What is 'Bioavailability' and How Does it Change CBD Absorption?

What is 'Bioavailability' and How Does it Change CBD Absorption?

CBD products are everywhere… and becoming available in an increasing variety of form factors. With so many options exploding onto the market, as a consumer it can be hard to figure out how to shop for CBD.

If you’re like me, you may strongly consider buying based on a ratio of price per volume. When I’m at the grocery and I’m choosing between two brands of a product, you better believe I’m picking the one that gives me more of what I want for a cheaper price. Generally, this strategy makes sense.

When shopping for CBD though, it doesn’t always work like that. And the reason is something called “bioavailability.”

What is Bioavailability?

While bioavailability may seem like a complex scientific term, it’s actually quite simple. Bioavailability is the amount of a substance that actually enters your blood stream in order to activate its effect.

Basically, it determines how much of the product gets used for its intended purpose, and how much of it simply ends up as waste within your body.

You can likely already see where this is going. When applied to CBD products, the bioavailability of a product becomes a critical distinction.

Why does bioavailability matter when shopping for CBD?

Not all CBD products come with the same levels of bioavailability. In fact, different products and form factors vary widely when it comes to how much of a product enters the bloodstream.

That 10-milligram tincture dose that you take before bed? There’s a good chance that only 3-4 milligrams of that CBD actually enter your blood stream and take effect.[i]

The CBD distillate or isolate that you purchased? The results are looking even worse, with roughly 1 out of every 10 milligrams absorbed into the blood stream and utilized by your body.[ii] 

On the other hand, water-soluble CBD, often in the form of powders like our collection of CBD STIKs, have a bioavailability rate of 65%, meaning that 6.5 out of every 10 milligrams of CBD are absorbed into your bloodstream and activated.[iii]

This gives you one of the most efficient delivery systems on the market and the best bang for your buck.

If you are rethinking your purchasing habits right now, I don’t blame you. Bioavailability is crucial to keep in mind when shopping for CBD products if you are actually looking to achieve the effects that you pay for.

Keep bioavailability in mind the next time you’re shopping for CBD - and you will be bound for a better experience that truly utilizes the power of the product.




[i] Mannila J, Järvinen T, Järvinen K, Jarho P. Precipitation complexation method produces cannabidiol/beta-cyclodextrin inclusion complex suitable for sublingual administration of cannabidiol. J Pharm Sci. 2007 Feb;96(2):312-9. doi: 10.1002/jps.20766. PMID: 17051591.

[ii] Ohlsson A, Lindgren JE, Andersson S, Agurell S, Gillespie H, Hollister LE. Single-dose kinetics of deuterium-labelled cannabidiol in man after smoking and intravenous administration. Biomed Environ Mass Spectrom. 1986 Feb;13(2):77-83. doi: 10.1002/bms.1200130206. PMID: 2937482.

[iii] Martin-Santos R, Crippa JA, Batalla A, Bhattacharyya S, Atakan Z, Borgwardt S, Allen P, Seal M, Langohr K, Farré M, Zuardi AW, McGuire PK. Acute effects of a single, oral dose of d9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) administration in healthy volunteers. Curr Pharm Des. 2012;18(32):4966-79. doi: 10.2174/138161212802884780. PMID: 22716148.