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cbdDoes the Aspect of “1st Pass Effect” in CBD Consumption Make a Difference to You?

Does the Aspect of “1st Pass Effect” in CBD Consumption Make a Difference to You?

The 1st pass effect in CBD consumption is a real thing \’\’and it could be impacting the effectiveness of you \’\’and your CBD consumption. If the only way you dose with CBD is by smoking of vaping then you may want to skip reading this blog.  The 1st pass effect in CBD consumption only applies to oral consumption such as all the edibles.

The 1st Pass Effect in CBD Consumption – Anatomy of 1st Pass

When a drug or natural compound is consumed orally, the 1st pass effect or 1st pass metabolism applies. This also applies to CBD consumption even though not referred to as a drug. When CBD is consumed orally, its potency is greatly reduced before it reaches your systemic circulation. Part of the potency is lost during the digestive system process \’\’and part is absorbed in the liver \’\’and gut wall.

When a drug is swallowed, it is absorbed by the digestive system then through the hepatic portal \’\’and is carried through the portal vein to the liver.  With some drugs, by the time it leaves the liver, there is only a small amount of the potency remaining. Where CBD does its work is when it reaches your circulatory system \’\’and meets up with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

The 1st pass through the liver in any case greatly reduces the bioavailability of the drug or in this incidence we are talking about CBD.

Off topic here but a good example is the drug used for Covid-19 named Remdesivir. If Remdesivir is administered orally, over 90% will be trapped in the liver so it never arrives where it is supposed to. Consequently, Remdesivir is administered by IV infusion so that it can bypass the portal vein \’\’and l\’\’and directly in the circulatory system \’\’and then to the organs \’\’and cells.

The 1st Pass Effect in CBD Consumption – The Four of it All

The four primary systems that affect the first pass effect of a drug or a compound like CBD are:

  • The gastrointestinal enzymes;
  • The gut wall enzymes:
  • The bacterial enzymes;
  • The hepatic enzymes.

Alternative routes of administration like sublingual for CBD oil tincture, avoid the 1st pass allowing it to be absorbed directly into what is referred to as your systemic circulation.

The 1st Pass Effect in CBD Consumption – The Bioavailability

Bioavailability is the proportion of a substance which enters the circulation when introduced into the body \’\’and so is able to have an active effect.  There are two ways to improve the bioavailability rate.

One way to improve the bioavailability rate is to consume CBD sublingually that way it enters the metabolic system via the sublingual gl\’\’and under the tongue. The CBD can be delivered in this manner with oil, tincture, spray or lozenge so that it can impact the body more quickly \’\’and effectively.

The second way to ingest CBD with the highest bioavailability is to eat it with foods that enhance bioavailability. A small study done at a University lab suggests that fatty acids taken with the CBD increase its bioavailability because they act as binding agents meaning that the dose of CBD is able to attach to them \’\’and be metabolized effectively into energy.

Fatty acids are any of the following:

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Avocado oil

Bioavailability increases also when you use the highest grade of CBD bud. The dispensary salesperson will be able to give information regarding is purity.

Smoking hemp flower has a bioavailability of 31% greater compared to eating CBD hemp gummies or other edible products. If you really want to have your edibles dosed with CBD hemp flower, then the best way to overcome the 1st pass effect of CBD consumption is to convert the oil-soluble CBD extract into a water-soluble form. It further makes sense because the average adult is around 50% to 60% water.

The 1st Pass Effect in CBD Consumption – The Obvious Bypass of 1st Pass

Pulmonary administration of CBD to your circulatory system is by far the best bioavailability as well as the fastest application.

Inhaled CBD

Inhalation is not only an efficient way to consume CBD but also a delicious way with lovely savors. Inhalation bypasses the digestive tract \’\’and liver so that the CBD can be readily absorbed through the thin membranes the lungs air sacs of the lungs. There are several ways to inhale CBD however, even with the high absorption, it can damage the lungs over time.


The most basic inhalation form is smoking. In this case the cigarette of the hemp pre-roll contains unprocessed CBD-rich hemp buds. Smoking has a bioavailability of 31% \’\’and be in the system within three minutes. The half-life of smoked CBD averages 31 hours.  The smoking does produce combustion which can irritate \’\’and damage the lungs.


When an individual prefers to vape CBD hemp flower, that is good \’\’and a preferred delivery method. It is a less irritating inhalation form. Vaping is done with a vaporizer pen drawing liquid CBD oil held in a cartridge past a heating element. The heating element produces a vapor that you inhale.

Dry Vaping

Dry vaping is also a consideration if you do not want the CBD liquid vaping. The dry vaping involves a device that has a compartment to pack in CBD hemp flower nug ground in a grinder. Another compartment has water that heats up to form a stem that simply vaporizers the CBD as you vape.

If you want more information on all things CBD, read other posts here on our blog.

 Are you looking for CBD bud products? Dr. Strains CBD only sources its CBD bud from small hemp farms. Check out our online shop or contact us for more information.


FDA Disclosure

Sharon has been writing her heart out since she was 10 years of age when she wrote up a story about a 3,000 acre forest fire she and her family witnessed. In 1995 when she found herself divorced with a 3-year-old daughter, Ruth, she decided to try writing for money. She carved a niche in the Continuing Education market and for the next 20 plus years she wrote courses for C.E. providers all over the United States. Blogging is now her new love. Particularly suited to writing about CBD because for two years she was crippled with osteoarthritis in her ankles and feet until someone introduced her to CBD. Today she walks and bikes because of this natural compound of CBD.

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