CBD Oil: Ingestion vs Topical Application

CBD Oil: Ingestion vs Topical Application

CBD oil has become a popular natural remedy for various health conditions, including anxiety, chronic pain, and inflammation.

However, there are different ways to consume CBD oil, and the two most common methods are ingestion and topical application.

While both methods offer their unique benefits, it’s essential to understand the pros and cons of each to determine which one is best for you.

Pros and Cons of Ingesting CBD Oil

Ingesting CBD oil is the most common method of consumption and involves swallowing the oil directly or mixing it with food or drinks.

One of the primary benefits of ingestion is that it offers systemic relief, meaning it affects the entire body.

This method is also convenient and discreet, as it can be incorporated into your daily routine easily.

However, it may take longer for the effects to kick in since the oil has to pass through the digestive system before reaching the bloodstream.

Additionally, the bioavailability of CBD oil when ingested is lower than when applied topically, which means that not all of the CBD reaches the bloodstream.


  • Systemic relief
  • Convenient and discreet
  • Easy to incorporate into daily routine


  • Slower onset of effects
  • Lower bioavailability
  • May cause gastrointestinal issues

Pros and Cons of Applying CBD Oil Topically

Topical application involves applying CBD oil directly to the skin, where it can be absorbed locally without entering the bloodstream.

This method is beneficial for targeting specific areas of pain or inflammation, such as sore muscles, arthritis, or skin conditions.

The effects of topical application are quicker than ingestion, and it has a higher bioavailability since the CBD is absorbed directly into the skin.

However, it may not offer systemic relief, and it may be less convenient to apply than ingestion.


  • Quick onset of effects
  • Higher bioavailability
  • Targeted relief for specific areas


  • May not offer systemic relief
  • Less convenient to apply
  • May cause skin irritation or allergic reactions

Which Method Works Best for You?

The method of CBD oil consumption that works best for you depends on your individual needs and preferences.

If you’re looking for systemic relief for conditions such as anxiety or insomnia, ingestion may be the best option.

On the other hand, if you’re targeting specific areas of pain or inflammation, topical application may be more effective.

It’s also worth considering the potential side effects of each method, such as gastrointestinal issues with ingestion or skin irritation with topical application.

Maximizing the Benefits of CBD Oil

Regardless of the method of consumption, there are several ways to maximize the benefits of CBD oil.

It’s essential to start with a low dosage and gradually increase it until you achieve the desired effects.

It’s also crucial to choose high-quality CBD oil from reputable sources and to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Additionally, incorporating other healthy lifestyle habits, such as exercise and a balanced diet, can enhance the effects of CBD oil.

Why Topical CBD Oil May Be the Better Option

While both ingestion and topical application offer their unique benefits, topical CBD oil may be the better option for several reasons.

For one, it has a higher bioavailability, meaning that more of the CBD is absorbed into the body.

Additionally, it offers targeted relief for specific areas of pain or inflammation, which may be more effective than systemic relief for certain conditions.

Finally, topical application may have fewer potential side effects than ingestion, making it a safer option for some individuals.


Is it safe to ingest CBD oil?

Yes, CBD oil is generally safe to ingest, but it may cause gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, diarrhea, or abdominal pain in some individuals.

Can you apply CBD oil topically for anxiety or depression?

While topical application may help with localized pain or inflammation, it may not be as effective for conditions such as anxiety or depression that require systemic relief.

Ingestion may be a better option for these conditions.

Can you combine ingestion and topical application of CBD oil?

Yes, it’s possible to combine ingestion and topical application of CBD oil for maximum benefits.

However, it’s important to start with a low dosage and consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.