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The benefits of CBD are being touted all over the world and an increasing number of curious minds are wondering whether or not to try it for their specific symptoms. With an endless amount of products to choose from and a general lack of knowledge about how or why to take CBD, it can get pretty confusing out there for the newcomer.


Hemp and marijuana are two species of the cannabis plant. Whereas marijuana is mostly grown for its high levels of the mind-altering compound known as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), hemp produces mostly non-psychoactive compounds like CBD (cannabidiol). Many people still don’t understand this major difference between the two: THC will make you feel high, CBD will not. In fact, part of CBD’s growing popularity is not only because of its numerous possible health benefits, but also because it can easily be incorporated into daily routines since it’s not intoxicating.

If you ask around, you’ll hear plenty of reasons people decided to try CBD—the most common being to try to relieve symptoms of anxiety, epilepsy, chronic pain, inflammation, PTSD, addiction, Alzheimers, cancer, or irritable bowel syndrome. (Although countless sufferers have found relief for these and many other conditions using CBD, we always recommend you consult a medical professional first.) With each person’s unique needs comes a different route of administration.


People generally get their dose of CBD via six main routes: inhalation, ingestion, topically, transdermally, or sublingually (under the tongue). Each method offers its own distinct possible benefits, and differs widely in its bioavailability (the percentage of CBD that’s actually absorbed into the bloodstream). Depending on what you’re hoping to achieve, you’ll probably want to try several methods before landing on the ones that work best for you.

  • Ingestion: CBD edibles (must be digested first. May take up to 2 hours to be absorbed.)

  • Topical: CBD creams and salves (used to target specific areas and is not absorbed into the bloodstream.)

  • Transdermal: CBD patches (absorbed through the skin, activated by body heat. This route releases small amounts of CBD over approximately 4-6 hours.)


HempElf customers often ask us which method they should choose based on three major considerations: cost-effectiveness, fastest absorption, and child-friendliness. Based on these, we’d like to recommend: 

  • For cost-effectiveness: concentrates, crystals, wax

  • For fast absorption: vapes, flowers & hash, wax, creams

  • For palatability (child-friendly): oils, crystals, syrup

There’s no blanket answer for the question of which method is better since everyone’s needs differ significantly; however, there are definitely several things to consider. Hopefully we’ve helped you get a better idea of where you’d like to start! No matter how you decide to take CBD, we wish you luck in your quest for relief.

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