It is 2019 and CBD is everywhere and in everything. Whether you are stressed, don’t sleep well, experience anxiety or have too much inflammation, CBD is here for you to establish homeostasis, to usher you gently back to center. Thank you CBD. One can enjoy CBD in an oil, a topical, a coffee drink, a bubbly soda, a handful of candy, nuts or hummus. Wait a second. There is CBD hummus on the grocery store shelf? There is CBD in candy? As a consumer of CBD, it is best to be informed. It is time to discuss CBD bioavailability.
Bioavailability and CBD
For CBD to work its benefits, your body must first absorb it. CBD must find its way from the entry point and into the bloodstream to engage with the cannabinoid receptors. The term bioavailability refers to the extent in which a substance enters the body and is able to have an active effect. For example, If a substance is injected straight into the bloodstream then it is described as 100% bioavailable.
CBD taken Sublingually
CBD oil, such as Cordial Organics Balance, is formulated to be taken sublingually. Sublingual means holding the CBD oil under the tongue and allowing the oil to absorb via the sublingual gland. This method allows the mucus membranes of the mouth to absorb CBD and reach the bloodstream pretty quickly. Taken sublingually, CBD is reported to have a 15-35% bioavailability rate.
Vaping, or smoking, CBD is an effective manner in which to introduce CBD to the endocannabinoid system. Studies report a bioavailability rate of up to 55%. The alveoli in the lungs absorb very quickly and the lungs also offer a larger surface area for absorption. Once CBD passes through the alveoli, it enters the bloodstream. Although high in bioavailability, there are other hazards when it comes to smoking.
Eating and Drinking CBD
Certainly easy, fun and social, ingesting CBD is less efficient when it comes to absorbing CBD. Some studies report the bioavailability at less than 10%. When ingested, CBD must pass through the digestive system and then get metabolized in the liver before entering the bloodstream. Enzymes break the CBD down in the digestive system and in the liver, the process becomes complicated. The U.S. National Library of Medicine published a study, (Ujvary and Hanus, 2016), detailing how the liver metabolizes CBD compounds. This was called the “first pass effect”, CYP450 oxidases enzymes in the liver, which have mixed functions, break CBD down, reducing cannabidiol concentration significantly before sending the leftovers to the bloodstream.
CBD applied topically aims to assist a specific area on the body experiencing inflammation. The skin has its own endocannabinoid system and receptors which is why CBD applied topically can be very helpful for those experiencing arthritis, joint and muscle pain. When CBD is applied directly to the skin, it never reaches the bloodstream but when it comes to topical application it does not need to reach the bloodstream in order to be effective. The only topical CBD products able to penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream are transdermal CBD patches. Transdermal, by its very definition, means able to cross the dermal barrier to reach the blood.
It is so important to be informed so that you can make the best choices to support and nurture your well-being. CBD in almost everything? It can’t hurt and it might help so go ahead and spend the extra money for CBD hummus. Just don’t have expectations aside from ingesting a yummy snack.