January 17, 2020 5 min read

CBD is becoming well known for its myriad of health benefits and is quickly becoming one of the best selling cannabis-derived products there is. With so many people using cannabidiol, it’s more important than ever before that consumers understand the ins and outs of the supplement. Understanding how it works and all of the different consumption options will help you find a CBD product that best fits your lifestyle, but certain considerations need to be made in order to ensure you’re getting the most out of any CBD product you choose. One important detail that isn’t talked about often enough is CBD bioavailability and the different bioavailability of every type of cannabidiol product. What is bioavailability? In this guide, we will cover all the basics about the bioavailability of CBD so that you can be well on your way to an informed and responsible CBD purchase.

What is Bioavailability?

Bioavailability is a technical term used when referring to most medications, or any substance taken by mouth that has an active compound. Bioavailability refers to the amount of a substance that is utilized by the body after consumption. That means that not all of the CBD you consume is absorbed and utilized. Depending on the CBD product that you choose, the bioavailability could vary alot, and high doses of a product with low bioavailability could result in the same effects as low doses of a product with really high bioavailability.

Bioavailability is important when considering any medication and is a factor that researchers and physicians use when determining the appropriate dose of different medications. The same ideas apply to CBD, but research is alot more limited regarding the bioavailability of cannabis supplements when compared the the evidence available for many pharmaceuticals. The bioavailability of your CBD product will affect the amount you need and how much CBD you need to take to get your desired effects. Understanding the bioavailability of CBD and each different product is crucial to using CBD products effectively and efficiently.

Research Regarding CBD Absorption Rate Is Limited

When you dig into the research available regarding the bioavailability of CBD, you’ll quickly find that there isn’t much. In fact, there are no studies that look specifically at the bioavailability of CBD, but it is assumed to be similar to that of other cannabinoids. For that reason, we turn to research regarding the bioavailability of THC to help us understand more about CBD and the bioavailability of different products.

According toresearch, the bioavailability of THC averages 30% but can range as low as .3% at its plant source. Although there is no concrete evidence yet, many experts assume that CBD falls into the same range. This range of bioavailability leaves room for the many different types of cannabis products, like CBD tinctures, vapes, edibles, and more, each with their own unique characteristics and bioavailability.

Edibles May Have the Lowest Bioavailability

Research shows that the bioavailability of oral THC is as low as 4% and ranges up to 12%, and the absorption of oral cannabinoid products vary pretty greatly person to person. It’s true that CBD edibles may have a much lower bioavailability than other CBD products due to the first pass effect. The first pass effect, orfirst pass metabolism, refers to a phenomenon that takes place in the liver and stomach during digestion. Some of the CBD (or other cannabinoid) is processed by inactive compounds in the gut lining and liver, which filters out some of the cannabinoids before they reach the bloodstream. This is true for nearly any substance meant to be taken by mouth and swallowed, and the dosing guidelines for most medications already account for the amount that will be filtered away during first pass metabolism.

While the bioavailability of CBD edibles may be low, they still pose a few benefits for users. Because of the way they are processed by the digestive tract,CBD edibles absorb more slowly. That means they also may stick around longer, and many people report experiencing an increased duration of effects when using edibles vs other CBD products. Plus, edibles are super convenient and make a greatCBD product for dosing on-the-go.

Smoking and Vaping May Increase CBD Bioavailability

One method that seems to offer an increased bioavailability (at least in THC-based research) is vaping and smoking. Research shows that vaping or smoking cannabinoids may be the consumption method with the highest bioavailability. Some experts agree that vaping may have an even higher bioavailability that smoking, simply because some of the cannabinoid content is immediately burned away during combustion.

Research suggests that the bioavailability of THC when it is inhaled through the lungs, whether by vaping or smoking, is as high as the maximum 30%. Smoking and vaping cannabis and CBD products is incredibly popular because of the near-immediate and powerful therapeutic effects, which may be due to the high bioavailability. However, many people don’t care for smoking or vaping methods, and there are still other options that may offer increased bioavailability as well.

CBD Oil Sublingual Bioavailability is Thought to Be High, Too

Although research is limited, it’s easy to assume that the bioavailability of sublingual doses is pretty high. CBD sublingual bioavailability has yet to be researched in detail, but many medications utilize the sublingual pathway because of its fast absorption rate and efficacy. When a dose is taken sublingually, it is immediately absorbed through tiny blood vessels in the mucous membrane under the tongue. This gives access directly to the bloodstream and helps eliminate the effects of first pass metabolism, which means the bioavailability of sublingual products may be significantly higher than edibles.

What the Best Bioavailable CBD Product for an Efficient CBD Routine?

If you understand that there's a different CBD absorption rate for every type of CBD product, you may be wondering “What the best bioavailable CBD product?” You should, however, still consider that bioavailability is not the only important factor inchoosing the best CBD product for you. While bioavailability does make a difference, certain products may be better suited for certain ailments. Additionally, your personal preference should impact your decision when you buy CBD products.

Because CBD oil sublingual bioavailability is suspected to be high, many people turn toCBD tinctures for managing their symptoms. Tinctures give pretty fast results and make dosing quick and easy. Alternatively,vaping CBD is a popular, fast-acting option with high bioavailability. When youbuy CBD online, you can choose from a wide variety of options to help you design a CBD routine that is personalized and efficient.

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