Bioavailability for CBD: Are Oils or Edibles Better?

yellow capsules on blue surface

What is bioavailability?

In order to have an effect, CBD needs to reach your endocannabinoid system. Depending on the way in which you choose to take CBD, the amount of time and effort from your body that it takes for this to happen can vary – and as this is happening, some product gets lost. Bioavailability refers to the percentage of product which reaches your bloodstream and therefore has an effect; the higher the bioavailability, the smaller the amount of product you will need to feel its benefits.

Unfortunately it is not possible to achieve 100% bioavailability through any methods other than those used in medical environments, however there are ways in which you can maximise the amount of CBD that reaches your bloodstream and endocannabinoid system, therefore maximising the effects you will feel. We have put together a small guide for you about the bioavailabilities of our products, and how you can use this information to work out which is the correct dosage for you.

Bioavailabilities of our products

Oils Edibles Vaping Creams/balms
Bioavailability 13-30% 4-20% 25-50% 34-46%
Time to feel effects 15-25mins 30mins-2hrs 10-20mins 25-45mins
How to maximise bioavailability Hold oil under tongue for as long as possible, do not drink or swallow immediately afterwards Take with fatty foods Regularly top up Put on local areas for the most effective pain relief

There are also a few general pieces of advice we recommend you follow in order to maximise the bioavailability of your products. Storing CBD correctly, while not directly affecting bioavailability, ensures that you are not losing active ingredients, and so increases the effects you feel. We recommend that you keep your CBD out of sunlight, minimise the amount of oxygen getting to it wherever possible, and try to avoid storing your products in high temperatures. We also suggest that you do not take CBD on an empty stomach – studies have shown that CBD absorption may be 3-5 times higher when taken with food.

How this may affect your dosage

The values above are estimates for the average bioavailabilities of our products. However, there are several factors which may affect this, such as:

Liver issues

People who suffer from liver issues may find that their CBD will last longer and may have a larger effect. This is because the liver is responsible for clearing CBD from your system, and so those with compromised livers are likely to have CBD remain in their system for longer. If you suffer from this, you may want to consider starting with a lower dose than you normally would, and working your way up from there if and when necessary.

Neurological conditions

People suffering from certain neurological conditions such as Huntington’s disease may find that they feel less effects from CBD than expected. If you suffer from a neurological condition such as this, you should be aware that your CBD might have a smaller effect than expected at the recommended dose, and you may want to consider taking a slightly higher dose if your current one is not having the impact you were hoping for.

Age, sex and weight

These three factors will have an impact on your bioavailability. It can be difficult to predict how much these will affect your CBD journey, and so we do not recommend preemptively changing your dosage based on these factors. However, if you do find that you are not feeling the same effects as other people you know, it may be caused by this, and in this case you may want to up/lower your dose to match your needs until you are happy.

cbd shop oils uk

Overall, we generally recommend that you start with a low dosage and work your way up – you can find more information about dosages on our website here. However, it is also worth remembering that different ways of administering CBD will give you different results based on their bioavailability – if you are wanting a slightly different effect but are not sure about changing your dosage, it might be worth looking into a different way of taking our CBD based on the information above, and seeing how you get on. If you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to contact who will be more than happy to help you work out the optimal CBD application for you.

Make sure to check out our dosage guide for more info on how to take CBD.