Learn About The Best CBD Absorption Methods For Bioavailability

CBD’s growing popularity shouldn’t come as a surprise to people. Thanks to the many health benefits it provides, the CBD industry doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all. In fact, according to recent statistics, the global CBD oil and consumer health market is expected to reach $123.2 billion by 2027.

As a result of this popularity, more CBD infused products are becoming available on the market. This gives people the opportunity to choose the product that best serves their needs. However, making this choice may not come easy to everyone because many factors are taken into consideration. Some of the most common ones include personal preference, tastiness or digestibility.

Besides these factors, another one which may actually be regarded as the most important is bioavailability. The biggest difference between all CBD products is in fact how much CBD is present in each. Therefore, if you are planning to enter the world of CBD, but you aren’t sure which infused product is the right option for you, keep reading to learn more about the best CBD absorption methods in terms of their bioavailability.

What makes bioavailability so important?

The bioavailability of a product refers to the amount of the active ingredient, in this case, CBD, which reaches your bloodstream once you have consumed it. So, for the ingredient to become fully active in the body, it must reach the cannabinoid receptors that make up the endocannabinoid system. The method you use to administer CBD will affect how much of it gets absorbed by the body.

This administration goes through a process known as pharmacokinetics. It basically refers to the mechanisms your body uses to absorb and eliminate CBD as well as the external factors that can help or obstruct the administration. Therefore, your choice on how to take CBD oil affects your overall bioavailability. Here is a brief explanation of the most common CBD absorption methods.


Intravenous injection of CBD directly into the bloodstream offers 100% bioavailability. In other words, once CBD is injected into the veins, the entire dosage will be in full circulation. While this absorption method may be considered effective from the pharmacokinetics point of view, there is a major issue that occurs when CBD is injected. This refers to the rapid decrease of blood levels when CBD enters the bloodstream through the veins.

Besides this, the intravenous absorption method may be time-consuming and unpleasant to some people, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise if it doesn’t become among the most preferable ways of consuming CBD.


When inhaled, CBD has an intranasal bioavailability of 34% to 46%. The high bioavailability is due to the nasal cavities in the nose which are covered in thin mucosas. This allows CBD to enter the bloodstream rapidly bypassing the digestive system.

Inhaling CBD oil through a vape pen means that CBD will be absorbed through your lungs almost immediately. Once CBD reaches your bloodstream, it binds with the endocannabinoid receptors in your body. As you continue to inhale, you will be providing a continuous dose of CBD which will be instantly and efficiently absorbed through your lungs.

Photo by Soupwire


The most popular consumption method of CBD is through tinctures. This is done by applying a few drops under your tongue providing a sublingual bioavailability of 12% to 35%. By holding it under the tongue, CBD will be absorbed by your glands through which it enters your bloodstream bypassing the digestive system.

However, in most cases, a portion of CBD will be naturally swallowed, so the bioavailability will most likely decrease. In order to achieve the best effects, it is recommended that you try to hold CBD beneath the tongue for between 30 and 60 seconds.

Edibles and capsules

Oral ingestion of CBD is another very popular and convenient consumption method among consumers. One reason for this may be because CBD edibles come in different forms such as gummies, cakes and beverages which are also available in different flavors.Even though it’s a very popular method, ingested CBD has a bioavailability of 6% to 20%. This is because when you consume CBD orally, it first passes through the digestive system before it reaches your bloodstream. This process may take a while, even up to 2 hours, and there is a possibility that some of the CBD will get lost to the liver and digestive tract.

Photo from Pixabay by Pexels


CBD can also be consumed topically through the skin. In this case, CBD is primarily engaged with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the nervous system. For that reason, this topical consumption of CBD is mostly used for providing pain relief in particularly problematic areas such as muscles or joints.

Unfortunately, the bioavailability of topical CBD hasn’t been determined yet. This may be because CBD doesn’t enter the bloodstream when it is applied to the skin. However, there are some innovative products that address the problem of low topical bioavailability. For example, there are transdermal patches which allow CBD to enter the bloodstream through the skin and relieve pain and inflammation.

Photo by Dosage

Factors affecting CBD absorption

There are several factors that affect the absorption of CBD. Some common ones include:

  • Health conditions such as liver malfunction or other neurological conditions  
  • Increased dosage
  • The presence or absence of food

Therefore, in order to ensure a high bioavailability, there are some ways to boost the amount of CBD to reach your bloodstream. For example, if you are consuming CBD through beverages and edibles, make sure you hold them under your tongue before you swallow them. Also, you can take CBD with fatty meals because it dissolves well in fats and more of it will survive and reach your digestive system.

Photo by CBD guide

Final thoughts

While there is still ongoing research on the effectiveness of CBD, the results on the bioavailability of CBD so far are promising. However, due to the wide variety of available CBD products, make sure you take your time and do thorough research of the bioavailability rate of each product. This way you can compare your options and decide which method best fits your needs. As you are doing your research, refer back to this guide to help you make your final choice and get the desired results you are looking for.

William Stash Jones

William "Stash" Jones is a medical marijuana patient and medical cannabis advocate. He focuses on medical cannabis and its benefits, and believes that medical cannabis is the solution to many problems in medicine today.

stashjones has 125 posts and counting.See all posts by stashjones