Bioavailability of CBD (Why It Matters)
The bioavailability of CBD is a widely discussed subject these days. There are plenty of factors that decide on the final quality of Cannabidiol goods, from the source of hemp to extraction methods and third-party lab testing. But in the end, what matters is how much of the CBD your body will absorb.
That being said, it’s no wonder that the bioavailability of CBD is on people’s tongues right now. Once you figure out what the bioavailability of CBD is all about, you will finally get the answer to your question, i.e. “How do we get the most effectiveness out of our CBD?”
Have a read, please.
The Bioavailability of CBD – What Is It?
As you may have noticed, CBD comes in many various forms. The list includes lotions, tinctures, oils, balms, e-liquids, capsules, concentrates, and even pet treats. Each of these administration methods requires different usage approach. Moreover each product typically has its unique concentration of CBD and other cannabinoids (if it’s a full-spectrum extract).
If you’ve never used CBD or are not familiar with the industry, choosing between all these options can be overwhelming. We understand your pain; you just want to try CBD, but which form will provide you with the best effects? How much CBD should you take?
Addressing these two questions will help you understand what the bioavailability of CBD actually means.
Simply put, bioavailability is measured by the degree and rate at which a substance is absorbed into the bloodstream. Bioavailability is the third-most important factor, right after the amount and strength of a substance when it comes to getting the most out of your CBD oil. Bioavailability also helps calculate users their CBD dosage at the start.
The bioavailability of CBD can vary based on the concentration of CBD in the given product and the administration method, which brings us to another essential question, namely:
What’s the Most Effective Way to Take CBD?
Well, if you’re looking for the most effective way to administer CBD, this would be intravenous administration. In other words, CBD would be injected directly into the bloodstream through the veins.
This method ensures a 100% bioavailability of CBD, but it’s by far the least popular option. Now, if you don’t prefer to stick yourself with a needle, worry not. There are plenty of different method of using CBD.
Let’s discuss them and see how each affects the bioavailability of CBD.
This ingestion method doesn’t need an introduction. By oral consumption we mean consuming something through your mouth. When it comes to CBD, common oral consumption methods include CBD edibles, beverages, gummies, and capsules.
As much as we admire the benefits of eating CBD, the fact is that any substance consumed orally will have to pass through your digestive and metabolic systems, which will drastically reduce the bioavailability of CBD by filtering out a large portion of the cannabinoid.
According to a 1986 study, the bioavailability rate of orally consumed products is 6%. However, another study (from 2009) reported this rate to be between 4% and 20%. While these two results differ significantly, both indicate that the bioavailability of oral CBD products is not impressive, with 20% being the most optimistic scenario.
How to Increase the Bioavailability of Oral CBD?
The well-described disadvantage of oral CBD consumption gives raise to the obvious question – can the bioavailability of CBD oil be increased when you take it orally?
Yes, and the solution is pretty straightforward. Recent studies have proved the theory that cannabinoids consumed along with vegetable oils have higher availability than if used alone. As a matter of fact, the presence of vegetable oil can increase the bioavailability of CBD almost threefold.
How does it happen? CBD has a very high affinity to chylomicrons, which are particles responsible for transporting the lipids from the small intestine to the bloodstream through the lymphatic system. This allows cannabinoids bypass the liver, and as a result, you deliver more CBD to the bloodstream.
To cut the long story short, the more fats or oil you consume together with your daily intake of cannabinoids, the larger the lymph flow will be, and the more compounds will be able to get into the lymphatic system in their unmetabolized form.
Now, let’s move on to other forms of CBD.
Sublingual Consumption (Oral Tinctures)
Technically speaking, this is some form of oral consumption, but with one major difference. When you use CBD oral tinctures, you apply them beneath the tongue. This is where a vein called the sublingual gland is located.
When you put a few drops of CBD oil to the sublingual gland, the substance will get absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Aside from oral tinctures, you can also by CBD lozenges and CBD sprays.
There are a couple of different factors that can affect the bioavailability of CBD for sublingual use, but the main determiner is hands down the quality of CBD. Reported bioavailability rates range from 12% to 25%, which is still more effective than traditional oral consumption.
Vaporization is the new trend for both recreational and medical users who like to use dry herbs and essential oils to improve the quality of their lives or solve different health concerns.
Vaporization involves inhaling CBD right into the lungs, using a special device called a vaporizer or vape pen. Because the inhaled cannabinoids directl enter the lungs, the CBD can reach the bloodstream within seconds. This method ensures lower breakdown rates and the higher bioavailability of CBD.
Moreover, vaporization is by far the most efficient method of CBD consumption. As numerous medical studies report, bioavailability rates of vaporized CBD are between 34% and 46%. Some studies even report up to 56% higher bioavailability.
If you’re looking for the safest and the most effective method of CBD delivery, vaporization is the way to go.
Other Factors Affecting the Bioavailability of CBD
All of the above methods are affected by the hydrophobic character of CBD oil. CBD oil is not meant to dissolve in water, and for that reason, id diffuses out of the bloodstream and gets stored in fatty tissues. This, in turn, cuts the concentration of active CBD in the endocannabinoid system. As a result, the oil is less bioavailable.
Still, there are two other factors that can affect the bioavailability of CBD, so let’s take a brief look at them.
Dosage / Serving Size
The effects of CBD depend on the dosage and the optimal dosage may vary from person to person. When trying CBD oil for the first time,start with the serving size that is recommended by your CBD company. If you don’t feel like the desired effects after a week, or they are just too mild for you, increase the serving size for another week. Continue until you are satisfied with the results.
The Quality of CBD Oil
Last but not least, the CBD content depends on the quality of the CBD oil. Top-notch CBD products will be consistent and provide the exact level of CBD that is advertised on a company’s website. Make sure you always buy CBD oil from a reputable source that is open about the third-party lab testing results and sources its CBD from the finest, organic industrial hemp. This way, you will minimize the risk of falling into the trap of false promises made by some manufacturers in the industry.