Whatever the reason you are taking CBD, whether for a medical condition or to help you deal with anxiety and stress, you want to be certain to maximize the effects. There are some basic things you should be doing to ensure desired results. Among them:
Ensure CBD quantity and quality
Check the label to see how much CBD the product contains. The amount of CBD will be stated in milligrams, and it means the amount of CBD in the entire container of the product. Also consider the size of the bottle – 10ml, 30 ml and so forth. For example, 500mg of CBD in a 30ml bottle is a lot stronger than 500mg in a 60ml bottle. In fact, it would be double the strength. Another red flag is products that list only the amount of total “cannabinoids” they contain, not specifically how much CBD is in them. Such products could include not just CBD but other related compounds.
Also ask for a Certificate of Analysis or COA. It’s a document issued by an accredited laboratory that includes a full composition of a product. A COA should include a total list of cannabinoids, microbiological levels, terpenes (aromatic plant compounds found in high concentrations in the cannabis plant), and possible contaminants such as pesticides, solvent residue or heavy metals.
Take the right dosage
Before taking any CBD product, confer with your doctor about recommended dosage. However, keep in mind that just as in the case of most other products, the right dosage of CBD ultimately will depend a range of variables:
- Your size and weight.
- The condition – and severity – of the condition you are treating when seeking pain relief or stress relief or for anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Tolerance to CBD or individual body chemistry.
- The formulation and concentration of CBD in the delivery method, which most commonly includes topicals, capsules, pills, tinctures, dermal patches, gummies and vapor (inhaling).
Considering these factors, if your doctor doesn’t prescribe a dosage, it’s best to start with a small amount then increase the amount until you feel that the dosage is effective in treating your symptoms.
Read the directions
Some people fail to read the instructions on how to properly consume a product. Reading the directions is particularly important when taking CBD orally or sublingually. For example, tinctures and oils need to stay below the tongue for at least 30 seconds before swallowing because the salivary glands in this area help the compound to be absorbed and transported in the bloodstream easily.
Choose best delivery method
When choosing a product, consider the product’s bioavailability, which is the degree or rate a substance is absorbed. Each CBD product has its unique way of entering the bloodstream and so each has a different bioavailability.
- Oral ingestion: While taking CBD oil orally is popular, this method has a low bioavailability because CBD can interact with acids or enzymes in the digestive system, which affects its rate of absorption.
- Tinctures: CBD tinctures are generally administered a few drops at a time under the tongue, where they are absorbed by sublingual glands. Some of CBD is absorbed directly into the mucous membranes, which means it reaches the bloodstream more rapidly and effectively. CBD isn’t broken down by enzymes in saliva or by first-pass metabolism.
- Edibles: CBD edibles, like gummies or cookies, have less bioavailability because the body has to process both the CBD and the other ingredients that make up the product.
- Topicals: CBD applied topically will not enter the bloodstream so bioavailability is low. However, CBD topicals are effective as remedies for pain and inflammation in targeted areas like joints and the skin.
Determine best time of day
There’s no one answer. The best time of day to take CBD and how often throughout the day really depends on what works best for you. Here are some general guidelines that can help as you experiment:
- If you are having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, you might want to take CBD close to your bedtime, maybe an hour before, so your body has time to absorb it thoroughly to promote restfulness
- If anxiety is your problem, consider taking CBD about an hour before you have to deal with the stressful situation. On the other hand, for general anxiety, consider taking CBD in the morning before you leave the house to deal with the day.
- For chronic pain relief, you may experience relief by taking CBD daily. However, for acute pain or short term-discomfort from an injury, only take CBD when you are experiencing pain symptoms. 
Even with these tips, consult with your doctor before starting CBD to make sure it doesn’t interfere with other treatments you are taking.