The way in which CBD is administered plays an important role in determining its absorption by the brain.
CBD is highly fat-soluble and taken up by tissues that are highly vascularized with blood, including the:
Smoking has always been the most popular route of cannabis administration for thousands of years.
- Provides a quick and efficient method of drug delivery from the lungs to the brain
- Vaping and smoking carry their own health risks
- Both vaping and smoking deliver any compounds or additives found in the product into the bloodstream rapidly
- Certain respiratory conditions can also exacerbate adverse reactions in some people
Sublingual administration refers to holding the drug in the mouth to allow the drug to be absorbed into the blood vessel rich area under the tongue.
- Absorption is rapid and flows directly into a large vein (superior vena cava) that takes the drug first to the heart and then quickly into the brain
- Taking medications under the tongue helps avoid what is called “first-pass metabolism” by the liver
Oral administration refers to orally consuming CBD in food products or with gummies.
- Ingestion is a convenient and helpful way to take CBD for those unable to use other means of administration
- Most orally consumed CBD degrades in the stomach or is metabolized by the liver into inactive metabolites
To help mitigate this effect, blood levels of CBD are increased when consumed with food or just prior to eating. CBD is highly fat-soluble, so the fat in most foods increases solubility and absorption. Taking CBD gummies with food is probably a good idea to help get the most of your CBD.
Topical application of CBD is a good option because this administration method avoids first-pass metabolism by the liver and because its molecule is fat-soluble.
Topical absorption of CBD can be increased if the skin is broken or burned. Transdermal patches are advantageous because they are designed to enhance the transport of drugs across the skin. Transdermal patches are also an optimal method of administration for the long-term reduction of chronic pain for many drugs, including CBD.