What Is Bioavailability, and Why Is It Important in CBD?

CBD products are becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. Although much research is still needed, collective experience has found that cannabidiol—the long name for CBD—helps support better sleep, can lessen anxiety and depression, and may enhance the health of the immune system, among many other potential benefits. To get these benefits, though, the CBD must be absorbed by your body, which is surprisingly more complicated than you may think. 

The reason that it is hard for the human body to utilize CBD is rooted in the fact that it is lipophilic, which means it dissolves in oil. As we are beings composed almost entirely of water, CBD does not readily disperse itself throughout our bodies. Instead, most of it moves through and is expelled, unutilized. If you take in CBD orally as a soft gel or gummy, the amount of CBD that makes it into your bloodstream is further reduced by the digestive process. All of this leads to an incredibly low bioavailability for ingested CBD products, often below 15%. 

“Bioavailability” is the rate at which a pharmaceutical or other substance that enters into and is utilized within the body. The lipophilic nature of CBD means that it naturally has a low bioavailability, which has caused the CBD industry to come up with creative solutions for how to make their products more effective. The primary way that this is done is by increasing its water solubility. Increased water solubility means more CBD is able to be dissolved in water, and, in the context of the human body, distributed to the places where it can create the most effect.

Achieving greater water solubility is done using nanotechnology. These tiny particles of CBD are created by breaking the CBD oil down until it is 20-100 nanometers in size and then coating it in a bio-encapsulation that stabilizes it in this form. These particles are now small enough to become emulsified in water and, when ingested, are able to pass more easily into the bloodstream. In fact, the size of these CBD particles allows them to bypass the digestive process entirely, delivering a higher rate of CBD to your systems in far less time. Using this technology the bioavailability of CBD can be increased to 50% and beyond. One example of a product that employs this technology is the Miraflora +Sport CBD HempFlora Oral Pump, which is a great option for fast-acting, highly effective CBD. 

Along with water solubility, the way in which you take in CBD can also affect its bioavailability. For example, sublingual tinctures, which are administered orally and held under the tongue, have better bioavailability than oral capsules or edibles. This is because there is a gland beneath the tongue that allows the CBD particles to pass directly into the bloodstream. For the full effect, a tincture should be held beneath the tongue for 30 to 60 seconds before being swallowed. With this in mind, bioavailability can be enhanced even more by administering water-soluble CBD using the sublingual tincture method. Another way of getting CBD directly into the bloodstream is to inhale it using a vaporiser. This method of administration brings the healing particles directly into the porous lungs, where it is able to quickly move into and be circulated throughout the body. 

When made with emulsified nanoparticles, CBD taken in beverage form is another great way to access all of its amazing properties at a high bioavailability rate. These drinks combine CBD with water and flavor to create an emulsion that is absorbed more quickly into the body. At Miraflora, we offer a great-tasting line of Sparking CBD Beverages that have been formulated to provide the maximum benefits of CBD. To (literally) sweeten the deal, these beverages come in flavors including blood orange, berry hibiscus, and yuzu chamomile.

Now that you understand what bioavailability is and how it is affected by water solubility, it is time to find the products that are right for you. This is a surprisingly complicated question because, like so much in life, more is not necessarily always better. The first step is to try some CBD products and see how they affect you. Those who are very sensitive to CBD may actually want to use a product with lower bioavailability. Conversely, those with a lot of experience and a high tolerance may find that high bioavailability is exactly what they were looking for. 

Even if you do have a high CBD tolerance, you may want to start with a lower dosage than usual when switching to a product with increased bioavailability. Work your way back up to your previous dose, or keep the dosage low and make use of a product that offers better bang for your buck. Whatever you choose, you can be sure that you are getting an effective product with a great bioavailability when you buy from Miraflora

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