What Does Bioavailability Mean? Does CBD absorb through skin?

Bioavailability has a particularly long and confusing definition that this article narrows down in a more straightforward statement, “the fraction (percentage) of an administered dose of unchanged medicine that reaches the bloodstream (systemic circulation).” Bioavailability relies on the method at which it is delivered. The ways at which Cannabidiol (CBD) is delivered absorbs at different rates. These rates include the time it is taken, the time it has the maximum effect, and does CBD absorb through skin? An example being, an oral CBD product is absorbed through the body at 5-15%. If you take 10 mg of CBD, your body absorbs 0.25mg to 0.75 mgs.

Keep in mind that your dosage will need to increase or decrease depending on your body weight and if the severity of our condition. You may be asking, what does this have to do with a Cannabidiol (CBD) blog? It has everything to do with does CBD absorb through skin?, and we will explain why! CBD products are available with different dosages and applications. We may ask questions such as, how quickly does CBD enter the system? What dosage is right for me? At what point does the body not process the dosage? What is the best way to get CBD into my system? These are the questions that bioavailability may help answer. 

How will this affect my use of CBD & Does CBD absorb through skin?

A chemical that is often aligned with CBD is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). There have been a few studies done on the detection of THC in the body. This document states, “The number, duration, and spacing of puffs, hold time, and inhalation volume, or smoking topography, greatly influences the degree of drug exposure.” How can we interpret this to the use of a does CBD absorb through skin? First, we must understand the difference between THC and CBD. THC and CBD are found in the cannabis plant. THC has been spoken about more frequently in years before. The brother/sister of THC is CBD. CBD is found in the cannabis plant but is also found in the hemp plant. THC is the psychoactive element that someone can get “high” from. Our article explains the difference between the two in detail, explaining that CBD is of a non-psychoactive nature and is now becoming more looked upon in a therapeutic way to perhaps help with the relief of certain things. With this information, we can now understand that although the effects are different and may be used in different ways, the way that THC and CBD are handled in a user’s body are the same. 

Depending on who you are, and your use of CBD absorb through skin?, the effectiveness you’ll receive will be different. This study used cannabidiol to test an anti-inflammatory effect. It states that after applying the CBD to the abdomen of the mice for 72 hours, a steady state level continued until 24 hours and continued to last until the end of the experiment at the seventy two hours. The study’s conclusion being that the application to the mice’s abdomen improved inflammation and edema caused by the injection. To summarize, CBD in this study reached a peak concentration at twenty four hours with effects lasting through seventy two hours. What does this mean for users of CBD? 

Open Wide

In far more simple terms, users of CBD can change the strength of CBD, or type of manufactured CBD product to increase or decrease the amount of CBD that enters your body. Using CBD orally by using gummies, drinks, or soft gels means that you’ll be getting the effects more slowly than via the absorption under your tongue by using tinctures, providing a longer onset and longer duration of effects. The digestive process may prolong the effects CBD may have on users. Our bodies are all different shapes and sizes; therefore, we digest food/medication in different time frames. Once the gummy, pill or drink has entered your gastrointestinal tract, it must survive degradation by stomach acid then be absorbed in your small intestine.  The CBD then passes through the liver and on to the bloodstream. A CBD user’s bioavailability orally may depend on age, height, weight, the time of day the CBD was taken orally, genetic make up for liver metabolizing enzymes, the physical activity level, the content of the stomach, level of stress, and sex of the person. Three well-defined studies have evaluated the bioavailability in CBD oral capsules.  Overall, these studies show that the maximum concentration of CBD is achieved between 1 and 3 hours. These studies demonstrate the CBD bioavailability in different people. Additionally, when subjects had food in their system, there was an observed delay in reaching peak CBD concentrations. The effect of taking CBD oral capsules with food should be considered. If you wish to feel effects faster, perhaps take your oral CBD, whether this is a gummy, drink or soft gel capsule on an empty stomach.   

Under the tongue

While the surface under the tongue absorbs the CBD far more quickly into the bloodstream, therefore your bioavailability is higher. This study tested rabbits with solid CBD and a CBD under the tongue. They found that the CBD administered under the tongue enhanced the rate at which the CBD entered the bloodstream. What CBD can be placed under the tongue? Pure CBD oil, tinctures and liquids. This may be used in the morning, evening or during the day. Be sure to read the recommended dose when first beginning. Our Panacea Pure CBD Oil Drops are administered orally for the above effects and the bioavailability may be higher than the other options if you want to feel the effects the CBD may have more quickly. 

On the skin 

Does CBD absorb through skin? In the topical form such as, salves, balms, and lotions have a far lower bioavailability than tinctures and gummies, etc.  According to this article, generally, the skin has low permeability (this means skin does not allow much through it easily) and blocks things from passing through the skin into your body. The skin has a low rate of absorption for cannabinoids because of this permeability function. CBD salves, balms and lotions, therefore, need to have high concentrations of CBD or mixed with a skin permeability agent such as menthol to be absorbed properly. With permeability in mind, CBD topicals need to be applied liberally into the skin for it to sink in through the pores properly. This information tells users that because the absorption of CBD in the skin is lower than, for example, through the area under your tongue, the amount of time it takes to absorb through the skin will be slower.  Because topical application has low bioavailability, CBD applied to the skin will target local skin cells and nerve endings in the skin for local effects.   


Vaping has recently been a very popular method of dosing CBD or THC.  While vaping cannabinoids provides high bioavailability and rapid onset, the effects of CBD is relatively short and has numerous reported side effects. Panacea Life does not advocate vaping CBD. When CBD is inhaled, it is absorbed through the alveoli (tiny air sacs) in your lungs. The human lungs are covered in these alveoli and therefore have a larger surface area to be absorbed. This article states, “Once through the alveoli, the CBD molecules are immediately transferred into the bloodstream. Recent reports indicate that there are many negative health effects presented by vaping.  We state in another post that we invite our customers to try all options of adding CBD into your daily life via your diet. Examples being soft gels, tinctures, gummies or vaping. Panacea wants to give you the knowledge to make the best choice for you. Panacea Life, however, does not encourage the method of vaping. 

What about my pet? 

First, always speak to a veterinarian before giving your furry friend CBD as it may not be right for them. The bioavailability, according to this study, does not particularly correlate with that of the human bioavailability. Therefore, speaking with your veterinarian before giving your pet any type of CBD should be of the utmost importance. You can find more information on CBD for your pet here. We offer CBD tincture and soft gels for your pet. Make sure to follow the directions to allow your animal to feel the proper effects without feeling uncomfortable. The most important looking for CBD for pets is to find a product with no traces of THC. 


Bioavailability is different for each person and it directly correlates with the type of CBD one may use. If you’re the type of person who wants the effects as quickly as possible, finding oil to place under your tongue that is right for you is the way to go. Or if you prefer a slower effect or you’re not in any rush, oral CBD may be right for you. CBD has the best results when used the same way every time and when it becomes a habit. Keep this in mind when choosing the CBD right for you. CBD affects everyone differently. So you may be open for a bit of trial and error on what may be needed to get the effects you want. Start small, and see what feels the best for you.