CBD Bioavailability and Why it Matters

The CBD product you choose can have an affect on its therapeutic benefits.

Posted on: July 23, 2019
The Best Method to Take CBD

Exploring the Best Way to Take CBD

CBD is used to treat an array of symptoms including anxiety, pain, inflammation, and insomnia. It can also help maintain your overall wellness by helping balance your Endocannabinoid System, whose primary role is to maintain homeostasis. CBD’s therapeutic success has lead to the creation of many different products and methods to take CBD including CBD oil, CBD capsules, CBD gummies, CBD topicals, and more. With all these choices available, we’ll explore the different methods for taking CBD products, and the pros and cons of each so that you can make the best choice for your particular health needs.

CBD Bioavailability

Bioavailability is a very important factor to consider when you’re choosing the method of delivery for your CBD products. Bioavailability refers to the degree and rate in which your body is able to absorb something. When you ingest something, for example, it has to pass through your liver and other digestive organs before it reaches your intestines, where most of the absorption occurs. Only a percentage of CBD actually makes it into the bloodstream to be picked up by the Endocannabinoid System. This means that the amount listed on the product label isn’t necessarily the amount your body will be receiving. For example, if a 100mg product is taken orally and only 70mg of it is absorbed into the body, the bioavailability is considered to be 70%.

The bioavailability of CBD varies between the different methods in which you can take it. CBD is considered to be hydrophobic, meaning that it is resistant to water. Since your body is mostly made up of water, not much CBD passes into your system without a little help. That’s why it’s important to select the best method of delivery to maximize CBD’s therapeutic benefits. Otherwise the CBD will pass through your body with little to no benefits to you at all.

The Most Common Ways to Take CBD

1. Sublingual Method

Sublingual involves putting CBD oil under your tongue and holding it so that it can absorb into your bloodstream through the thin layer of oral tissue. CBD oil is currently one of the most popular methods of taking CBD. Either Full Spectrum CBD or THC-Free CBD is blended with a carrier oil like coconut oil or hemp seed oil because those fats help your body to absorb it.

Pros: Quick delivery of CBD into the bloodstream.

You have to hold the oil under your tongue for ideally 60 seconds for the best absorption. This can be a challenge for some.

Effects: CBD Oil has a bioavailablity of approximately 35% and typically lasts around 8 hours.

2. Inhalation Method

Inhalation involves smoking your CBD whether directly smoking the CBD flower or using a CBD vape cartridge. This method has one of the highest absorption rates and delivery to your body.

Pros: One of the fastest deliveries of CBD into your body.

Requires actual smoking, which can be harmful to your lungs. CBD flower can be difficult to purchase because it looks nearly identical to marijuana. Vaping CBD requires the additional purchase of vaping equipment.

Effects: Inhaling CBD has a bioavailability rate of approximately 45-60% and its effects last 1-2 hours.

3. Oral Consumption Method

CBD capsules, gummies, and candies are an alternative to those who prefer to ingest their CBD. These are great for children or for people who don’t want to deal with oils or the inhalation method. When ingesting CBD, you do lose some potency to the digestive process.

Pros: Easy to take, and no mess compared to CBD oils. CBD Gummies and candies are also great options for kids.

Cons: Low bioavailability. Uncertainty as to how much CBD your body is actually getting. It also takes a while to feel the effects.

Effects: Ingesting CBD has a bioavailability rate of approximately 15-20% and lasts around 8 or more hours.

4. CBD Topical Application

CBD lotions, salves, pain creams, and even bath bombs have been flooding the market as of late. CBD topicals allow the targeting of specific areas of concern which can be beneficial particularly for those suffering from joint or muscle pain. With CBD topicals, the CBD never reaches the bloodstream. Instead, it’s picked up by endocannabinoid receptors that are in the skin. Since human skin has a low permeability rate, it doesn’t allow much to enter through it, so when applying CBD topical products, it’s important to apply them very liberally in order to penetrate the skin barrier.

Pros: Targeted healing for aches and pains.

Cons: Needs high CBD content and liberal applications for best results.

Effects: CBD topicals have a low bioavailability rate of around 5-10%.

Consistency is Key

When deciding which method of delivery you want for your CBD products, just keep in mind that each method has its pros and cons. Regardless of the method of CBD delivery you choose, above all it’s important to know that consistency is key. You must take your CBD every day for the best results. If you’re taking your CBD and don’t notice any effects, you should increase your dosage until you start to see results. CBD dosages are general guidelines, and not everyone will have the same dosage that works for them.

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