As a consumer of CBD, more than anything you want to know how effective your CBD product is. This article is designed to help you understand what bioavailability means, why it matters and how different products affect bioavailability.

We all know there are many different ways to consume CBD. CBD can be inhaled, eaten, applied topically to the skin or dropped under the tongue! The difference in how you consume your CBD products has implications for how much and how quickly CBD is absorbed by your body. As a result, depending on why you want to use CBD you’re more than likely going have preference for a particular type of CBD product.

Table of Contents

What Is Bioavailability? 

Effects of Different CBD Products

Factors That Affect Bioavailability

How Do You Decide as A Consumer

What is Bioavailability?

Bioavailability in its most simple terms is just a measure of how effectively a substance is absorbed by the body. If we delve into a bit of science, bioavailability is the degree and rate at which a substance is absorbed and used by the body and is expressed by a numerical value. This concept is used in a wide range of fields from nutritional science to environmental science and even pharmacology.

CBD bioavailability refers to the rate and degree to which CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream. This matters for one simple reason, products that have higher bioavailability are likely to be more effective! If your body absorbs more CBD you get greater benefits. Different products have inherently different levels of bioavailability, but may be beneficial for a number of different reasons as we’ll touch on.

Effects of different CBD products

There are many different ways to consume CBD. It can be taken in capsule form, eaten in foods, or mixed into drinks. The popularity of these products has increased significantly over the past few years. It’s worth understanding how different product formats impact bioavailability and what the tradeoffs are with product types. A easy to understand example of this is edible CBD, for example when you ingest a CBD capsule there is far less CBD bioavailability when compared to a CBD oil. This is because CBD is absorbed within the digestive tract as opposed to under the tongue, meaning it’s effects are likely to be felt slower but last for a longer period. These tradeoffs are what makes CBD so deeply personal, the reason I may take CBD may be very different from you and thus the type of product you use should be suited to that specific outcome.

CBD oil drops or spray

A simple rule of thumb that we use for conveying concepts around bioavailability is this; the further away you get from putting CBD under your tongue the less it’s likely to be absorbed. CBD oil when held under the tongue under the bloodstream via sublingual glands and is one of the most effective ways of ingesting CBD. Contrast this to rubbing a CBD cream on your skin and you start to seeing the differences in bioavailability within CBD product formats.

cbd tincture, cbd bottle, cbd oil

Another interesting and effective format to ingest CBD sublingually is via sprays. Sprays act in a similar way to CBD oils and lets you absorb CBD in the glands in your mouth as opposed to being absorbed within the digestive tract like capsules or tablets are.

Topical CBD

Remember that rule of thumb we mentioned earlier in the blog? Well, it still applies here! Applying CBD topically has significantly less bioavailability than a CBD oil for one simple reason – your skin is a barrier! As a result a smaller amount of CBD passes through this barrier, although topicals allow you to apply CBD to a specific area where you may be feeling an ache or pain.

Factors that affect Bioavailability

As mentioned above, the key factor that will affect CBD bioavailability is your product format! Beyond that there are a couple of different areas that will affect bioavailability.

If you’re taking CBD oil, it’s important to know why. It plays a huge role in how the user feels, but some factors are not your control. Fortunately, you can always identify the best delivery method for your needs.

Type of CBD being used

If you’re reading this blog, you may or may not be familiar with water-soluble CBD. If you’re not, here’s a quick introduction. CBD naturally is hydrophobic, which mean’s it doesn’t mix with water! You can’t simply add CBD isolate into your coffee and expect it to mix well, like you would with sugar. It’s likely to clump and you’ll end up with a mouthful of some bitter powder. This is where water-soluble CBD comes in! Basically, through the magic of science CBD is turned into a from a molecule that doesn’t mix with water, to one that does. During this process, often times the molecules are made smaller than they normally are and as a result can be absorbed more rapidly than normal CBD. For this reason, knowing what type of CBD is in your product is important.

How often you use CBD

When you start using CBD, your body may react differently than someone who has used it for a long time. This is because your body builds up its tolerance to CBD over time. Experimenting with different delivery forms may also give you more ability to not build up a tolerance as well as trying new cannabinoids like CBG.

How do you decide as a Consumer?

Listening to your body is an important aspect of a holistic mindset. Your state of health affects what delivery methods will work best for you, so be sure to talk it over with a healthcare professional to get the most from your experience. 

If you’re in doubt talk to our team of knowledgeable staff via email or in-store at the Found Cafe in the heart of Sheung Wan. They can answer any of your questions and help you shop our range of CBD  products that match your needs and individual preferences.