How to Use CBD
How is CBD absorbed?
ABSORPTION AFTER INGESTION AND SUBLINGUAL METHODS
The most common route of CBD oil administration is orally, or through the mouth. When CBD is ingested, it is absorbed by the digestive system. From the stomach, the compounds enter the hepatic portal system, where they are carried through the portal vein into the liver. The liver then metabolizes the CBD molecules, in whatʼs referred to as the “first pass effect.” CYP450 mixed function oxidases enzymes in the liver act upon CBD, reducing the concentration of the compounds before passing on what remains to the bloodstream.
Ingestion, while considered by most to be the easiest administration method, isnʼt the most efficient for absorbing high levels of CBD. Studies have found, however, that consuming CBD oil with fatty acids can help bypass first pass metabolism and increase how much CBD is absorbed through ingestion.
If CBD oil is held under the tongue for 60 to 90 seconds before being swallowed, the mucus membranes in the mouth can absorb the compounds. This sublingual method allows CBD to completely bypass the digestive system and liver metabolism, so the compounds can avoid being broken down by enzymes and reach the bloodstream more quickly.
ABSORPTION AFTER TOPICAL APPLICATION
When CBD oil is applied topically, or directly to the skin, it never reaches the bloodstream but can be absorbed through the skinʼs surface to interact with nearby cannabinoid receptors.
Human skin in general has low permeability, which means it blocks most substances from entering. The skin has a particularly low absorption rate for cannabinoids, so application of CBD balms, salves, and lotions need to be heavy enough to overcome this barrier. However, when applied liberally, CBD is permeable to the skin through its pores.