The therapeutic benefits that CBD offers are largely influenced by its rate of absorption or bioavailability. The percentage of CBD that enters the bloodstream of the user on taking a CBD product is referred to as the bioavailability of the intake method. That said, the bioavailability of CBD is also linked with how you choose to consume CBD, which is otherwise called the intake method of CBD. In this article, we are exploring the bioavailability of CBD and ways to increase it.
The Amount Of CBD That Enters Your Bloodstream Upon Consumption
That percentage of the CBD that you consume and reaches your bloodstream is determined by pharmacokinetics. It refers to the total body mechanisms present within your body that eliminates or absorbs compounds in the body. The route of entry and the delivery method have a lot to do with the amount of CBD that enters the bloodstream. The pace of entry is also determined by these factors.
Intake Methods Of CBD And Their Bioavailability
Here are some popular intake methods of CBD.
Oral CBD formulations like capsules, oils, tinctures, and beverages are some of the popular methods of CBD intake. However, oral CBD has low bioavailability values when compared to many other CBD intake methods. The average bioavailability of ingested CBD is about 6-19%. CBD is a fat-soluble substance while our body is water-based. Hence it is quite a challenge for our body to absorb CBD. Besides, digestive acids and enzymes present in the stomach destroy a significant percentage of CBD before it can be absorbed.
The first-pass effect of the liver also plays a significant role in determining the absorption rate. When the CBD enters the digestive system, the liver metabolizes some amount of CBD and reduces the absorption percentage. Oral CBD’s half-life, better explained as the time it takes for half of the CBD you ingest, to leave our system; is comparatively faster than other methods of delivery.
Inhalation is an excellent CBD intake method as it allows to bypasses the first-pass effect by facilitating the absorption of CBD through the alveoli of the lungs into the bloodstream.
Here are several ways to inhale CBD:
On smoking cigarettes filled with hemp buds, CBD enters the bloodstream without taking much time. The absorptionrate of smoking CBD is about 31%. Also, its half-life is roughly 31 hours. The generation of byproducts of combustion that irritate the lungs is the major downside of smoking.
Vaping is far less irritating than smoking. In the process of vaping CBD, CBD vape oil is heated inside a vaporizer or vape pen and the generated vapors are inhaled. The risk of lung irritation is lesser with vaping than with that smoking.
The use of a nebulizer allows CBD to be inhaled into the lungs in a mist form. Nebulizers can produce peak levels of CBD in the blood within 36 minutes.
The sublingual method is based on facilitating the absorption of CBD directly through the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth.
CBD oils and tinctures are usually taken through the sublingual method, where the oil or tincture is measured out in a dropper and placed under the tongue for at least a minute to allow the CBD to get absorbed into the bloodstream through the sublingual glands.
The method of intake of oral spray is the same as sublingual drops. Hold the oral spray in the mouth for at least 30 seconds before swallowing to improve the absorption rates of CBD. In a study, it was demonstrated that an oral spray that had a 50-50 combination of CBD and THC produced peak CBD levels within 3-6 hours for a 5mg dose of CBD.
CBD absorption through the mucous membranes that line the nasal passage happens at a rapid pace. It just takes ten minutes for the CBD levels in the blood to reach the maximum.
In transdermal delivery, an adhesive patch containing CBD is placed on the skin. However, the poor rate of absorption is a downside of the method. Skin is naturally water-soluble while CBD is fat-soluble, which means it will be repelled by the skin layer. The transdermal application of CBD is well known for the consistent effects it generates. There is no denying that CBD enters slowly into the bloodstream using transdermal patches but it is an effective method for avoiding the side effects associated with the rapid increase in CBD levels in the blood.
Transdermal application is particularly useful for reducing pain in patients with chronic pain that showed no significant response to conventional medications. The comfort level of transdermal CBD is much better than many other CBD medications.
Choosing intake methods of better bioavailability improves your CBD experience and enables you to get the best benefits out of CBD from small doses.