Researchers are still exploring how CBD can relieve certain health conditions, and how much CBD is required to be effective. Beyond how much, there’s also the question of simply how. Is there a “best” way to take CBD?
As with sublingual administration, topical administration requires the user to be aware of the correct method of application in order to experience the maximum benefits. While you do have pores in your skin, generally the skin is not very porous. It’s built to be a barrier that protects our internal organs from the outside world, after all. In order to bypass this protection, you need to apply CBD topicals liberally and vigorously into the targeted area, in order to ensure the CBD actually gets absorbed.
What does bioavailability mean?
The conversation about the “best” way to take CBD almost always touches on the topic of bioavailability. But what is bioavailability, and how does it affect your experience with CBD oil? We explore below.
The bioavailability of CBD oil largely depends on the method of administration you use to administer it—in other words, how you consume the CBD. There are many ways to take CBD, from gummies and edibles to vapes and topical products. Each of these methods has a different bioavailability.
Bioavailability refers to how much, and at what rate, something gets absorbed by your bloodstream. It’s important to understand the bioavailability of a substance because it helps you determine how much you need to take—and in what form—to ensure a proper dose actually ends up in your system. Otherwise, you may not feel the desired effects.
If these claims are true, the Nano-Emulsion technology that everybody claimed increased bioavailability by ten-fold is now less than two-fold according to the claims of this particular company because their new “patented” technology claims to be superior to Nano Emulsion. The new science? Nano Particles, which producers claim are smaller and therefore work better.
Firstly, we do the science and get the answers before we make claims. LifePatent filed patents in 2017 for water solubility and bioavailability of cannabinoids. We’ve still yet to make a claim of any kind other than the discovery of “nature’s delivery method” for cannabinoids. Our technology has been in testing for over a year. Once all the evidence is in and verified we will speak.
Nano particles are generally carrier and active ingredient particles dispersed or disrupted with the use of sound waves or frequencies where the particle size of the intended target (the CBD and carrier) is disrupted into smaller and smaller pieces by ultrasonication (sound waves). Nano-sized particles are created by this process. These very small (nano) particles composed of carrier and active ingredients are much smaller than their non-disrupted selves. They’re capable of passing through membrane walls easier as a result of the highly diminished particle size.
Is anybody confused yet?
One popular CBD website claims that their ‘Nano Particle Water Soluble CBD’ has a bioavailability of 90% or more. Really? Let’s look at this claim. Our industry is plagued by false or unsubstantiated claims. I have seen no science showing that this company conducted clinical trials comparing their product to others, or comparing blood plasma levels showing their product is 90%+ as effective as an injection into the bloodstream. In addition, this company claims a “patent” on this technology, but do they actually own the patent? Would it be safe to assume the technology is patented and they are buying it from a third-party source who owns the patent and did the blood plasma tests to make the claim that this product works 90+% as well as an injection?
To achieve fine dispersion of oil into water, the water must be kept in a continuous phase while the oil is in a dispersed phase. This requires the use of an emulsifier or surfactant to assist in the dispersal. There are three common ways to achieve this.
You might be surprised to find that, in reality, transdermal delivery of cannabinoids is only a theory, at least for now, but clinical tests are underway. Eventually, science will prevail as topical CBD products proliferate and inquiring minds prioritize this as an area of study. However, testing the transfer of a lipophilic molecule into water-based skin can’t truly be done without complicated scientific practices which are currently rare in the hemp industry. There is only one company that I am aware of (CV Sciences) who has created a transdermal delivery method with any strong science behind it and who was recently granted a patent for this invention.
There is one thing we do know: THC and CBD act differently as far as the epidermis is concerned, and CBD seems to be far more absorptive through the epidermis than THC.