Bioavailability (Absorption rates) of CBD products

From CBD teas to CBD face creams and beyond, CBD (cannabidiol) is cropping everywhere. While shopping for CBD products can be great fun, its worth while noting each type of CBD product can affect your body in different ways.

Here at Mary Jane Labs, ( will tell you all need to know about CBD’s bioavailability or how various CBD products are absorbed by the body.

Bioavailability varies depending on what form of CBD you use. It’s a good idea to learnt how various routes of administration will affect you. This information can help you determine what your “just right” does will be.

(Oral ingestion) Eating CBD gummies or tea

Oral ingestion of CBD subjects it to what’s known as the “first pass effect”. This means that CBD will go through your liver and digestive tracts, breaking it down in the process. It’s a process that can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, yielding a less potent version of CBD as a result. Don’t fear, though: a recent study suggests that taking CBD with long-chain triglyceride fats can help protect it from the first pass effect. Also, many edibles come with ingredients to increase their bioavailability, such as turmeric, which has been shown to increase CBD's absorption by up to 500%.

(Sublingual method) Taking CBD drops under your tongue

One of the most commonly available forms of CBD is a tincture, an extract made by dissolving plant material in alcohol. Taking a tincture is as convenient as it gets: you measure out a dose and administer it under your tongue with a dropper. Let it absorb for a minute and voila! This is called the sublingual method of administration, and it’s one of the better ways to ingest CBD. Taking CBD sublingually means it’ll be directly absorbed into your bloodstream, bypassing further breakdown of CBD in your liver and digestive system. The end result is a much faster onset time of about 20 minutes compared to the standard 2 hours it takes for oral consumption. It’s also more readily absorbed: oral consumption of CBD yields an absorption rate of 4-20%.

(Topical application) CBD creams and balms

Because CBD suppositories work in a manner similar to sublingual administration (absorption through a mucosal membrane), they’re surprisingly effective, with the bioavailability of the rectal route performing twice as well as oral administration, yielding bioavailability rates of 12%.

(Vaping or inhaling) CBD e-liquids or dry CBD rich herb

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: vaporising, or combusting plant matter without producing smoke, is brilliant. 

It’s a gentler alternative to smoking that also happens to provide the widest range of benefits. Vaping is also the most effective and fastest acting method of consuming CBD. With an average onset time of 10 minutes or less and a 34-56% absorption rate.  it’s no wonder why vaping CBD is becoming more and more popular across all age groups.

How to increase CBD Bioavailability

The best thing you can do to determine your ideal CBD dose is through a little trial and error. CBD is highly variable and can affect everyone very differently, so there’s no one size fits all cure. It also means CBD isn’t purely a numbers game, either. A well-made CBD tincture that’s a full-spectrum extract could work far better than a CBD isolate with a higher percentage of CBD. Start small and keep an eye on your dosage, increasing only whenever necessary. Source your CBD with the kind of care and attention you put into making a nice cuppa.