CBD is still a relatively recent arrival on the wellness stage, but it’s already available in various edible forms. CBD users can choose anything from capsules and tinctures to gummies. Having so many options isn’t always a blessing, though. The fact is that many products on the market simply don’t deliver, with oil-based formulas, in particular, falling short of their promised benefits. Here are a few factors to consider so you can be confident you’re choosing the best product for you .
How Much CBD Does the Body Actually Absorb?
CBD is lipophilic (or fat-loving). This means it will dissolve in oils or fats but not in water. Given that our bodies are almost 60 percent water, this poses a barrier to fast, effective delivery. Our body’s poor ability to absorb oil-based CBD formulations leaves 90 to 95 percent of that CBD unavailable to your body’s endocannabinoid system (the system thought to help regulate everything from mood to memory to stress and more).
The level of absorption you can expect from a product is also referred to as bioavailability, and when your body has a hard time absorbing an ingredient, that product is considered to have poor bioavailability. Poor quality CBD brands ignore the issue of bioavailability, but premium brands address it with technology.
Innovations in CBD delivery
The most advanced CBD products employ technology to enhance the absorption of the CBD molecules and allow for greater levels of CBD to reach your bloodstream. NextEvo Naturals’ SmartSorb™ technology encapsulates the CBD in an emulsion formulation composed of natural ingredients that makes it easier and faster for your body to absorb CBD into its bloodstream. The result is a CBD product absorbed up to four times better than typical oil-based CBD formulations such as tinctures and oil-filled soft gel capsules.
What’s the Formula?
Creating a CBD formulation that allows for easy and fast absorption is one part of the challenge. The other is guaranteeing that every serving is equally well absorbed and remains stable over time, so you get a very reliable and repeatable experience every time you take it. For peace of mind, look for a producer that has developed a proprietary formula backed by scientific research, and a brand that addresses bioavailability directly. The difference between carefully developed superior absorption formulas and many oil-based blends is enormous. For example, NextEvo’s proprietary SmartSorb™ technology delivers CBD into the bloodstream four times better, detectable in the blood levels in as little as ten minutes.
A question of research
Manufacturers can instill confidence in consumers by demonstrating each ingredient’s ability to speed up CBD absorption in the body. That means drawing on scientific research supported by human data. Be wary of any claims made on the label that are not backed up by peer-reviewed studies conducted on humans.
Where Has the Product Been Tested?
Despite the rapid rise in popularity of CBD products, the market is not yet regulated by the FDA and testing is not mandatory. That leaves an opportunity to market substandard products that too many brands have exploited. The more serious CBD manufacturers have taken a proactive approach, ensuring quality through their own lab testing and submitting their products to third-party testing facilities for purity and ingredient profile as a check. This is important because many labs may report inaccurate results. The ultimate benchmark is multiple labs, including independent third-party testing in an FDA-inspected facility to verify purity and potency.
Is There Paperwork and Data Behind the Product?
Consumers may be surprised, concerned even, to learn that there are no established standards for products containing CBD in the U.S. While there are regulations limiting THC content to no more than 0.3 percent, manufacturers don’t need to list the ingredient profile or origins of their product.
Consumers should search for producers who are proud to stand by their product and willing to offer full transparency with a Certificate of Analysis (COA). Issued by an accredited laboratory, this document reveals the full composition of a product, from the presence of cannabidiol, terpenes and other compounds, to the absence of pesticides, fungicides, heavy metals and solvents. Consumers can also confirm through the COA that the product contains high-quality hemp grown in the U.S. and not an extract from inferior grade imported hemp of unclear origin.
While the CBD market is still effectively in a period of self-regulation, consumers should be alert to the distinction between the brands that are driving innovation and those who lack the evidence and data to support their claims. As you experiment with CBD in your wellness routine, or maybe you’ve tried it in the past and were underwhelmed, consider the questions above to determine if the products you take are effective. As we all continuously strive to achieve our best self and care for our bodies, CBD can support that in many ways, but consuming products backed by meaningful research, testing and science is key.
Food and Drug Administration - FDA warns 15 companies for illegally selling various products containing cannabidiol as agency details safety concerns
Harvard Health Publishing - Cannabidiol (CBD) — what we know and what we don’t - Harvard Health Blog
National Library of Medicine - A Review of Human Studies Assessing Cannabidiol's (CBD) Therapeutic Actions and Potential
National Center for Biotechnology Information - Dosage, Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol Administration in Adults: A Systematic Review of Human Trials
Health Europa The Absorption of CBD: Does CBD Oil Have No Future?.
National Center for Biotechnology Information - Towards Better Delivery of Cannabidiol (CBD)