Never have I needed a generous lungful of CBD more than every single morning (and afternoon, and evening, and minute) in 2020. But does smoking CBD for anxiety work as well as endlessly snacking on CBD-infused weed gummies? And what are the benefits of smoking CBD over other methods, anyway? Andy Papilion, co-founder and chief product officer for Balanced Health Botanicals, the parent company of CBDistillery, is here to help us see through the smoke.
The Benefits of Smoking CBD
Ingested or inhaled, CBD has a lot of potential to relieve anxiety, curb depression and improve sleep. The only real difference, per Papilion, is that different methods “may affect the time it takes your body to absorb the CBD.”
One of the unique benefits of smoking CBD is that those cannabinoids are delivered directly to your lungs, rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream and dispatched into circulation. That means you feel the effects almost instantly: Evidence suggests that CBD reaches peak blood concentration within three minutes of inhalation. Noshing on a CBD edible, meanwhile, can delay the onset of those effects for an hour or two.
Moreover, compared to ingestion, smoking CBD has been shown to increase its bioavailability and absorption, since it bypasses your digestive tract and liver. In other words, you may get more bang for your buck by smoking CBD.
Is Smoking CBD Bad for You?
Smoking just about anything, including CBD, produces potentially dangerous byproducts, including fluorene, pyrene, acrylonitrile and acrylamide, which can aggravate — and in some instances, damage — your lungs. But evidence generally suggests that smoking cannabis is much, much less harmful than tobacco. If you are worried about it, you could always vape: A 2007 study found that vaping can decrease respiratory symptoms in regular CBD smokers, and a 2015 study found that vapes provide similar blood CBD concentrations and pharmacokinetics to smoking CBD buds.
That said, vaping has been known to cause problems, too, possibly due to poor regulation of the vape juice market. For instance, a 2017 study found that a significant 26 percent of CBD products purchased online contained less CBD than labeled.
How to Get the Best CBD Flower and Vape Juice
Because there are tons of falsely labeled CBD products out there, you should always look for full transparency from your vendor. “Reputable companies publish their third-party test results on their websites and packaging,” Papilion says. “Consumers should check to see if the company is certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority, as they set the most stringent guidelines in the industry to ensure a safe product. Consumers should also be able to scan a QR code on their product in order to view test results for their exact batch. Checking all of these boxes will ensure their product is a high-quality product that is as pure and potent as the manufacturer claims.”
If you need help finding the best CBD flower, Cheef Botanicals, Berkshire CBD and CBD American Shaman are all reliable brands with a wide selection. If finding the best CBD vape juice is more up your alley, Avida CBD, Hemp Bombs and VaporFi are all good bets.
Finally, if smoking CBD is new to you, Papilion emphasizes that “patience is key. It can take several hours, several days or several weeks before you notice significant benefits.”
Better get started then.