The various ways your body can absorb CBD

Human body CBD ECS


Research institutions and scholars are diving into the world of cannabis more than before, and learning the ways your body can absorb CBD. Thanks to the debate on whether to legalize marijuana or not, we can now openly discuss how cannabis and its derivative compounds and products impact our health and wellbeing.

Benefits of CBD

Some of the known benefits of CBD in the body include

    • Solving sleep disorders
    • Calms down anxiety
    • Helps in digestion
    • Combating pain and inflammation
    • Treatment of epilepsy
    • Treating skin conditions such as acne

For all these health benefits and many more to take effect, the CBD needs to be absorbed into the bloodstream first. The body’s endocannabinoid system produces cannabinoid receptors to aid in the process. Absorption is dependent on the method used to introduce the cannabinoid into the body.

Here are the various ways that your body can absorb CBD.

Ingestion and sublingual intake

This is the most common method of taking in CBD oils. It is effective through swallowing CBD oils or taking edibles laced with the compound. Once in the stomach,  it is absorbed and transported through the portal vein into the liver. Here the first pass effect takes place to break down the CBD molecules. Enzymes reduce its concentration before it is introduced into the bloodstream.

When CBD oils are placed under the tongues, the mucosal membranes digest the compound for faster direct absorption into the bloodstream. This way the digestive system is completely bypassed.

The digestive system slows down the absorption process and lowers the bioavailability of the CBD. This is mainly due to the first pass effect. In turn, this causes minimal benefits of CBD.

Absorption in the respiratory system

One of the latest trends in CBD intake is vaping. Of course, dabbing still exists. CBD is inhaled after it is heated to produce an aerosol in vaping. The CBD is taken down the windpipe into the lungs where they meet the alveoli. The increased surface area due to villi in the alveoli makes it even faster for the CBD to enter the bloodstream. When compared to ingestion, inhaling is far more effective. In fact, the effects can be felt in a matter of minutes.

Topical application

This is probably the least popular way of CBD absorption into your body. It can only be known to those who understand the dermatological benefits of CBD.

In topical applications, the compound doesn’t interact with the bloodstream. Instead, it binds to receptors around the surface where it is applied.

One of the main functions of the skin is to prevent the entry of anything foreign into the body. The layers making the skin are ultra-selective on what to permit inside and to what level. When CBD lotions, salves and balms are applied in large amounts, it increases the chances of higher amounts penetrating these layers.


When choosing the absorption method that will favor your body and it’s needs, consider the bioavailability. This varies with specific needs. For instance, skin conditions may need topical applications rather than ingestion. Treating colon cancer will require ingested CBD. If you are planning to use Cannabidiol for pain relief then probably think about inhaling it as the effects are nearly instant.


If you would like to learn more about CBD, come visit our learning resources here. You can also visit our shop here, which has an array of CBD products for all your needs. 

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