What CBD Is Right For Me? How To Choose The Product For Our Needs 2023

Reviewed by Elizabeth Gonzalez Cueto, MD

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what cbd is right for me

The CBD industry is becoming a hot topic as marijuana–both medical and recreational–gains increased acceptance. The market’s been flooded with all sorts of CBD oils and products with all sorts of purposes, from sleep to pain relief. It’s all pretty new, and with an influx of new products, you might be wondering, what CBD is right for me?

We’ll break that down for you in this article. We’ll start with some background on CBD and CBD oils, break down the various CBD products, and its uses.

What Is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, an organic compound found in the marijuana plant extract, which is a member of the hemp plant family. Along with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), they’re the main active ingredients in marijuana plants. THC is famously known as the psychoactive compound that induces a high from marijuana, with the trademark red eyes and relaxation.

CBD’s effects are still being studied. More research is needed, but hemp-derived CBD extracts may have a beneficial effect on anxiety, epilepsy, and possibly pain relief. CBD extract can be taken as a capsule or gummy, vaped or inhaled as CBD oil, or applied as topical cream.

How Does CBD Oil Work?

We’ll explain the mechanism of action later, but essentially all CBD products–from CBD capsules to oils–work the same. They enter the bloodstream from the lungs or digestive system, and then act on your nerves and brain, where they alleviate pain, anxiety, and other symptoms.

what cbd is right for me

Types Of CBD

We mentioned that there were several different types of CBD products. But there’s also several types of CBD too. Companies produce everything from pure CBD isolate to full and broad spectrum. Here’s what that means. Note that these are general definitions, and each manufacturer’s formulation might be slightly different.

Full Spectrum

Full spectrum CBD means it contains all of the compounds found in marijuana and hemp oil. This includes CBD as well as THC for maximum therapeutic effect. 

Because of the inclusion of THC (sometimes in trace amounts), users may test positive in drug tests.

Broad Spectrum

Although it sounds similar to full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD is different. It too includes many of the different organic compounds and other cannabinoids from hemp oil, but without THC. This provides the benefits of CBD, without introducing THC.


CBD isolate is just what it says. It’s pure CBD, in its purest form.

Health Benefits Of CBD Oil

The health benefits of CBD oil are still being considered. Current research suggests that appropriate doses of CBD can help with chronic pain, epilepsy,  and anxiety. However, there are multiple types and causes of pain and anxiety, and more research must be done before we can say for sure. We must also do more studies to differentiate between pure and broad spectrum CBD product effects and potential benefits.

How To Choose Your Ideal CBD Product?

There are many, many different types of  CBD products available, and they vary considerably. Some of proprietary extraction methods, some formulations include other compounds, and so. It can make choosing one for your ideal needs difficult. Here are our recommendations to simplify choosing the best CBD product for your needs.

Onset Time Considerations

The route of taking CBD plays a big part in how quickly the effects kick in. Oral CBD in the form of capsules, gummies, or edibles will take a few hours before you can feel their effects. Conversely, inhaling CBD or CBD oil products placed under the tongue can enter the bloodstream immediately, so their effects are rapid.

Bioavailability Considerations

Just because a drug, whether it’s CBD or prescription drugs, enters your bloodstream, doesn’t mean all of it takes effect. Your liver is responsible for breaking down drugs, and then excreting them.

Drugs are broken down more quickly when taken orally, because they reach the liver quicker. This can have a substantial effect on CBD potency. Inhaled drugs have greater bioavailability because they bypass the liver initially, so CBD potency of these products are often higher. Local products like CBD bath bombs and lotions will mostly absorb in the skin, and have low bioavailability elsewhere.

Lifestyle Considerations

The best CBD product is the one that fits your lifestyle the best. For instance, some with chronic digestive problems may not tolerate edible CBD products. Or, patients with lung disease may not tolerate inhaled CBD.

Use Considerations

There are several considerations to keep in mind when selecting a CBD product. First is the dosage: many CBD companies sell products with a different CBD concentration. Some people are less sensitive than others to CBD, and may require a smaller amount of CBD for therapeutic effect. 

Additionally, some CBD brands may contain traces of THC, especially full spectrum products. These can potentially cause users to test positive if drug-tested. A CBD tincture may contain traces of alcohol, another thing to keep in mind.

Serving Size Considerations

Serving size varies depending on the dosage, concentration, body weight, and type of CBD product. CBD oil drops may be more potent and rapid than CBD gummies, for example, so their serving size will typically be smaller. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how much CBD you ought to take,  and monitor your CBD intake for adverse effects. 

How To Shop For CBD?

The CBD market is on fire–you’re spoiled for choice to buy CBD oil and products. Many companies sell their products directly to consumers online. There are some companies that also operate brick and mortar stores, depending on the legality of marijuana products in your location. 

Check The COA

Always buy CBD products sold with a COA–a certificate of analysis. It’s a seal from the manufacturer and a third party testing that verifies the product is legitimate and was produced properly.

Check For FDA Warning Letters Or Lawsuits

You can research most companies online to see if the FDA has taken action against them. It’s a good idea to see if there’s a warning or lawsuit against them; any legal action signifies the FDA has suspicions about their product or contest their health claims.

Check The Brand’s Reputation And Customer Reviews

This is good practice with any product. Be sure to read the company and online manufacturer website–most of them will happily post reviews and testimonials from customers.

How To Use CBD?

The use really depends on why you’re taking CBD. If it’s for pain or epilepsy, you might take a standard dose every day. If it’s for something like anxiety or stress, you might take it as needed. Consult a doctor’s advice before starting any CBD products, especially if you have a chronic or serious medical condition.

What Strength CBD Oil is Right for Me?

This varies between CBD users, because cbd affects everyone differently. The best strategy is to start with a lower strength, and work your way up to a CBD strength that works for you. 

CBD Safety And Side Effects

In general, CBD products that are properly manufactured and taken in their recommended, optimal dosage are generally regarded as safe. More scientific research must be done to discover any long term effects. Be sure to listen to your body, and discontinue any CBD use and consult with your doctor immediately. Remember, the drug is no substitute for prescription medication as well.


CBD infused products are hot right now. They may hold some promise in helping certain medical conditions and in recreation, but more research must be done to definitively say. Still, they’re generally regarded as safe, and are fine to try with the clearance of a doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I take broad spectrum CBD oil? Full spectrum CBD oil? Or CBD isolate product?

It really depends on your situation. Full spectrum CBD contains traces of THC, the ingredient commonly found in medical marijuana. While some CBD users may find THC to help as well, they can test positive in a drug test, depending on THC concentrations. For this reason, pure or broad spectrum CBD oil is recommended.

Can you mix CBD oils with other oils?

CBD oil  is often dissolved in a carrier oil like lavender, almond, or olive oil when used in lotions and creams. Pure CBD oil can be mixed with essential oils for fragrance or MCT oil, but inhaling or ingesting it in those oils is not recommended.

How long do CBD products last for?

It depends on the product. CBD oil may be light-sensitive, so it’s sold in tinted bottles. Oral CBD products are usually shelf-stable.

+ 4 sources

MIDSS adheres to strict procurement guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutes, and medical associations. We work mainly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure the accuracy of the information. We avoid the use of tertiary references. You can read about how we ensure the accuracy and timeliness of our content in our editorial process.

  1. Larsen, C. and Shahinas, J. (2020). Dosage, Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol Administration in Adults: A Systematic Review of Human Trials. Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, [online] 12(3), pp.129–141. doi:10.14740/jocmr4090.
  2. Meissner, H. and Cascella, M. (2022). Cannabidiol (CBD). [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK556048/#:~:text=CBD%20reduces%20seizures%20and%20increases,greater%20reduction%20in%20seizure%20frequency.
  3. Rapin, L., Gamaoun, R., El Hage, C., Arboleda, M.F. and Prosk, E. (2021). Cannabidiol use and effectiveness: real-world evidence from a Canadian medical cannabis clinic. Journal of Cannabis Research, [online] 3(1). doi:10.1186/s42238-021-00078-w.
  4. Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H. and Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal, [online] 23(1). doi:10.7812/tpp/18-041.


Conor Prendergast, MD
Medical Student
Conor is a 2nd-year medical student with a strong interest in creative writing, copywriting, and business. He is passionate about scientific and medical literacy, as well as innovating in the field of medical technology. In addition to becoming a doctor, one of his great goals is to write a novel that becomes adapted into a movie.


Elizabeth Gonzalez Cueto, MD
Medical Doctor & Medical Writer
My name is Elizabeth and I am a Medical Doctor (MBBS) with experience as a medical and research article writer, reviewer and proofreader. I have worked for the American Journal of Case Reports, the Medical Science Monitor, and Pacific Medical Training as a medical article reviewer and writer. Besides, I have worked as a medical interpreter and translator for Angel City research and SC3 Research group as a medical research assistant for several clinical trials. My academic background includes many international scientific environments like Oxford University, United Kingdom. Hannover Medical School, the University of Tours, France. the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico.

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