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What is Bioavailability and Why Does it Matter with CBD Products?

As CBD continues to dominate the wellness industry, more terms are becoming part of our regular vernacular when we talk about hemp. One buzzword within the industry is bioavailability, which actually plays a huge role in the effectiveness of someone’s CBD regimen.

So, what does bioavailability actually mean? Understanding it can be the key to whether or not you end up having a successful hemp experience that helps you meet your goals. Allow us to look into this term in complete detail so that you can understand how to better finetune your CBD regimen for a more bioavailable routine.


Bioavailability: What it Means

Bioavailability refers to the ability that compounds have to absorb properly into the body, and thus have active effects on the bodily system. Essentially, if a product is properly bioavailable, it is effective when consumed, because the body absorbs it into circulation. Bioavailability can have degrees, as some products are more bioavailable than others. Of course, this makes things complicated, because not all products are equally bioavailable due to a number of factors which we will be getting into shortly.


Why CBD Products Should Be as Bioavailable as Possible

Now that you know what bioavailability means, you can understand why we want our CBD products to be as bioavailable as possible. This one factor has so much to do with what our CBD experience is like. CBD that’s lacking in bioavailability isn’t going to do much of anything, no matter how strong it is or how high of a dose we take, because it’s simply unable to fully absorb into the body.


What Determines the Bioavailability of a CBD Product?

Now, let’s talk about the key factors to determining the bioavailability of a specific CBD product. This way, the next time you’re shopping for CBD, you can find a product that’s more bioavailable than others for a more successful hemp experience.


Determining Factor #1: Its Solubility

Solubility plays a huge role in the bioavailability of compounds. Most CBD products are oil-soluble, because extracted hemp is oily by nature. While oil-soluble CBD is fine, water-soluble CBD is actually more bioavailable. That’s because our bodies are made up largely of water, and water dissolves in water, while oil doesn’t nearly as efficiently. Water-soluble CBD easily gets into the cells and penetrates bodily systems when consumed. Luckily, more and more companies are producing water-soluble hemp products. But, bear in mind that oil-soluble CBD is not ineffective because it’s oil-based – it can be highly bioavailable as well, just not as much as water-soluble CBD.


Determining Factor #2: Its Milligram Strength

The milligram strength of a CBD product is its potency level. This number determines how many milligrams of hemp extract are in a product’s formula. Higher milligram strengths mean a more bioavailable product because there’s literally more hemp to absorb into the system. This is why people who take higher milligram strengths will have a more potent experience, after all. So, if bioavailability is your main goal, opt for a high concentration if possible.


And, bear in mind that a higher potency level will not make you high. Many people mistakenly believe that the more CBD they take, the more at risk they are of experiencing psychoactive effects. However, the THC level in hemp is simply too low to possibly make a person feel high, so don’t let that concern stop you from going with a stronger milligram strength.


Determining #3: Its Chemical Composition

The chemical composition of a CBD product also determines its bioavailability level. Three types of hemp extracts exist: CBD isolate, broad spectrum and full spectrum. CBD isolate can definitely be bioavailable, especially if it’s water-soluble, but it’s lacking in compounds that can enhance its ability to absorb fully. This is because CBD isolate is just that – isolated CBD.


Broad spectrum CBD contains a variety of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids that aid in bioavailability. It’s free of THC, but it offers other compounds that can help aid in the absorption of the CBD. It also contains amino acids and fatty acids that naturally occur in hemp, which are known to help absorption by carrying the compounds into the body through fat molecules.


Finally, we have full spectrum. Full spectrum contains every compound that occurs in hemp, and is the most bioavailable. Besides the fact that it offers compounds that carry CBD into the system, such as terpenes, flavonoids, amino acids and fatty acids, it allows for the entourage effect, which refers to the synergistic nature of hemp when consumed in its entirely, compound-wise.


Determining Factor #4: The Extraction Method

The extraction method used to produce the hemp extract also determines its bioavailability potential. The CO2 method is considered ideal, because it best preserves the chemical stability and overall integrity of each desirable compound found in the plant material. This ensures that the compounds absorb into the body as efficiently as possible. Other methods, like solvent-based methods, can alter the molecular structures of the chemical compounds, making them less likely to absorb into the body fully.


Determining Factor #5: Delivery Method

Lastly, the delivery method counts. The faster-acting the delivery method, the more bioavailable it is. This means that vaping is the most bioavailable method out there, with tinctures and topicals being slightly behind, and edibles being the least bioavailable. The easier it is for CBD to absorb into the body, the faster its effects can be felt. Therefore, if bioavailability is your primary goal, consider incorporating vaping into your daily routine, or another fast-acting method.


When it Comes to Having Success with Hemp, It’s All About Bioavailability

This single factor determines whether or not the hemp actually does what it’s supposed to once it’s within the body. The good news is that as bioavailability is more and more discussed within the industry, companies are developing innovative ways to ensure the most bioavailable product possible. And, rest assured that here at Extract Naturals, bioavailability is one of our primary goals when producing our CBD products.

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