A Beginner’s Guide: What is Bioavailability?

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Published on: 05/21/19

In a time where CBD oil has become the buzzword of the moment, you could hazard a guess that it has indeed taken its toll on our dinner table conversations too. As a result of the CBD craze, we often find ourselves using words that were not a part of our vocabulary beforehand.

Well, sigh no more, because the days of happily throwing around terms in CBD discussions without knowing the actual meaning of what you’re saying are over. Today, we’ll explain one of the tougher ones; what is bioavailability?

Understanding what bioavailability is can be a bit tricky, so we’re going to take it step by step. Here goes, a quick and easy to digest guide that in a few minutes hopefully will leave you far more informed than you were when you first came here.

What does Bioavailability Mean?

Simply put, the bioavailability of a substance is the degree and rate that it is absorbed into the bloodstream after any other processing in the body. In other words, bioavailability is the fraction (percentage) of the administered dose of unchanged medicine that reaches the bloodstream (systemic circulation).

The scientific term bioavailability first gained popularity in the use of pharmacological and nutritional sciences. But what does it mean when a product has either low or high bioavailability? Why is it even important, and where does the explanation to all this lie?


Bioavailibily and Delivery Methods

Bioavailability is all about the way in which compounds are administered to the body via different routes. In other words, bioavailability is linked to the different delivery methods of a given substance. When products are administered intravenously, they are fully available in the bloodstream and are therefore 100% bioavailable.

In order for a product to be effective, it has to be bioavailable. Put differently, it has to be available for the body to absorb. Now, we talk of bioavailability with a wide range of different substances, however, today, we’re talking about it from a CBD perspective.

Before introducing you to the delivery methods we work with when it comes to administering CBD, we first want to give you a CBD 101, just to make sure nothing gets lost along the way.

What is CBD?

CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a natural, non-psychoactive compound extracted from the cannabis sativa plant. Popular for its calming and relaxing effects, CBD is by many used as a natural remedy against stress and anxiety-related issues.

While some prefer to use it as a mere sleep-inducing helper, others reach for it when combating things such as chronic pain, nausea, inflammation, illness, and cardiovascular health. CBD derived from hemp contains a maximum of 0.3 % THC and therefore does not provide you with any form of high.

Moving on to the next step, let’s take a look at the different delivery methods.

Oral:

When we take a substance orally, it means that we swallow the products in the form of pills or capsules. It isn’t until the substance reaches the hepatic portal where it’s broken down by liver enzymes that it’s actually absorbed into your bloodstream. For this reason, it is known to have a long-lasting effect.

Sublingual:

In spite of still being an oral method of consumption, sublingual administration is different. When absorbing a substance by adding a few drops under the tongue, it’s absorbed straight into the bloodstream. This happens thanks to the capillaries that are located under the tongue. Naturally, this means that the effects take place sooner than with other methods.

Inhalation:

If you’re looking for a substance to take quick effect, you might want to try out the inhalation method. When you inhale, the substance is allowed to pass directly into your bloodstream through the digestive tract. Most people leaning towards this method of consumption do it for the quick effect and the convenient administration. That is, if they’re already vaping or using an e-cigarette.

Topical:

It might sound a little off to begin with, but we actually have endocannabinoid receptors located everywhere in our skin cells. For this reason, your skin can give you direct access to your system. As yet another bonus, CBD creams or salves are known to help irritated skin or eczema conditions.

Vaginal/rectal:

Suppositories are not many people’s first choice when it comes to delivery methods, however, there are indeed benefits to this way of administering a substance. As a matter of fact, this is the delivery method with the best bioavailability. Via the capillaries in the anal/vaginal passage, the substance is passed on directly to the bloodstream without having to go through any digestive process.

Interested to learn more about how long CBD stays in your body?

Why is Bioavailability Important?

When we eat, drink or in general apply things to our bodies, we have to think about it in terms of absorption. When it comes to food and supplements, for example, there’s a difference between what you eat and what you absorb, not to mention the factors that affect what you actually do absorb.

The more bioavailability something has, the easier it is for our bodies absorb. At first, this might sound like a good thing but think again. Glucose, for example, has very high availability. This means that our bodies are very good at absorbing sugar. And yes, sugar can be good for some biological processes, but we also all know that if over-consumed, it can be dangerous and lead to several conditions, if not diseases.

Check your Ingredients

Bioavailability is important because it tells us something about how we absorb the things we consume and to what extent they impact our bodies. Another reason why paying attention to this can benefit you in the long run is because you’re mistaken if you think that what you see on the labels is what you’re absorbing. More often than not, we buy products where only some of the ingredients are active. This is why it can be a good idea to supplement your diet with raw vitamins, so you’re sure to get the nutrients you need – and you’re sure to get their raw goodies.

Interested to know more about raw vitamins and their benefits?

As always, we hope you enjoyed the read and we will continue to join you on your journey towards a healthy and balanced life. Feel free to send us a message via the chat box in the right-hand corner or drop us an email, if you have any questions or comments. We’ll be more than happy to help you! If you’re interested to know more about our CBD products, head to our shop and have a look around.


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Disclaimer: Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Endoca and its staff. This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or cure. Endoca CBD products have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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