A step by step guide on how to take CBD oil

A step by step guide on how to take CBD oil


With 5 years of cannabis journalism behind her after graduating from De Montfort University and writing for cannabis publications such as The Cannavist, Lucy is a dedicated journalist passionate about cannabis education and culture.

Interest in medical cannabis, and CBD oil in particular, has increased significantly in the last couple of years as research on the potential benefits of this cannabis-derived compound has found its way into the public domain. CBD oil has garnered attention as a natural remedy with a wide range of possible applications including offering relief from anxiety, pains and inflammation, sleep disturbances, and even seizures. If you are interested in finding out more CBD oil but are not sure of where exactly to start, you've come to the right place.

This comprehensive blog aims to demystify CBD oil and offer valuable insights on how to effectively take CBD oil to enhance health and wellness. This article addresses the practical aspect of incorporating CBD oil into your daily routine. It gives straightforward advice on finding the appropriate dosage, delivery method, and the right product to meet your needs. 

We then dig deeper to explore the different product formulations including oils, capsules, topicals, and vapes. It's crucial to understand these aspects to ensure a safe and effective CBD oil experience. This article is tailored to meet the needs of beginners and long-term patients alike.

What is CBD Oil and is it legal in the UK?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a natural extract derived from hemp (or cannabis) plants. It belongs to a category of bioactive molecules that are known as cannabinoids, with cannabis producing about 110 of them. CBD oil is made by mixing CBD extract with a carrier oil such as MCT oil, hemp oil, or coconut oil. In the United Kingdom, CBD oil is legal, provided it meets the criteria below:

  • It must be derived from hemp and not cannabis (which naturally contains higher levels of the intoxicating cannabinoid – THC)
  • It must contain less than 0.2% THC. This minimal THC level ensures that the product does not produce psychoactive effects.
  • The CBD must be extracted from specific cannabis strains approved by the European Union. These strains are low in THC and high in CBD.
  • All CBD oil products must comply with strict labelling and marketing regulations. They should clearly state the CBD content, every other ingredient, and provide accurate product information without making any medical claims about CBD

It is important to note that cannabis is classified as a class B drug in the UK and is therefore illegal. Hence, CBD oil derived from cannabis, which contains higher levels of THC, is classified as a controlled substance and is illegal, unless prescribed by a doctor that has been registered to do so. Most GPs in the UK are not registered to do so at this point. 

Types of CBD oil (full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, isolate)

Over the last two to three years, there has been a shift from pure (isolate) CBD to full-spectrum CBD oil, thanks to research that has highlighted the entourage effect. This is a hypothesis that suggests that cannabis compounds work synergistically to enhance the therapeutic effect. 

This means that CBD in combination with other cannabinoids and terpenes will offer greater benefits than CBD working on its own. Full-spectrum CBD oil contains other cannabinoids (including, in some cases, a very small percentage of THC) and terpenes to enhance the effects of CBD oil. Broad-spectrum CBD oil contains other cannabinoids and terpenes, but has zero THC.

Do you need a doctor’s prescription to take CBD Oil?

In most cases, you will not need a doctor's prescription to access and take CBD oil in the UK because it is not classified as a pharmaceutical compound. You can easily buy a variety of CBD oils online and even have the CBD oil shipped directly to your doorstep. However, should you be taking other medications or have an underlying condition it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before using CBD oil, who can provide personalised advice based on your specific situation.

Another factor that should be taken into consideration is the reputation of the vendor. As of the time of writing, CBO products are classed as “novel food items”, and as such, the regulatory oversight has been, well, less than perfect. There have been reports of certain companies providing CBD products that have incorrect labelling. 

Find the right CBD oil vendor

The first thing that you should be on the lookout for is transparency and quality assurance. A reputable CBD vendor should provide information about their products' quality and sourcing. The vendor should provide third-party lab test results for each product batch. These tests, conducted by independent laboratories, verify the potency, purity, and safety of the CBD oil through what is known as a certificate of analysis (COA). The COA should be easily accessible on the vendor's website or provided upon request. Additionally, you may want to consider vendors that use organic practices to grow hemp to minimise exposure to pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

The next thing to look at is the range of CBD oils that are offered by the vendor. You do not want to settle on a vendor and then later in the journey have to find another vendor because you need a different kind of CBD oil to meet a different need. 

However, you should also be wary of vendors that offer every imaginable kind of CBD oil. In other words, keep away from the “jack of all trades but master of none” companies. Look for producers that have a bunch of 5 star reviews, but make sure you read the reviews. Producers with great reviews, a comprehensive but not necessarily exhaustive product list, and a history of a few years in the business are what you should keep an eye out for. 

Cost should come as a final consideration. CBD can be prohibitively expensive for some, but there are more budget-friendly options available.

Now that we have looked at the basics of using CBD oil, let us look at the steps involved in using CBD oil.

The section below discusses the different CBD products in the UK market and outlines the steps involved in consuming each of them. The products have been clustered based on the mode of consumption i.e. ingestibles (what you take orally), inhalants (what you inhale) and topicals (what you apply to the skin).

CBD edibles (ingestibles)

This category covers all forms of CBD oil that are taken orally and pass through the digestive system, such as capsules, gummies, and edibles. CBD oil can be mixed in a variety of foods such as salads, smoothies, and even coffee. Edibles are a convenient and discrete way of consuming CBD oil. 

When CBD is consumed in such a way, it has to go through the digestive system until it is metabolised in the liver and finally ends up in the bloodstream. This may take up to two hours before the effects of CBD are felt. Up to 50% of the CBD will not be fully metabolised and will be excreted.

So this is something that consumers should bear in mind when choosing edibles over other consumption methods.

CBD oil tinctures

CBD oil tinctures are one of the most popular and convenient ways of consuming CBD. While they are ingested through the mouth, they do not go through the digestive process and hence their action is felt sooner. CBD oil tinctures are consumed sublingually. You place 2 to 3 drops of CBD oil tincture in the region beneath your tongue and hold the drops there for a minute before you swallow. As this region is well vascularised (meaning full of blood vessels near the surface), the CBD will be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. Expect to start feeling the effects of CBD in about 15 minutes.

Unlike edibles, the vast majority of the CBD will be metabolised and pass into the bloodstream.

CBD vapes for oil and flower (inhalants)

Traditionally, inhalants (and more precisely smoking), have been the most popular way of consuming cannabis. CBD vapes offer a convenient, discreet way of consuming CBD in both flower and oil form, without many of the health concerns that come along with smoking. 

Vape pens come in a wide variety of opitons, but the basics are the same.

How to use a CBD oil vape pen:

  1. The vaping apparatus will come with a manual. Read the instructions carefully.
  2. Charge the vape pen: If your CBD vape pen has a rechargeable battery, ensure it is fully charged before using it.
  3. Screw the tank containing the CBD oil onto the battery.
  4. Give the coil a few minutes to saturate with the CBD oil to allow the wick to absorb the oil for better vapour production.
  5. Follow the instructions to turn on your specific vape pen. Some vape pens are activated by pressing a button, while others are activated by inhaling.
  6. Begin with small, gentle but deep puffs as you get accustomed to the vapour and observe the effects of CBD. 

CBD topicals

CBD oil topicals come in different forms such as creams, lotions, salves, serums, and oils.

How to apply CBD oil topicals: 

  • Read the instructions on the product label
  • Use a mild cleanser to wash the affected area and gently pat it dry.
  • Squeeze or scoop out the desired amount of the CBD oil topical into your palm
  • Gently massage the CBD oil topical onto the area of the skin using circular motions or light strokes, making sure to evenly distribute it
  • Give it a few minutes to absorb into the skin.

CBD oil topicals are designed for external application only and should not be taken orally. Additionally, if you have any underlying skin conditions, it's advisable to consult with a dermatologist before using CBD oil topicals.

Final tips for using CBD oil

  • Start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed. If you are looking to administer CBD for a specific health concern, always consult with a doctor who is registered in prescribing medicinal cannabis.
  • Keep a consistent schedule for taking CBD oil.
  • Pay attention to how your body responds to CBD oil.
  • Be aware of potential side effects and interactions with other medications.
  • Do not refrigerate CBD oil.


Now that you know how to take CBD oil, you can go right ahead and start enjoying the benefits of CBD. However, if you do not begin by first getting the right CBD oil vendor, this whole learning process may be essentially futile. 

By considering all the steps mentioned in this article, you should be able to find the right CBD oil and administer it appropriately for the best effects. Remember to always consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating CBD oil into your wellness routine.

Here at Releaf, we provide an all-in-one medicinal cannabis service for UK residents. The first step is to have an initial consultation with one of our physicians. Our doctors are not only registered to prescribe medical cannabis, but they also have deep knowledge and experience in this particular field. If the doctor does find that you are eligible for a medicinal cannabis prescription, they will talk you through all the options to help you find the best solution for you. With Releaf, you can be assured of getting the right CBD oil for your particular needs, and that it comes from only the most trusted vendors. 

Don't let the stigma surrounding medical cannabis prevent you from getting a suitable treatment. Releaf provides tailored monthly packages, specialist consultations for medical cannabis, and a unique medical cannabis card for protection, all based on your medical cannabis prescription.

It is important to seek medical advice before starting any new treatments. The patient advisors at Releaf are available to provide expert advice and support. Alternatively, click here to book a consultation with one of our specialist doctors.

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