Bioavailability of CBD

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Not all methods for using CBD are equal. Their effectiveness depends not only on the method of consumption and the ingredients in the product, but also on the bioavailability of the CBD afforded by each method.

The bioavailability of any active compound is the percentage of a given serving that ends up being available for your body to use.

In the case of CBD oil, the active ingredients include both cannabinoids and terpenes. However, for the sake of discussion, we’ll talk only about the bioavailability of CBD itself.

A bioavailability of 100% would signify that 100% of the CBD in the product is available to your body. The only way to achieve 100% bioavailability is through intravenous administration — meaning injection directly into the bloodstream.

Every other method of consumption will result in some percentage of the CBD becoming unavailable to the body for various reasons, such as becoming trapped in fatty tissues or metabolized (broken down) before it has a chance to enter the bloodstream.

Each method of CBD oil consumption has a particular range of bioavailability. We’ll discuss these factors next and will also touch on them when discussing the benefits and drawbacks of each method.

Bioavailability of CBD Tinctures

Joy Organics premium hemp tinctureA tincture is a liquid — usually an oil or an alcohol base — which has been infused with CBD oil. CBD oil tinctures are taken by mouth. When taken using this method, the CBD in the tincture can be absorbed pretty easily.

It is generally assumed that the bioavailability of CBD in tinctures is twice that of edibles — anywhere from 10 to 40%.

Bioavailability of Inhaled CBD

Aside from intravenous injection, the method with the highest bioavailability is inhalation. CBD can be vaporized or atomized and inhaled. The vapor is absorbed into your lungs in the same way that oxygen is. Furthermore, the effects of inhalation are almost immediate. This is because the CBD directly enters your bloodstream directly through the lungs, bypassing the digestive system.

inhaled CBD oilThe bioavailability of inhaled CBD is estimated to range between 25 to 60%. The actual number depends on the ingredients being vaporized and other factors such as how much is inhaled in each puff, how deep it is drawn into the lungs and how quickly it is exhaled.

How Long Does CBD Oil Take to Take Effect?

There are several important factors that come into play when determining the time to take effect when it comes to various methods of using CBD oil. Some of these variables are related to CBD itself, and others are related to how the human body reacts to CBD.

Because of unique genetics, no two people react to CBD oil in the same way. Furthermore, factors such as age, health, weight, circulation and metabolism can all affect the timing of the effects of CBD oil.

A factor that can be influenced by all of the above is the number of cannabinoid receptors in the body, how they are expressed and the ability of the body to produce endocannabinoids. An individual who expresses more receptors or produces fewer endocannabinoids may be more sensitive to CBD than someone with an abundance of endocannabinoids or a lack of receptors.

There are also numerous other factors involved such as the type of product being used, how it’s being used and how much is being used. The onset of edibles will typically take longer than that of tinctures, for example.

As we mentioned, the effects of inhaled CBD are virtually instantaneous.  Edibles and capsules can range anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour while tinctures can take up to 20 minutes.

These figures are to be considered general guidelines and will vary from person to person, as we mentioned above.

CBD Oil Serving Suggestions

As with bioavailability and time to take effect, the ideal serving of CBD depends on a variety of factors including the product being used, the concentration of the CBD in the product, genetic makeup, sex, weight and so on.

Some CBD products list a suggested serving size. However, without taking into account all of the variables, the recommended serving size might be far too low or possibly even too high. In particular, the serving size will vary greatly depending on why it’s being used.

A serving that is appropriate for one product might be much different than that of a similar product. This is because various CBD oil products contain varying amounts of CBD. Whereas one product might contain 10mg of CBD per serving, another might contain 50mg per serving.

The most important factor to be considered, however, is that both serving size and duration of use depend largely on the reason the individual is using it. One person might simply be using CBD to support general wellness while another might be using CBD to help maintain a good night’s rest.

Another factor to be considered is whether or not the product being used contains a full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD oil with terpenes. Due to the entourage effect, these types of products reportedly work more effectively than just CBD alone.

Given all of the above-listed factors, determining your ideal serving requires some thinking. Taking too little will not produce the desired effect and will be a waste of time and money. Alternatively, taking more than you need may not provide additional benefits. It will take some experimentation to determine an ideal serving for a particular person.

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Here are some general guidelines for determining your ideal serving of CBD oil:

Stick With One Product

It’s a good idea to put some thought into which product you’re going to use and stick with that product for a while. This allows you to gauge the effects of that particular product. If you switch back and forth between different products, determining a serving amount will be much harder.

Start With a Low Serving Size

When you first begin using CBD oil, it’s a good idea to start with a low serving size. This gives you a chance to determine your body’s reaction to CBD. One option is to start with 1mg of CBD for every 20 pounds of weight. Using this rule, someone weighing 100 pounds should start with 5 milligrams, while someone weighing over 200 pounds can start with 10 milligrams, and so on.

Start Before Bedtime

When first using CBD oil, it’s best to start at night — about an hour before bedtime. That way, if CBD has a tendency to make you drowsy, you’re not dragging during the daytime. It’s uncommon for a low serving size of CBD to cause drowsiness, but it’s good to be sure. If you have no issues, then take another serving in the morning. If CBD oil does make you sleepy, then take it at night. Often CBD oil is used to support both nighttime sleep and daytime focus, in which case it can be taken as needed throughout the day.

Increase Your Serving Size Slowly

If all goes well but you have not achieved your desired results, you can try doubling your servings. Each time you increase your serving size, take a few days to make note of how your body feels.

If a rise in serving size produces unwanted effects such as making you drowsy, back off to a lower serving.

Can You Take Too Much CBD Oil?

CBD is non-toxic. You would have to consume quite a bit of CBD oil before it results in any truly adverse health effects.

However, taking more CBD than needed might cause some unwanted effects such as making you too relaxed for particular activities like work or sports.

Once you have arrived at a particular serving based on the product you are using, it’s a good idea to stick with that product.

Ways to Take CBD Oil

Let’s now take a look at some of the ways to take CBD oil and the pros and cons of each, in order to help you to determine which product, or products, are right for you.

Some of the factors that should be considered when determining which product is ideal for you are your lifestyle, the reasons you’re using CBD oil, the time to take effect and the bioavailability of the method.

Lifestyle Considerations

In regards to lifestyle, some products are more convenient than others, some products travel better than others and some products are simply more enjoyable to use than others. Capsules are preferred for traveling, for instance. There’s nothing to drop and break or spill.

Use Considerations

Certain methods are better for certain uses. For example, if you’re using CBD to support skin health, you can get it directly by using a topical product. If you’re using a CBD product to support a good night’s rest, a special formulation such as CBD Softgels with Melatonin could be more beneficial than regular softgels.

Time Considerations

As mentioned, various methods of use require different amounts of time to take effect. For example, edibles can take upwards of an hour or more to take effect, whereas inhalation methods are virtually instantaneous.

Bioavailability Considerations

Bioavailability, as we pointed out earlier, is the amount of CBD that actually makes its way into your bloodstream. If time is not a consideration, your main consideration should be value. CBD is not inexpensive like products such as vitamins and minerals. You definitely want to try to maximize the value you get for your money. If a product has only 10% bioavailability, you’re essentially paying five times more for your CBD than if you used a product which has a 50% bioavailability.

Serving Considerations

Another consideration is how accurate you would like to be with your servings. It’s easy to gauge a serving when you’re taking capsules, for example, but much harder to gauge serving size when vaping since it depends on factors such as how much you inhale and how deeply you inhale it.

With that knowledge, let’s take a closer look at the best uses, pros and cons of individual ways of taking CBD.

 

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