Yes, we love a good CBD gummy or chocolate truffle or even a capsule. Heck, it feels like the best kind of vitamin … a literal chill pill. But the digestive tract isn’t always too kind to our favorite form of plant-based medicine.
“Swallowing CBD — as in CBD capsules — is fraught with the danger of stomach acid,” said Dr. Perry Solomon, MD, a board-certified anesthesiologist and cannabis expert. “You will not [experience] the full effect [of cannabis medicine] with this method.” Damn.
And while smoking and vaporizing happen to both be a very effective delivery, Dr. Solomon shared that — from his perspective, as he’s seen in the industry and with his patients — “inhalation and vaping seem to be on the decline.”
“This is just my interpretation,” he said, “but I’m seeing that more people do not want to inhale anything.” And as we’ve discussed before, multiple doctors wouldn’t say this is the “healthiest” way to take your CBD. And while Dr. Solomon didn’t dive into transdermal patches and creams, he did offer his delivery method of choice: under the tongue!
“The best effect and delivery people seem to have found is tinctures — sublingual under the tongue,” he said. This is “to avoid liver metabolism, called the ‘first-pass metabolism.’”
The sublingual oils absorb directly into the tiny capillaries under your tongue, allowing the medicine to get into the bloodstream and circulate before being broken down by the digestive tract or liver. This is quite similar to the way vaporizing disperses CBD to the bloodstream through the lungs but removes the health risks associated with smoking.
In terms of how much you absorb percentage wise, the data varies and none of the research is 100% conclusive, but it ballparks ingested CBD (capsules and edibles) at a 6-15% rate, sublingual at 35%, and vaporized at 40%.
High absorption with low health risks? It all starts to add up. Sublingual is the move when you’re looking for a low-risk, potent dose of CBD.