We don’t do Gummy Bears
AND HERE IS WHY YOU SHOULD CARE.
It seems that CBD is in everything nowadays from cocktails to bath bombs, gummy bears to ice cream. It certainly is proving to be a popular trending item and CBD has almost become a fashion accessory. Even celebrities are getting in on the act. Whoopi Goldberg and Mike Tyson have their own brand and Kourtney Kardashian has added a CBD serum to her signature beauty line.
It looks like our love affair with everything CBD is here to stay. But the question must arise on the effectiveness of the CBD in ‘novelty’ items such as gummy bears and other products that are digested, rather than being used sublingually.
So, where do you start? There’s so much information on the internet and everyone’s telling you to do different things. But who do you listen to?
TO VAPE OR NOT TO VAPE?
As any person that has researched CBD will know, one of the best ways to get CBD into our system is by absorbing the oil under the tongue and consequently through the sublingual gland. Apart from vaping, this is the most effective method through which it can enter the bloodstream and begin working its effects fairly quickly – typically within 15-20 minutes.
The problem is, that vaping CBD has had health concerns voiced due to various factors. These include the cuticle wax and thinning agents used in some CBD vape oils to possible heavy metal exposure from the heating coils. Overheating vape oils can also convert some of the beneficial compounds in CBD into harmful benzenes.
As of 2019, more than 1,200 cases of a mysterious vaping-related illness and 26 related deaths had been reported to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is advising consumers to “consider refraining” from vaping altogether. Although only 17% of these reported having vaped a CBD product, there is still good reason to be cautious. (https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html)
There is a real of lack of thorough research of long-term effects for vaping, so at the moment the more natural, sublingual approach seems to offer the healthiest, safest option. Administering CBD oil under the tongue, offers the next highest bioavailability but just what is ‘bioavailability’ and why does it matter?
Bioavailability is the proportion and rate of a drug or other substance which is absorbed into the bloodstream. So, depending on the method you decide to use, you need to know just how much of the original amount will be available to your system and therefore, how effective it will be.
Using a product that will need to go through the digestion and also be broken down by the liver, means that there will be very low bioavailability. Therefore you need to decide whether or not that might be a waste of money. You are paying a premium price for a CBD product so you want to get the most CBD out of it! Right?
DEATH TO THE GUMMY BEAR
Because the sublingual method is more direct, it has a greater impact on the system and maintains a higher availability. Studies from 2009 reported bioavailability of edibles at between 4% and 20%. So if you ate a gummy bear with 100mg of CBD, only 20mg will actually reach your bloodstream. Not much efficacy, surely.
Further decreases in absorption can also occur based on the extracts used to make said edibles. For example, many edibles are made with an isolated extract. The reason being is this is flavourless, however the bioavailability of Isolate is up to 7 times less than that of a premium distilled oil based CBD extract.
Another point to remember is that some of these edibles are processed in facilities that handle soy and fish gelatin. Not great for those with allergies. Some also contain high fructose corn syrup or pure cane sugar which you really are better off avoiding.
If the CBD oil is of superior quality then the taste is completely inoffensive, so in our mind you don’t want to lessen the efficacy of such a wonderful, natural product by adding sweeteners and flavourings. And certainly not fish gelatin.