How Does CBD Absorb Into Our System?

Ongoing research surrounding CBD has given scientists and CBD manufacturers more insight regarding how CBD is absorbed—providing more inhalation methods for you to utilize.  

Methods of Absorption

Before CBD can get to work, it has to first be absorbed into the bloodstream. From there, it is transported throughout the body to interact with cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. CBD absorption is greatly dependent on how it’s consumed, which also plays a role on the efficacy of the CBD. 

There are four main methods of CBD consumption. These four are sublingual, ingestion, topical, and inhalation. Depending on your reason for taking CBD, you may prefer one method over the other. To learn more about each inhalation method, continue reading. 


The sublingual method is the action of taking CBD orally, under your tongue. This method is often used by CBD users that are looking for quick results. The main benefit of taking CBD oil sublingually is that the absorption process bypasses both the digestive tract and liver metabolization, which enables the CBD compounds to reach your bloodstream and begin interacting with your endocannabinoid system in a fraction of the time. Common sublingual CBD products include lozenges, sprays, and tincture oils. 

Depending on the specific product you chose and the amount of CBD in the product, you could feel effects within anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes. For the quickest absorption, you should look for CBD products that can be taken sublingually and sport a water-soluble formula, as these absorb almost instantly.


Ingestible products, or edibles, are another common way to consume CBD orally. This process works similarly to when you take vitamins or supplements. After you consume the product orally, it navigates to the digestive system where it is metabolized by the liver, then works its way to the bloodstream. These products are typically in the form of tincture oils, edibles, capsules, or beverages. 

This method is often praised as one of the most loved inhalation methods due to its simple design and consistent dosages. However, it isn’t always the most efficient for absorbing high levels of CBD due to the journey it must take before arriving at your bloodstream. Accompanying your ingestible products with a fatty acid helps the CBD to absorb quicker, therefore many ingestible CBD products feature MCT oil or something similar on the ingredient list 


Topical products can be extremely beneficial when you are looking to address skin concerns or need relief to localized areas. These CBD products are applied topically to the skin and typically come in the form of lotions, salves, and more. 

These products are great for those that are looking for the benefits of CBD but don’t care for it to be absorbed into their bloodstream. When CBD products are applied topically, they are absorbed through the top layer of skin and interact with the surrounding cells near the surface, avoiding entering into the bloodstream. 

Because the human skin has a low permeability, it’s best to apply CBD topical products liberally to the areas of concern. This helps support the absorption rate and encourage quicker results in the area the product is applied. 


CBD can also be consumed by vaporizing. This is the quickest way of absorbing CBD as it goes directly to your lungs and doesn’t have to go through the digestive tract or liver first. This method is typically only recommended to experienced CBD users and isn’t considered as safe as other methods. If you are interested in inhaling CBD you should start by doing plenty of research before determining if this method is best for you.  

For high-quality hemp-derived CBD, shop our entire collection of products on A88CBD™!



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A88CBD is your go-to place for all things CBD. Check back frequently to learn how CBD can be used to help with various ailments and just general knowledge to educate yourself.