Which CBD Products Are The Most Effective? A Lesson on CBD Bioavailability

Dr. Nisha Cooch PhD, PMP

Best and Most Effective Full Spectrum CBD Products - CBD Bioavailability

Since CBD has entered the mainstream, there has been a quick rise in the number and types of products on the market. From extracts and topicals to candy and capsules, there is no shortage of options when you start searching for CBD.

Products like our CBD capsules are consumed orally, whereas topical CBD products like lotions and creams are put on the skin.

Finally, extracts (commonly referred to as CBD oil) and candies, like our CBD Caramels, are taken sublingually – left under the tongue or enjoyed slowly to allow the CBD to be absorbed by your saliva glands.

For people who want to take advantage of the benefits full spectrum CBD has to offer, the options can be overwhelming. Although CBD is non-toxic even at high doses, it is noteworthy that much research is needed on effective dosing, which can make it difficult for people to know the most effective way to take CBD.

The specific way we introduce CBD to our systems affects the ability of CBD to get into our blood circulation, a necessity for CBD to deliver relief. For CBD to take effect, it must bind with receptors, such as the CB2 receptors, and other receptors like serotonin receptors and vanilloid receptors.

The amount of CBD that has a biological impact is referred to as its bioavailability, which boils down to how much CBD actually makes it to your bloodstream.

Bioavailability differs from product to product. Understanding the way CBD bioavailability differs depending on the method in which it is consumed or applied can help determine which CBD products may be best for you.

Here’s what you should know about the bioavailability of different CBD products.

Taking CBD Orally: CBD Capsules

People tend to take CBD orally by swallowing capsules (pills) that contain CBD. This is a convenient way to monitor dosage and avoid the taste and texture of CBD oils, which some people find unfavorable.

Capsules are a simple solution and akin to how many people currently take their supplements. However, like all substances ingested orally, CBD capsules will not take effect immediately, because they have to travel through our digestive systems before entering our circulation.

In addition, because capsules are subject to our metabolisms and digestive systems, they will be broken down in a way that lowers their bioavailability.

Research into the bioavailability of CBD suggests that products taken orally are associated with a bioavailability of less than 20%. What this means is, in order to attain the same level of relief, the concentration or dose of CBD products taken orally needs to be higher than what would be required if you took your CBD sublingually, for example.

However, given the ease of taking these types of CBD products, people often do not view adjusting concentration or dose as a deterrent for choosing the oral route of administration.

Taking CBD Sublingually: CBD Extracts and Candies

For those who are not turned off by the taste and want to more quickly feel the effects of CBD, extracts and candies that can be easily held under the tongue or sucked on are a good option. This sublingual application of CBD has been shown to have clinical benefits.

Sublingual administration of CBD works by exposing the sublingual gland, a vein found under the tongue, to the CBD product. Introducing CBD this way allows the CBD to enter the bloodstream more directly than if it were swallowed and subjected to the digestive system.

The only enzymes that degrade substances taken sublingually are enzymes found in the saliva. The bioavailability of CBD therefore tends to be higher when taken sublingually than when taken orally – simply put, more CBD reaches your blood stream when CBD is taken sublingually.

Extracts and candies containing CBD not only take effect more quickly, but will also require smaller doses than oral products to achieve similar results.

Using CBD Topicals: CBD Lotions and Creams

Another way to bypass the gastrointestinal system is to apply full spectrum CBD topically, with the use of products like lotions and creams. These products are particularly favorable for exercise recovery, athletes, and those managing ailments like arthritis.

CBD applied topically does not enter the blood stream, but does interact with receptors that are close to the area in which the products are applied. Research has shown that topical application of CBD products improves muscle soreness, aches, joint pain, and other ailments caused by inflammation.

The Value of Full Spectrum CBD

At Laura’s Mercantile, you will find all of our Homestead Alternatives CBD products are full spectrum. Unless you’re at risk of being subjected to a drug screening for THC, taking full spectrum CBD products is more beneficial than taking CBD isolate products.

This is because the full range of the hemp plant’s cannabinoids work in unison in what has been described as “The Entourage Effect,” which leads to more significant therapeutic benefits.

Learn more about full spectrum CBD.


Ongoing research is helping clarify the specific benefits that CBD can confer. As the way that CBD works becomes more clear, we expect dosing and administration of CBD will also evolve.

In the meantime, considering bioavailability and your specific reasons for using CBD will help you choose the CBD product most likely to fit your needs.

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