A tincture, a liquid solution of a substance, is a popular and effective method to utilize CBD. Taken under the tongue, this route of administration is referred to as sublingual or buccal administration. Why are so many cannabis products made this way? It is a convenient, easy way to consume CBD and cannabis that allows for maximum bioavailability (more supplements in your body, therefore, increasing therapeutic effects). What is great about this method is that the CBD gets absorbed directly into your bloodstream. It also misses “first-pass metabolism”, which means it goes directly into your bloodstream without having to pass through your gastrointestinal (GI) system waiting to be absorbed, to then have to pass through the liver breaking down in the CYP50 system and then out of the portal vein into the systemic bloodstream.
Quite a route!
When you take sublingual tinctures, there is no waiting. All you have to do is point the dropper under your tongue, hold for 30-90 seconds as specified, and the CBD goes directly into your bloodstream. It is important to take a second to explain why missing first-pass metabolism is of such importance here. Passing through the liver decreases the concentration of a drug, specifically when administered orally, thus it is greatly reducing it before it reaches systemic circulation. Therefore, if you take 20mg of CBD sublingually, as in a tincture, you will absorb 30% (6mg) of 20mg into your bloodstream. If you take 20mg of CBD orally, you will have 5-10% (1mg/2mg) in your bloodstream. Stomach acids and liver enzymes destroy much of the CBD, and a large dose of CBD is further excreted unchanged in feces when taken orally. Lots of wasted CBD!
One downside of a tincture is that some folks just don’t love the taste. Some CBD products can taste very “hempy.” The way I describe the taste to my clients is that it is like eating a tree or like chewing a joint. One of the reasons I often recommend Equilibria over other products is that not only do they have high-quality products, they also taste great! While some people may be indifferent to the taste, I recommend Equilibria often to clients that don’t enjoy the “tree-like” taste. Those are the terpenes in the CBD, and they are actually good for you. Not everything good for you tastes great, but Equilibria makes fantastic flavors that allow the use of a good quality CBD without the harsh taste.
This blog originally appeared in Equilibria Women.