Here, on the frontlines of the CBD movement, we get asked this question all the time. Since CBD affects everyone differently, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Instead, let’s look at the main factors to consider when determining what time of day is best for you.
3 key factors that help determine when to take CBD
- Reasons for taking CBD
- Type of CBD product
Listen to Your Body
Before we explore these main factors, the recurring theme here is to listen to your body. What gets one person to sleep may help another maintain energy throughout the day. Why are there such massive discrepancies with the effects of CBD? Well, it’s complicated.
The Human Endocannabinoid System (ECS) regulates many physical processes including pain, memory, mood, appetite, stress, sleep, metabolism, immune function, and reproductive function. CBD acts upon the ECS on a molecular level. Given the complexity of this regulatory system, the potential effect that CBD can have on these processes is totally unique. When beginning your journey with CBD, choose a time of day when you can safely experiment.
For example, if you decide to try CBD for improving sleep, logic would dictate that taking it before bedtime would be most effective. However, some people may feel stimulated when they are trying to catch some z’s. To complicate matters even more, it is possible that when taking CBD in the morning it has a different effect than in the evening. All this leads back to the idea that you want to create enough space to safely experiment. For most of us, that often means the early evening when we are done with the demands of the workplace, and still hours before bedtime. Doing so should safeguard against any potential disruptions to your daily/nightly rhythms. After sufficient time, you will gain more insight into how CBD interacts with your body, and this will ultimately lead to an intake schedule that works best for you.
1. Reasons for taking CBD
People are using CBD for a variety of reasons. Stories range from treating specific symptoms like seizures and acne, to regulating moods, appetite, and more. What time of day you take CBD should largely be based on the reasons you are taking it in the first place. Back to our sleep example. Some of our customers simply take their daily dose before bed, while others take it during the day and find that having it in their system throughout the day helps improve their sleep behavior at night.
Food for thought: my acupuncturist prescribed Chinese herbs for me (they taste gross!) and said, “the best way to take these herbs is to take them.” Meaning, that despite their rancid taste and elaborate boiling protocol, I needed to take them. Similarly, despite our tincture’s great flavor, all the nuances we are discussing here are secondary to the main point: keep taking CBD!
CBD products often include a serving size or daily dose suggestion. However, here too it is important to experiment and find what works best for you. For instance, we recommend starting with 1ml of our regular strength tincture per day, and for some of our customers, this feels right.
Get Creative / mix it up:
- Split the recommended dosage: taking .5ml in the morning and .5ml in the evening allows the effects to be more evenly spread out through the day.
- Double the dose: for some, taking 1ml in the morning and another in the evening provides relief beyond the recommended dose.
For whom the bell curves?
For thee, of course! CBD has been shown to have a bell curve in regards to its effectiveness. This means that as you take more, its effectiveness will ramp up to a maximum efficiency rate before beginning to fall off as you reach saturation levels, resulting in wasted product. Think about your ECS as a gas tank. When you are pumping gas, eventually the pump will click off once the tank is full. You can try to keep squeezing the handle to put more in, but no more will fit. Once your tank is full, you need to put some miles in before it’s necessary to refuel.
Once you know how you react to CBD, play with dosage amounts and times. Think about when you need relief, and plan timing around that.
3. Product Choice
The type of product you are using is a strong consideration when deciding what time you should use CBD. Products like CBD Capsules will have more of a slow, gradual effect since they must be processed through your digestive system. Conversely, a CBD vape will have more immediate effects as vaporizing is one of the most bioavailable ways to consume CBD. Let’s look at the different ingestion methods and how to think ahead for timing your dose.
Think about what you are up against, and how a slow fuse product will interact with it. Do you have anxiety during daytime hours? You will probably want to take CBD capsules in the morning so they can slowly begin working as you go about your day. Do you have trouble sleeping through the night? You will want to take CBD Capsules before dinner, so your body has time to process them before bed.
Often called CBD Oil, tincture is taken sublingually and absorbed into glands under your tongue. This will yield a faster result since the tincture will enter your bloodstream more directly than swallowing. Because tincture takes time to work its way through your system, it is much easier to dial in for timing. We recommend 1ml of tincture per day to start with. Most consumers choose to take their daily dose of tincture in the morning so they have CBD pumping through their veins throughout the day. If you find that any results you are experiencing wear off quickly, you may want to double up and take a dose in the evening as well.
When using CBD in a vaporizer, most consumers choose a “fix it on the fly” approach. Since it is so bioavailable, most consumers will experience almost instantaneous effects. Vaporizing CBD is great for people who don’t necessarily need regular relief from things like stress or anxiety as you can quickly get some CBD into your system on an as-needed basis. Vaping is also great if you’re not feeling any effects from taking CBD in other forms, as the results are immediate.
Lotions, creams, and salves, oh my… CBD infused topicals are generally best for consumers who have specific areas of their bodies they want to treat. They can be applied as needed. With most products, the CBD will stay in the tissue locally to where it is applied so you shouldn’t need to worry about overuse.
Can I use multiple CBD products at the same time?
Absolutely! With CBD, you will never experience a “too much” sort of effect. If you find that tincture helps with one problem and topicals another, by all means, use both methods simultaneously. If CBD Capsules help for most of the day, but you have a presentation at work that has you worried, you may look towards a CBD vape product to settle your nerves beforehand.
While there isn’t a simple one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when to take CBD, there is an answer for you. Keep experimenting and listen to what your body is telling you. With some trial and error, you should be able to find the perfect balance of method, dosage, and timing. If you have questions or feel that you need further guidance, please reach out to us. We are more than happy to be your guides on a journey to plant-based wellness! 😊