Bioavailability of CBD: Choosing the Most Effective Product

With an increasing number of states following suit, the medical cannabis market is growing as is the array of products and methods to administer them. As the medical benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) become more well known and established, companies across the country are finding new types of products to provide relief from pain, anxiety, nausea and more. But what is the most effective way to deliver CBD to where you need it most? It all comes down to the bioavailability of CBD and the first pass effect.

In this article we will explain what the bioavailability of CBD means, how first pass metabolism works, and the pros and cons of different CBD products to ensure you are able to make an informed purchase of Habit Crafted products.


What Does Bioavailability Mean?

First off, what does bioavailability mean? Bioavailability is defined as “the degree to which a drug or other substance becomes available to the target tissue after administration.” Basically, depending on how you consume a substance will determine how much of it is actually absorbed into the body.

As we mentioned before, the second factor in the effectiveness of a CBD product is first pass metabolism, also known as the first pass effect. The first pass effect occurs during the metabolism of a drug. Before CBD can reach the circulatory system and deliver its medicinal benefits, it must go through the enzymes of the gastrointestinal lumen, bacterial enzymes, gut wall enzymes and hepatic enzymes. After being broken down so many times, the amount of CBD left to circulate in the body is greatly reduced. This is the main reason why oral CBD products, like capsules, have such low bioavailability.

Now that we know what bioavailability and the first pass effect are, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of different CBD products and how they compare based on these two factors.


What are the Pros and Cons of Different CBD Products?

At Habit, we’ve created a myriad of products to suit your medicinal needs –– from topical CBD to tinctures. So which one is right for you?



For centuries, humans have used certain plant extracts as a means to relieve pain naturally and effectively. By incorporating this ancient knowledge with modern science, Habit has developed a uniquely formulated topical CBD to use with our largest and most outward of organs –– our skin.

But how do topicals work? Rather than smoking medical marijuana or ingesting it orally, which will affect the entire body and can take up to 2 hours to experience the full effects, topical CBD allows you to apply cannabinoids to where you need them most. This form of CBD is a good starting point for new medical marijuana users who want to avoid the psychoactive effects of cannabis and only benefit from the therapeutic effects. Non-psychoactivity is possible because the cannabinoids in topicals bind to CB2 receptors near the skin, activating the endocannabinoid system, and are never actually absorbed into the bloodstream.

Topicals are effective for the management of difficult and chronic pain like those from arthritis and rheumatism. Keep in mind, human skin has a low absorption rate for cannabinoids, so the coverage and dose need to be large enough to remain effective through this barrier.