CBD Bioavailability: What It Means For Your CBD Choice – A L T W E L L


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CBD Bioavailability: What It Means For Your CBD Choice

Posted by Allie Baker in Blog
When it comes to CBD, there are a lot of forms and ways to use it. Should you go with softgels, gummies, or topicals like lotions and serums? We know all the options can seem overwhelming, so we’re here to help you choose the best form and dose for you.

When you’re choosing a form of CBD, there are a few important factors to consider. Let’s break them down:

  • Bioavailability: This means the percentage of CBD that is actually absorbed in the bloodstream. The more you absorb, the more potent the effects will be.
  • Time to kick in: This is exactly how it sounds — the amount of time before you start to feel the effects.
  • Duration of effects: This indicates how long you can expect the effects to last.

These factors vary depending on the form of CBD you choose. Here is a quick guide to each form and the pros of each:

Sublingual: Tinctures, Oils, Sprays

  • Estimated bioavailability: 12 - 35%. Sublinguals have a quick and efficient route to the bloodstream.¹ They are absorbed through the glands under the tongue, and they avoid the liver’s first-pass effect, which lowers bioavailability. We recommend holding the liquid under your tongue for about 15 seconds for the optimal effectiveness.
  • Time to kick in: 5 - 20 minutes
  • Duration of effects: 2 - 4 hours
  • It’s right for you if: You want to control your own dosage. With tinctures, it’s easy to start with a lower dose (we offer two tincture strength options) and work your way up.
  • Try: ALTWELL Tincture 300 mg or 750 mg

Ingestibles: Softgels, Gummies, Protein  

  • Estimated bioavailability: 6 - 20%.¹ This type of CBD is digested, so it gets broken down by your liver before circulating in your bloodstream. This means you’ll slowly receive a lower concentration of CBD. The effects take longer to kick in but they also last longer,  giving you an overall balance.
  • Time to kick in: 30 - 60 minutes
  • Duration of effects: 4 - 6 hours
  • It’s right for you if: You’re looking for a daily consistent dose. Bonus: gummies and protein have a delicious taste you’ll love.
  • Try: ALTWELL Softgels, Gummies, Protein Powder

Lotion on hand

Topical: Lotions, Creams, Serums

  • Estimated bioavailability: N/A. This type of CBD is absorbed by the skin, but does not enter the bloodstream.
  • Time to kick in: Varies
  • Duration of effects: Varies
  • It’s right for you if: You’re not ready to ingest just yet. Topicals are a great way to experience the effects of CBD and see how your body responds.
  • Try: ALTWELL Lotion, Sports Balm, Facial Serum

We mentioned above how long each form takes to kick in, however, CBD overall has a cumulative effect. The longer and more consistently you take it, the more benefits you’ll experience.² ³

The amount of time it takes to experience results varies from person to person. Depending on your body and how it responds, it may take up to a week to begin to feel the perks.

For dosing, we suggest you “start low and go slow.” Begin with a low dose and take that consistently for a few days to see how your body responds. You can slowly increase your dose from there. This way, you’ll see your results build and feel amazing doing it.

The bottom line: It all comes down to you!
Your form of CBD is a personal preference — the most important consideration is what feels best for you. Ingestibles may take longer to kick in but if you love the taste of gummies, that’s the form for you. If protein powder mixes perfectly in your morning smoothies, go for it. It all comes down to your lifestyle and preferences. That’s why we created so many amazing options for you to choose from!


  1. https://www.cbdoil.org/cbd-bioavailability/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5870061/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6319597/


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