What Is CBD Bioavailability, and Why Is It Important?

When it comes to CBD, a term that is important to understand is “bioavailability,” which the American Heritage Medical Dictionary defines as “the degree to which a drug or other substance is absorbed or becomes available at the site of physiological activity after administration.” But what does that mean, and why does it matter when it comes to CBD?

Think about the bioavailability of CBD as the degree and rate it is absorbed into the bloodstream. In other words, the way CBD is consumed influences its uptake and distribution throughout the body. This is important for consumers to understand when shopping for CBD in order to figure out which products suit them best. 

There are a variety of ways to take CBD. It can be inhaled, eaten, applied topically to the skin or held under the tongue and then swallowed. However, the body absorbs CBD in different ways, so how it is consumed matters. The method chosen influences how long it takes to be absorbed into the bloodstream and how much CBD is available to be absorbed.

Edible treats such as gummies and baked goods are a popular way to consume CBD. In multiple studies, the most optimistic rate of bioavailability when choosing this option was about 20%. That means if someone eats a 50-milligram CBD gummy, they would likely be absorbing only about 10 milligrams—20% of the total dosage. Though not the most efficient way of consuming CBD, edibles are very popular and still have their benefits. They are a fun and easy way to add CBD to a daily routine. However, it is helpful to understand that some of the CBD is going to break down when passing through the digestive system, and it will take longer to reach the bloodstream to circulate throughout the body.


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