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CBD Bioavailability

Posted by Michael I. on

CBD can be a great way to help deal with aches, pain, and the constant struggle of everyday life. CBD is becoming increasingly used everyday, yet so little is known about it. We know that it can potentially help with a number of ailments, but the research has just begun. However, we are finding out new and improved ways of consumption to increase bioavailability. Bioavailability is the proportion of a drug or other substance that enters the circulation when introduced to the body and is then able to take effect. In other words the way you consume CBD or any other substance determines how much will actually work it's way into your bloodstream, which in turn determines the strength of the effect.

There are several ways to consume CBD, the most popular way is taken orally through digestion. Generally, when taken orally the CBD has been cooked or baked into food and eaten. It's comfortable, so that's why most tend to go this route especially if they're just getting into CBD. A study showed that when test subjects were given a 40mg chocolate bar, the bioavailability was around 6%. The reason why bioavailability is so low when ingesting is because of the digestive process. The first part of that process is through the metabolism. When your body metabolizes food, it keeps what it needs and excretes what it doesn't. Unfortunately some of that CBD ingested will be lost as well, making oral ingestion one of the least effective ways of consumption. 

Another study for bioavailability research was through sublingual (under the tongue) application. When taking CBD sublingually remember to try to hold the oil or tincture under your tongue for about 30-60 seconds, or however long you can stand it. Humans and most other animals have a lot of blood vessels under the tongue and allows it to get into the bloodstream more quickly. Administering CBD this way can bypass the metabolism making it more bioavailable for your body. Research suggests that taking CBD sublingually is more effective by 15%-35%.

Inhalation is another popular way to administer CBD. Although smoking/vaping is usually seen as THC use, there are plenty of products out there that you can inhale. For instance, isolate slab is mostly vaped or smoked, there are also e-juices infused with CBD for vaping as well. Although the results I was able to find only supplied results for THC it was recorded that bioavailability when combusted is around 18%, but that number changed drastically when being vaped. Bioavailability is much higher in the lungs because it skips the metabolism and goes straight into the lungs where there are large absorption areas and plenty of blood to circulate throughout the body. Although inhalation may be more bioavailable it also wears off at a much faster rate, meaning you have to keep "puffing" throughout the day to maintain the relief. 

Another popular way of administration is through topicals. Topicals are rubbed on and absorbed through the skin. Although the effectiveness for skincare isn't as high with THC skin products, CBD and CBN absorb into the skin at a much higher rate stimulating CB2 receptors. For topical use, the area of pain should be concentrated (if you have pain in more than one area topicals are probably not your best option). Rub the topical into the afflicted area deeply to warm the skin and open pores. Although I couldn't find a percentage, research suggests that topicals are more bioavailable than oral digestion in cases of concentrated relief. 

Everybody's endocannabinoid system is different and some will respond better to different ways of administration than others. The effectiveness depends on your individual system. Research is getting closer and closer to finding the best way to consume CBD, but the numbers don't speak for everyone, you may need to play around with dosage and consumption to find what's right for you. 

Do you have questions about our products or CBD in general? We'd love to hear from you, please feel free to call us at 719-358-7553 or email us at 

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