CBD is gaining praise for having what seems like endless health benefits. It seems that with endless benefits comes an endless supply of products. This creates many options for the consumer but at the same time, it can be confusing for the consumer to get the best product for their needs. To ease the confusion let’s take a look at the most common CBD applications and weigh their pros and cons.
What is CBD?
Before we dive into comparing applications lets take a brief look at what CBD is to her us better understand what makes one product superior to another.
CBD is short for Cannabidiol. It is just 1 of over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Legal CBD is extracted from hemp plants. Hemp can only contain a THC limit of 0.3% THC or lower. If the THC limit exceeds 0.3% it is considered marijuana and any CBD extracted from marijuana is only legal in certain states.
THC is another cannabinoid found in cannabis which gets the user “high” or “stoned”. CBD, on the other hand, does not get the user “high”. In fact, it gives almost all the benefits of the plant without intoxication.
Science has found that CBD is capable of interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Every human is born with an ECS in their body. In fact, almost all animals have some form of an internal ECS. The ECS is comprised of CB1 and CB2 receptors (both cannabinoid receptors) are spread all throughout the body. This means that basically all animals and humans can potentially benefit from CBD.
When we take CBD it is capable of interacting with the ECS in several ways. The reason CBD is capable of interacting with the ECS is that in a way CBD mimics our bodies natural endocannabinoids. That’s right our bodies produce their own cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) made specifically to interact with our internal ECS to create a desired reaction.
These interactions between ECS and cannabinoids help to keep the body in proper balance. The ECS helps monitor and maintain many functions of the body including sleep cycles, appetite, stress, anxiety, immune system, pain and many more.
The beautiful part about CBD is that when a person takes it can interact similarly to how our own endocannabinoids interact with the ECS. This is why it could be the key to unlocking so many health benefits. But what is the best way to apply it? Bioavailability is one aspect which helps to gauge the quality of CBD products.
What is CBD Bioavailability?
There are many factors that can affect the amount of CBD that actually makes it to your system. These are factors such as your rate of metabolism if you have a full or empty stomach, your body weight and more. These factors can vary widely from one person to the next.
However, bioavailability is a factor of CBD products that does not change. Bioavailability is the degree and rate of which a specific substance breaks down and absorbs into the blood system. Before CBD enters your bloodstream it must go through other processes where some of the CBD gets lost.
For example, when you eat a CBD edible it may have 50 mg of CBD, but some get broken down and lost in the digestive trackt resulting in only a portion of CBD actually making it to your blood system (3-7mg) where it can be applied to your ECS. Luckily for us, the CBD bioavailability amounts have been figured out so we can compare this amongst products.
Common CBD Applications
There are various CBD applications, all with different bioavailability levels. We will also list and compare the time it takes for CBD to take effect. To keep it simple we will compare the 4 most common applications listed as follows.
This is when you apply a CBD balm, CBD salve, CBD lotion, CBD bath bomb, or even CBD chapstick to your skin (epidermis). These applications only interact with the CB receptors only found in the skin. As far as we know topicals never actually make it to the bloodstream which leaves it unable to compare on the bioavailability level. Although it does have positive effects on skin health and can be used for pain.
CBD Edibles (oral ingestion)
These are CBD capsules or CBD edibles (CBD infused food). Since the CBD goes through your digestion track there is a considerable loss of CBD. There also is a duration of time. When taking a CBD edible you should feel the effects within an hour and it has a bioavailability rate of 6-15%. This means if you ingest 100mg of CBD this way only 6-15mg will reach your bloodstream and ECS. Effects are said to last 4-6 hours.
CBD Tincture Oil (sublingual ingestion)
This is when you take CBD oil and apply it directly under your tongue. This is where the mucous membranes can absorb it directly into your bloodstream, thus avoiding the digestive tract, resulting in a higher bioavailability rate.
Taking CBD tincture oil sublingually is said to have a bioavailability rate between 20-35%. People claim to feel effects within 5 minutes and can last 4-6 hours. If you are looking for a reputable CBD manufacturer Cheef botanicals makes some premium CBD tinctures.
Vaping is a popular CBD administration method. It consists of using a vaporizer to heat up CBD oil so the user can inhale the vapors. This method administers the CBD directly to your lungs where your mucous membranes absorb the CBD directly into your bloodstream.
This method is believed to have the highest bioavailability rate along with the quickest effect. Vaping CBD has a bioavailability rate of 30-40% and one can feel the effects almost instantly (30-90 seconds). This may sound great but it comes with some setbacks.
There is a considerable amount of wasted CBD when vapors are exhaled. It is hard to say how much CBD is wasted and thus makes it hard to calculate your dosage. Another downside is that the effects only last 2-3 hours.
The best method for you may not be the same desired method for others. This is because some people may prefer one method over another for particular reasons. They may wish to just pop a pill or eat an edible to keep in inconspicuous. Others may prefer vaping CBD in order to get the effects as quickly as possible.
However, we agree with many professionals, that taking a CBD tincture oil sublingually is the best method. Sublingual application has a good bioavailability rate which stays consistent making dosing a breeze. It also provides relief rather quick (5minutes). As for the duration of effectiveness, sublingual application last amongst the longest of products.