Bioavailability and cannabidiol (CBD) is a hot topic right now. The versatility of CBD is one of the most appealing things about this natural compound. There are a variety of different ways that you can take CBD, including oils, tinctures, edibles, balms, and vape liquids, but did you know that different delivery methods have their bioavailability score?
Let’s take a look at what bioavailability is, why it matters, and how it affects different delivery methods!
What is bioavailability?
A user-friendly definition of bioavailability is how quickly and how effectively a compound such as cannabidiol (CBD) enters your system. For example, if you take 50mg of CBD, how much of that 50mg makes it into your bloodstream, and how long does it take to get there?
If after taking 100mg you only end up with 5-10mg of CBD in your bloodstream after three or four hours, then that’s a low bioavailability score. On the other hand, if you end up with 30-40mg of CBD after an hour, then that would be a high bioavailability score.
There have been a variety of different studies into the bioavailability of different CBD products. While you may be thinking that the higher the bioavailability is, the better the products are, it’s important to remember that each delivery method has its advantages and disadvantages.
Why does bioavailability matter?
Obviously, you want whatever CBD product you take to be as effective as possible. The last thing you want is to be paying for CBD that never makes it to where it’s needed. On the flip side, the way that you take CBD will have a huge impact on the way that the CBD affects you.
While some delivery methods have a lower bioavailability, the effects can last much longer and require less frequent dosage throughout the day. You need to carefully weigh up what you’re looking to get out of your CBD product before making any decisions based on bioavailability.
What are the bioavailability scores of different delivery methods?
As we mentioned above, the versatility and variety of different CBD delivery methods are one of its most attractive attributes. Obviously, CBD via an intravenous application would have the most effective bioavailability, but that’s not an option.
Let’s check out some of the different delivery methods and what their bioavailability is!
- CBD via oral ingestion – There are a variety of different oral delivery methods including, oils, tinctures, edibles, and capsules. The biggest problem with oral delivery methods is that the CBD needs to pass through the digestive system. CBD is fat-soluble, and enzymes in the digestive system destroy much of it. Oral ingestion has a bioavailability score somewhere between 6% – 20% according to the study of cannabinoids absorption.
- CBD via oral tinctures and oils – Tinctures are another form of oral ingestion, but CBD isn’t swallowed it’s placed under the tongue where it’s absorbed by the sublingual gland. This allows the CBD to enter the bloodstream without passing through the digestive system. CBD via tinctures has a bioavailability score of between 13% – 19%. It’s important with tinctures that you allow 60-90 seconds for the drops to be absorbed without rinsing or swallowing.
- CBD via vapor consumption – Inhaling CBD as a vapor will give you one of the highest bioavailability scores coming in somewhere between 34% – 54%. While it has a higher absorption rate compared to other delivery methods, the effects will wear off faster and require frequent dosage throughout the day.
- CBD via an external application – It’s almost impossible to measure the bioavailability of topical applications because the CBD binds with receptors located beneath the skin without entering the bloodstream, but this study found that topical application of CBD was effective for treating localized areas.
CBD bioavailability conclusion
While you may think that higher bioavailability scores are better, each delivery method has its advantages and disadvantages, and choosing one that suits your needs is more important than the bioavailability score. The bioavailability of different delivery methods can be an effective way to help you choose the right CBD product to suit you and your targeted results.