CBD Beginners Guide – How To Get Started With CBD Oil

If you’re just starting your CBD journey, then you’re likely a little confused about how to get started. The terminology can be confusing and the choices available to you can be overwhelming. The purpose of this guide to CBD for beginners is to provide you with a step-by-step guide to getting started with CBD products.

Let’s start out by saying that no one can guarantee that CBD products will work for you. CBD is not a “miracle cure-all.” But it can be an effective supplement and another “tool in the toolbox” to achieve wellness.

It’s likely that finding the right type, brand and dosage for you will take some experimentation. Taking some time to get educated now can increase your chances of success in a shorter time frame.

STEP 1: Decide what type of CBD product is right for you

CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant. CBD products with more than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) is considered to be from marijuana. CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC is considered to be derived from hemp

Hemp-derived CBD products can be purchased online and in some local stores. If you’ve decided to try hemp-derived CBD oil, you first need to decide whether you want a product that is: (a) full spectrum, (b) broad spectrum or (c) isolate.

Full spectrum CBD products (also known as “whole-plant” products) typically include all the naturally-occurring cannabinoids and terpenes. They include trace amounts of THC (up to the 0.3% legal limit).

Broad spectrum products include other cannabinoids and terpenes in addition to CBD but have undetectable levels of THC. Isolate products are from pure CBD so do not have any other cannabinoids or terpenes.

The majority of users prefer full spectrum but there is no “right” choice for everyone. Those who are subject to drug testing or have an aversion to THC tend to first try “broad spectrum” or “isolate” products since they do not contain detectable levels of THC based on the manufacturer’s lab testing.

CBD products with more than 0.3% THC cannot be legally purchased online. You need to live in or visit a medical marijuana state and be certified to purchase from a licensed dispensary of cannabis products. Dispensary employees are usually very knowledgeable and can help guide those looking for higher THC products.

STEP 2: How do you want to take CBD?

You have several options in terms of how you take CBD oil. These include sublingual drops (tinctures), gummies, capsules, vaping, and topicals (creams, balms, salves).

Sublingual drops (tinctures) that you place and hold under your tongue are the most common method. Tinctures are popular because they allow for precise dosing, have good absorption rates, and are generally the most cost-effective way of taking CBD.

Gummies and capsules are popular because of their convenience and easier dosage measurement. However, they have lower absorption rates than tinctures. So you may have to take more milligrams of CBD versus using tinctures.

Topical creams, balms and salves are applied directly to the skin and are intended for more localized relief.

There is no “best” way to taking CBD for everyone. They each have their advantages and disadvantages so it’s really more of a personal preference.

STEP 3: How to you choose a company to order from?

If you ask 10 people to tell you the best CBD brand, you are likely to get 10 different answers. There are literally thousands of companies that are currently selling CBD products online. 

To help those who are overwhelmed by the number of choices, we maintain a short list of the best CBD oil brands based on our research. These brands have been vetted for product quality, customer service and feedback from users.

If you’re unsure where to start, our CBD product finder can help you choose a brand and product based on your needs.

Looking for CBD products for dogs and other pets? Our Complete Guide to CBD Oil for Dogs answers frequently asked questions by pet owners.

A few do’s and don’ts when buying CBD products online:

  • DO only buy from a company that provides third party lab reports. Reputable companies make third party lab reports readily available to consumers. If a company won’t provide third party lab reports, then you really have no idea what’s in their product.
  • DON’T pick a brand based on the recommendation of one person on social media. There are many multi-level marketing brands being sold by online “brand ambassadors.” Some of them are known to make inflated claims and personal testimonials to sell their products. Be wary of claims that sound too good to be true.
  • DO your own research and read reviews of different brands before choosing a brand. There is NO brand that works for everyone. Go with the brand that feels right for you and your situation.
  • DO consider buying a sample size of CBD oil before you commit to a larger purchase. Quality CBD products aren’t cheap. So getting a sample bottle of CBD oil can give you the chance to see if that brand works for you without breaking the bank.
  • DO check to see if there is a coupon code for the brand that you choose. This is an easy way to get a significant discount on your purchase just by entering a coupon code at checkout. We keep a current list of CBD coupon codes for all major brands.

STEP 4: Find your “sweet spot” dosage

After you buy a CBD product that seems right for you, it’s time to start taking it. The importance of finding the right dosage level cannot be overstated. If you take too little, you won’t feel any effects. If you take too much, you may experience negative side effects.

Be sure to read our CBD Dosage Guide before getting started. 

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Other Frequently Asked Questions 

How can I compare prices across brands?

CBD oil products come in different bottle sizes and concentrations. This can make it confusing to compare prices across different brands. The correct way to do this comparison is on a price per milligram of CBD basis.

To do this, you simply divide the price of the product by the number of milligrams of CBD in the product. This allows you to an apples-to-apples comparison across brands. It also allows you to see how much you can save by buying a larger bottle or higher concentration.

Our CBD oil price comparison calculator can help you do this calculation. We have charts that compare prices for CBD products for all major brands.

Which brands have the strongest CBD oils?

The strength or potency of a CBD product is expressed as the number of milligrams of CBD per milliliter. So a 30 milliliter bottle with 1000 milligrams  of CBD (33 mg/ml) has twice the potency of a 30 milliliter bottle with 500 milligrams (17 mg/ml). 

Your choice of potency is usually based on how much CBD that you will be taking. Beginners typically start with a lower potency (20 mg/ml or less) product and then may move up to higher potency (50 mg/ml or more) products in the future if needed.

Our guide to the strongest CBD oils will help you understand potency and why it matters.

Let Us Know What You Think

We hope that our CBD Beginners Guide has been helpful for you and that it helps you find the CBD products that are right for you. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Best of luck on your CBD journey!

2 Comments
  1. Great website! Lots of good information. And I like that you vet the products.

  2. Very informative, I learned a few things

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