How much CBD is actually absorbed by your body? Here are the best ways to increase CBD absorption to get the biggest bang for your buck. Bioavailability refers to the degree and rate at which a substance is absorbed into your bloodstream. Read more on how dosage and consumption method can affect how much cannabis your body uses. CBD absorption refers to the transfer of CBD from the point of administration to the bloodstream, where it is transported throughout our body to interact with our cannabinoid receptors. How CBD is absorbed, and how long it stays in our body will determine the effectiveness of a CBD product.
your Guide To Increase CBD Absorption – Luce Farm Wellness
As simple as CBD may seem, there’s some distinctive science behind the inner-workings of the cannabinoid that can maximize its results. While we know what CBD is capable of once it’s absorbed – it’s how much is actually absorbed that could affect your experience overall. Not to mention, actual CBD absorption will affect how much you use and how much you spend on your all-natural health and wellness routines.
That means, it’s crucial for everyday consumers to understand the best CBD routes of administration for bioavailability, and the best CBD absorption methods and tips. But don’t worry – as complicated as it might sound, we’ll break it all down in an easy-to-understand manner (that even includes adding chocolate to your CBD routines!).
So, without further ado – let’s address how to increase CBD absorption to get the biggest bang for your buck.
What Is CBD Bioavailability?
Before we learn how to increase CBD absorption let’s first better understand the bioavailability of CBD. Bioavailability is a term that references the percentage of any medication that’s actually absorbed into the bloodstream. Meaning, when you ingest any form of medication, herb, or supplement, although the dose may contain 50mg, far less is actually absorbed. That means there’s lots of room for improvement when it comes to your body making full use of your CBD dose.
CBD absorption rates depend on a couple different factors. One being, the type of product you’re consuming. For instance, edibles or CBD products you swallow will have a lower CBD absorption rate in comparison to the sublingual method. Why? Because your body metabolizes CBD through the digestive system which is chock-full of enzymes and acids that can degrade and deteriorate the cannabinoid’s delicate structure.
In comparison, CBD oil sublingual bioavailability is much higher. When you hold CBD oil under your tongue for 30-60 seconds, the compounds are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the sublingual artery. Meaning, there’s less time and probability for your body’s natural enzymes and compounds to break down and reduce the amount of CBD actually absorbed.
The second factor that’ll affect CBD oil bioavailability specifically is the type of carrier oil that’s used. Because our bodies are made of 60% water the best CBD absorption rates come from water-soluble product types. Hence, why Medium-chain triglycerides or MCT oil is one of the best ways to absorb CBD. MCT has a lighter molecular weight than other carriers and is soluble in water which allows for maximum CBD absorption when combined.
Of course, just like some medications or vitamins are recommended only after a meal – there are some steps you can take to maximize your CBD absorption rates. So, next we’ll cover the best ways to absorb CBD with a few tips and tricks.
Top 4 Ways to Maximize CBD Absorption
Put simply – when you maximize your CBD absorption, you maximize the efficacy of its benefits. So, if you’re looking to get the most out of each dose here are 4 simple ways you can increase CBD absorption.
Consume with fatty snacks
The smaller the molecule, the better it will be absorbed by the body. That’s the simple principle behind the method of consuming CBD with snacks, or meals high in fat. CBD’s molecule structure is highly soluble into fats, and fatty oils are successful at dissolving large CBD compounds into smaller sizes. Another reason why MCT oil is so popular, is it’s a “smaller” fat than most others you’d digest, and easier to absorb too.
When you combine CBD with the following fatty foods and snacks, the fat helps CBD molecules stay in-tact and allows more to be absorbed.
- Dark Chocolate – Nearly 65% of dark chocolate’s calories are fat, and the rich treat is chock-full of antioxidants for extra benefits, too.
- Fatty fish – Salmon, mackerel, trout or herring and other fatty fish help preserve CBD molecules, with the help of its omega-3 fatty acids, protein levels, and nutrients.
- Avocados – One of the most popular ‘healthy fats’, adding an avocado to your CBD routine can maximize bioavailability.
- Nuts – A handful of fatty nuts like almonds, and walnuts can work wonders for increasing CBD absorption, especially on the go.
- Eggs – Consume your CBD every morning? Add a side of eggs that contain healthy fats, vitamins, protein, and nutrients to increase CBD’s bioavailability.
- Cheese – Packed with healthy fats, cheese is another ideal pairing to maximize CBD absorption.
Supplement with herbs
Similar to foods, certain herbs can also increase the bioavailability of CBD. So, if you’re interested in increasing your personal CBD absorption rate, consider adding the following herbal compounds to your CBD routine.
- Piperine – Piperine is an alkaloid that’s primarily found in black pepper. It has the ability to enhance CBD’s bioavailability metabolic effects of the liver by inhibiting the liver’s metabolic effects.
- Turmeric – Turmeric also contains piperine and improves bioavailability similarly to pepper. However, turmeric also contains the curcumin which helps magnify the effects of both. Recent studies prove that piperine enhances the absorption of curcumin. So all in all, when consuming piperine, turmeric and CBD together – the compounds all have greater absorption than when consumed alone.
- Apigenin – Apigenin is a compound that’s found in abundance in chamomile flowers, but also other consumables like oregano, parsley, celery, and dark chocolate (bonus!). It has the power to prevent CBD from breaking down, by binding to enzymes and strengthening its overall bioavailability.
- Capsaicin – Primarily found in spicy, hot, peppers, Capsaicin shares a similar molecular structure to CBD which helps its efficacy for increasing its bioavailability. Early studies prove that the compound has the ability to enhance cannabinoid’s responses including CBD, CBG, and THC.
Seek out CBD chock-full of terpenes
Terpenes may be well-known as the aromatic centers of hemp and cannabis plants, but in actuality are so much more. As a quick refresher, terpenes are compounds found in the essential oils of plants and produce their signature scents. But emerging research is showing that terpenes are also capable of producing their own effects, similar to that of cannabinoids.
Even more, when combined – terpenes and cannabinoids create what’s known and proven as “the entourage effect”. Like piperine and curcumin enhancing one another’s bioavailability and effects, terpenes and cannabinoids act in the same fashion. Together, they amplify one another’s efficacy and overall strength.
That means, seeking out products that are chock-full of terpenes can increase CBD’s efficacy, like maximizing its’ absorption would too. CBD products rich in terpenes are classified as “full-spectrum”. Which means the extraction process captures the entire profile of plant cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients. In comparison to “isolate” products which references the extraction of just one cannabinoid, like CBD and no terpenes whatsoever.
Last but not least – when learning how to increase CBD absorption you must know CBD oil sublingual bioavailability is the most effective overall. Even though the tips we’ve shared will help boost CBD absorption rates no matter the consumption method – CBD sublingual bioavailability will always reign supreme.
The sublingual CBD route of administration is the most direct into the bloodstream, increasing its overall bioavailability and in turn, the CBD absorption rate, too. But still, many shy away from sublingually consuming due to the raw, pure, and all-natural flavor of some CBD oils and extracts. In that case, you can always seek out a flavored CBD oil like Peppermint to enhance the taste, experience and absorption – all in one!
High Quality CBD for Highly Effective Results
Now that you know more on the unique inner mechanisms of CBD, you can better understand how CBD consumption methods and products affect CBD absorption. As a more informed consumer, it may just be time to enhance your overall health and wellness routines for maximum efficacy and benefits.
With the information you gained today, it’s also easy to see that higher quality CBD = better results. Even more, not every CBD brand or product can be treated equally. From the type of carrier oil that’s used, to the quality of plant material and level of terpenes and cannabinoids – you now know what to look for when seeking the products with the highest efficacy.
At Luce Farm Wellness, we pride ourselves on producing the highest quality CBD for the highest level of holistic, plant-powered effects and benefits. Learn more about our hands-on approach to ensuring each batch is crafted with intention, and care, for the most effective experience available on the market today.
Most THC and CBD oil goes to waste in your body—here’s why
If you knew that only 6% of your CBD gummies would enter your bloodstream to do their job, would you still purchase them? Amid the current frenzy surrounding cannabis and its therapeutic benefits, it’s easy to gloss over the bioavailability of cannabis products.
Bioavailability refers to the degree and rate at which a substance is absorbed into your bloodstream to be used where needed. Physiological processes and consumption methods can affect cannabis absorption, rendering its effects somewhat hit-and-miss.
It’s critical to get clued up about bioavailability in order to maximize the medicinal potency of cannabis. The more bioavailable your cannabis, the lower the quantity of the plant you need to reap its benefits.
What factors influence cannabis bioavailability?
The surge in cannabis popularity can be partly attributed to the range of consumption methods available. Edibles and tinctures can have less of the stigma traditionally associated with joints. However, when cannabinoids such as CBD and THC are ingested in oil form—oil is also used to make edibles—their bioavailability becomes compromised.
CBD and THC oils resist absorption into the bloodstream because the human body is up to 60% water . Basic science—and salad dressing—dictates that oil and water do not mix, and the same is true for cannabis oil and the human body.
“Cannabinoids are fat-loving molecules and have to traverse a cellular environment that is aqueous or watery,” explains Dr. Patricia Frye, a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and chief medical officer at Hello MD . When cannabis is consumed as an oil, the onset of effects can become delayed and bioavailability limited.
Another phenomenon that limits oil-based cannabis extracts from reaching the bloodstream is the first-pass effect. When cannabis is ingested orally, it is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and transported via the portal vein to the liver, where it is metabolized. As a result of this process, only a limited quantity reaches the circulatory system. Since cannabis oil is often taken orally, its efficacy can be hindered.
Are some cannabinoids more bioavailable than others?
There has been some investigation into CBD, THC, and less into cannabinol, or CBN. Studies have shown that the bioavailability of cannabinoids depends on the method of delivery.
When applied as a topical ointment or transdermal patch, CBD can penetrate the tissue ten times more effectively than THC. The same is true of CBN.
THC, however, is more bioavailable than CBD when administered orally or delivered via the lungs. A clinical study found that concentrations of THC in the bloodstream appeared 30-50% higher than CBD following oral delivery as a sublingual spray.
However, the bioavailability of THC is still limited when consumed orally, averaging only 4-12%. When smoked or vaped, the bioavailability of THC leaps to an average of 30%.
Which methods of cannabis consumption optimize bioavailability?
Some of the most common and convenient cannabis products, such as capsules, soft gels, tinctures, and edibles, limit bioavailability due to the first pass through the liver. “With edibles, absorption is slow, unpredictable, and highly variable,” says Frye. “Only about 6% of the dose is absorbed. The onset of action can be as long as 6 hours; it’s very easy to take too much, and the effects can last as long as 20 hours!”
Oral administration lasts longer than smoking, eliminating the need for frequent dosing. Oral methods also avoid irritation to the airways and the risk of malignancies associated with smoking or vaping.
That said, inhaling cannabis guarantees increased bioavailability because molecules are transported by vapor particles directly to the alveoli in the lungs. This allows cannabinoids to rapidly enter the bloodstream without being metabolized by the liver.
Another lesser known method of administration is intranasal delivery, which enables cannabinoids to be easily absorbed with a rapid onset of 10 minutes or less. “Intranasal methods are highly bioavailable at 34-46%,” says Frye. “It’s a particularly helpful mode of delivery for patients who are having a seizure or for patients trying to abort an impending seizure or migraine.”
Transdermal patches can be super effective at targeting localized or systemic pain. They allow for a steady infusion of active ingredients to the delivery site, so the patient is unlikely to experience spikes of THC in the bloodstream.
Finally, nano-emulsions and micro-emulsions can dramatically increase the stability and bioavailability of cannabinoids. These novel formulations use nanotechnology to offer up to 100% bioavailability. Frye cautions, however, that the research is still scarce. “We don’t know the full extent of how these manipulations affect cannabinoid activity at the cellular level,” she says.
What tips or tricks can help increase bioavailability?
One method that boosts the absorption of edibles is to combine cannabis product with fats. Frye recommends combining edibles or tinctures with healthy fats such as guacamole, hummus, or dark chocolate. If you’re feeling less virtuous, however, ice cream works as a treat. The same goes for alcohol-based tinctures.
For those who smoke or vape, bioavailability can be enhanced by minimizing sidestream loss and increasing the number of puffs. “Using a desktop or handheld vaporizer with flower will eliminate sidestream losses,” Frye advises. If you think you get more bang for your buck by holding your breath, think again. “There is no evidence supporting holding one’s breath for more than 10 secs,” says Frye.
Some final words of advice from Dr. Fyre, for those looking to optimize cannabis bioavailability: “The most cost-effective way to use cannabis is not to use more than you need. Less is more,” she says. Due to its biphasic nature, excessive dosing may exacerbate the symptoms you’re trying to alleviate.
CBD Effects and How the Body Processes CBD Oil
CBD absorption refers to the transfer of CBD from the point of administration to the bloodstream, where it is transported throughout our body to interact with our cannabinoid receptors, CB1 & CBD1 and non-cannabinoid receptors like our serotonin receptor.
How CBD is absorbed depends on how it is administered and how it is consumed. This will in part determine how effective CBD will be.
What is CBD?
CBD is the abbreviation of cannabidiol and is found in hemp plants. There are over 120 known cannabinoids, and each play a role in our endocannabinoid system. The two most popular cannabinoids are, tretrahydrocannabinol (THC) & CBD. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and will not get you high.
In November 2017, the World Health Organization published a report listing all of the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD. Amongst them are; stress and anxiety relief, alleviating pain, limiting inflammation, improving sleep, reducing nausea. For the full list, click here.
How Does the Body Process and Absorbs CBD?
There are 3 main absorption methods; sublingual / oral, smoking / vaping, and topical. They each have a different way of being absorbed and processed by our body, and have different levels of effectiveness.
1) Sublingual and Oral Absorption are the most common way of taking CBD. Think, CBD oils, capsules, edibles or any other food products infused with CBD.
When ingested, CBD goes through the digestive system and to our stomach. From there, it enters the hepatic portal system where CBD is carried to our liver. The liver metabolizes the CBD molecules in what is referred to as the “first-pass effect” to then go into the bloodstream.
Taking CBD edibles might not be the most effective way of taking CBD because the first-pass effect, effectively prevents the absorption of cannabinoids into the blood. This is why CBD gummies have the lowest percentage of CBD bioavailability. Sometimes even after waiting more than an hour after ingestion, you might feel nothing. For example, if you take a 10mg edible and gummies have a 20% bioavailability , it means that only 2mg of CBD will actually reach your bloodstream, which makes taking that gummy pretty ineffective. On the positive side, research has shown that despite their low bioavailability , CBD edibles produces effects that may last longer.
For CBD drops or tinctures, studies have found that consuming CBD oil with fatty acids can help bypass first-pass metabolism, and therefore increase bioavailability and how much CBD is absorbed. Taking CBD oil sublingually and holding it under your tongue for several seconds before swallowing, allows the mucus membrane of the mouth to absorb CBD, and bypass the digestive system. This is why CBD drops have a high bioavailability, and are more effective than CBD edibles.
2) Smoking and Vaping Absorption
Inhaling CBD is one the quickest ways for CBD to be absorbed, and offers fast relief. When using a CBD vape pen or pre-roll, the compounds are absorbed through the alveoli in the lungs, which offers a large absorptive surface area. It bypasses the first-pass metabolism in a similar way as sublingual administration except that it reaches the bloodstream faster.
A key difference is that while inhaling CBD offers a faster relief than sublingual or oral absorption, the effects wear off a lot quicker. If you are suffering from acute conditions, and need immediate relief, using this method of CBD absorption is great.
3) Topical Absorption
CBD topical products are designed to provide targeted relief to a specific area. The skin has several cannabinoid receptors that absorb and interact with CBD when it is applied to the surface. With a topical application, CBD never reaches the bloodstream as human skin in general has low permeability, which means it blocks most substances from entering. This means that CBD topical application has a low absorption rate so, use CBD lotions, salves, and balms generously.
To read about how to dose CBD oil properly, click here
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