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Sublingual: The Secret to Make CBD Work Fast


Taking CBD sublingually may be a game changer for CBD consumers because it’s the fastest administration method. The sublingual administration produces the most rapid results and requires a smaller amount of product thanks to its high bioavailability.

Sublingual CBD: The Highlights

  • Sublingual CBD is the highest in bioavailability which means more of the beneficial cannabinoids are consumed over other methods.
  • Taking CBD sublingually provides precise dosing because more is absorbed so it is easier to know how much is taken in.
  • Sublingual CBD products are discreet and convenient.
  • Taking CBD products sublingually is the quickest route to experiencing the benefits of CBD products.
  • Sublingual CBD products may not be ideal for the consumer who enjoys the experience of consuming their CBD through inhalation or edibles.

What is Sublingual Administration?

Sublingual administration of medications or drugs promotes absorption through the mucous membranes under the tongue. This occurs when the drug is placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve.

It allows for rapid entrance into the bloodstream, but should not be confused with buccal administration, which is placing the drug between the cheek and gums.

Sublingual drugs entrance into the bloodstream is quicker due to bypassing the digestive system where they have to be broken down and metabolized. With the growth and popularity of Cannabidiol (CBD) products the sublingual method of CBD administration is beginning to grow as well.

Sublingual CBD products are available as more than just traditional pill form, but also tinctures, lozenges, and sprays.

How Sublingual Administration Works

The salivary glands and the blood vessels of the neck and face

The bioavailability of CBD, any drug or medication for that matter, is essential to its absorption and use by the body. It refers to the amount of the drug that is able to be used by the body to have the effect that is desired.

Understandably, a high bioavailability is preferred to that the consumer can reap the most benefits from their medication.

When CBD is consumed through traditional routes, orally through capsules, oils, and edibles, it must pass through several harsh environments. The enzymes of the mouth, the acid within the stomach, and the enzymes within the digestive system, all before making its way to the liver.

In the liver, a process takes place called “first pass metabolism.” It is during this process that CBD is reduced substantially before finally making its way into the bloodstream where it can be used for the desired effect.

At this point, it has been reduced substantially from the dose that was originally consumed.

Sublingual administration bypasses all of these processes and harsh environments allowing CBD to be directly absorbed into the blood where it can be immediately and most effectively used.

This process works through the sublingual gland, along with other smaller glands and capillaries, under the tongue. Due to the drug entering the blood more quickly and at a higher dosage it has higher bioavailability.

Advantages Of Sublingual CBD Administration

Apart from the obvious benefit of increased bioavailability, taking CBD sublingually has other advantages as well.

This form of medication administration is beneficial for anyone who has a difficult time taking capsules or pills. When a drug needs to enter the system quickly sublingual administration can be relied upon to allow for just that.

Ardent Cannabis makes a compelling argument for the sublingual administration of CBD and THC. The dangers and inconvenience of smoking or cooking the product is resolved with sublingual CBD administration.

Discretion of use is also a valid advantage of sublingual CBD use along with the accuracy of dosage and safety of use, rather than smoking.

Disadvantages Of Sublingual Administration

As with most methods of administration, there are benefits and advantages to all forms. Sublingual administration of CBD has its drawbacks as well.

Primarily, when taking CBD or any medication sublingually, other oral activities are minimized. Eating, drinking, and smoking have to be reduced or eliminated to allow for the product to dissolve.

For best results, Care First Specialty Pharmacy points out that waiting to take part in these activities is best for optimal absorption.

While it may not be a concern for CBD – though for some it may – medications that require slow administration or release into the bloodstream are not recommended to be taken sublingually.

Therefore, if the consumer wants a more slow release of their CBD benefits sublingual may not be the right method for them.

Another consideration before taking any medication or CBD sublingually is how it will affect the health of the consumer’s mouth. If they are typically sensitive to medications or have mouth sores the medication could irritate them and cause pain.

Any consumer of sublingual medication should check their oral health prior to beginning a sublingual regimen.

Is Sublingual Dosing Superior To Smoking?

Marijuana buds & blown glass pipe up close on white background

Smoking cannabis is the traditional and earliest method of taking in cannabis products.

However, with the growth of the industry and the widespread use of cannabis, specifically in the form of CBD, Ardent Cannabis points out that users are rightfully turning to sublingual administration as a superior source.

Smoking cannabis leads to a host of unwanted side effects from simple outward effects to major potential health impacts. Smoking cannabis results in potentially unwanted smell on clothing, hair, hands, and beards while sublingual use is discrete and leaves no odor behind.

When smoking, the lungs are potentially exposed to some harmful byproducts such as tar and heat which can have negative long term effects on the users’ health. Vaporizers may expose the consumer to these along with carbon dioxide in some cases.

Lighting cannabis results in almost 50 percent of the beneficial cannabinoids to be burned off and never actually inhaled.

The benefits of smaller amounts being needed in sublingual forms than in smoking forms is another major benefit because sublingual is more bioavailable less is needed for more benefits.

Is Sublingual Administration Better Than Ingestion?

Ingesting cannabis and plain CBD has evolved from its beginnings in baked goods. Today cannabinoids can be ingested through tinctures, edibles, and drinks. Edibles come in just about any variety providing plenty of options for any cannabinoid edible connoisseur.

Tinctures have some ability to be sublingual but are not specifically designed for that. Drinks such as seltzers or weed beer are partially absorbed sublingually, but primarily through the gastrointestinal tract and liver.

While edibles are growing in popularly, along with other ingestion methods, sublingual administration may still be more beneficial for the consumer wanting to get to the benefits rather than enjoy the process.

While it may not be tasty or provide a social experience, sublingual CBD is quick, discreet, and effective.

Sublingual is superior to ingestion of CBD and cannabis products. The primary reason ingestion pales in comparison to sublingual administration is the amount of time it takes to see the results from ingestion methods.

It takes from 30 up to 120 minutes for the consumer to notice the pharmacological effects of ingested cannabis.

As mentioned previously, bioavailability is reduced substantially in ingested forms of cannabis as it must travel through harsh environments and undergo the “first-pass metabolism” process.

Only 10 to 20 percent of the beneficial cannabinoids are left to be used by the body when they are ingested rather than taken under the tongue.

Why Sublingual Administration is Beneficial For Cannabis Products

Dropper putting CBD in bottle

While sublingual administration of some medications has its downsides, cannabis products may be the most beneficial when taken through this means. The effects of ingesting cannabis products through sublingual means are the method that sees the most rapid results.

Sublingual is also second to inhalation as being the quickest way to take in cannabis.

According to 420Intel, sublingual administration of cannabis and CBD is beneficial to those taking medicinal forms due to the ability to dose precisely.

For cancer patients or individuals taking CBD products to manage pain and nausea knowing an exact dose is important and sublingual CBD takes the guessing out of an already stressful process. So as long as none is swallowed inadvertently, sublingual is the most precise method of cannabis administration.

Taking CBD Sublingually

Sublingual administration of CBD may not be for everyone. If enjoying the process is of primary importance, rather than experiencing the maximum benefits at the fastest rate, then inhalation and edibles will suffice.

When taking CBD through sublingual means it should be held under the tongue for around 90 seconds or until the product is dissolved or absorbed completely. CBD administration through this method is an ideal option for anyone needing rapid results with little to no concern for the experience.

There is only one way to find out what works best, after clearing it with a healthcare provider consider making sublingual CBD the next method of consumption. Sublingual may not be for everyone, but it is certainly worth a try.