Why Does CBD Absorption Matter?

Different glass bottles with CBD OIL, THC tincture and cannabis leaves on yellow background.

Why Does CBD Absorption Matter?

The method of consumption has a lot to do with CBD bioavailability!

What is CBD bioavailability? Think about it this way, a more bioavailable substance is absorbed into the bloodstream faster and most of it if not all is absorbed. So why is CBD absorption important? How CBD is consumed influences its absorption and overall effectiveness in the body. With several consumption options to choose from, it is important to understand which option gives the most bioavailability. Here are the available consumption options and degrees of absorption.

Smiling confident man in a hemp field

Oral Consumption

Compared to the other options available, oral administration is by far the most used given the different products to consume, for instance, CBD gummies among other edibles. However, while this is the most common method of consumption, it has the least absorption rate of only up to 19%. Most of the substance is wasted through the digestion process and only a small percentage gets into the body. The digestive enzymes break down the CBD changing its structure and reducing concentration. However, while bioavailability may be low, research has shown that oral consumption retains the effect relatively longer as compared to the other options.

Different glass bottles with CBD OIL, THC tincture and cannabis leaves on yellow background.

Sublingual Administration

This method of administration involves placing the CBD product under the tongue. By doing so, the product is broken down into smaller particles that are easily absorbed into the bloodstream directly. The most common products for sublingual consumption include sprays and drops with a majority being full-spectrum CBD. Sublingual administration bioavailability rate can be as high as 54% driving more consumers to this type of consumption.

Hand holding bottle of Cannabis oil in pipette, close up


Inhaling CBD allows you to avoid the fast-pass effect that occurs in the digestive tract. Once you inhale, the CBD is absorbed by the alveoli (lung membrane) into the bloodstream. Inhalation can be done either by smoking or vaping the CBD product. Smoking has been the typical way of consuming CBD or cannabis for a long time, however, it has a bioavailability rate lower than vaping, 31%. Vaping on the other hand involves heating the CBD at a given temperature until it turns to vapor. Vaping has a bioavailability of up to 56% ranking it as one of the best when it comes to bioavailability.

Scientist Analyzing and researching hemp oil extracts

Transdermal and Topical Application

This form of application is not common among CBD users. It is done either by applying typical CBD oils or a patch on the skin. This method of application gives consistent doses of CBD on a particular spot and is effective for pain relief. However, this method can be slow and relatively ineffective if you don’t combine CBD with a water-soluble compound. Some research shows that you get up to four times bioavailability if you add a third of ethanol during application.

Despite CBD products getting much popularity and flying high in the medical field, it comes with complexities too. By understanding the rate of absorption, you will be in a better position in choosing the method of application that is best for you!