With so many different hemp products out there, it can be hard to find something to suit your personal preferences. Luckily, there are many different ways to introduce hemp and its many potentially beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes into your system. Here’s a complete rundown of the different hemp delivery methods, what types of products fit in those categories, and how to use them. 

What are hemp delivery methods?

There are five main delivery methods for hemp products: Inhalation, ingestion, sublingual, topical, and suppository. Each of these methods has its pros and cons, but by being aware of them, you’re one step closer to finding the perfect product for your journey to wellness. 

But first, what is a delivery method? Your delivery method refers to how you introduce hemp-derived cannabinoids like CBD, CBN, HHC, or Delta-8/Delta-9 THC into your body. You can either smoke them, eat or drink them, introduce them under your tongue, apply them to your skin, or insert them rectally or vaginally. Below we’re breaking down each delivery method with examples so you can find the perfect products to suit your preferences. 

Inhalable Hemp Delivery Methods

In the inhalable delivery method, you’ll introduce cannabinoids into your system by breathing them into your lungs. This can be accomplished in many ways, like smoking a pre-rolled joint, packing a bowl, dabbing, or vaping. When you smoke cannabinoids, you introduce them into your lungs which carry them nearly instantly through your bloodstream and to your brain, where they can begin going to work. You can feel this method almost instantly, but they wear off after about four hours. Since you can feel the effects immediately, you’ll usually have a better sense of when to stop smoking, allowing you to avoid taking too much at once. 

Types of products: Smokable flowerpre-rollsconcentrates, and vape cartridges

How long does it take to feel it?: You can feel the effects of the inhalable hemp delivery methods in seconds.

How long does it last?: The effects usually peak after about 15 minutes and can lasst up to 4 hours. 

Best for: Quick, potent effects that don’t last a very long time. 

Ingestible Delivery Method 

The ingestible delivery method involves eating or drinking cannabinoids to introduce them to your system. Before you can begin feeling their effects, they must first metabolize in your stomach and liver through digestion, which means it takes about two hours to start feeling them. With that said, it’s crucial to not take too much at once or to get impatient and eat more before you begin feeling the effects so that you don’t overdose. Since this method takes so long to kick in, it also takes a long time to work out. You can typically feel ingested cannabinoids for up to 8 hours. Ingestibles are remarkable for their long-lasting effects, and since they come pre-measured and dosed, they’re easy to enjoy safely. More importantly, they’re discreet, so you can use them on the go. 

Types of products: Edibles (infused foods), capsules, and beverages.  

How long does it take to feel it?: Foods and capsules typically take 1-2 hours to begin feeling the effects, while drinks tend to be a bit faster— kicking in in about an hour. 

How long does it last?: Ingestible cannabinoids typically affect you for up to 8 hours. 

Best for: Potent, long-lasting effects, discretion, and use on the go, controlled, measured dosing. 

Sublingual Delivery Method 

Sublingual delivery involves holding cannabinoids under your tongue, allowing them to absorb directly into your bloodstream, thanks to the salivary glands. It typically involves products you hold under your tongue, like tinctures, lollipops, or lozenges. This rapid method allows you to begin feeling the effects in as little as 15 minutes. Anything not absorbed through your mouth is metabolized in your liver after you swallow it, similar to edibles. With that said, they can last anywhere from 8-12 hours. They’re ideal for quick relief and long-lasting effects. However, they’re also very easy to dose safely, thanks to tincture measurements and the single-serve labeling on other products. 

Types of productsTincturessuckers, and lozenges 

How long does it take to feel it?: Sublinguals take about 15 minutes to begin affecting you. 

How long does it last?: You may feel sublingual hemp products for 8-12 hours. 

Best for: Quick onset and long-lasting effects, controlled, measured dosing. 

Topical Delivery Method 

The topical delivery method differs from others since the cannabinoids stay on your skin. Cannabinoid-infused lotions, creams, and other skin products are applied to the skin to promote different effects. However, topicals aren’t powerful enough to penetrate the bloodstream unless you use specially formulated transdermal products. With that said, they’re typically only used for pain and inflammation on your skin or in your muscles and joints. Luckily, they kick in pretty quickly in about 20 minutes. They can last up to 48 hours on your skin without making you feel high. However, you may need to reapply topical products more often, depending on the intensity of your symptoms. 

Types of products: Infused lotions, creams, balms, salves, and muscle compounds

How long does it take to feel it?: Topicals take about 20 minutes to take effect.

How long does it last?: Topicals may affect you for up to 48 hours, but you may need to reapply them more frequently. 

Best for: Long-lasting relief from stubborn aches and pains in muscles and joints. 

Suppository Delivery Method 

Like suppositories from the regular world, hemp suppositories go inside you. They come in the form of feminine hygiene products, personal lubricants, and common anal suppositories and are infused with cannabinoids. Traditional suppositories kick in in about 20 minutes and last between 4 and 6 hours. They’re most commonly used to soothe menstrual cramping or pain and inflammation in the lower GI tract. However, personal lubricants and other suppositories have also been used to help relax muscles and organs before sexual intercourse. 

Types of products: Personal lubricants, feminine hygiene products, suppositories 

How long does it take to feel it?: Suppositories take about 20 minutes to kick in. 

How long does it last?: Suppositories last for about 4-6 hours. 

Best for: Quick onset of relief in the lower GI tract or menstrual cramps. Also used to reduce pain during sexual intercourse. 

Hemp Delivery Options at The Hemptender 

If you’re looking for safe, reliable, lab-tested hemp products that you can trust, look no further than The Hemptender. We carry a variety of effective products to support every ideal delivery method. Our knowledgeable staff make it easy to choose the best product, cannabinoid, and dosage to support you and your wellness-driven lifestyle every step of the way.