As time passes, scientists and researchers are learning more and more about CBD, how it interacts with the body and many of its health promoting benefits, such as helping to reduce levels of anxiety and depression, manage pain, and provide anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in the body that can potentially have positive benefits for conditions such as arthritis. WHAT IS CBD? CBD IN DEPTH FROM CBD VAPE GENIUS. But for CBD to interact with and have influence over the systems in our body responsible for these effects, it first has to be absorbed. In this article we will be going over the different methods of administration and absorption of the non-psychoactive compound so you can have a better understanding of how your method of choice plays a key role in CBD uptake in your body.
First, let’s talk about 4 major ways CBD oil is absorbed in the body:
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The way CBD is consumed plays an important role in the uptake, distribution, and filtration/elimination of the compound. The amount of CBD that is actually absorbed in the body after making its way through different filtration systems is called its bioavailability. As we will soon see, different routes of administration have varying levels of bioavailability associated with them, which can influence how effective cannabinoid usage will be at eliciting their natural balancing effects from person to person.
Absorption Of CBD through the Digestive System
A very common way of CBD administration is orally by means of Gel Capsules or CBD Edibles. CBD ingested this way goes through our digestive system, making its first stop in the stomach. There the edible and the outer casing of the gel capsules start to breakdown, leaving the compounds to travel through the hepatic portal vein into the liver. The liver then metabolizes the CBD molecules in a reaction called the “first-pass effect.” The enzymes in the liver act upon the CBD compounds, reducing the concentration before what makes it through enters the bloodstream.
Approximately 6-15% of CBD consumed
Even though it is usually regarded as the easiest way to consume CBD, the drawbacks of oral administration are its low bioavailability and how long it takes to enter and circulate in the bloodstream because of the pit stops in the stomach and liver (taking as much 30 minutes to an hour before making its way through the rest of the body.) This can definitely be the way to go for individuals who suffer from little aches and pains throughout the day, as this slow-release can have CBD compounds circulating throughout the day when taken in the morning and at night.
Absorption Of CBD Sublingually
CBD compounds can be absorbed through the mucus membrane in the mouth by using CBD Tinctures and holding it underneath the tongue for 60-90 seconds before swallowing. This sublingual method allows the CBD taken to completely bypass the digestive system-and with it any liver metabolism- so that a greater portion of the compound avoids getting broken down and makes it to the bloodstream intact and at a faster rate than through the digestive system.
Bioavailability:20-35% of CBD consumed
Sublingual administration of CBD through the use of CBD tinctures does have its draw backs though: it takes a little more prep time and work in order to administer it compared to the gel capsules you can take on the move and the taste can be a little strange to those new to it. This method is generally recognized the most cost-effective method for long term use for individuals with chronic conditions.
Absorption Of CBD through the Lungs
When CBD oil is vaporized, it is heated by a vape pen’s electrical components to turn the oil into vapor. This vapor is then inhaled and the compounds are absorbed through the alveoli in the lungs, which offer a large absorptive surface area. Once through the alveoli, the CBD molecules are immediately transferred into the bloodstream. This instant access to the circulatory system allows some to feel the effects within a few seconds, while others report it taking anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. Compared to ingestion, the inhalation method allows more CBD to be absorbed and offers a faster absorption rate.
30-40% of CBD consumed Since there is generally no wait time for these products to kick in, they are excellent choices for individuals looking for ways to help relieve ailments that come seemingly out of nowhere, such as migraines, bouts of anxiety and/or panic attacks. Most vaporizers make it easy and convenient to take small ‘hits’ or inhales of CBD vapor throughout the day. Many vape pens are small and discrete, designed to furtively vaporize CBD and easily take with you when on the move. Because the vapor disperses quickly after being inhaled and produces minimal smell, you can use them virtually anywhere without disturbing those around you.
A common question that usually pops up with individuals looking to add some CBD into their routine using this method is how much oil to actually vape on any given time. Even though there are very loose guidelines around to help get you started (check out our CBD intake guide for a handy chart), remember that there has yet to be a regulating body (here’s looking at you FDA) to step in and set solid guidelines for us all to adhere to. With that being noted, there are a few things to remember when starting your CBD journey:
CBD is non-toxic and well tolerated in daily doses up to 1,500mg, so you can feel confident that you will in all likelihood not overdo it.
The best bet when starting is to aim low (5 to 15mg) and gradually increase the amount of CBD every few days until you experience the desired results.
Vaping may be a bit tricky to find out how much you are getting with each puff you inhale because different variables come into play, including the type of vaporizer you are using, the amount of CBD in the cartridge itself and how long your puffs go for. For a supremely accurate measurement, you can figure out how many puffs it takes for you to finish the cartridge and math it from there, dividing the total CBD in the cartridge with the amount of puffs needed to finish in order to get the approximate amount of CBD per puff. Or you can start with a puff or two for the first few days, see how things feel, and then either increase the amount taken during one sitting or take another few pulls during a different part of the day- enjoy the process of finding the right range for you!
All in all, vaping can be another great way to add CBD into your system. You can check out our lineup of CBD oil cartridges and vaporizers.
Absorption Of CBD through Topical Application
Finally, some CBD hemp oil products can be applied directly on the skin. CBD applied topically never reaches the bloodstream like the other methods of absorption, but can be absorbed through the skin’s surface and interact with the afflicted area’s nearby cannabinoid receptors.
Does not apply Topical application is a very popular delivery method to help soothe localized muscular pain/soreness, arthritic joint pain/inflammation, and skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. In order to understand how this method functions, it is important to remember that our skin is a functioning organ- the largest organ in the human body to be exact- with its job of keeping harmful agents outside of our bodies running around the clock. So while it does do a great job of keeping certain potentially harmful organisms out, it also acts as a useful molecular passageway for lipid-based oils to diffuse into, which is where the salves and lotions come into play. When you apply CBD topically, the cannabinoid-carrying lipids in the oil base are transported across the skin cell membranes, where it interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the area to start its therapeutic reactions.
A common question that comes up in regard to topical CBD products is what the differences are between CBD salves and CBD lotions. In a nutshell, CBD salves use fatty oils and wax as a base with no water, while CBD lotions use a bit of water and moisturizing agents in their base. This changes the composition and texture of the product more than anything else; the salve may feel a bit heavier, thicker and even a bit greasier due to the larger amount of fatty oils in its base, but in turn has a bit more strength and lasting power on the skin to it. This may be of more help to individuals with deep joint and muscular pain/soreness. Lotions can be found to be a bit lighter in consistency since they contain a higher amount of water in their base, which could be better suited to those with superficial skin conditions along with those who don’t enjoy the heavier feeling of the salve.
Topical application is usually not recommended to use for ailments that are not considered physical in nature, such as anxiety. Even if you are still unsure about what to start with, you will never know what you like until you try them out- look through our collection of CBD lotions and CBD salves and start figuring out your perfect CBD intake routine!