Your Guide to Using Hemp-Derived CBD Oil
Vitamins & Supplements
Your Guide to Using Hemp-Derived CBD Oil
Lindsey Toth, MS, RD • June 19, 2019

When it comes to learning about CBD hemp extract and figuring out the best ways to integrate it into your wellness routine, the research process can be a long one. Once you understand what it is, how it interacts with your body and the various forms it can take, you then have to learn how to actually use it. (Spoiler alert: There isn’t one right way.) So we made this guide to simplify the process and help make it easier for you to integrate CBD hemp extract into your life.

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How to Use CBD Oil

One of the most common methods of ingesting CBD hemp extract is via a hemp-derived CBD oil tincture. The receptors in your endocannabinoid system rely on lipid-derived messengers—fat-based phytocannabinoids, endocannabinoids and cannabinoids—to function properly.1 It's common for manufacturers to pair CBD hemp extract with a healthier oil like coconut oil or olive oil, which provides the additional benefits of energizing medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) or heart- and brain-healthy essential fatty acids and other nutrients.

Read Be Fat Fluent to learn more about the benefits of adding healthier fats and oils to your nutrition routine.

How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?

Different hemp-derived CBD oil products can contain various amounts of CBD. Products can contain anywhere from 3 to 50 milligrams of CBD hemp extract per serving. Yes, that’s quite a range because the amount of CBD hemp extract that people take as part of their daily wellness routine can vary greatly. It will take a little experimentation to find the dosage that works best for you. Usually, if you’ve never tried CBD hemp extract before, the best way to start is to try a lower quantity first, see how you feel and then gradually make adjustments as you see fit.

Most hemp-derived CBD oil products will list a serving size on the bottle as well—typically half a dropper or approximately 15 drops. The number of appropriate daily servings depends on the potency of the product. If you choose a lower-dose CBD hemp extract—3 to 5 milligrams per dose—it is typically considered safe to take 1 to 5 servings by mouth up to up to twice per day or as directed by a medical professional. Do not exceed 10 servings per day. The higher the potency, the fewer servings you should take daily.

CBD hemp extract can also come in the form of an oil spray rather than in a tincture bottle. Usually, hemp-derived CBD oil sprays contain fewer milligrams of CBD per dose, so the servings suggestions above easily apply to these products as well. Be sure to read your product label carefully to help you decide how much to take.

Best Time of Day to Take CBD Oil

You can take CBD hemp extract anytime—in the morning, during the day or at night. Studies have found that taking it alongside food rich in fatty acids can make it easier for your body to absorb, but the carrier oils in some products can assist with this process as well.2

To take hemp-derived CBD oil, place the drops (or spray the oil) beneath your tongue and hold for 30 to 60 seconds. This application helps your body absorb the oil quicker than adding to food and ingesting directly. However, both methods will promote overall wellbeing—it’s more so a matter of timing.

Because CBD hemp extract is a plant-derived supplement, the taste may vary and not everyone will enjoy it on its own. In this case, you can avoid the flavor issue entirely by trying a hemp-derived CBD capsule or flavored, hemp-derived CBD gummies, or mixing the oil with food to mask the flavor.

Easy Ways to Add Hemp-Derived CBD Oil to Your Meals

  • Blend a dropper of hemp-derived CBD oil into a smoothie
  • Try hemp-derived CBD oil spray on top of yogurt with nuts and berries
  • Mix the oil into a cup of applesauce
  • Top off a bowl of overnight oats with a spray of the oil
  • Add a dropper of oil to a cup of cold brew coffee
  • Spray some oil on top of a salad alongside a vinaigrette
  • Combine a dropper of oil with honey and drizzle it over a piece of toast

If you found this article to be helpful, you might also enjoy 8 Ways to Use Hemp for Mind, Body & Home and 14 Adaptogenic Herbs for Healthy Stress Support. Also, be sure to sign up for Swanson Health Emails to get expert wellness advice and our best promotions in your inbox.

Lindsey Bristol, Swanson Health Products

About Lindsey Toth, MS, RD
Registered Dietitian, Swanson Health Products

Lindsey is a nationally recognized registered dietitian and nutritionist with a soft spot for pie. She empowers people to take charge of their health by finding the balance between the pleasure and nourishment in food.

Her philosophy is that you should take care of your body because it’s the only permanent home you have. It’s what inspired her to pursue a career in nutrition and, ultimately, led her to Swanson Health.


1 DiPatrizio N, et. al. Trends in Neurosciences. 2012 May 22. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2012.04.006. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.

2 Stott CG, et. al. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2012 Oct 4. doi: 10.1007/s00228-012-1393-4. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease