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What Is CBD Bioavailability, And Why Does It Matter?

Chemistry Concept, Credit: Stock Photography


In general, not all of the CBD you consume will directly affect your body, only a certain percentage will be able to enter your systemic circulation and produce its active effects. This percentage is bioavailability, and a desire to maximize the CBD bioavailability may impact your choice of CBD products.

In this article, we discuss bioavailability, CBD bioavailability, maximizing CBD bioavailability, CBD vape bioavailability, and “water-soluble” CBD bioavailability.

What Is CBD Bioavailability, And Why Does It Matter?

Scientist And Microscope, Credit: Stock Photography
Scientist and Microscope

Any time you consume a drug or other substance only a limited amount will actually make it into your systemic circulation. A desire to maximize the CBD absorbed by your system may impact your choice of CBD products.

In general, not all of the CBD you consume will directly affect your body: only a certain percentage will be able to enter your systemic circulation and produce its active effects. This percentage is referred to in science as “bioavailability,” and it strongly depends on the manner in which CBD is introduced to your system. For example, the oral bioavailability of CBD is roughly 15 percent. That means for every 100 milligrams of CBD that you eat, only 15 milligrams will actually reach your bloodstream.

‘Should I Be Vaping CBD?’: Why Vaporization Works Better Than Ingestion


In pharmacology, bioavailability is a subcategory of absorption.

Bioavailability refers to the extent and rate at which the active moiety (drug or metabolite) enters systemic circulation, thereby accessing the site of action.

Bioavailability of a drug is largely determined by the properties of the dosage form, which depend partly on its design and manufacture. Differences in bioavailability among formulations of a given drug can have clinical significance; thus, knowing whether drug formulations are equivalent is essential.

Drug Bioavailability

Scientist In Lab, Credit: Stock Photography
Scientist in Lab

CBD Bioavailability

What affects CBD bioavailability?

There are two main reasons why this happens. First, CBD is hydrophobic, meaning that it is not very water-soluble. In the same way that oil does not like to mix with vinegar, CBD does not like to stay in your bloodstream. Instead, it rapidly diffuses out of your blood and accumulates into your fatty tissues. Unfortunately, this significantly reduces the amount of bioactive CBD that can enter your systemic circulation, allowing for less CBD to be carried to its active sites in your body and thus lowering its overall bioavailability.

Second, when an organic compound like CBD enters your gut, it has to pass through the liver before it enters your circulation. During this transition, the liver will actively reduce the amount of CBD, either through absorption or through chemical breakdown by liver enzymes. This phenomenon is called the “first-pass effect,” where passing through the liver reduces the concentration of bioactive compounds.

‘Should I Be Vaping CBD?’: Why Vaporization Works Better Than Ingestion

Maximizing CBD Bioavailability Rates

Properly selecting your CBD consumption method can have a big impact on bioavailability. For example, orally consumed CBD will have a bioavailability of between 4% and 20%, while vaporized CBD can reach as high as 56%.

To maximize CBD bioavailability we recommend two methods of CBD consumption:

  • CBD Vapes
  • “Water-Soluble” CBD

Both methods are effective ways to deliver CBD fast and have the maximum levels of CBD penetrate your cells immediately. That being said, vapes and waters are not always the best CBD products for all conditions. For example, when treating skin conditions or spot treating pain, we still recommend CBD topicals.

Man Vaping CBD, Credit: Stock Photography
Man Vaping CBD

CBD Vape Bioavailability

Vaporized CBD consumption has been well documented and the numerous studies show bioavailability rates as high as 56%.

Vaporized consumption involves inhaling CBD directly into the lungs, typically through a vape pen or vaporizer device.

By directly entering the lungs, the CBD can then quickly and directly enter the bloodstream, with decreased breakdown rates and higher bioavailability.

With numerous medical studies reporting bioavailability rates between 34–46%, and some even reporting up to 56%, vaporizing CBD is by far one of the most effective methods to take CBD, and our recommended method.

What is CBD Bioavailability and Why Does it Matter?

CBD Water In Bottle, Credit: Stock Photography
CBD Water In Bottle

“Water-Soluble” CBD Bioavailability

While a newer product, the International Cannabidiol Organization of Manufacturers and Research recently released a study with CBD Pur US showing that a “water-soluble” CBD product can increase bioavailability rates up to 46% depending upon a person’s metabolism.

As a market leader in the CBD topical space, TheraJoy has been proudly manufacturing our complete line of CBD products in the United States for three years. TheraJoy is always made with 99% pure CBD derived from medical grade, non-GMO hemp, sourced directly from Switzerland. We offer purity you can trust, guaranteed. Our product line is all-natural, organic, vegan, gluten-free and kosher.

Remember, always consult your doctor before you begin taking a supplement or make any changes to your existing medication and supplement routine. This blog post is not intended to be medical advice, but it is information you can use as a conversation-starter with your doctor at your next appointment.

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