CBD bioavailability

Those who consume CBD hope for an effect. After all, the natural ingredient of the hemp plant has an influence on the endocannabinoid system of the body. This controls, among other things, the sensation of pain, digestion and appetite.

However, the effect CBD actually produces in the body is closely related to its concentration. And this in turn depends on the bioavailability.

Bioavailability is a term used in pharmacokinetics. It describes in percent which amount of the ingested active ingredient is absorbed unchanged in the bloodstream. A drug administered intravenously therefore has a bioavailability of 100%.

CBD is not administered intravenously. Accordingly, the bioavailability is lower. How low or high the bioavailability of CBD actually is depends on the respective way of ingestion. 

Evaporation: More is not possible

 To consume CBD liquids, a vaporizer is necessary. Here you inhale CBD oil, which then directly enters the bloodstream via the lungs. The active ingredient does not make a detour via the stomach or liver, where it could be broken down, with this type of ingestion.

The bioavailability of CBD liquids is correspondingly high. When vaporizing CBD, the bioavailability is 50-80%. It is proven to be the most effective method of consuming CBD. 

Sublingual: The mucous membranes at work

The reason for a reduced bioavailability of CBD are internal processes of the body. If the active ingredient reaches the stomach, liver or intestines, it is metabolized there. The percentage of the active ingredient that ends up in the bloodstream is low.

Not so with the sublingual intake. Here, you absorb the CBD through the mucous membranes by dribbling a few drops of CBD oil under the tongue. The longer the CBD oil remains there, the greater the proportion of active ingredient that is directly absorbed by the bloodstream. The bioavailability of CBD in sublingual ingestion is between 12 to 35%. 

Oral: Discreet, but with losses

Consumers appreciate the oral intake of CBD because it is discreet and easy. However, the bioavailability suffers from this. If you take CBD capsules, sweets or other CBD food, it first ends up in the digestive tract.

There it is metabolized and the bioavailability decreases. In technical jargon, this is known as the first-pass effect. When the active ingredient finally reaches the bloodstream, the maximum bioavailability is only 10%. 

Topical: No passage through the skin

CBD creams and cosmetic treats like our The Body Lotion by Tom Hemp’s are becoming more and more popular. However, you should not expect a high effect when you apply CBD products on the skin.

Since the skin has an extremely thick membrane, the active ingredient hardly penetrates through it. Thus, hardly anything reaches the bloodstream and the bioavailability of CBD when applied topically is close to zero.

But: If you use transdermal CBD patches, the membrane can be overcome. In addition, a local effect of CBD can be observed. The active ingredient may not reach the bloodstream when applied externally. Nevertheless, CBD creams and co. are ideally suited for local pain treatment.

How you can increase the bioavailability of CBD

CBD is a fat-soluble substance. If you take CBD products with a small, fatty meal, this can positively influence the bioavailability. 

It is also assumed that a combination of CBD with other cannabinoids and terpenes increases the bioavailability of CBD. At this point, however, it should be said that every body is different and therefore also responds differently to CBD and its effect.

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