Breaking Down Bioavailability and CBD

3 min read

As a leading provider of hemp-based products like CBD, we get a lot of different questions from our customers. Things like “how do you test for purity?” and “can you travel with CBD?” are common questions, but another we get pretty regularly is “how long does it take for CBD to take effect?”

Well, like all good answers, it depends. There’s a lot that goes into how your body reacts to CBD, but a large part of that reaction is determined by the product itself. That’s because different CBD products have different levels of bioavailability. Don’t know what that means? Don’t worry, let Axis Labs break it down for you.

What Is Bioavailability?

Whenever you ingest or use a compound or substance, a certain amount of that eventually enters into your bloodstream. The amount of the compound that enters the bloodstream is bioavailable. Some compounds are more bioavailable than others, and that affects how much of it is absorbed. When it comes to CBD, there are four typical ways to use CBD and give it the chance to absorb into your bloodstream: inhalation, ingestion, and application. Each of these methods will play a part in how long your body takes to react to CBD.

Which CBD Product has the Most Bioavailability?

When you are looking to enjoy the effects of CBD right away, you have to think about how you’re administering the compound. Different products can be enjoyed in different ways, so let’s take a look at some of the most common products and their bioavailability.

Inhaling CBD

Studies generally suggest that the fastest way to introduce cannabidiol into your bloodstream is to inhale it. CBD can be inhaled in a variety of ways. Some manufacturers offer a distinct CBD e-liquid for your vaporizers, while others encourage you to make your own e-liquid using a CBD tincture as a base.

By inhaling CBD, you’re exposing the alveoli in your lungs to the compound. Your lungs are essentially one large surface to absorb the CBD and can almost immediately let it into your bloodstream. Not only that, but you can absorb more CBD through inhalation that you can other methods. Those who inhale CBD have offered anecdotal evidence that they feel the effects in as little as 15 minutes.

Ingesting CBD

There are lots of ways to ingest CBD. From tinctures to gummies to capsules and even pina colada flavored shots, you can take CBD sublingually or by eating it. While this is convenient, and you’re often getting a more precise dosage of CBD, it takes far longer to take effect.

That’s because the CBD has to be processed by your digestive system. More than just the stomach, other important organs like your liver have to process the CBD as well. The compound oxidizes certain enzymes in the liver, which can limit the amount of CBD that’s allowed to enter into the bloodstream. Those who ingest CBD have reported that it takes around two hours before they experience the effects.

Applying CBD

When it comes to applying CBD to the skin, the speed at which it takes effect is variable. That’s many CBD topicals and pain relief creams use a lipid or oily base that helps to transfer the CBD across the cell membrane and into your bloodstream.

CBD topicals are popular with those who have chronic aches and pains in their joints and muscles because it offers targeted pain relief. The problem, however, is that it can take a long time to take effect. Some find relief in just 30 minutes, while others only feel the effects of the CBD cream a day later. Some suggest that applying the topical frequently can accelerate the effects.

But is Faster Absorption Better?

Once again, it depends. CBD can be used for an ever-expanding list of reasons and different purposes. While those with chronic pain or sudden anxiety, it might be necessary to have a fast- acting way to enjoy CBD. For those individuals, they may need something like a CBD-based vape liquid. For others who are struggling with sleep or just need a little help to focus, a product with less bioavailability like CBD capsules might make more sense. Think about your needs and choose your products accordingly.

Hemp Extracts and CBD for Your Lifestyle

Axis Labs offers a wide array of CBD products all designed to fit into your lifestyle. With topicals, capsules, tinctures, gummies, and more, we’re sure you’ll find the right CBD product for you. Take a look at our catalog today and order yours!


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