Ever since the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 legalized hemp-derived cannabidiol or CBD, medical marijuana products have flooded the market. Burgers, coffee, cartridges, pet shampoo -- you name it and there's probably a version that contains CBD, as consumers have quickly realized. According to one 2018 study, CBD users report using, on average, two different forms of CBD, with the most popular delivery method being sublingual, or taken under the tongue.
The sheer variety of CBD products can be overwhelming -- especially considering they all interact with and affect the body in different ways -- but the abundance can also be a good thing.
"Medical cannabis users can kind of mix and match what they use in ways that can potentially be similar to the medication a physician would give them, says Kevin Boehnke, Ph.D., research investigator in the department of anesthesiology and the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan. For example, when it comes to pain management -- the top medical use for CBD -- a fast-acting form of cannabis (like vaping) and a slower-acting form (like edibles) could potentially be used analogously to fast-acting and extended-release pain relievers.
Research into the potential health effects of CBD, as well as optimal doses for specific conditions, is still preliminary but there are a few things we know about the different delivery methods.