What is CBD Bioavailability?

Bioavailability is one of the most important factors in choosing a health supplement that will work for you. Even the highest quality and concentration of CBD won’t provide the greatest amount of benefits if the form isn’t highly bioavailable. 

If you’re seeking to promote a noticeable improvement in your overall wellness, bioavailable CBD is important. Understanding bioavailability will help you determine whether or not a CBD product will help you achieve your goals. 

The Many Forms of CBD

CBD comes in many forms. There are tinctures, gummies, capsules, chocolate, teas, sparkling waters, honey, vaporizer cartridges, and more. These forms of CBD aren’t created equally. Most of them are intended to be ingested. You eat a capsule, gummy, or CBD-infused chocolate, tea, water, or other food product. It goes to your stomach first. What’s the problem there?

The issue is that digesting something changes the way it’s capable of working. Food doesn’t leave your body the same way it enters. Neither will CBD. Your digestive system will break down CBD, and your liver will metabolize some of it. When it finally reaches your endocannabinoid system, it will be much less available for your body to use. That 25 milligrams infused into your food product is effectively zero milligrams when it comes down to it. 

Supplements composed of nanoparticles that bypass your digestive system and metabolism are the most bioavailable. They’ll also work quickly because they don’t have to wait on your stomach to break them down and send them to other parts of your body before they reach your bloodstream and their final destination. They get right into your bloodstream and go right to work.

What is Bioavailability?

Bioavailability is really as simple as it sounds. Bio is your biology, and availability is availability. Bioavailability refers to how available something is to your body. Intuitively, it might seem like nothing is more available than it is when you eat it. After all, that’s how you get all of your calories and your protein, right? 
Well, while calories and protein are highly bioavailable to your digestive system, not much else is. Your intestines are responsible for pulling these things out of your food, so when you eat them, they’re already on the path to where they need to go. CBD is different.

What Affects Bioavailability?

Many factors affect the bioavailability of prescription drugs and supplements, including whether or not someone has had gastric bypass surgery, is pregnant, or is taking other medications. 

As far as supplements go, the three things that impact bioavailability the most are the form the supplement comes in, the concentration of the supplement, and how the supplement is prepared.

What Kinds of Things Have the Best Bioavailability?

Wellness benefits and nutritional benefits are not one in the same. Nutritional benefits are obtained through the digestive system. Wellness benefits can come from the digestive system, but they often don’t. 

If you’re trying to address a system outside of your digestive system, the things that have the best bioavailability are the things that can successfully bypass your digestive system.

What Kinds of Things Have the Worst Bioavailability?

Anything that isn’t a calorie, vitamin, mineral, or trace nutrient that naturally occurs in food will have the worst bioavailability, including CBD products that you take by mouth. Even vitamins in supplement form are less bioavailable because of the way your body needs to process them into a usable form.

CBD is not a nutrient. It’s essentially fuel for your body’s endocannabinoid system, which is (almost) completely separate from the digestive system. CBD needs to get to your bloodstream to be used here. If it has to go through your digestive system first, it’s going to have a long and traumatic trip. It won’t be the same when it gets there, and your body will struggle to try and use it. In order for CBD to be highly bioavailable, it must circumvent your digestive system.

The Basic Digestion Pathway

Most adults are familiar with the process that occurs. We eat with our mouths, swallow with our esophaguses, begin digestion with our stomachs, and finish digestion with our intestines. We excrete whatever is left. 

The moment CBD hits your stomach, the first pass effect begins to take effect. Your digestive juices start to work on it, and it begins to lose potency. It continues to break down before it’s ever allowed to enter your bloodstream, further being filtered by your liver before it hits your endocannabinoid system. 
Avoiding the first pass effect is the key to assuring superior bioavailability. You want your endocannabinoid system to be the first system to receive the CBD. This system knows how to use it and won’t have to break it down and send it elsewhere.

CBD and Bioavailability

CBD comes in many different forms, and some of these forms are barely bioavailable. If you truly want the benefits of CBD, you need to pick a form that your body can easily use.

Bioavailability From Best to Worst

  1. Nano emulsified sublingual CBD
  2. CBD Oil
  3. CBD Capsules
  4. CBD Gummies
  5. CBD in food or drinks

Nano-Emulsified CBD

Nano-emulsified CBD is very tiny CBD particles that have been thoroughly and evenly dispersed into a carrier oil. These particles are water soluble, meaning they’re quickly and easily absorbed into bodily tissues. 

When you drop nano emulsified CBD under your tongue, it passes right through the thin soft tissue and immediately enters your bloodstream. From there, the very small particles can get to work supplying your endocannabinoid system with everything it needs to help support your body’s regular functions and cycles.

The Takeaway

Bioavailability is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a CBD supplement. You want a supplement that will produce the desired effect of enhancing your overall wellness, and many forms of CBD are limited in what they can actually provide.

CBD-infused foods and drinks are going to be a letdown. They often contain so little CBD that they won’t ultimately contribute to your endocannabinoid system by the time your body is done breaking them down. These often contain less than 100 mg of CBD per serving, and your body requires much more than that even before the first pass effect.

CBD oil tinctures like OptaNatural’s nano-emulsified CBD oils will provide you the most immediate effects. Capsules and gummies are limited in their bioavailability. Limited does not mean useless, though. At very high concentrations, the body will still wind up with a little bit of a boost from capsules and gummies. They’re also more convenient to travel with and make it easy to measure doses. 

Gummies are one of the most effective ways to use CBD for your family’s wellness. Children are more inclined to eat a few gummies a day than they are to tolerate tinctures. Tinctures don’t taste particularly delicious, and it’s hard to get children to hold the drops under their tongue and swallow the oil. If you give them gummies, they’ll usually eat them without hesitation.

Capsules are more convenient for travel than a glass bottle with a dropper. If you need to carry CBD with you on the go, consider supplementing your tincture use with capsules. 

If you take a high dose capsule, chances are better that your body will receive a meaningful amount of CBD after the first pass effect.