March 25, 2020 2 min read

CBD use gets more prevalent every day – but everyone has a unique experience with CBD use not only because of our unique biology, but also due to different CBD delivery methods and bioavailability. 

Let’s look at three different ways you can enjoy CBD.


The delivery method here involves a tincture or spray that’s held under the tongue for 60-90 seconds. When CBD oil is placed there, it allows the mucous membranes to directly absorb some of the hemp extract compounds. The left-over compounds are then swallowed which means they must pass through the liver. As that process takes some time, the already-absorbed compounds are already taking effect because they’ve gone straight into the bloodstream.


This delivery system can include vapes, cigarettes, and dabbing. Inhalation is very popular because of the rapid onset and the effectiveness of the CBD. The bioavailability on display here is so rapid because the interior surface of the lungs is so highly permeable. That means it can only take a few minutes to feel the effects – but it also means the effectiveness doesn’t last long.


This delivery method involves applying CBD onto the skin in the form of lotions, salves, and balms. CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors that are contained in human skin.

Here’s how the delivery methods and bioavailability work together:

Delivery Method Bioavailability Onset

Oil-based Sublingual Low-Mid 20-40 mins

Water Soluble Sublingual High 10-20 mins

Inhalation Mid-High 2-5 mins

Topical Low 60-90 mins

Remember, the length, time to onset, and efficacy are all dictated by the bioavailability of the delivery method. That means you might want to try various methods to see what’s right for you.