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The Ultimate Beginners Guide To CBD

The Beginners Guide To CBD

This guide was developed by the Bloom Botanics teams to help you get the right product to start your own CBD journey!

Table of contents

What Is CBD?

CBD is the abbreviation for ‘cannabidiol’, and cannabidiol is one of many cannabinoids found in naturally in hemp and cannabis plants. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring in other plants as well, such as black pepper, liverwort, cacao, black truffles, cannabis and hemp. 

While CBD has been known to be found in hops plants as well, it is best known for its abundance in hemp and cannabis plants, and as one of the two main active compounds in the plant alongside THC; which is another cannabinoid.

Whats the Difference Between CBD and THC?

THC and CBD both interact with your endocannabinoid system (ECS), but in different ways to produce different effects: THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis which causes the sensation of being ‘high’, and intoxicates users of cannabis. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t make you ‘high’ nor does it intoxicate you. While it is still an active ingredient that affects the user, these effects are commonly associated with more subtle, calming and mellowing effects of the cannabis plant.

Is CBD Legal?

The finished product of CBD such as the CBD oils, tablets, etc. are 100% legal to be freely sold in the UK as a food supplement, as long as they contain a THC content under 0.2% of their total mass.

However, growing Hemp or Cannabis for CBD is illegal in the UK without an expensive license which requires the licensee to follow strict regulations.

That is why we here at Bloom Botanics work hard to only sell lab-tested products. This ensures their content of THC is below the threshold and their legality. Lab Reports also allow customers to know the total CBD content in the products as well. 

Want to read more on this? Check out our full blog on 'Is CBD Legal in the UK?'

What CBD Concentration/Strength Should I Use?

Concentration as a percentage is the percentage of mass of the total solution which is CBD, for example:

  • 10mg of CBD in 1ml = 10mg/ml= 1%
  • 100mg of CBD in 1ml 100mg/ml = 10%
  • 500mg of CBD in 1ml = 500mg/ml= 50%

CBD can be a confusing product to understand. That why we prioritise the % of the products. Allowing you to understand how the products compare to each other in an easier manner across bottle sizes and products. In a similar way to how someone might compare alcohol strengths.

What Concentration/Strength do we Recommend?

You will notice the wellness benefits of CBD if you take the recommended dose of any product on Bloom Botanics. However, we find people prefer the higher percentage as this means they can take smaller doses, and make their product go further. But the percentage we recommend as a minimum is different per product category. They are as follows:

Product Type Concentration
Oil (Sublingual) 3% or greater
E-Liquids (Vaping) 1% or greater
Edibles 10mg/piece or greater
Tablets & Capules 10mg/piece or greater
Topical Creams 0.5% or greater


How Can CBD Be Taken?

CBD Is quite a versatile compound, and can be taken in a large amount of ways. In this section we will break down the pros and cons of each method and recommend our favourites in each category for beginners. Bioavailability is a common term in regards to effectiveness of how different methods are absorbed into the body. Bioavailability is the percentage of administered dose which actually reaches the bloodstream.

The most popular methods for CBD consumption/application are in order:
  1. Oil held under the tongue (Sublingual)
  2. Vaporization
  3. Capsules/Tablets
  4. Edibles: Gummies, Chocolates, Ect.
  5. Topical Creams

Oral Ingestion Methods

This category covers all the methods which you take initially in your mouth and ultimately end up in your stomach. These methods include:

Oils & Tinctures (Sublingual)

Sublingual absorption refers to dropping or spraying the CBD oil directly into your mouth under your tongue. You then hold it there for 60 seconds. This allows it to absorb it into your bloodstream. Then rinse it down with your preferred drink. This is called 'sublingual' consumption. Bio-availability of this method leads to a 12%-35% absorption rate of CBD from the product into your body.

**We recommend buying CBD oils above 3%. However, you can compensate for the weaker formula with a larger dose**

Pros of CBD Oil Tinctures Cons of CBD Oil Tinctures
  • Very easy to take anywhere
  • All you need is the small bottle of oil
  • This is quite cost effective for the CBD you get
  • Every CBD brand sells CBD Oil, so there is a lot of choice
  • Oils typically have an undesirable grassy and plant like taste
  • Getting accurate doses can be hard as it’s hard to count the amount of drops you take without a mirror

What CBD oils we recommend:
koi naturals oil Koi naturals (30ml)
  • Available in 0.83%, 1.67% & 3.33%
  • Available with flavouring which makes it more enjoyable than its counterparts
  • Full Spectrum CBD
  • Low Strength
Shop Koi Naturals Oil
Herts Hemp Full Spectrum CBD Oil Full Spectrum CBD Oil - Herts Hemp (10ml)
  • Available in 2.5%, 5%, 10% & 18%
  • Great Value for money
  • Full spectrum CBD
  • Simple, no fuss & strong
Shop Herts Hemp Oil
CBD entourage oil Entourage Oil - Love CBD (20ml)
  • Made with a unique combination of three different hemp plant from around europe.
  • Hand spray bottle
  • Medium strength
  • Good Price point
Shop Love CBD Oil

Water-Soluble CBD

This is a new and rapidly growing in popularity product. Some brands claim the bioavailability to be drastically higher (from 50%), and that it lets you metabolise up to 90% the product. This is very similar in how you consume it to tincture oil, but you can also mix it easier with drinks and food as it will mix in really easily, due to it being soluble in water.

Pros of Water Soluble CBD Oil Cons of Water Soluble CBD
  • High claimed bioavialability
  • High cost effectiveness
  • Can easily be mixed into drinks to make homemade CBD tea, coffee or water
  • This is generally hailed as the next big thing in CBD consumption.
  • Can often have lower amounts of CBD due to the carrier that makes it water soluble costing more, which makes up more the cost.
  • This is a very new and relatively established product category, so clarity in understanding the bioavialability of the product can be confusing.
  • Slightly unpleasant taste 

What Water Soluble CBD We Recommend:
CBD Asylum Water Soluble CBD Pro Shot CBD Asylum- CBD Pro Shot
  • Great Strength (1%) and effective CBD
  • Highly versatile product due to water solubility
  • High bioavailability
  • super handy squeeze bottle makes dosing on the go easy
  • Relatively flavourless! So it will not mess up your drinks taste to include CBD
Shop CBD Asylum Pro Shot
(CBD Brothers) The Original Alternative Purple Edition Plus Water Soluble CBD The Original Alternative (CBD Brothers) - Purple Edition Plus - Water-Soluble
  • Great Strength (2% or 4%) and effective CBD
  • Highly versatile product due to water solubility
  • High bioavailability
  • The Original Alternative (CBD Brothers) is one of the most trusted and sought after CBD brands in the UK
Shop Purple Edition Plus

Holistic Hemp Scotland - Water-soluble CBD Capsules

  • Good uniform 15mg CBD doses
  • Highly versatile product due to water solubility
  • High bioavailability
  • Multi-use as a capsule or as a 15mg portion of water soluble CBD, Just crack open the capsule and pour it in a drink!
  • Up and coming Scottish Brand
Shop water soluble CBD Oil Capsules

Edibles

CBD Edibles can come in many forms, but the most popular are definitely CBD Chocolates and CBD Gummies. CBD Edibles are another great way to take CBD, especially for beginners. This is by far the tastiest way to consume CBD, particularly for those who really dislike the taste of hemp and cannabis. These also have the added benefit of being well portioned doses with there usually being 10-20mg per gummy. Making it as easy to control how much you take; as similar to the tablets. This makes them a great option for kids or those people who are sensitive to the taste of CBD. However, as mentioned, in the CBD Tablets section these have a low bioavailability.

Pros of CBD Edibles Cons of CBD Edibles
  • Super easy dosing
  • Quick and discreet to take
  • Taste Great!
  • Great for kids
  • Low bioavailability
  • Higher cost per CBD dose
  • The Gummies often contain gelatin making them not vegan or vegetarian friendly

What CBD Edibles we recommend:

CBD Chocolates love hemp CBD Chocolate Bites - Love Hemp
  • 200mg of CBD in a 100g pack
  • With Full Spectrum CBD
  • Available in Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate
  • The Dark Chocolate is Vegan and Gluten Free
Shop Love Hemp Chocolate
CBD Gummy bears uk CBD Gummy Bears - Love Hemp
  • 10mg of CBD per gummy means super easy dosing
  • They taste fruity and sweet!
  • Gluten free
  • Not Vegetarian or Vegan friendly
Shop Love Hemp Gummy Bears
Koi CBD Gummies (Tropical) Tropical CBD Gummies - Koi CBD
  • Resealable Bag is Easy to Take on the Go
  • Strongest Percentage (80%) of Full Spectrum CBD & Terpene Profiles
  • 10mg of Cannabidiol per gummy
  • 2 Great Tropical Flavours (Tropical & Sour Tropical)
Shop Koi CBD Gummies

Tablets

Tablets are by far the most convenient methods of taking CBD. Especially when it comes to standardising your dosing. Simply control your daily intake of CBD by adding or reducing to the amount of tablets you take a day and each dose is always accurate. That is why tablets are a great way to start with CBD due to the sheer simplicity. Keep in mind though that Tablets and other CBD Edibles have a reported a bioavailability rate of 6% in a 1986 study, while it was reported between 4 and 20% in a 2009 study.

Pros of CBD Tablets Cons of CBD Tablets
  • Super easy dosing
  • Little to no additives
  • Quick and discreet to take
  • Little to no taste
  • Low bioavailability
  • Higher cost per CBD dose
  • Some Tablets contain gelatin, making them not Vegan or Vegetarian friendly

CBD Tablets We Recommend:

Love Hemp CBD Capsules CBD Soft Gel Capsules - Love Hemp
  • Soft gel caps are easier to swallow
  • available in 25mg/capsule or 10mg/capsule
  • Not Vegetarian (Contain Gelatin)
Shop Love Hemp Capsules
Love CBD Entourage Capsules Entourage CBD Capsules - Love CBD
  • 60 Capsules
  • 10mg of CBD/CBDa per capsule
  • Vegetable Capsules – No Gelatin
  • Vegan Friendly & Lactose Free
Shop Love CBD Entourage Capsules
herts hemp tablets Full Spectrum CBD Capsules - Herts Hemp
  • 1 cap contains 25mg of CBD/CBDa
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free & 100% Vegan
  • Great Value
Shop CBD Capsules UK

Vaporization (Inhaled)

Vaporization is one of the most popular methods of CBD consumption due to its fast acting nature. This is also due to it being one of the most efficient ways to take CBD with reports stating between 34-46% bioavailability rates, with some studies reporting up to 56%. Vaporization is much more of an on-demand way to consume CBD, were users tend to only take it when they feel they want to. Albeit once or twice a week, to multiple times a day. Although it may have a higher bioavailability, you also have to account for the added cost of a vaporizer and maintaining the vaporizer; which can also add complexity.

**We would recommend you buy a stronger strength CBD E-liquid of 1% or greater. This will ensure you get the desired CBD wellness benefits**

Pros of Vaping CBD Cons of Vaping CBD
  • Quick for there to be an effect
  • Good for rapid on-demand dosing
  • Can have many flavours: from completely flavourless to fruity and sweet flavours
  • Many options in vapes and in E-juices to suit your individual needs
  • CBD E-liquids can work with standard E-cigarette vapes you may already own
  • Good value for money even including vape cost.
  • Additional cost of vape
  • You will have to learn how to use/maintain a vape, unless you use disposable vapes.
  • No long term studies which ensure the overall long term safety of vaping.
  • You must make sure your vape is always charged in order to get your dose of CBD

CBD Vaping Products We Recommend:

CBD Vape pen uk Harmony CBD Vape Pen Kit
  • Sleek pen design
  • Extremely easy to use and setup
  • 2 flavours available
  • 1x Pre-Filled 10% Cartridge (1ml) 
  • Additional cartridges available onsite
Shop CBD Vape Pen
Aspire Nautilus UK Aspire Nautilus AIO Kit
  • Sleek portable pod vaporizer
  • Comes with two coils
  • Easy to fill with any e-liquid type
  • Use whatever e-liquid you like giving you more choice in regards to strength and flavours.
Shop Aspire Nautilus
koi cbd e liquid Koi CBD E-liquid Originals (30ml)
  • Available in 0.83%, 1.67% & 3.33%
  • 6 expertly formulated, unique and tasty flavours
  • Larger volume bottle (30ml)
  • Glass pipette makes it slightly harder to refill smaller vapes
Shop Koi CBD E-Liquid
harmony cbd e liquid Harmony CBD E-Liquid (10ml)
  • Available in 0.3%, 1%, 3% & 6%
  • 11 unique flavours
  • Super convenient pouring tip makes it easy to load your vape
Shop Harmony CBD E Liquid
Love Hemp CBD E Liquid

Love Hemp E-Liquid (15ml)

  • Available in 0.67% & 1.67%
  • 4 fantastic flavours
  • Glass pipette makes it slightly harder to refill smaller vapes

Shop Love Hemp CBD E Liquid


Topically (Creams, Lotions, Balms & Cosmetics)

Applying CBD topically is a category which is becoming rapidly more popular as taking CBD is becoming more normalised. The bioavailability of this method is very low and that is why this study recommends that you apply these CBD products very generously to your targeted areas, ideally with high strengths of CBD to adequately have an effect transdermally.

Pros of Topical CBD Cons of Topical CBD
  • Very targeted effect
  • No need to ingest or inhale anything
  • Very low bioavailability
  • Can sometimes be high cost
  • Hard to uniformly dose
  • Can smell grassy/plant like

Topical CBD Products We Recommend:

Love Hemp CBD Body Salve CBD Body Salve - Love Hemp
  • All Natural and Organic Ingredients
  • Vegetarian-Friendly (Not suitable for Vegans)
  • No Parabens
  • Sulfate-Free
  • No Synthetic Fragrances
  • Strength: 0.6%
Shop Love Hemp Body Salve
koi cbd lotion uk Koi CBD Lotion - Lavender
  • 125ML Plastic Bottle is Easily Portable
  • 200mg Cannabidiol
  • Solvent Free
  • Absorbs Into Skin With No Sticky Residue
Shop Koi CBD Lotion
love cbd balm uk CBD Balm - Love CBD
  • All Natural
  • Vegan Friendly
  • 1% Strength
Shop Love CBD Balm

Suppositories

One of the least popular ways of taking CBD is as a suppository. However, it is being done due to the extremely high bioavailability of suppositories compared to other methods. Studies show a bioavailability of 13.5% in monkeys, to twice that of oral adminstration, but the effectiveness is also highly dependent on the mixture of the suppository. With some articles and companies even claiming a bioavailability of up to 60-70%, however, the sources of these claims are hard to pin down.

Pros of CBD Suppositories Cons of CBD Suppositories
  • High bioavailability
  • Long lasting constant CBD release
  • Discreet
  • Cost effective
  • Unconventional and uncomfortable administration technique, which some people may find undesirable.

Other Use Cases

CBD has other uses too, for instance, it is becoming a popular supplement for cats and dogs, along with many other pets.

CBD For Pets

CBD is used on pets for many of the same reasons their owners may take CBD. Since many animals have endocannabinoid systems like us humans, this leads them to experience the same effects as us. At the moment, it’s mainly used on cats and dogs and they take much smaller doses too. This is because they are much smaller than us; anywhere from 3% of our size to nearly as big as us. So correct dosing is a lot more important for them, and we recommend to follow the instructions on pet CBD bottle. Otherwise, Pet CBD is the exact same CBD sold to humans. Some may have bacon or meat flavouring to make it more appealing to our furry friends.

Hemp for Dogs and Cats We Recommend:


Koi Hemp Dog Treats Hemp Treats for Dogs - Koi
  • Veterinarian Formulated
  • THC Free
  • Lab Tested
  • 25 treats per bag
Shop Hemp For Dogs
CBD For cats Hemp Extract + Catnip for Cats - Veggimins
  • Free of any allergens such as gluten, dairy, nuts and soy
  • Added benefits of Catnip
  • Vegan
  • Lab Tested
  • Easy to Use 10ml Dropper Bottle
Shop Hemp Extract for Cats

Still have questions?

We hope this helped you understand the various methods to take CBD and how they differ. If you think we missed out any key information or if you have any more questions, I recommend emailing us at info@bloombotanics.co.uk and we will do our best to help you further.

**Please note this is a food supplement and not intended for medicinal use. If you have any medical problems we recommend you talk to a medical professional.**

Bloom botanics.co.uk

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