Bioavailability is the degree and rate at which a substance is absorbed into the bloodstream; in this case, CBD. There are several different methods of taking CBD and each one has a different bioavailability. By now you are either taking CBD products or you have at least heard of the miracle compound. CBD is on the rise due to its therapeutic benefits as well as its ability to reduce inflammation. Research is well on its way to discovering the true potential health benefits of CBD. With all the excitement around CBD, and new products coming out all the time, people are often left wondering what the best way is for them to administer it. This is where bioavailability, as well as preference, comes into play. Let’s explore what bioavailability means when it comes to CBD.
What Does Bioavailability Mean?
To put it simply, the bioavailability rate of a CBD product is the percentage of the compound that gets absorbed into your bloodstream and distributed throughout your body. Understanding bioavailability helps you figure out exactly what dose or product works best for you. The key to remember is that bioavailability of CBD depends heavily on how you administer it.
Methods of Administration
There are four popular ways to consume CBD — orally, sublingually, inhalation, and topically, all of which have different bioavailabilities. Let’s discuss each option of administration and talk about some of the differences between them.
Oral Consumption: Oral consumption means consuming CBD by mouth. Some of the popular oral products you will see on the market are capsules, gummies, edibles, and beverages. The benefit of some oral CBD products is the ability to add other beneficial substances to them. For example, HempX makes a CBD gummy that also contains vitamin C, zinc, and echinacea, which allow for immune system benefits as well as CBD benefits. The only downside to orally administering CBD is that it has a low bioavailability percentage compared to other methods. This is largely due to the compound having to travel through the digestive system where some of it can be lost. Recent studies have shown the bioavailability of orally administered substances are between 10-20%.
Sublingual Consumption: Sublingual consumption is similar to oral consumption but with a particularly important difference. Under the tongue, there is a salivary gland known as the sublingual gland. This gland is directly connected to the submental arteries which allows for administration under the tongue to enter the bloodstream much quicker and more effectively. The most common sublingual CBD product is a tincture. Tincture oils are the best way to consume sublingually because as you hold the CBD under your tongue it is absorbed through the sublingual gland. This is why the suggested use section of HempX Tincture Oils recommends that you hold the CBD under your tongue for 30-60 seconds before swallowing. Recent studies show the bioavailability of this method is between 15-35%, notably higher than oral consumption.
Inhalation: Vape consumption is the act of inhaling CBD directly into the lungs through a vape pen or other device. By entering the lungs directly, the inhaled CBD enters the bloodstream quicker, which delivers its benefits to you faster and more effectively. Vaping CBD has been shown to have the highest bioavailability out of all methods of consumption. Most studies show the bioavailability of vaping at between 40-56%. Try our HempX CBD Vape Cartridge, which is offered in a refreshing mint flavor.
Topical Consumption: Although most methods of CBD consumption involve entering the body through your mouth, there is another way to get great localized benefits with topicals. Topicals refer to any CBD products that are administered to your skin. Topical products come in many forms such as lotions, roll-ons, salves, patches, and even bath bombs. Since topicals are administered to the skin, a small percentage actually reaches the bloodstream, giving topicals the lowest bioavailability rate. Applying CBD to the skin will not likely benefit deep down issues such as stress or anxiety, but it will target the specific area you apply it to. This makes topicals great for aiding localized inflammation and soreness. Recent studies using topicals to treat MS-related limb paralysis have found CBD to be effective at providing pain relief. Another recent study shows topicals significantly reducing pain and inflammation in rats.
Now that you understand how each method of administration affects the bioavailability of CBD, choosing the right CBD products for you will be easier! Vaping is clearly the fastest and most effective way of administering CBD because it has the highest bioavailability rate. Sublingual administration is preferred for maximum absorption into the bloodstream. Oral consumption is best for administering CBD along with other healthy supplements. And topicals are the preferred method for localized inflammation and pain relief. Although these methods have different bioavailability rates, administration is largely based on personal preference and your desired effect of the CBD you are consuming.