Cannabis has been used medically by humans for thousands of years but it is only recently that it’s use has gained widespread acceptance in the medical community. Now that the medical benefits of the plant have been fully recognized, attention has turned to identifying and isolating the specific compounds which reside in the plant and contribute to its medicinal properties.

Among the most prominent and promising of these is cannabidiol  which is now believed to be responsible for the majority of the positive medical effects of cannabis. CBD possesses numerous properties which make it an ideal candidate for further research, for example it is an incredibly safe and well tolerated compound, so much so that an overdose level has not yet been established in humans.

Medicinal preparations of cannabis come in a number of different forms, in some cases it is specific molecules which are extracted for the final product. A large number of products also contain THC, unlike CBD THC is psychoactive, meaning it causes a high in humans. Because of its psychoactive properties THC is not as widely used in medicine and many extracts favor CBD over THC, the exact ratio between these two compounds in a particular preparation will depend on the production method and the intended purpose of the product.

Another advantage of CBD is that there are a number of different ways that it can be consumed by patients. While vaping has proven to be the most popular route thus far, it is by no means the only option available.


Tinctures use a solvent, such as alcohol or glycerin, as a carrier in which CBD is dissolved. Tinctures tend to be less concentrated than oil which allows for much more precise dosage control. Tinctures come in bottles with a dropper built in to them and are designed to be administered in doses measured in individual drops.

Tinctures are easy to produce and there a number of guides available for producing them yourself. CMB, and full spectrum cannabis extract tinctures, can be mixed in with food or drink or dropped directly on to the tongue and swallowed.


Edibles refer to any food in to which CBD, or a CBD preparation has been mixed. Edibles are an effective way of absorbing it and when compared to oils, tinctures, and other liquid based preparations, they allow for the compounds to be released more slowly in to the body as the food is broken down and digested. You can read more about what CBD edibles are available here.


CBD oil can be directly extracted from certain strains of cannabis which contain a high level of the compound. If you prefer organic products then you should check beforehand which method was used to produce any oil you are considering buying. Organic CBD oil is extracted using a combination of CO2 and a high-pressure environment, although ethanol and coconut oil are also sometimes used.

CBD oil can either be consumed directly, or is sometimes put into capsules to allow for easy, controlled, and discreet dosing throughout the day. When purchasing pre-made edibles from a dispensary they are usually prepared using CBD oil and the pure oil can be easily and simply mixed in to food or drink.

Topical Products

Topical CBD products are designed to be applied directly to the skin and, by being dissolved in particular carrier substances, are then absorbed. Topical CBD preparations are well suited to ailments which effect a specific part of the body, they are therefore popular for pain management because of their anti-inflammatory properties. Another common use for topical CBD preparations is as a treatment for arthritis and other forms of joint pain.

Sublingual Preparations

Sublingual cannabis preparations are concentrated tinctures which are designed to be sprayed in to the mouth where they are absorbed through the gums and tongue. Usually sublingual sprays are of a higher concentration than the tinctures but are not as strong as oils.

There are a multitude of ways that CBD can be administered to patients and this is one of its strongest strengths as a medicine. Vaping remains the most popular option for the self-administration of CBD containing products but patients should educate themselves as much as possible on what the other potential routes of administration are.

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