CBD Bioavailability – Why Should You Care?

CBD Bioavailability – Why Should You Care?

Bioavailability…sounds like a fancy health word. But what does it mean, what is its relationship to CBD, and why should you care? Take a few minutes to learn more so you can be empowered the next time you’re in the market for CBD…

Whether you are a new or experienced CBD user, you are likely concerned with getting the most effectiveness from your CBD. A major factor in determining the effectiveness of CBD is bioavailability

Bioavailability refers to the degree and rate at which a substance is absorbed into the bloodstream, explains Aaron Cadena, a writer for medium.com. Higher bioavailability = higher absorption in the bloodstream.

In Cadena’s article, I learned that bioavailability varies depending on the consumption method and concentration of CBD in the product. What’s the best way to take CBD then, you might ask? If you want 100% of CBD into the body, then intravenous administration is your best bet. However, this is understandably not the most popular method. Let’s explore the bioavailability offered in more popular methods…

Oral Administration

Think capsules, edibles, and beverages. 

While this is an easy way to take CBD, the bioavailability here is low because the CBD needs to pass through the metabolic and digestive systems. This process can take a long time, not to mention passing through these systems filters out the CBD, further reducing its bioavailability. 

Sublingual Administration

Think tinctures, lozenges, and sprays. 

Under the tongue, there is a gland called the sublingual gland. When CBD is placed under the tongue, it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. It impacts the body more quickly, therefore maintaining a higher bioavailability. 

Vaporized Administration

Think vape pens or other vaporizer devices. 

When inhaled directly into the lungs, CBD quickly and directly enters the bloodstream. This decreased breakdown rate results in higher bioavailability. 

Topical Administration

Think creams, salves, balms

Using CBD topically will target relief to a specific area; however, it will never reach the bloodstream. Generally speaking, human skin is not very permeable and acts as a preventative barrier to substances entering the body. With this in mind, in order for topical CBD products to be effective, you will want to apply them generously to your skin. Author Sean Markey recommends a liberal application because this will help your skin absorb the CBD, thus interacting with the cannabinoid receptors nearby. 

Now that you know more about the bioavailability of CBD and the varying effectiveness of its forms, you can be more empowered when making your next purchasing decision. 

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