Today, more and more people are recognizing the effectiveness and safety of CBD (cannabidiol). In fact, 26% of U.S. adults have already tried CBD at least once. And 1 in 7 of those same people said they use CBD products every single day.
Yet most people still have to try CBD for the first time – and that’s who this article is for. If you’re a CBD beginner, you need to know about the different types of CBD products available on the market. CBD products vary in their effectiveness and bioavailability (that’s how well your body can absorb and use them).
With so many different types available, even the most seasoned CBD lovers may have trouble picking just one. No worries, we’ve got you covered and will explain it all in plain English.
Ready to go? Keep reading for everything you need to know about the different types of CBD products and what makes each one special.
The 8 Most Popular Types of CBD Products
There’s a CBD product out there for everyone. Yet the sheer amount of brands selling CBD may have you wondering: are all CBD products created equal?
The answer to that question is a definite no. Many brands make huge claims that science can’t back up. And brands aside, there are some CBD product categories we strongly recommend and others we wouldn’t touch until more research emerges.
You need to know exactly what you’re shopping for before you buy CBD. So let’s check them out one-by-one and discover which product is right for you.
CBD Oil Tinctures
Tinctures (also called oils) are arguably the most popular CBD products on the market today. In fact, a recent study found that 35% of the 2,200 CBD users polled use sublingual (taken under the tongue) and similar liquid CBD products.
The reason for their popularity is simple – CBD oil tinctures are super easy to use, highly effective, and offer great value for your money. In short, they’re the best way to take CBD for most people.
Tinctures and oils use CBD extracted from the hemp plant. This extract is then mixed with a carrier oil so you can take it conveniently (in the case of our Organic CBD Oil it’s organic MCT oil from coconuts).
Because full-spectrum extract contains hemp plant materials like terpenes (the natural oils of the hemp plant) and other cannabinoids (natural compounds found in hemp, like CBG and CBC), you’ll see even more benefits and added nutritional value.
Tinctures are highly effective and work fast. You should be able to feel the effects within 15-30 minutes of taking them and they typically last 6-8 hours. That being said, every body is different, so it may take 1-2 weeks of daily use to feel the full effects.
They are also incredibly convenient. Fill the dropper, hold the oil in your mouth for 30 to 60 seconds, then swallow. That’s it. The unique combination of holding it under your tongue and swallowing it means the product is absorbed in your mouth and stomach, which makes it more effective by increasing its bioavailability. More on that later.
In short, tinctures are one of the easiest and most effective ways to take CBD.
A close relative to CBD tinctures and oil is CBD isolate. Isolates are purified via carbon dioxide (CO2) to around 98% or 99% CBD. They come in crystal, powder, and wax form, making them very versatile.
You can use isolates to make your own tinctures, edibles, or waxes. Add them to some coconut oil or beeswax to create your own CBD topical. Sounds good, right? But not so fast, isolates have a big disadvantage.
CBD isolate, as the name suggests, is purified CBD and nothing else. While that seems great at first, you lose the most important effects which come from taking CBD in its natural state – together with the oils and other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant.
Together, these compounds create much more powerful results, which is known as the Entourage Effect. That’s why CBD tinctures are much more effective than CBD isolate.
From shampoos and lotions to bath bombs and deodorants, there’s no limit to the kinds of CBD topicals you’ll find on the market. These products are pretty singular, too. Why? Because they don’t actually enter your bloodstream, which means they work but are less effective than say CBD tinctures.
Instead, topicals interact with receptors in your skin. You apply your desired topical to a small region of your skin. The product then crosses through the layers of your skin and interacts with receptors that respond to CBD.
One last thing: a good product should mention the use of nanotechnology, encapsulation, or micellization. These words mean that the CBD has been designed in a way where it’s small enough to be transported through the skin so it will actually work.
You can swallow your daily serving of CBD as discreetly as taking your morning vitamins with CBD capsules. CBD capsules are super easy to take since they’re created with extremely precise dosages. These products come in soft gels and tablets.
And check this out: capsules are usually made of full-spectrum CBD oil, which means you’ll get the benefits of other active compounds found in natural hemp.
The only downside to using CBD capsules is that they’re pretty slow acting and the strength may be low compared to tinctures. How slow? After ingesting a CBD capsule, you may have to wait up to 2 hours for the full effect.
If you prefer your CBD to be as delicious as it is beneficial, edibles are the product for you. You can find a plethora of fun, edible CBD products on the market, including:
• Baked goods
• Energy chews
Edibles aren’t fast-acting or long-lasting. So if you want something potent, choose the edible product that will absorb through both your mouth and your gut. For example, gums, mints, and energy chews act faster than chocolates or baked goods. Alternatively, use a tincture for better results.
The best part about CBD edibles? You can make them at home! Pick up your favorite high-quality CBD tincture and add it to a fatty food like butter. Spread your CBD-infused butter over toast or use it in your favorite cookie recipe to take advantage of CBD’s benefits in a seriously satisfying way.
CBD patches are almost identical to topicals. Except patches penetrate the layers of your skin even better, allowing CBD to get into your bloodstream.
This method makes for a more controlled and slow release of CBD than topical salves and balms. CBD patches are also called transdermal patches and offer a slow release, making them more long lasting than other CBD products.
The only con is that you have to place the patch near your veins (e.g. on the inside of your wrist), which may make this method less discreet than using tinctures or capsules.
When you add CBD isolate to a vape cartridge, it becomes CBD vape oil. The oil-filled cartridge attaches to a battery in the same manner as an e-cigarette. Because CBD vape products act through inhalation, a single puff will show its effect in mere minutes.
Despite that this method works fast and is popular, we don’t recommend vaping CBD.
Why? Because vaping CBD may be bad for you. Until we see more research about the safety of vapes in general, we suggest looking into one of the other CBD products mentioned in this guide. The science just doesn’t show that CBD vapes are healthy at the moment, so please use discretion.
Also known as shatter or dabs, CBD wax is a concentrated and fast-acting CBD product. Like tinctures and isolates, CBD wax is purified through the CO2 method.
You can consume CBD waxes through inhalation or ingestion. Inhalation is faster-acting than ingestion but the former needs high levels of heat and specific equipment. Some people use wax in their vapes but, again, we don’t endorse vaping as a safe method of consuming CBD.
Ingesting wax as an edible is much slower acting and you won’t feel its effects for as long, so tinctures are a better choice overall.
Bioavailability refers to the percentage of active CBD that gets into your bloodstream after using a product. In other words, it’s a measurement for how fast and well your body can absorb the CBD in a product.
Here’s how it works: when you ingest CBD, your gut breaks down part of it into active pieces (which move into the liver) and inactive pieces (which the body excretes as waste). The active pieces that pass to the liver undergo a second breakdown, creating even smaller amounts of active CBD. Scientists call this process first-pass metabolism.
After first-pass metabolism, the remaining active CBD molecules move into the bloodstream and you begin to feel its effects.
But some CBD products bypass first-pass metabolism altogether. That means they’re more potent and act much faster.
So what’s the secret to finding the potency that’s right for you? You need to know the differences in bioavailability among CBD products. Read on to find out.
Bioavailability of Sublingual CBD
Sublingual drops are tinctures, concentrates, lozenges, or sprays that you place beneath your tongue. These products are unique because they act on 2 different pathways.
When using sublingual drops, the product comes in contact with your mucosal membrane located under the tongue. And this membrane is like a fast-track to the bloodstream.
After holding the drops under your tongue for about a minute, you swallow. This dramatically increases their effectiveness because the CBD can enter your bloodstream in the mouth and then also get metabolized by your liver.
At up to 35% bioavailability, sublingual drops aren’t as potent as inhaled CBD but much safer. But they are more potent than oral ingestion alone. And the two different routes of sublingual drops means the effects last longer, too.
That’s why they are the preferred way to take CBD – you simply get more bang for your buck. A quality tincture always offers enough CBD for you to get incredible results.
Bioavailability of Oral CBD
Other oral CBD products like capsules, edibles, and non-sublingual concentrates go through first-pass metabolism.
That means you only get a small percentage (between 6% and 20%) of the active CBD present in your oral CBD products. This makes them less effective than sublingual tinctures.
Bioavailability of Inhaled CBD
Inhaled CBD products have a higher bioavailability than orals. That’s because inhalation methods bypass metabolism in the gut and send CBD straight to your lungs and from there to the bloodstream.
When inhaled, CBD has a bioavailability of up to 56%. This is one of the highest bioavailabilities you’ll find for a CBD product.
But keep in mind that this depends on other factors. For example, your lung capacity, the amount of time you hold the vapor before breathing out, and how many puffs you take.
Plus, vaping and inhaling CBD may have unhealthy side effects. So if you prefer more precise and safe methods, you’ll want to stick with a sublingual, oral, or topical product. With the right strength of CBD you will still get plenty of it for excellent results.
Bioavailability of Topicals
Have you noticed one thing in common about all the methods we’ve discussed so far? Orals, vape products, and sublingual methods all start in your mouth.
Topical CBD products are different because they directly affect CBD receptors in the skin and they don’t rely on the bloodstream to carry them to different locations in the body. For this reason, topicals are best for targeting a specific area on your body.
The downside? Topicals have a lower bioavailability. Studies have yet to determine the exact percentages of CBD that’s active after topical application.
But some creative minds are finding new ways to improve the bioavailability of topicals. In fact, advanced transdermal patches are promising in this field of research. These products offer better bioavailability than orals with an average 13.5% and can be used in targeted areas on the body.
Extract vs Distillate vs Isolate
While shopping for CBD products, you may get confused by all the different terminology. Extracts? Distillates and isolates? What does it all mean and how are they different?
Extraction is the safest and most popular method of creating CBD tinctures, waxes, and isolates. It uses carbon dioxide (CO2) to separate CBD and other cannabinoids from the hemp plant. The C02 then simply evaporates, leaving no traces. This creates a safe and natural extract of CBD oils.
Jupiter CBD products are made with sub-critical CO2 extraction, which is a very gentle process with minimal heat and pressure, ensuring all natural compounds are preserved.
Extracts are further purified into their two main forms– distillates and isolates.
The first thing you should know about distillates is that they don’t contain CBD alone, which is a good thing. They also have other compounds found naturally in the hemp plant. This includes other cannabinoids like CBC and CBG as well as hemp’s natural essential oils, called terpenes. All these work together to increase the effectiveness of CBD so it’s smart to look for products that keep them.
Refine a distillate a few more times and you get an isolate. Isolates are the purest form of CBD you can find on the market. These products contain no THC or other phytocannabinoids. Terpenes and other essential oils are also removed to produce 100% pure CBD.
But here’s the thing about isolates: they don’t offer the benefits of the other natural substances found in the hemp plant. So while they sound pure on paper, they are often more pricey and less effective overall.
Full-Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum CBD
Both full- and broad-spectrum extracts are oil distillates. That’s because distillates contain more than just CBD. Even so, there are distinctions between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum distillates.
Full-spectrum products contain CBD plus all the other natural compounds found in the hemp plant. Jupiter CBD Drops, for example, is a true full-spectrum product.
These compounds include:
• Terpenes (natural oils)
• Other cannabinoids like CBC, CBG, and CBN
• Less than the 0.3% legal limit of THC
Some studies suggest that full-spectrum CBD products are much more effective than broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate alone. This is because of the extra health and nutrition benefits that come from the other compounds found in the hemp plant. We agree that staying close to nature is the way to go.
Meanwhile, broad-spectrum extracts are almost identical to full-spectrum extracts with one exception: The THC is completely removed in an extra step of processing. This means you can enjoy the benefits of a full-spectrum product without any THC, but also lose a bit of effectiveness.
Here’s the deal: Full spectrum hemp extract with the legal trace amount of 0.03% THC is non-psychoactive and the most effective way to use CBD. The amount of THC in the product is so low that these products are legal nationwide.