CBD, food, and bioavailibility

    November 16, 2022 2 min read

    CBD, food, and bioavailibility

    We have written recently on the difficulty of delivering cannabidiol (CBD) systemically. Because the molecule, being hydrophobic, serum-binds at a very high rate, its oral bioavailability in vivo is very low. One of the ways to mitigate this, as we discussed, may be to deliver CBD, which is highly lipid-soluble, with particular foods.

    A recent study at New Mexico State University(Mozaffari K, et al. Molecules.2021 Jun; 26(12): 3573) has tested this, assayingthe bioaccessibility of CBD in a three-phase upper digestion trial with and without food, examining lipase activity with different substrate concentrations. The food matrix was a mixture of olive oil and baby food. 

    Results showed that lipase enzyme activity and fatty acid absorption increased in the presence of bile salts. This may have contributed to an increase in CBD bioaccessibility. In fed-state digestion there was higher micellarization efficiency for CBD (14.15 ± 0.6% for 10 mg and 22.67 ± 2.1% for 100 mg CBD ingested) than in fasted state digestion (0.65 ± 0.7% for 10 mg and 0.14 ± 0.1% for 100 mg CBD ingested). Why? It may be that hydrophobic molecules are rendered more bioaccessible by micelles from hydrolyzed lipids. 

    It is clear, in any case, that how well CBD enters the system depends to some extent on the accompanying food matrix, and the presence of lipase and bile salts in particular. 


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    The foregoing is a report on trends and developments in the cannabinoid industry. No product described herein is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or syndrome.