Ever since ancient times, the plant Cannabis sativa has been of immense interest to society. Cannabis plants have been cultivated to produce fabric and paper and for their main psychoactive ingredient (THC) that provided enjoyment to everyone from Chinese villagers to Roman legionnaires.
Cannabis comes in two main strains – hemp and marijuana plants. Marijuana usually contains a high amount of THC and a low amount of CBD, while the industrial hemp plant is the opposite – high in CBD and low in THC. The main difference between hemp- and marijuana-based CBD is that the concentration of CBD is higher in the hemp plant. Hemp must be harvested with under 0.3% THC for it to be legally compliant.
Unlike its psychoactive cousin, cannabidiol (CBD) does not cause any psychoactive effects or have any potential for dependency, as confirmed by the World Health Organization. There are many different forms of CBD on the market:
- CBD edibles
- CBD gummies
- CBD vape oils
- CBD capsules
- CBD topical products, and more
One of the most popular ways of taking CBD is in the form of drops. In this comprehensive guide to CBD drops, we’ll discuss what they are, and what ingredients you can find in them, along with what they do, how to use them, and how to choose the best product for yourself. You will also learn more about CBD in general, which is always a good thing! Let’s start!
What are CBD drops?
A CBD drop product contains CBD (cannabidiol) in the form of oil or tincture. The drops come packaged in small bottles with a dropper tool for a lid that makes it easy for you to measure how much CBD you’re using.
CBD oil (also known as ‘hemp oil,’ ‘hemp CBD oil,’ or ‘hemp extract’) is usually obtained through the process of CO2 extraction, which is non-toxic and doesn’t leave behind any solvent residue or a bitter taste.
You can use CBD drops in three ways: under your tongue (sublingually), on your skin (topically), or by adding it to foods and drinks. Beginners in CBD use prefer to apply the drops under their tongue because it is a quick and easy method, but we encourage you to experiment and find a way to consume CBD that works for you.
The main benefits of CBD drops are that they offer a fast onset time if used sublingually (15 – 25 minutes), that you can control the amount of CBD you take each time by measuring out the number of drops you use, and that there are no complicated tools required to get your shot of CBD.
CBD Drop Ingredients
The main ingredient of the CBD drops is a CBD extract. Oils and tinctures come in three different versions, depending on what type of extract they contain.
- Full-spectrum CBD: Full-spectrum CBD oil and tincture products come with a wide array of helpful ingredients. These include (phyto)cannabinoids like CBD, THC, CBG, CBN, and CBC, as well as substances like terpenes and flavonoids that can also be beneficial for your body. The amount of THC in full-spectrum CBD products is less than 0.3%.
Having so many cannabinoids in a single product opens the door to the entourage effect. This is an event where cannabinoids mutually enhance each other’s effects. The effectiveness of CBD in a full-spectrum product is much higher than without additional cannabinoids.
- Broad spectrum CBD: Even though the chances of ‘getting high’ from a full-spectrum extract are low, some prefer to avoid it altogether. Broad spectrum CBD drops are ideal for those who still want to experience the entourage effect but don’t want to risk an altered state of consciousness. You still get all the benefits from cannabinoids and terpenes, but without any THC involved.
- CBD Isolate: Finally, the last type of CBD extract contains pure CBD, or CBD isolated from all other ingredients in the cannabis plant. As a result, there is no entourage effect with isolate drops, and the CBD potency is much lower. This makes them a great beginner option for those who aren’t sure how their bodies react to CBD.
Alongside CBD, drops may contain a range of other ingredients, such as:
- Essential oils
- Carrier oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, etc.
What do CBD drops do?
To explain how CBD drops affect the human body, we need to provide a brief overview of the human body and the way it works.
Physiologically, humans have an endocannabinoid system – a complex structure of chemicals and receptors that the scientific community has yet to determine the exact purpose of. We know that the receptors in the endocannabinoid systems are called CB1 and CB2 and that they potentially play a role in fertility, immunity, pain management, memory, appetite, and more. The chemicals that stimulate these receptors are naturally released in the body and are chemically similar to phytocannabinoids.
However, not all phytocannabinoids affect endocannabinoid receptors. CBD, in particular, has a low affinity for the receptors, especially compared to THC, which strongly binds to them. In turn, CBD indirectly affects the body, stimulating the release of different substances in the endocannabinoid system.
If taken sublingually, CBD drops deliver their active ingredients to your bloodstream extremely quickly. A set of glands underneath the tongue absorbs the oil or the tincture, and it is a matter of minutes before the CBD starts taking effect.
If used topically, it takes longer (up to 90 minutes) for CBD to penetrate the skin, and even then, it’s difficult for it to exhibit anything other than a local effect.
Foods and drinks infused with CBD first have to travel through your digestive system, get broken down in your stomach and intestines, and only then are they absorbed into your bloodstream. CBD infused in meals can take up to 2 hours to reach its target destination.
Taking all of these delivery methods into account, opt for one (or several) that best suits your lifestyle and what you want to achieve with your CBD.
How to Take CBD Drops
Taking CBD drops can be accompanied by a moment of confusion, especially for those who want to take their drops sublingually. However, sublingual use is incredibly straightforward, and soon you’ll be able to take your CBD whenever you want – at home, in the office, at a bar, you name it! Here are the simple steps to take your CBD drops sublingually:
- Take the dropper tool of your product and apply the number of drops you wish under your tongue.
- Hold the liquid there around 90 seconds. You can swish the liquid around your mouth, though this isn’t necessary since most of the CBD will be absorbed through the glands under your tongue.
- If you can, try to avoid consuming food or drinks immediately after taking your CBD sublingually. This will ensure maximum CBD absorption and effectiveness.
Topical application of CBD drops requires even less effort:
- Apply the number of drops you want on the desired skin surface area.
- Gently massage it in for a minute or two.
Remember that the effects of topical CBD are limited to the local area – you likely won’t get many (if any) systemic effects from applying CBD on the skin.
Lastly, you can also add CBD drops to your favorite food and drinks. Some ingredients of your CBD product may be sensitive to heat, so it’s best to add it to cold or room-temperature dishes. Additionally, if you’re using CBD oil drops, it works best if there is a fatty component to the dish (butter, any type of cooking oil, etc.)
Some ideas for CBD foods and drinks can be cold brews, kombucha, cocktails, smoothies, and recipes such as brownies, salad dressings, chia puddings, and more. Let your imagination run wild!
How many drops of CBD can I use?
How many drops of CBD you will apply under your tongue or add to a meal depends on the amount of CBD you can take in a day. Our primary advice is to consult with a medical professional, especially if you’re already suffering from a condition and taking prescribed medication.
CBD is known to interact with a group of liver enzymes that metabolize various drugs. If you take CBD at the same time as some of these medications, there may be unwanted and potentially dangerous side effects. For this reason, it is imperative to seek medical advice before starting your CBD use.
Either way, the best method to start taking CBD is slow and steady. A small number of drops in the beginning is recommended, and you may increase the amount later on. Remember that CBD affects everyone differently. If your friend is taking a certain amount of CBD, that may be too much or too little for you. Listen to your body and how you feel after each intake, then adjust accordingly.
How to Choose the Right CBD Drops
After everything’s said and done, the question remains: how do you choose the right CBD drops for yourself? Aside from the different types of CBD extracts, along with different ingredients and delivery methods, is there anything else to consider? Why, yes, there is.
The following tips are essential in choosing a safe CBD product that contains high-quality ingredients:
- Third-party lab testing
As of yet, CBD is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. To avoid scams and low-quality products, always look for a certificate of analysis when shopping for CBD products. A COA means that the products you’re considering have been tested by an independent (third-party) laboratory and have a document to confirm it. These tests ensure that the packaging contains precisely what it says it does on the label and that there are no harmful residues in the formula, such as pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, etc.
No matter how excited you are to buy CBD oil, don’t invest in a product that didn’t undergo proper analysis and certification.
- Authentic and transparent CBD branding
While you’re browsing, take a look at the claims a brand makes about CBD. Are they transparent about the so-far-unconfirmed CBD benefits? Or are they directly stating that CBD can treat or even cure a disease? The fact of the matter is that miracle drugs don’t exist. Science is working around the clock to inspect everything that CBD has to offer in terms of health and wellness, and we are eagerly waiting for the results.
But until anything definitive comes along, refrain from giving money to CBD companies that don’t hesitate to deceive their customers over what CBD can or cannot do. Look for transparency and authenticity, first and foremost.
Congratulations on getting to the end of this complete guide to CBD drops. It’s a lot of information to take in, but we hope it cleared things up regarding one of the most popular forms of CBD.
Before you buy your CBD drop product, consider whether you want an oil or a tincture. Choose between a full-spectrum, broad spectrum, or an isolate CBD extract. Play around with additional ingredients, such as flavors (vanilla, chocolate, mint, peach, watermelon, orange, etc.), vitamins, and even melatonin if you need help falling asleep at night. Practice applying CBD under your tongue (it goes down better if you like the taste of the product!). Analyze the drops you’re interested in – whether they have required certification, and whether the brand seems trustworthy.
Overall, if this will be your first experience with CBD, you could not have chosen a better option than CBD drops. We encourage you to try other types of CBD oil products, but the drops remain a favorite among beginners and those who aren’t interested in fiddling with a vape pen, a water pipe, or other more complex devices.
Our broad spectrum and CBD isolate oil drops could be just what you need to fall in love with this promising substance. Take a look at what we have to offer, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions! We’re always here to help with anything CBD-related.