Over the last couple of years, CBD has gone from a little-known compound to an international darling. Young and old people are turning to the cannabis derivative in order to take advantage of a range of health and wellness benefits.
In response to this explosion in demand, companies have been investing heavily in CBD products.
The most popular ways to enjoy CBD include edibles, vaporizers and tinctures. However, which method is the most effective?
One of the best ways to measure effectiveness is to measure the bioavailability of each method.
The European Food Information Council defines bioavailability as “proportion of a nutrient that is absorbed from the diet and used for normal body functions”. So for example, if you digested a 10mg of a nutrient and your body absorbed 5mg, it would have a bioavailability of 50%
Below we’ll review which is the best way to enjoy CBD; vaporizers or tinctures?
Edibles refer to any CBD products that you can eat or drink. They include everything from chocolate, cookies, water and even tablets.
Because everybody eats and drinks, edibles have become possibly the most popular way to enjoy CBD.
However, despite edibles being the favourite method for those new to CBD, there are two reasons they are not as effective.
Firstly, when you eat or drink something, it must first pass through your digestive system. This includes the food being broken down in your mouth, exposed to acid in your stomach and then filtered by the liver. Many nutrients are lost before they are able to reach your bloodstream.
A study carried out by Marilyn A. Huestis found that in a best-case scenario, oral consuming cannabis products have a bioavailable of just 20%. This means if you ate or drank 10mg of CBD, your body would only be able to use 2mg of it. 8mg will be removed from your body as waste!
Due to the low bioavailability of oral ingestion, companies have been mixing hemp and liposomes to great results. Liposomes are molecules that are specially designed to be absorbed by the human body.
By ingesting oil, the body is able to absorb CBD far faster and easier. As a result, the effects of CBD are heightened greatly.
Similarly to CBD, vaping has become increasingly popular in recent years due to consumers becoming more knowledgeable about the dangers and risks of smoking. Vaping CBD is a popular choice for those who want some of the benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive effects.
Vaping is an efficient way to enjoy CBD because the lungs and respiratory system offer one of the most direct routes to the bloodstream.
When we use a vaporizer, CBD passes down our throat as a vapour into and trachea, eventually reaching our lungs.
Each lung is home to over 300 million alveoli. The alveoli are tiny air sacs that absorb CBD and transport it into our bloodstream in milliseconds. This is why vaping CBD is incredibly fast-acting. Off one hit from a vaporizer, a user should feel the effects within 8-10 minutes; lightning-fast when compared to edibles.
Vaping also has one of the highest bioavailability rates of any method of consumption. There are numerous studies carried out by several institutions that suggest vaping has a bioavailability rate of over 50%.
A CBD tincture is where pure CBD has been placed in an alcohol solution. Instead of being eaten, a tincture is digested sublingually. The most popular way to ingest cannabis sublingually is through the use of oral sprays.
Sublingual sounds complicated but it is just a fancy way of saying ‘under the tongue’. Tinctures are a highly effective way to enjoy CBD because the area under the tongue is home to hundreds of tiny blood vessels with thin walls. As a result, it offers CBD a direct and instantaneous route into the bloodstream.
Like vaping, you should feel the effects of tinctures within 10 minutes. Tinctures also have an impressive bioavailability rate of up to 50%. If you ingest 10mg of CBD under your tongue your body should absorb around 5mg; more than double the amount offered by edibles.
Topically (Creams & Lotions)
‘Topical’ is another term that sounds fancier than it really is; all it means is to apply to the skin. Due to THC and CBD being the fashionable compound of 2020, the beauty industry has begun to release products that contain CBD.
However, it is worth noting that cannabidiol is hydrophobic which means that the skin finds it difficult to absorb.
As a result, it is likely you’ll feel little psychoactive effects from CBD creams and lotions. However, medical users use creams for their therapeutic effects.