CBD Application Method Absorption Rates


CONTRIBUTOR: Connie Rose

CBD is the second most known and used cannabinoid, closely following THC, which is the main psychoactive component of marijuana. Since the health benefits of CBD began to be studied and proven, the methods of consumption have expanded at the same pace. Today, there are countless presentations of CBD on the market, and we can choose the one that suits us best.



However, CBD presentations have several differences between them. Two of the main ones are absorption rate and bioavailability.

Bioavailability refers to the amount of the substance that will effectively generate a pharmaceutical effect.

The absorption rate means the amount of a given substance that our body can assimilate through a specific route of administration.

 In the case of CBD, as we mentioned, there are several ways to administer it. If you are interested in finding out more about them, we invite you to read this other article about the methods of application of CBD.

Topical CBD Administration – Does it Work?

The first method of consumption of CBD that we’ll analyze today is the topical one. When we refer to topical administration, we mean any medication applied to the skin or mucous membrane. When we speak about topical administration, probably CBD creams are what will resonate the most, although lotions and topical oils are also very common to see.


When used topically, CBD is absorbed through the pores and acts on the skin’s endocannabinoid system, thus producing its therapeutic effects. Since topical products are applied to specific areas of the body, their effect is localized.

In this study, published in 2016, we can see how transdermal (topical) CBD application can reduce arthritis and inflammation, at least in animals.

“Transdermal administration of CBD provided good blood absorption due to avoidance of the first-pass metabolism encountered by orally administered drugs.” says it’s section 4.1, “Transdermal CBD Bioactivity.”

In addition to treating pain, topical CBD products can also treat minor skin irritations such as scratches, abrasions, burns, stings, and even stretch marks.

It has also been clinically proven to treat inflammation-related skin problems, such as acne. This is because it is a natural anti-inflammatory. And it also has significant antibacterial properties.

 Aside from the study we noted and a few others, the anecdotal evidence provided by topical CBD users is growing.

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Sublingual CBD – How Effective is it?

One of the most known and used ways to ingest CBD is sublingual with something like a CBD oil tincture. We usually ingest CBD this way, mainly when using oils or tinctures. We leave the CBD product under our tongue for 60 seconds and then swallow it. This method will allow CBD to enter our bloodstream faster.

When we talk about this method of CBD administration, no study has provided accurate data expressed in percentages about its absorption rate.

What we do know for sure, thanks to this study, is that CBD, administered sublingually, can significantly alleviate pain, sleep problems, and anxiety in people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

As cannabinoids are absorbed under the tongue, the effect is not altered, reduced, or delayed by digestive processes.

 The sublingual application makes it easier for cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream faster and with predictable results. Not only is this method more efficient than eating marijuana, but dosing is much easier thanks to the dropper bottle.

Eating Your Medication  – Oral CBD Ingestion (Edibles)

Many consumers prefer oral administration due to its ease and simplicity.

You can add CBD to various foods and beverages, which makes dosing throughout the day much more accessible. This method is better than smoking CBD-rich flowers in terms of lung health, and you can prepare edibles and oils with much higher potency.

Oral administration of CBD involves a very different metabolic pathway than cannabinoids smoked or administered sublingually. The latter reaches the bloodstream instantaneously and produces almost immediate effects, albeit of shorter duration. Orally consumed CBD must first pass through the gastrointestinal tract and then the liver. This longer route to the blood-brain barrier means that the effects take longer to be felt but are longer lasting.

Getting through the digestive tract is quite a complicated journey, and some CBD molecules are degraded along the way. This means that consumers may need higher doses of CBD than they would take when smoking or applying sublingual formulas. produces

Recreational cannabis users use this method of ingestion to get high, and it works very well. The question is, are medical CBD edibles just as effective at accomplishing their intended purpose?

The answer is: of course they are!

But it may not be the most effective option if we are pursuing bioavailability.

In the abstract of this study published in 2018, we note that it is remarked that, based on animal testing, oral CBD may offer relatively low bioavailability.

Smoking your Medical CBD

Nowadays, the most crucial marijuana seed banks in the world are adding seeds for growing flowers with 100% CBD to their catalog.

This method of CBD administration is preferred by many consumers, even more by those who enjoy smoking marijuana recreationally. And, speaking of recreational use, that brings us to the following scientific fact.

In this study, we found scientific evidence for a claim that cannabis users have been making for some time.

CBD can reduce the adverse side effects of THC when used together. The study explains how CBD blocks neuronal and molecular behavior related to undesirable psychotropic effects that THC can generate in some people.

This other study highlights how smoking cannabis can provide greater absorption than administration methods such as oral and mentions that users who consume CBD in this way will also be able to perceive its effects more quickly.

It is worth clarifying that the previous study we cited also points out that, by smoking our CBD, we will be reinforcing behavioral patterns that could encourage irresponsible consumption habits.

It’s also widely known that inhaling smoke that comes from combustion on any plant matter is bad for your lungs. Utilize this method of administration under your responsibility.

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