Because of the numerous health benefits of cannabidiol, better known as CBD, cannabis is a hot topic.
While many people are still new to the world of CBD, you have probably heard all about the hype of this chemical. Many products will often use the term bioavailability, but what does that mean?
In this post, we’ll look at what bioavailability is and how it affects CBD.
Bioavailability is a term that pharmacists use to describe the rate at which your body absorbs a compound or substance. In simple terms, bioavailability is the time it takes for CBD, or any other substance you ingest, to enter your bloodstream and reach different parts of your body.
Do you find yourself getting different experiences every time you take CBD products? Do you sometimes feel like the products have not worked?
If you experience this often, it might lead you to question if CBD actually has any benefits. That unsatisfactory experience you had with CBD could really just have been due to bioavailability.
Over the years, CBD’s bioavailability action has been a significant concern for many researchers who are trying to look at the effectiveness of CBD. There are numerous CBD products available on today’s markets, with each product having its specific formula.
Most CBD products are based on the chemicals we derive from plants. When extracting the compound, companies isolate CBD from other components of marijuana or hemp. The combination of the elements we separate is one thing that determines the level of bioavailability and the experience you are likely to get.
Besides the formula, how you take CBD will also affect how much of the product your body absorbs and uses.
There are a few forms of CBD bioavailability. These are some of the primary bioavailability forms that you have probably come across.
This form of CBD bioavailability refers to products you consume through the mouth, such as edibles, capsules, and pills. These oral products are quite popular, with edibles being a booming CBD segment. Products like CBD gummies are gradually becoming the norm for everyday use.
Though oral consumption is popular, it, unfortunately, has the lowest CBD bioavailability rate. Its absorption rate is roughly between 13 and 19 percent. This low rate is because most of the CBD you consume orally gets wasted through a process that happens during digestion.
This process is known as the first-pass effect and is a term that refers to the process of digestive enzymes acting on the CBD, which alters its structure and reduces its concentration. These digestive enzymes destroy most of the CBD before your body gets a chance to metabolize it.
Also, because CBD is fat-soluble, your body finds it more challenging to absorb the chemical.
All these reasons combined mean that minimal amounts of the product actually enter your bloodstream.
While this low bioavailability rate might be a deal-breaker for some, some positives come from using oral consumption methods.
One benefit is that you are more likely to get a balanced set of effects. Also, research suggests that this method’s effects last longer compared to most other consumption options.
Sublingual is a process that involves placing the CBD product underneath the tongue. In this form, your body breaks the CBD down into small particles, making it possible for your body to directly absorb it into your bloodstream for instant action.
Some of the products that you can ingest sublingually include drops or sprays, with most of them being broad or full-spectrum CBD that contains various terpenes.
With a bioavailability rate faster than what you will experience with oral consumption, a growing number of CBD users prefer this form of consumption. Sublingual CBD bioavailability can be as high as 54 percent.
Through inhalation, you can consume CBD and avoid your digestive tract, therefore bypassing the first-pass effect you experience with oral products.
Once you inhale CBD, the membranes that cover your lungs will absorb the chemical. These membranes are called alveoli.
Once they absorb the CBD, the product can enter your bloodstream without interruption. This is one of the reasons why you will rapidly feel the CBD effects, though these effects often do not last as long as compared to other consumption methods.
When inhaling CBD, you could either smoke or vape it. Smoking is considered the typical way of consuming cannabis and has a bioavailability rate of 31 percent.
On the other hand, vaping CBD involves heating the product to a specific temperature to convert it into a vapor that you can inhale. Vaporizing CBD makes its bioavailability higher than when you smoke it.
Though most research currently focuses on THC’s bioavailability, we can assume THC’s rate is similar to that of CBD. In this case, you could get a bioavailability rate as high as 56 percent when you inhale the product through vaping.
This form of bioavailability is one of the least common. It involves either applying CBD topical oils or placing a CBD patch on your skin.
Often, people use topicals to dull pain in a specific region. Though it is not popular for most users, it is one of the best ways to ensure that you get consistent CBD doses across a certain period.
With CBD being fat-soluble, however, this method can be slow and ineffective if you do not combine it with another compound that is more water-soluble. One study showed that if you add about a third of ethanol during the transdermal application, you could improve the CBD effect by nearly four times.
While one of the simple ways of increasing CBD’s bioavailability is by opting for a consumption method that offers you high bioavailability rates, some users might have health conditions that limit the consumption methods they can try.
Fortunately, there is a way for you to boost the rate of bioavailability, regardless of the form you choose.
CBD and essential oils work well together. Mixing these is one of the best ways to increase the product’s bioavailability rate.
Essential oils are products that people extract from different plant sources, often using them for their medicinal value. Not only do essential oils improve CBD’s bioavailability, but they also maximize the product’s benefits and can have remarkable effects on your body.
While there are several different essential oils you can use to increase your CBD’s absorption rate, some of the more popular options include olive oil, MCT oils, and jojoba oil. One of the reasons these oils are highly preferred is because they offer additional health benefits to give you a well-rounded experience.
Jojoba oil is extremely helpful for reducing inflammation, which is a destructive and common symptom that interrupts daily life. You can also use the oil to treat other ailments like headaches and coughs.
Jojoba oil is also a great skin care product and can help you moisturize, deal with wrinkles, reduce the overproduction of oil, and battle certain skin conditions like eczema.
As if all that was not enough, jojoba oil is also antibacterial and antifungal, meaning it can also help heal your wounds.
Olive oil is also great for reducing inflammation. On top of that, it is antibacterial and is loaded with strong antioxidants. It can reduce the risks of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Moreover, olive oil can help you lower bad cholesterol, reduce the joint pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, and fight dementia.
The growing popularity of the Keto diet over the years has brought Medium Chain Triglycerides oils to the limelight.
Consuming these oils offer tons of benefits such as:
Besides combining your CBD intake with essential oils, there are certain herbal supplement pills or capsules that you can use to increase bioavailability. The herbal supplements the capsules or pills contain go a long way in helping your body absorb the CBD.
Similar to essential oils, some of the herbal supplements you use also offer additional health benefits that add to the already numerous CBD advantages.
Some of the options you might consider trying out include Ginkgo Biloba and St. John’s Wort.
Apart from increasing a CBD product’s bioavailability rate, when you combine Ginkgo Biloba with your CBD, it can better manage muscle tension, nausea, and pain relief.
Some of the other benefits of Ginkgo Biloba include:
St. John’s Wort is a plant that people have used for many years to treat different ailments such as lung disease, depression, and kidney disease. You can also use the plant to treat menopause symptoms and insomnia. Furthermore, its properties make it a useful treatment for various wounds.
We should mention, however, that St. John’s Wort interacts differently with certain medications. If you are interested in using it to boost your CBD’s bioavailability, we recommend consulting your doctor first to avoid adverse reactions.
You could also consider combining your CBD product with various vitamins that the body can absorb quickly. Some of the vitamins that could help boost the bioavailability of your CBD include vitamin C and vitamin D.
The best vitamin to use to increase the bioavailability rate, however, is vitamin A. It is the vitamin that your body most easily absorbs, so it can pull in the CBD with it.
Fatty acids act as binding agents and can significantly increase your CBD’s bioavailability if you add them to certain ingestible CBD products such as drops and capsules. You could also consider adding long-chain triglycerides.
Often, using your product in higher concentrations is the easiest way to increase the bioavailability of your CBD product. While this does not change the product’s absorption rate, increasing its concentration means that more of the product will find its way into your bloodstream.
However, you should take caution with this method and try limiting your intake to no more than 70mg of CBD each day.
When it comes to bioavailability, things might not be as straightforward as we might like. The rates are continuously being affected by various factors such as how the CBD is made, how you take it, and what you supplement it with.
But, one thing that is clear: Because bioavailability affects how your body absorbs the CBD, it has a significant impact on the experience you get.
While taking it orally gives you the lowest bioavailability level, you will feel the product’s effects for longer. Transdermal application offers the best solution for those looking to absorb titrated CBD amounts over a certain period. On the other hand, sublingual absorption and inhaling it will provide you with faster bioavailability rates.
At the end of the day, what’s essential is finding what works for you. Experiment with different products to see which CBD methods affect you best.
We understand first-hand the complexities that are present in the world of CBD. These complexities can become overwhelming for many, making it more challenging for them to find what works for them. This is where SUPA Naturals comes in.
We aim to not only offer you high quality and potent CBD products, but we also give you the expert guidance you need to ensure you get the most out of your CBD experience. Reach out to SUPA Naturals today and browse our store.