick in faster than they do with products that are swallowed or chewed and swallowed.


1. “What’s the best carrier oil for CBD?” CBD Oil. Accessed: 19 Jan. 2021.

2. “Human mouth.” Wikipedia. Accessed: 21 Jan. 2021.