5 different ways to include cannabidiol in your diet
Anybody who is in anyway aware of what’s trending in the world right now will inevitably have come across the word CBD. Every other health blog, nutrition website or medical journal is hailing the benefits of what some dare to label the “miracle molecule”.
CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant alongside other molecules such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBN (cannabinol) or CBG (cannabigerol) for example.
THC is perhaps the most notorious of cannabinoids, and is predominantly known for the intoxicating effect (or high) that it induces. Over the years THC has taken centre stage with consumers and in particular recreational users. Specific strains of the plant have been bred to achieve high concentrations of THC. However, the molecule remains illegal in many countries around the globe.
However, over the past 25 years or so, cannabidiol has been receiving increasing interest. The molecule is currently the subject of dozens of studies worldwide, as scientists try to understand how it interacts with the human body and what benefits may potentially be linked to its consumption.
Unlike THC, CBD is not a classified substance in most countries around the world. In European countries such as the United Kingdom, CBD food supplements can be bought freely and can even be found in high street retailers such as Holland & Barrett for example.
A plethora of brands has appeared, especially online, promoting the merits of CBD and marketing a wide array of CBD food supplements. We thought we would take a look at the various types of supplements on offer to give you ideas about different ways to include cannabidiol in your diet.
CBD (cannabidiol) oils
CBD oils are probably the most popular CBD food supplements. They’re generally sold in small dropper bottles (10ml being the most widespread the size), which make it easy to dose the oil. Manufacturers recommend that the oil be taken under the tongue, for increased bioavailability.
CBD oils come in many varieties, from CBD isolates mixed with non-hemp derived carrier oils such as MCT or olive oil at one end of the scope, to 100% full plant full spectrum oils at the other more premium end of the market.
Certain manufacturers even add flavorings such as mint or strawberry to their CBD oils in order to facilitate ingestion. Indeed, the taste of CBD oils, especially raw full spectrum CBD oils, can be somewhat unusual or unpleasant and difficult to take alone for some.
Certain oils are also distilled (or winterized) and/or decarboxylated to modify the phytochemical profile of the oil. Raw full spectrum cbd oils are the most “authentic”, unaltered form of the oil and are highly sought after by the purists.
Brand to look out for:
Cibidoil™. They’re a newly launched CBD oil brand from the UK and offer a premium yet affordable range of raw full spectrum CBD oils for sale on their online store and via select retailers.
CBD pastes, sometimes referred to as CBD concentrates, generally contain the strongest dosage of CBD compared to the other types of CBD food supplements on the market.
CBD pastes are generally sold in plastic or glass syringes, which makes it easy to dispense the paste and dose it.
The appearance of CBD pastes is often darker than that of CBD oils as the concentration in cannabinoids and other phytocompounds is higher.
One of the downsides of the pastes is that they’re generally unflavoured (meaning that no additional flavours like mint or strawberry are added). As they’re highly concentrated, their terpene content (terpenes are the molecules that give cannabis its smell and taste) is also high, and as a result they can be hard to ingest for those already put off by the taste of CBD oils.
Brand to look out for: Real Scientific Hemp Oil or RSHO. They offer a wide range of CBD concentrates in syringes in different concentrations.
For those who really don’t like the taste of CBD oils, whether isolates or full spectrum or even the flavoured type, we recommend they look into CBD capsules.
The most common form of CBD capsules are soft gels inside which CBD oil is encapsulated. Taking CBD in a capsule form means that the oil doesn’t enter the metabolism in the mouth but further down the digestive system, so no unpleasant flavours.
Capsules are practical and also allow for a very precise dosage. However, some of the drawbacks are that generally speaking capsules contain isolates (so don’t offer the benefits of a full spectrum oil also known as the entourage effect) and also some would argue that bioavailability is reduced when the oil is taken this way compared to when it’s taken sublingually. That’s why we recommend CBD oils over capsules if the taste of cannabis oil isn’t an issue.
Brand to look out for: Canabidol™. They’re also a brand from the UK but have a strong presence in the USA.
CBD sprays are yet another innovative format which allows consumers to include CBD in their diet.
CBD sprays have the advantage of distributing the oil into the oral cavity via a fine and even spread out mist. Bioavailability of CBD is said to be better in the mouth than further down the digestive tract so would likely be better than the bioavailability of oils taken via capsules.
However, bioavailability is said to be optimal under the tongue. However, as the spray is not focused under the tongue but is dispersed all over the inside of the mouth, we can’t really see an advantage to taking CBD oils as in a spray form over an oil for example.
However, some consumers have reported issues with leaking dropper bottles when delivered by post. Dropper bottles have a propensity to leak at the neck, where the rubber pump is inserted into the plastic cap and attaches to the glass pipette. This seems to be an issue that’s solved with oils sold in a spray bottle.
Brand to look out for: LoveCBD. They seem to be the pioneers in the filed of CBD sprays. Their 20ml bottles are very popular in the UK.
CBD edibles encompass all sorts of products, from CBD candies to CBD infused chocolate. Basically, all forms of CBD food supplements that are not covered by the categories above.
CBD edibles are definitely the most fun way to consume CBD, and definitely the most enjoyable. Whilst CBD edibles are yet to become as popular as the main seller in the market, which is you’ll have guessed: CBD oils, they’re rising in popularity.
They’re a great option for those who dislike the taste of CBD oil. They also offer a good compromise in terms of bioavailability, as digestion starts in the mouth and continues further down the digestive system. CBD edibles are an obvious option for parents wishing to supplement their children’s diet with CBD or simply for those who have a sweet tooth!
One of the main drawbacks of CBD edibles is of course the calorie content and the fact that they often contain added sugars or sweeteners. The concentration of CBD is also often quite low, and it’s rare to find full spectrum CBD edibles so you may be limited to isolates.