CBD oil, usually extracted from hemp plants, can be found in all sorts of shapes and sizes: tinctures, capsules, vape pens, edibles, and even suppositories. These are known as ‘delivery methods,’ referring to the way CBD is introduced into the body. Why we choose one delivery method over another is a very personal decision, and it can simply be a matter of taste or convenience. However, many people make their choice based on which has the best bioavailability or absorption rate in the body.
CBD Bioavailability - How Much CBD Your Body Absorbs
Think of it this way, if you’re spending a bunch of your hard earned cash on a health supplement, you want to make sure the maximum amount is available for your body to use. This is known as bioavailability. In fact, when you take any medication, the bioavailability has already been factored into the dosing instructions.
Let’s use paracetamol as an example. We know that when you take paracetamol orally, 60-70% is used by the body. So when a doctor prescribes you 500mg of paracetamol, they know that 300-350mg will make it into the bloodstream.
However, when it comes to CBD oil, bioavailability via the oral route is relatively low, somewhere between 4-20%. What this means in effect is that if you swallow 10mg of CBD, your body may only have access to approximately 0.4-2mg.
What happens to the rest?
Upon swallowing, CBD passes through the digestive system, after which it enters the hepatic portal where much of it is broken down by liver enzymes. What’s left then enters the bloodstream. This is known as the ‘first-pass effect.’
Thankfully, the oral route (swallowing) is not the only way to take CBD oil, and other delivery methods avoid this first pass effect. It may seem like a subtle difference, but taking CBD oil under the tongue increases its bioavailability, as CBD is absorbed by tiny capillaries found there. That’s why it is always recommended to take CBD oils or tinctures sublingually, holding for 60 seconds before swallowing.
Vaping CBD is thought to have both the highest bioavailability and quickest onset. Using a vaporizer or vape pen, CBD directly enters into the lungs, passing straight into the bloodstream. Comparatively little CBD is broken down, with estimated bioavailability somewhere between 34-46%.
That’s not to say you should choose your CBD product based solely on its bioavailability. CBD capsules or softgels may not come out winners in the absorption stakes, but they are a popular choice with anyone who finds the taste of CBD tinctures hard to palate or simply likes the convenience of popping a pill in their mouth. Not only that, CBD capsules are easy to dose as you know just how much CBD each capsule contains.
Which brings us onto the eternal question - how much CBD should I take?
CBD Oil Dosage Guide
When it comes to taking medication or nutritional supplements, we’re used to working with precise dosages. Whether it’s a vitamin C pill or an aspirin, we follow the instructions on the side of the box and ask no further questions.
However with CBD oil, these rules no longer apply. That’s because how much CBD someone should take depends on the following factors: weight, gender, age, our genes, our endocannabinoid system, and the overall state of our health.
What we’re talking here is a personalised approach, and definitely not the one-size-fits-all dosage regime we’re currently used to.
In practice, taking CBD oil means we are required to listen our bodies, carefully observing any effects we experience, both positive or negative.
We do this by following the ‘up titration’ dosing method. Up titration means slowing building up a dose from what can seem like a sub-therapeutic level, until we find the perfect CBD dosage for us. This is sometimes called the ‘sweet spot.’ You’ll know when you’ve reached your own sweet spot as when you further increase the dose, no further benefit is felt.
If you were expecting us to tell you exactly how much CBD to take, this may not be answer you were hoping for. But this really is an opportunity to create a better dialogue with your body, giving it just the right amount of CBD it needs.
CBD Dosage Calculator
Even if you’re using the up titration method, it’s still a good idea to know roughly how much CBD you are taking by working out how many milligrams of CBD are in each drop, capsule or inhalation.
Here is a guide for our Good Remedy CBD products:
Flow - 1 drop contains 2.5mg CBD
Calm - 1 drop contains 3.75mg CBD
Mend - 1 drop contains 5mg CBD
CBD Capsules and Gummies
1 capsule or gummie contains 10mg CBD
The bottom line is that for accurate CBD oil dosage, we are required to carefully listen out for any feedback given by our bodies. That said, if you have any questions about dosing CBD, our customer service team is here to help, although we cannot give any medical advice.