top of page
  • Bailey Porras

Cannabis Bioavailability: What’s the Most Effective Method?

Marijuana is a drug that has been around for thousands of years and is used for many different ailments and symptoms. Millions of people use cannabis to self medicate due to its medicinal properties and benefits.

Medical marijuana is legal in Virginia and was recently legalized for recreational use as well. There are many benefits to having your medical card in a recreational state, including lower costs, higher possession and potency limits, and legal protection.

Virginia has legalized many different forms of cannabis for both medical and recreational marijuana. Everybody has their own personal favorite delivery method, but which method is the most effective at quickly and efficiently delivering medicine to your body?

What Is Bioavailability?

The definition of bioavailability is the degree and rate at which a substance is absorbed into a living system or is made available at the site of physiological activity. In other words, it is how quickly and how much marijuana is absorbed into our bloodstream.

Bioavailability depends on the delivery method. There are many different ways to use marijuana including smoking, vaping, edibles, tinctures, creams, and more.

Which Method Is Most Effective?

A popular delivery method for patients who consume cannabis is oral which includes edibles, tinctures, capsules, and oils. When THC and CBD are swallowed, the bioavailability will be anywhere from 4-20%.

The reason for the low bioavailability is due to something called “first pass metabolism”. Basically, this means that when someone swallows a drug, its concentration will be reduced greatly before actually reaching the systemic circulation.

Many people don’t know the difference between oral and sublingual. Sublingual delivery methods involve placing the drug under the tongue, and the bioavailability of marijuana when ingested sublingually can be up to 75%.

When smoking or vaping, however, the bioavailability is a bit more tricky. Both of these methods do not go through first pass metabolism, making their bioavailability greater than that of the oral method.

It is said that the bioavailability of cannabis when smoked or vape can be anywhere from 2-56%. Smoking and vaping are the quickest ways to feel the effects of cannabis but also the least efficient for bioavailability due to the fact that users will exhale and blow out smoke, essentially wasting cannabinoids.

There is only anecdotal evidence for lotions, creams, and transdermal delivery methods so far, so the bioavailability of these delivery methods is unknown.

The Bottom Line

The most effective method as far as bioavailability goes is sublingually. This method is also the second fastest delivery method, as far as the onset of effects goes.

No matter which method you choose, the bioavailability will differ depending on many different factors. Just make sure you don’t overdo it! Start low and go slow.

Get Your Medical Marijuana Card Today

You can conduct your own science experiment and test out the bioavailability of cannabis with each of these methods! In order to do this, you are going to need your medical marijuana card.

If you don’t already have yours, no worries. We can help! If you think you could benefit from medical marijuana, there is a good chance you would qualify for your medical card in the State of Virginia. With telemedicine, it is now easier than ever to get your medical card from the comfort of your own home!

In Virginia, any inhibiting condition could qualify you for your medical card. If you don’t already have it, we can help! Schedule an evaluation online today and we’ll make an appointment for you with one of our knowledgeable, compassionate doctors.


Doctors Who Care.

Relief You Can Trust.

At Virginia Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness

safely and conveniently through increased access to MMJ. Our focus on

education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by

providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

Call us at (888) 633-5808, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!

Check out Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information.

171 views0 comments


bottom of page