Cannabidiol has without a doubt taken the medical, health and wellness communities with a bang. The hemp extract has been legal for only a year, but already has a booming market that experts predict will hit $20 billion by 2024. On top of that, the country has been experiencing a wave of cannabis legalization, both recreational and medicinal, and CBD is a big part of that.
Although there’s little scientific proof, consumers have claimed the chemical offers relief against a variety of conditions from anxiety and chronic pain to insomnia. Last June, the FDA approved a CBD based drug to help treat seizures in two rare and hard to treat pediatric epilepsies Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Currently, there are thousands of CBD products on the market, ranging from edibles, sublingual tinctures and topical salves to ordinary food and beverages that have been infused with CBD. Each of these different methods has varying levels of effectiveness, but we can agree that with sublingual use, the effects are usually felt much faster. How so?
Bioavailability refers to the amount of a drug that’s absorbed by the body. It’s usually a percentage of the total amount taken, so if you take 10mg of CBD and only 5mg of it is absorbed, then the CBD was 50% bioavailable. It takes edibles a longer time to be effective since the CBD has to be transported through the digestive tract to the liver so it can be broken down. Sublingual use, however, is much faster as we skip the digestive tract and liver altogether.
How does sublingual use work? For sublingual CBD, the user has to place a few drops of the oil beneath the tongue and let them stay there for at least sixty seconds. You see, the area under the tongue is highly vasculated, with a thick network of blood vessels right beneath the thin layer of skin. Leaving the oil there for 60 seconds gives the body time to absorb the CBD directly into the bloodstream where it can act on the endocannabinoid system.
The effects of the chemical are much faster and much more potent as the CBD doesn’t lose any potency as it does while going through the liver. This makes sublingual use much more bioavailable than other means, especially edible consumption.
One drawback to sublingual use it that the effects, while quick and potent, don’t last for long. You can, however, combat this through microdosing, where you take smaller doses over a period of time, ensuring there’s enough CBD in your system throughout the day for the effects to last.
As always, make sure you consult a physician before you use CBD, especially if you’re on any other drugs. Additionally, people are different, so you may find that one method of administration works better for you when compared to the preferred method for another person.
This could explain why players in the CBD industry, such as Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (CSE: LXX) (OTCQX: LXRP), normally advise that users try different products before settling on what gives them the results they are seeking.
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