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adding cbd to breakfast

How to take CBD products: 11 ways

25 Aug 2022 • 8 min read


Whether you’ve heard all about CBD oil and would like to try it for yourself, or you’re simply CBD-curious, you’ve come to the right place.

Not sure how you can use it? Wondering whether you have to drop it into your mouth? Or if there are other ways to get your dose of CBD? Thankfully, there are!

From classic CBD mouth drops, to food enhancers, drinks, supplements, cosmetics and readymade food products enriched with CBD, there are a variety of ways to take it so everyone can find one that they like.

In this guide we will run through all the different ways you can consume CBD oil, as well as the different benefits for each method.

Hopefully, this will help you decide to-CBD or not-to-CBD and how it may be able to help you – let’s get started!

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What is CBD?

Starting off with the basics, what is CBD? Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a purified extract derived from the hemp plant. Not to be confused with the marijuana that some people smoke, CBD oil is legal and contains very little of the ‘psychoactive’ compound THC.

The hemp cultivated for CBD oil will always be high-CBD and low-THC. With THC only present in trace amounts, this allows the users to enjoy CBD without the psychoactive intoxication that THC is associated with.

What is CBD used for?

When we take a CBD product, it interacts with out endocannabinoid system – that’s right, we already have a natural system for these endocannabinoids to interact with! In human and other mammal bodies, this physiological system is made up of millions of CB1 and CB2 receptor sites.1

11 of the best ways to use CBD

CBD comes in a variety of formats, so you should be able to find one that can work for you. Whether it’s straight-up CBD oil you’re interested in or balms, capsules or beauty products, read about them, our top product picks and how they work below.

  1. CBD Oil

Prefer to keep it simple? CBD oil is likely the easiest to get your hands on and perhaps the simplest to use. Investing in a good CBD oil also gives you maximum versatility and is often the cheapest option.

The brand and product type will dictate how many drops or the dosage (e.g. 2ml) per day it is recommended that your take.

It is usually taken under the tongue to help absorption. This could make it somewhat difficult for some people to swallow, so if you have a sensitive palate, a different method could be better for you!

You can fully control the dose, adding it to food, cosmetics, drinks and even just massaging it into your skin.

Holistic Herb Premium CBD Oil – Single Strength

Key features

  • This fast-acting unique micro-emulsified CBD reaches the bloodstream complete as it doesn’t degrade in the stomach
  • 100% free of the psychoactive compound THC
  • This CBD oil is a low dosage (1.4mg of regular CBD per oil, per drop), so may be beneficial to first-time users to try out and build on

What our customers think:

Maxx – A cut above the rest – 5/5 stars

“I really noticed a difference in how the product works for me because of the way Holistic Herb focuses on bioavailability. What a game changer!”

  1. CBD Balm

Give your muscles some CBD-enriched goodness by using CBD muscle balm.

Many product manufacturers recommend that CBD balms are best used when massaged into the skin…

When used like this, it may cause pleasant warming and cooling sensations. Give your muscles some CBD-enriched goodness by massaging in a soothing CBD muscle balm.

Holland & Barrett CBD Muscle Balm Extra

Key features

  • 100% natural ingredients + premium CBD extract
  • Extra strength
  • Helps create warming and cooling sensations when massaged into skin

What our customers think:

Aira239 – Wonderful Cream. – 5/5 stars

“This is my third purchase of this Fabulous cream. Am Very happy with my purchase .”

Kasia a in a j – Smells good!! – 5/5 stars

“Nice product will buy it again”

  1. CBD Beauty Products

In a very similar way to CBD balms, the CBD in cosmetic products like CBD-enriched moisturisers, serums and facial oils gets absorbed through the skin.

There are lots of CBD skincare products currently on the market. Sound like your kind of thing? Read more about that here: Is CBD oil your secret beauty weapon?

You can enjoy the following CBD-enriched creams and other skincare formulations:

Holland & Barrett CBD Serum

Key features

  • Super concentrated CBD with a light texture
  • Very moisturising
  • Helps regulate the skin’s natural oil production so you can reach a healthy balance
  • Vegan friendly

What our customers think:

Iyabo - Holland & Barrett’s CBD Serum – 5/5 stars

“This CBD serum is a dream! I enjoy using it everyday. It’s the best serum ever!!!”

Lauren – Love it – 5/5 stars

“I have never used a product so hydrating. It has removed the redness from my face and my skin is so soft.”

Holland & Barrett CBD Night Cream

Key features:

  • Enriched with highly moisturising shea butter, CBD and hemp seed oils
  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Vegan friendly

What our customers think:

Melissa H – Excellent – 5/5 stars

“I absolutely love this product. Most night creams are too oily for me and I wake up with a super shiny face, not with this. It’s so thick and creamy and soaks in so nicely. Will definitely purchase again.”

Katies25 – CBD Night Cream – 5/5 stars

“This cream is wonderful and hydrating. It leaves my skin feeling moisturised but not oily like some night creams. It absorbs into the skin well and doesn’t leave a residue. Perfect if you have oily or sensitive skin like me.”

  1. CBD Capsules

Are you a traditionalist at heart? Just want to take your CBD quickly, easily and just forget about it? Good old capsules could be for you!

CBD capsules are a great option for people who don’t get on with the earthy taste of CBD oil. They usually contain similar recommended dosages to CBD oils, so you can use them in the same way.

Some CBD capsules also contain added vitamins and nutrients, e.g. B vitamins, so you can enjoy additional health benefits with your dose of CBD.

If you don’t mind swallowing them, then CBD capsules are a convenient and often cost-effective way to get your daily CBD.

Love Hemp CBD 1200mg

Key features:

  • Made from premium water-soluble hemp extract for optimum bio-availability
  • 100% HC Free
  • Vegan friendly and gluten free

What our customers think:

ChocolateWoman – CBD love hemp – 5/5 stars

“They are very good, I was surprised to discover that they have powder instead of liquid cbd. But they are really great, I'm so glad they are suitable for vegans! Really good tablets.”

  1. CBD Gummies

In the same way as CBD capsules do, CBD gummies take away the sometimes-unpalatable taste of CBD without taking away any of the benefits. If anything, CBD gummies take it one step further, with their fruity flavours.

They’re great for travelling too, as you can take them without a drink.

Starpowa CBD 15mg Apple Flavoured Gummies

Key features:

  • Contains 15mg of premium CBD oil per gummy
  • THC free
  • No added sugar
  • Vegan friendly

What our customers think:

AndreaPandy90 - Love these – 5/5 stars

“I love these cbd gummies. They taste amazing and don’t have a bad smell, like some other gummies that I have tried.”

  1. CBD Oral Sprays

Quick, simple oral sprays are also an option when it comes to taking CBD. Most have a pleasant flavour or are flavourless – ticking the ‘I don’t like the taste of hemp’ box. In addition, some of them also contain vitamins and other nutrients so you can enjoy even more benefits with each spray.

As it is administered onto the tongue via spray, this CBD will enter your bloodstream faster than capsules and edibles, as they don’t have to pass through the digestive system. 

You don’t need a drink to ‘wash them down’ either, making CBD sprays perfect for travelling. It’s also great for just popping in your bag and using it while you’re out and about at work, at the gym, shopping etc. and you can get flavoured ones to freshen your breath at the same time – woo!

Love Hemp 300mg CBD Spray

 Key features:

  • 10mg of CBD per serving (188 sprays per bottle)
  • Contains a full spectrum of natural cannabinoids, phytonutrients and terpenes
  • 100% THC free
  • Suitable for vegans

What our customers think:

James77 – I tried all of them and this is the best – 5/5 stars

“I have tried the entire range of CBD products stocked at H&B. I have tried all the different brands a lot of them were either very weak or seemed to have no CBD content whatsoever! Especially the cheaper ones. You honestly pay for what you get - and the Love Hemp range does not disappoint. I wouldn’t bother getting any other brand - trust me I have tried all of them.”

Love Hemp 1200mg CBD Spray - Peppermint

Key features:

  • Strong dose of 1200mg of premium CBD hemp extract per bottle
  • 100% THC free and non-psychoactive
  • Breath-freshening peppermint flavour to keep you smelling minty fresh on the go while you enjoy the benefits of CBD
  • Comes in a recyclable glass bottle
  • Suitable for vegans

What our customers think:

Mb19 – Better than others – 5/5 stars

“Taste is great and works very well! Much better than others”

  1. CBD Food Enhancers

One of the easiest ways to add more CBD to your day is to use a CBD food enhancer.

You can add a few drops to your favourite foods and drinks! Here’s a few foodie inspo tips on how to take CBD oil drops:

  • Cake mixtures
  • Cookie batters
  • Tea or coffee
  • Protein shakes
  • Yoghurt and granola
  • Honey
  • Butter
  • Smoothies
  • Soups
  • Pasta sauces
  • Pancakes
  • Peanut butter and other nut butter

AddCBD Food Enhancer

  • Key features:

  • The most flexible way to ‘Add CBD’ into your day
  • Enjoy your favourite foods while enjoying CBD
  • Simply use the pipette to ‘Add CBD’ easily to foods and drinks

What our customers think:

Zaza134 - Fantastic value for money and doesn’t taste bad – 5/5 stars

“I picked this up in the sale and I’m delighted, easy to use and no nasty taste.”

  1. CBD Cosmetic Enhancers

​​​​If you already have a day cream you swear by or even a full beauty regime you have perfected for your skin type, you may be hesitant to switch brands for a bit of CBD.

The good news is you don’t have to with CBD cosmetic enhancers.

You simply add drops of the CBD-enriched formula to your regular beauty products, e.g. face moisturising cream.

AddCBD Cosmetic Enhancer, 2000mg

  • Key features:

  • Allows you to enhance your favourite cosmetic products with CBD
  • Easy to use, simply drop into your existing cosmetics and use as normal
  • Add to hand cream, face wash, muscle balm, overnight masks, body oils, massage oils, and so much more
  • Vegan friendly
  • 200mg of CBD per ml

What our customers think:

Tracey – Great product – 5/5 stars

“This is genius. Add to your existing creams and potions for the added effects of CBD oil.”

Try adding it to some homemade cosmetics, like:

  1. CBD Soft Drinks

You can enjoy your daily dose of CBD in a tasty drink if you wish!

Enjoying it in a drink can make it less of a chore and more of an excuse to pause and enjoy a delish drink, that also happens to enrich your body with CBD.

Choose from non-alcoholic cocktail mixers and fruity, juicy little numbers to adding a CBD drinks enhancer into your favourite drinks.

TRIP Elderflower Mint CBD Drink 250ml

  • Key features:

  • Shot your CBD before you leave the house in the morning or on the go
  • Contains 15mg of CBD per drink
  • Flavoured with elderflower and mint
  • Vegan friendly
  • Served in recyclable cans

What our customers think:

Cheryl - Trip Elderflower and mint cbd infused drink – 5/5 stars

“Great alternative to alcohol, very refreshing and great way to relax”

Sarah – Tasty & relaxing – 5/5 stars

“Our favourite flavour of the Trip drinks. The mint tastes fresh and natural. Very relaxing sensation for an hour or so afterwards.”

Want to make your own CBD drink? Here’s a recipe for a Green Avocado, Spirulina & CBD Smoothie.

  1. CBD Coffee

Do you love to welcome the day with an energising yet relaxing cup of coffee?

Now you can add the benefits of CBD to your morning routine with CBD coffee.

It’s usually made the same as your regular coffee is – with coffee beans – and simply enriched with CBD oil or extract to add that little something extra into the classic cup.

Cheerful Buddha CBD Coffee

  • Key features:

  • Made with luxurious Rainforest Alliance Arabica Colombian coffee beans
  • Infused with organic UK hemp-derived ‘broad spectrum’ CBD
  • Delicious and smooth tasting, with approximately 10mg of CBD a cup

What our customers think:

Brookd – Not wired afterwards – 5/5 stars

“I don’t drink coffee very often as it can make me feel all wired.... this still gives a nice coffee hit but without the unwanted after effects”

  1. CBD Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is big in the food and beauty world already for its healthy fats and skin-moisturising properties – and now you can get one with added CBD!

Use this super natural blend to:

  • Bake cakes and cookies, like these 5 vegan cake recipes using coconut oil
  • Make date and coconut energy balls
  • Sauté fresh veggies
  • Spread on toast or crackers
  • Soothe and hydrate dry skin
  • Make a nourishing hair mask
  • Makeup remover
  • Massage oil

Vita Coco CBD Infused Coconut Oil

  • Key features:

  • Each tub contains 250mg of premium CBD from broad spectrum hemp extract
  • Organic virgin coconut oil
  • Can be used on the skin or used in cooking/baking/meals
  • A very versatile way to add CBD into your day – we doubt you’d get bored with all the possibilities!

What our customers think:

Aly91 – WHAT A PRODUCT! – 5/5 stars

“This product had me sceptical at first, but the quality is exceptional! I use it sparingly but its smooth..Bought it as s gift also, person loved it !”

Shezbox46 – Great coconut oil – 5/5 stars

“This is my first jar and I love it, my skin is smooth after rubbing it in. Use sparingly and it lasts ages.”

How to take CBD oil

CBD oil with food

Taking your CBD oil with food can improve its bioavailability – the rate and degree that a substance is absorbed and sent to the bloodstream.2

What’s more, choosing to take your CBD oil when consuming certain food types can improve the bioavailability of CBD compounds even more.

Some of the best foods to eat alongside taking CBD oil is medium-chain and long-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids ‘bind’ to the cannabinoids before they reach the liver (with less CBD concentration loss), where they get metabolised instantly together – ready for your body to put to work straight away.3

Studies have been conducted to test the link between fatty foods and how bioavailable CBD supplements can be. They found that eating fatty foods alongside supplementing CBD may ‘substantially increase the systemic exposure to orally administered cannabis-based medicines.’4

Here are some of the best foods to eat in conjunction with supplementing CBD:

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Fish
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Meat

You could easily combine some of those ingredients to make a healthy, CBD-friendly meal that helps you make the most of your supplements.

Try making a hearty guacamole with olive oil, avocado, tomatoes, onion and garlic. Or why not treat yourself to some coconut oil in your morning fruit smoothie to get your day started off right.

CBD oil for pets

Some CBD is specially formulated for pets so that they can feel the natural benefits too. Always make sure to find a pet-friendly product and consult your vet before administering, though!

Do you swallow CBD oil?

Place CBD oil under the tongue and let it sit for around a minute to let it absorb before swallowing.

You may want to have a nice tasting drink ready as the taste is not pleasant for most!

How much CBD oil should a person start with?

The general rule is to start off slowly with a low dose and gradually build up to a higher one if your body needs it – this way you can monitor how it affects your body and make sure it is a positive experience for you.

You should also always check with your GP that CBD oil is safe to take alongside any regular medication you may be taking.

How do you take CBD oil at home?

Choose how you want to take your CBD oil, e.g. food enhancement drops, capsules, coffee or even chocolate and follow the manufacturer's recommendations.

It may be useful to try out a few CBD formats to find out which one works best for you and your lifestyle.

What is the difference between CBD% and mg?

CBD% refers to the amount of CBD compared to other ingredients, e.g. a 10ml bottle of CBD oil with approximately 275mg per bottle could be sold as 2.75% strength CBD.

CBDmg refers to the total amount of CBD in the products, e.g. that same 10ml bottle of CBD could also be sold as CBD oil – 275mg.

Most manufacturers provide both strength indicators, but a little maths could be your friend if not and you want to compare.

Read more about it here: How much CBD should I take?

A final note

Everybody is different - some products will suit you nicely, and others will not work for you and your lifestyle.

We recommend seeking the advice of a medical professional before you decide to supplement CBD oil for the best advice.

Last updated: 24 August 2022

Here at H&B, we only sell CBD that meets our highest standards for purity, quality, and safety, as backed by leading trade associations (HFMA & EIHA) and expert laboratories so you can find the CBD you can trust. And in the format, flavour and strength you want too.
The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.




Author: Bhupesh PanchalSenior Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: Apr 2019

Masters Degree in Toxicology and BSc Hons in Medical Biochemistry

Bhupesh started his career as a Clinical Toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products.

After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.

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