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Taking CBD? You’re Not Getting As Much As You Think

by Shannon Remy

There's no denying it: CBD is everywhere you look these days. But whether you swallow, spray, inhale or apply it, one thing is true: if you don't actually absorb the CBD you take, you're not going to reap its benefits.  

While many of us assume we absorb all the nutrients in the supplements we take, that isn’t necessarily true - especially when it comes to CBD. CBD is fat-soluble, so it needs to be in the presence of fats in order to be absorbed and used by the body. The problem is, our bodies have a difficult time digesting and absorbing fats. In fact, the harder we work to digest them, the more nutrition we lose.

A Long Road to the Bloodstream

When you ingest CBD orally, it's a long road to the bloodstream. After reaching the stomach, it goes to the liver which then produces a substance called bile. The bile is secreted into the small intestine and breaks up fat in a process called emulsification, which reduces the size of the fat globules and provides a better surface area for the enzyme lipase to break them down. After this whole process is complete, what remains of the CBD goes on to your bloodstream.

You're Just Not Getting It

The phenomenon of CBD being lost to the liver and gut is known as "the first pass effect," (FPE) and it's the reason we lose so much CBD during digestion. Since we can only get as much CBD as our bodies can absorb, the goal is to minimize the loss of nutrients from FPE and maximize the amount of CBD making it to the bloodstream. How do we do that?

Emulsified Oils: The Secret to Maximizing Nutrients

What if we could pre-emulsify oils to give our bodies a helping hand and eliminate the loss of nutrients that occurs during FPE? Well, that's exactly what Barlean's has done. Using a patented process, Barlean's turns standard CBD hemp oil into an emulsion that’s much easier to absorb. That's because pre-emulsifying oils in this way allows them to bypass part of the digestive process, thus mitigating FPE - so you end up with more of the CBD you're after.

Know Your Own Way

There are many delivery methods to choose from when it comes to CBD, and they each have their pros and cons. When weighing your options, take a moment to consider the delivery method’s absorption as a factor.

For example, softgels are easy and convenient, but undergo digestion and FPE, therefore resulting in a lower absorption rate. Tinctures allow CBD to completely bypass the digestive system so the compounds can reach the bloodstream quicker. But, they must be held under your tongue for 60-90 seconds (hard for some) and whatever remaining amount of CBD swallowed goes through the regular digestive process - and regular nutrient loss.  

Bottom line, you can only get as much CBD as you can absorb. It’s up to you to determine what delivery method is best, and that method may even change over time.

Have more questions about CBD? We’ve got answers. Go to barleans.com/CBD for an extensive list of FAQs and articles or check out our free CBD webinar.

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