What is CBD Bioavailability?
In a fast paced world, it’s hard to get all the nutrients you need, which is why supplementation is so popular. But not all supplements are created equally. No matter what you’re taking, you want to know that most of it is being absorbed by your system. In other words, you want to know how ‘bioavailable’ it is. In this video we dig deep into bioavailability and how it affects CBD.
What is Bioavailability
Bioavailability refers to the degree and the rate at which one dose of a substance is absorbed by the circulatory system and reaches its target organ. Say you’re taking medication for a muscle cramp, how much of it is reaching your muscular system?
Understandably, this is very important when doctors and pharmaceutical companies determine the ideal dosage of a drug.
When it comes to CBD, bioavailability would refer to the amount of unchanged CBD that reaches the endocannabinoid system.
Bioavailability is influenced by several factors like the physical condition of the user, their digestive health, and whether it’s taken with or without food. Barring those, there are other elements that determine bioavailability. Let’s talk specifically about CBD.
There are several different ways to consume CBD, each with different rates of bioavailability.
Taking CBD orally either in the form of capsules, edibles, or CBD oil mixed in a drink or food is one of the most convenient ways to take it, which is why it’s so popular. However, research suggests that by the end of the digestive process, only between 4-20% of CBD is absorbed by the endocannabinoid system. This is because the CBD has to be filtered through the digestive system and metabolized by the liver. At each step, some amount of CBD is lost. This is called first-pass metabolism. Manufacturers can, however, do certain things (which we will expand on later) to make sure this loss is minimized.
Sublingual ingestion is the most bioavailable way to take a CBD tincture. This involves placing a few drops under your tongue, holding for about a minute and a half, and then swallowing. When taken sublingually, CBD is absorbed by mucous membranes under the tongue and then diffused into the bloodstream. This bypasses the entire process of first-pass metabolism. Sublingual ingestion has a bioavailability of between 12-35%.
Vaping is the most bioavailable consumption method. When inhaled using a vaporizer or vape pen, CBD enters the lungs and is absorbed by air sacs. It moves rapidly through the thin walls of these sacs and enters the bloodstream. When vaped, the bioavailability of CBD could be higher than 50% The effects are also much more immediate when compared to other methods.
Topical CBD needs to be concentrated, because skin generally has low permeability. For instance, Hempure CBD balm contains 750mg and 1400mg of CBD in 1oz, which is concentrated enough to be absorbed by the skin. It also helps if what you’re applying is thick, like a balm or salve, as opposed to a lotion. The CBD then interacts with nearby endocannabinoid receptors to provide targeted relief to that specific area of the body. CBD that is applied directly to the skin never actually reaches the bloodstream. The only topical products that can enter the bloodstream are transdermal CBD patches. The exact rates of topical CBD bioavailability will be determined in future research.
Type of CBD Blend
There are a few types of CBD out there. Besides CBD, the hemp plant contains many more compounds including THC (the part that gets you ‘high’), and other cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes.
· CBD isolate is pure cannabidiol with no other compounds.
· Broad spectrum CBD is cannabidiol with some, but not all, other cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes.
· Full spectrum CBD is cannabidiol with all the other cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes.
Research suggests that broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD is more bioavailable than CBD isolate. Think of it as all the plant chemicals working in synergy. This is referred to as the entourage effect.
The bioavailability you need from a CBD product will depend on why you’re taking it – if you’re looking for therapeutic relief, opt for something with greater absorption rates. If you want a product that’s versatile, you could get a tincture that can be used sublingually or mixed in with food and beverages, depending on your mood. Visit Hempure CBD.com for more information on CBD products.