Why is the Bioavailability of THC and CBD Important?
Everywhere you turn these days, there is some type of cannabidiol (CBD) product on the shelves. From sublingual oils to topical, all with fluctuation of concentrations, there are so many different options available.
If you are suffering from one of the conditions that qualify for a Florida medical marijuana card, take our easy, online eligibility survey to see if you are eligible. People of all ages and from every background are turning to CBD to find relief for a plethora of symptoms. One of our many state-certified Florida Medical Marijuana Doctors can discuss all of your options during a risk-free in-person evaluation.
But whether you are a new or experienced user there seems to be one common concern: Is my CBD actually effective?
What is Bioavailability?
The effectiveness of any medication depends on its absorption rate—or bioavailability. Bioavailability (BA) is the degree and the rate at which an administered substance, such as a drug, is absorbed into a living system.  It is an essential tool of measurement in medicine because it determines the right dosage for non-intravenous administered drugs. The absorption rate of a product is mainly determined by the type of product you take and how you take it.
There are four different ways in which a substance can enter the bloodstream: inhalation, ingestion, absorption, and injection. Each method if intake offers a different bioavailability depending on the process it must go through in order to reach the bloodstream.
Bioavailability of CBD
Each method offers a separate path to the bloodstream that impacts the amount of product that is actually absorbed. The bioavailability of CBD depends on the way it is consumed and the concentration of CBD in the product. Each method of intake has a different bioavailability, so 10mg of vaporized CBD is not the same as 10mg of CBD taken orally.
Inhalation offers a quick and efficient way to deliver some substances directly into the bloodstream through absorption in the lungs.  It has been proven to be one of the most effective ways of intaking CBD, with up to a 50% absorption rate but can cause some discomfort in some individuals lungs and throat.  The effects of inhaled CBD have a quick onset time, but in return do not last very long. Orally ingesting CBD is the most common method of intake; however, it has one of the lowest absorption rates available. CBD that is consumed orally has to go through the first pass metabolism effect, meaning the bioavailability of the product lessens as it goes through each site of the absorption.  Most of the CBD is metabolized in the liver, as well as the digestive system before it reaches the bloodstream.
While each method of intake offers a different path to the bloodstream and a different absorption rate, it is also important to note the substance in question. The CBD molecule is fat-soluble, and its structure does not allow for the best bioavailability. If CBD is consumed along with a snack that is high in fats it will be absorbed by the body better because the fat breaks CBD down into smaller molecules. This is the reason most capsules and oils on the market contains some type of fatty oil.
Some of the newer products in the market are advertising they have a nano-emulsion or nanoencapsulation technology. Emulsification is an advanced drug delivery system that was developed in order to help break down larger molecules so they can be absorbed into the bloodstream more efficiently.  The smaller and more dispersed the molecules are, the more easily they are able to pass through cell membranes. This technology allows for a much higher bioavailability of a product, resulting in more effective products.
CBD is being studied throughout the world for many different reasons. Not all products are created the same and it is important to take this into consideration when purchasing what is most comfortable for you.
Whether you choose to inhale, ingest, or trans-dermally absorb your CBD, it is important to factor in the methods bioavailability in order to dose yourself correctly. If you are ready to speak with an experienced Florida Medical Marijuana Doctor about CBD and how it can help, schedule a risk-free evaluation today!