Below is everything there is to know about how CBD is absorbed by the body, and how to enhance CBD’s absorption. We will also find out other effective delivery methods and why taking CBD sublingually works best. If you’re new to CBD, this guide will help you choose the best form of CBD for your needs, as well as ways to enhance your CBD experience.
What is CBD?
The cannabis plant contains a hundred cannabinoid compounds with different active properties and health benefits. CBD (Cannabidiol) is a natural compound extracted from the hemp plant. Unlike THC, which is the main psychoactive ingredient from the cannabis plant, CBD is non-psychoactive and will not cause adverse effects.
CBD’s increasing popularity is due to its properties known to help treat a wide variety of health issues including stress, anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, inflammation, and epilepsy. This cannabinoid interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system known to regulate bodily functions to maintain homeostasis including sleep, mood, pain, and memory. However, more research is needed to know CBD’s benefits and potential effects.
CBD has indeed established its place in the market since 2018 after the US Farm Bill legalized hemp farming. In the UK, CBD’s marketability has also skyrocketed as it’s only the cannabis compound legal in the country. From CBD oils to CBD gummy products, CBD has proved to be one of the world’s most popular supplements. What started as an alternative health treatment has become a nationwide craze and many people are buying different kinds of CBD products there is to find. Currently, the only FDA-approved cannabis-derived drug product in the market is Epidiolex which is known to treat rare forms of seizure.
What Is Bioavailability?
Bioavailability refers to the ability of a drug or substance to be absorbed and used by the body. More accurately, bioavailability is a measure of the rate and fraction of the initial oral dose of a drug that reaches the bloodstream then is transported to the cells and tissues in the body for use.
There are several ways to get CBD into your bloodstream. From adding drops of CBD oil to your morning coffee or fruit shakes, or using CBD-infused balms or creams to your skincare routine. This means that the potential effects of CBD will depend on the delivery method you use, with some methods giving greater absorption and potency than others.
How is CBD connected to Bioavailability?
A lot of factors affect the absorption of CBD into the bloodstream. The absorption and potency of CBD depend on our weight, height, body mass, and metabolism. This means that we all have different tolerance to different chemicals and substances like CBD.
Understanding your body will help us determine the amount and form of CBD right for you to feel the same effects. While we know CBD’s potential effects and how it works within our bodies, we should know the best delivery methods and how we can enhance CBD’s absorption rate.
What is The Value in Understanding Bioavailability?
We should know the meaning of bioavailability as this will help us determine the form of CBD and how much you need to take to receive the optimal dosage in your system. CBD’s form affects how fast the CBD will reach your bloodstream to deliver its potential benefits. Most medicines consumed orally can be a waste due to their poor absorption by the body. Knowing the right form of CBD will help decrease the amount of CBD lost due to the natural processes in the body making the consumption less wasteful and costly.
This means that the lower the rate of bioavailability, the more CBD product you have to take to produce the wanted effects. This means that bioavailability is very important in considering the right CBD product for you to get the maximum possible benefits of CBD.
Ways to Increase The Bioavailability of CBD
The oral bioavailability of CBD is estimated at 6%. To get the highest amount of CBD possible into the body, here are some ways in which CBD bioavailability can be increased.
- Creating CBD-infused snacks. CBD as a chemical compound is highly soluble in fat, meaning it can be easily dissolved in fatty oils. To increase CBD’s oral bioavailability, you can take CBD alongside a high-fat or high-calorie meal. These fats and fatty oils can break down large CBD molecules into smaller ones that make CBD easily absorbable by your body. Snacks that will work great here include nuts, peanut butter, avocados, and hemp hearts. You can also dissolve CBD in hemp seed, olive, or coconut oils to make it easier for your body to absorb.
- Use supplemental herbs. When CBD is consumed with supplemental herbs, the compound’s bioavailability can increase. Some supplemental herbs that you can try include peppers that are rich in capsaicin, which is also similar to CBD in structure. Also, Piperine is an alkaloid that acts against the metabolic effects of the liver. It is unique to turmeric and black pepper. Chamomile flowers can also increase the bioavailability of CBD as they are rich in apigenin, a compound that prevents CBD from naturally breaking down.
- Using terpenes. The bioavailability of CBD can be increased by using terpenes, which are fatty oils that naturally occur in oils derived from all kinds of plants. Terpenes create the flavours, smell, and aromas of herbs and fruits. They can also be extracted along with CBD to formulate CBD products. CBD and terpenes can increase the benefits of each other by a synergic process called the “entourage effect”, a theory that suggests cannabinoids work together to enhance their effects.
What are the Methods of CBD delivery?
There are a lot of different ways to access CBD. These include balms, sprays, tinctures, creams, capsules, and more. Each of these forms of CBD has its benefits and manufacturers are seeking to increase their bioavailability so that consumers can get the maximum benefits. Here are some of the known delivery methods of CBD:
- Vaping CBD is the fastest way to feel the effects of CBD as it enters directly into your lungs and is then absorbed into your bloodstream. It would take only a few minutes after oral administration for the CBD to take effect.
- 30% bioavailability
- Peaks in 30 to 60 minutes
- Lasts for 3 to 4 hours
Edibles (Softgels, Gummies, Capsules)
- Consuming CBD in the form of food or capsule will take about 30 to 40 minutes after oral administration to be absorbed by the body as it needs to pass through your digestive tract and then to your bloodstream.
- 4-20% bioavailability
- Low peak plasma levels
- Lasts for 2 to 6 hours
Topicals (Balms, Creams, Patches)
- When CBD is applied directly to the skin, it is absorbed by the pores, then transferred down to your dermis or inner layers of the skin.
- 1-5% bioavailability
- Stead and consistent infusion into the bloodstream
- Perfect for localized symptoms
What is Sublingual Absorption?
Taking sublingual CBD is one of the most effective, discrete, and simple ways to get a high CBD bioavailability rate, with the use of tinctures or oral sprays. Like CBD edibles, sublingual CBD is consumed via the mouth. However, consuming CBD sublingually is said to have higher bioavailability rates.
To consume CBD sublingually, place a few drops of oil under the tongue, allowing it to be absorbed by the sublingual gland. CBD is then transported directly to the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive tract and resulting in a more significant amount of CBD available for use in the body for the most effective potential effects. This method of consumption is believed to have bioavailability levels of up to 35%.
Tips For Getting The Most Out of Sublingual CBD
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your sublingual CBD:
- After placing a few drops of CBD oil under the tongue, hold it there for 20 seconds or more before swallowing for better results. This will allow the membranes under your tongue to absorb as much CBD as possible.
- Choose a full-spectrum (with 0.2% THC) or broad-spectrum (THC-free) CBD product to mask the bitter taste of the CBD.
- Assess your needs and preference when buying a CBD product. Buy products that are designed for sublingual use and products that come from a reputable producer and retailer.
- Take it slow in the beginning. Depending on the product you’re using, you may also benefit from pairing your dose with a snack or a meal.
Do CBD gummies have good bioavailability?
Edible treats such as CBD gummies are the most popular way to consume CBD as they are very tasty and the easiest way to get your daily dose of CBD. The rate of bioavailability for CBD gummies is around 20% as they need to pass through the digestive tract and would take longer to reach the bloodstream. Although ingesting CBD gummies is not as efficient as taking CBD sublingually, taking 1 to 3 CBD gummies each day provides whole health support including relief from pain, improved sleep, relief from anxiety and stress, and many others.
How is ZenBears different to other CBD Gummies?
ZenBears offer CBD gummies that are vegan-friendly, all-organic, and THC-free. Our CBD gummies are coated with CBD oil instead of infused or injected with CBD. As one of the fastest ways to get the benefits from CBD is sublingual, the CBD oil coating of our gummies will provide you with all the sublingual benefits. Aside from this, ZenBears CBD gummies are perfect for people who don’t like the earthy taste of CBD our CBD gummies are designed to be extremely tasty and burst with fruity flavours making them irresistible.