What is Bioavailability?
According to the The American Heritage Medical Dictionary, the definition of bioavailability is considered "the degree to which a drug or other substance becomes available to the target tissue after administration". In layman's terms, it refers to the percentage of a dose that is actually absorbed by the body. Intravenous dosages, for instance, are considered 100% bioavailable as they are administered directly to the bloodstream.
Depending on your choice of cannabis consumption method, the bioavailability can differ.
Why does Bioavailability Matter?
There are many important factors that influence cannabis consumption and its effects including the cannabinoid levels. Whether it is less than 1% THC and 25% CBD or a product that is less than 1% CBD and 25% THC, the level of cannabinoids plays an important role in the benefits of cannabis. In addition, there are terpene and flavonoid factors which also influence the strain qualities and effects. These components all work together in what is known as the “entourage effect”. While this all well and good, how much of these components you absorb comes down to bioavailability.
Traditionally, high quality products and flower will have a higher level of bioavailability than their lower end cousins. The benefit of better bioavailability also means that you require less product to experience the effects. Essentially, this is the biggest factor in cannabis potency. In fact, a strain with 25% THC can have less bioavailability than a better quality strain at 18% THC. So while you may have purchased a product with more THC, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will absorb more.
Bioavailability of Cannabis Flower (Joints)
Joints are still the preferred method for smoking cannabis and still one of the most effective and efficient methods - followed by vaping, dabbing and edibles. Typically the effects from a well rolled joint are shorter lasting (up to 2 hours) but are much quicker to onset than other consumption methods.
When it comes to the bioavailability of joints, factors such as the quantity and quality of the bud will play an important role. A 2005 study found that THC inhaled via smoking has an average bioavailability of 30% and effects typically occur within 10 minutes. Additional studies from 2007 and 2013 have found that bioavailability can actually range from 2% to 56% with most results on the higher end of the scale. This, of course, is dependant on the quality of the cannabis and smoking dynamics such as inhalation volume, duration and spacing of puffs. However, it was revealed that experienced users tend to have higher bioavailability than novices - good news for us regular tokers!
Interestingly enough, a 2003 study also determined that THC has a greater bioavailability than CBD making it more potent - especially when smoked.
Got a Light?
Van City Rolls produces a variety of pre-rolls including standard pre-rolls, CBD only and platinum. Our products are made using only 100% pure BC bud all rolled into RAW natural papers. Each pack contains 20, half-gram pre-rolled joints and comes in a portable and protective carton to ensure a convenient and enjoyable experience! Shop now at www.vancityrolls.com