CBD, short for cannabidiol, has quickly become one of the most used active ingredients in a whole slew of different products. As new research surrounding the non-intoxicating cannabinoid’s various medicinal and therapeutic benefits are published, more and more industries are finding uses for the compound. From the beauty industry’s moisturizers and skin serums to infused pet treats and dog biscuits, CBD has found its way into more products than you can shake a stick at.
But are all these CBD products created equal? Whether I take my CBD orally, through inhalation, or apply it via a topical shouldn’t matter—It’s all the same thing, right? Not exactly—delivery methods can actually have a huge impact on how your body processes cannabinoids. That is why innovative companies, like E1011 Labs, have devoted the time and research necessary to create the most efficient systems for administering CBD.
Keep reading to find out how exactly to best use CBD to its fullest possible potential!
To paint a better picture of which methods of administration best suit CBD, we first need to understand what exactly bioavailability and biodelivery mean in the context of hemp products.
Biodelivery is simply the rate by which the body absorbs a substance. So if a substance delivery method has a high rate of biodelivery, the effects of that substance will be felt sooner. Fast biodelivery is absolutely critical for patients using CBD medicinally, who don’t have time to sit around waiting for the product to kick in. When you’re treating pain, you want relief fast, not in a few hours from the time of consumption.
Not all of the CBD we consume actually makes it the whole way into our system where it can provide its desired effects. The percentage of the CBD that does complete its journey through our bloodstreams is referred to by scientists as the rate of bioavailability. Compared to other therapeutic compounds, the bioavailability of CBD is relatively low, especially when administered via a suboptimal delivery method.
Oral consumption is by far one of the most common ways people take CBD. This umbrella term oral consumption refers to the CBD products that we ingest, things like CBD infused beverages, nanocapsules, gummies, or other edibles. For many people, especially those without any prior experience with cannabis products who are just now hopping on the CBD bandwagon, oral consumption offers an appealing simplicity and accessibility. Nearly everyone has at least some experience taking other types of medications in capsule form, and who could be intimidated by a sugary gummy confection?
Oral consumption methods certainly succeed in removing any real or perceived complications with accessing the benefits of CBD, but how do they stack up when compared to other administration methods? Unfortunately for consumers who like their CBD with a side of sweetness, oral consumption is one of the least efficient methods available.
One scientific study from back in ‘86 reported orally taken CBD to have a meager bioavailability rate of only 6%. A more recent study from 2009 determined a more charitable figure of between 4% and 20%, but let’s break down what that actually means. Let’s take a best-case scenario of 20% bioavailability: that would mean if you took a 10mg edible, only 2mg of CBD would actually reach your bloodstream. You’re wasting a whole 8mg—and again, that’s a best-case scenario.
Another thing that’s working against oral consumption methods is their incredibly low rates of biodelivery. When consumed orally, CBD must travel through the labyrinth of your metabolic and digestive systems before reaching the bloodstream where effects can finally begin to be felt. As anyone with experience taking edibles can tell you, this process can take hours and is rarely predictable.
Sublingual administration is a method you may be familiar with without realizing it if you’re a connoisseur of CBD oils and tinctures—it’s basically a fancy science phrase for “putting under your tongue.”
Underneath your tongue are almond-shaped salivary glands we refer to as the sublingual glands. When substances are absorbed by these glands, they are able to enter the bloodstream without having to navigate the maze of our metabolic and digestive systems. This makes for a much faster rate of biodelivery, and because the CBD doesn’t get filtered by these systems, a better rate of bioavailability as well. Studies suggest that sublingual consumption has a bioavailability rate that ranges from 12%-35%, which while seeming significantly higher than that of oral consumption, is still a long way away from being optimal. Methods of sublingual administration include the oils and tinctures mentioned earlier, and also things like CBD infused sprays and lozenges.
People have been using inhalation methods to consume the cannabis plant for centuries, and as it turns out, traditional methods may just be the most efficient ones.
The Elon. Discreet, portable, and effective.
When CBD is inhaled as smoke or vapor, it is immediately absorbed through the lungs, and through there, enters the bloodstream. Inhalation methods offer the fastest biodelivery by far, with effects being felt almost instantly. Vaporizers, and CBD Delivery Systems like the Elon, not only offer the fastest biodelivery rates, but also the highest bioavailability. Research has determined that when CBD is inhaled, the bioavailability rates are somewhere between 34% and 46%. One study even reports rates as high as 56%. That’s a long way from the 6% rates we saw when looking at oral consumption.
Just because inhalation methods have been around since the Persian Empire, doesn’t mean that they can’t be improved upon by modern technology. The Elon from E1011 Labs is a state of the art CBD Delivery System that makes the inhalation of CBD easier than ever before.
The self-cleaning device is easy to maintain, is fully charged within only thirty minutes, and is completely button-free. Just pair your Elon with a Stem, a disposable eco-friendly cartridge filled with premium CBD-rich hemp flower, and inhale! It’s just as easy as taking a capsule or gummy, but without having to sacrifice bioavailability and biodelivery!