Routes of Administration of CBD

Routes of Administration of CBD

What method is the best route for administering CBD?

This debate has been a major concern for many years to explore the benefits of CBD. But it's essential to understand the relationship between cannabinoid administration and how they are absorbed in the body.

What is CBD?

CBD is an acronym for Cannabidiol, a chemical substance found in hemp plants. This phytocannabinoid (cannabis plants) is widely known for its healing purposes. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another component of the cannabis plant, CBD oil is psychoactive. In addition, CBD effectively treats inflammation, anxiety, epilepsy, etc.

When absorbed, CBD is distributed to all body parts. The duration of CBD and how it reacts in the blood depends on how it is used.

Routes of administration of CBD

There are various routes of consuming CBD, and each method has different effects on your body. Here are five (5) routes of administering CBD in the body. 

1. Inhalation

This is the commonest route of administration and the fastest means of providing relief. When the CBD is inhaled, the alveoli in the lungs provide a large surface area for absorption. The effects are immediate, and sometimes they are recommended to people having acute pains and require urgent relief.

But combustion of CBD chemicals produces toxins that can cause cancer of the mouth, lungs, and other pathological conditions.


  • Provides fast symptom relief to the affected areas 
  • It reaches the bloodstream faster than other means of administration
  • Improves symptoms of anxiety
  • Has non-intoxicating effects 
  • A safer alternative for nicotine smokers 


  • Produces chemicals that can cause cancer of the lungs or pharynx
  • The effect wears off easily 
  • It is not recommended for people with heart disease 
  • This method is not widely accepted

In addition, vaping is another method that utilises the respiratory tract. This method is safer than smoking. This requires a special technique, and it's for those who understand how-to. 

2. Oral administration (Mucosal)

This method of administration is applied to oral mucous membranes like the cheeks or throat. These areas have a rich network of blood vessels, enabling the CBD to reach the affected areas and provide relief. This method is perfect for people with chronic conditions and requires long-lasting solutions to their illnesses. 


  • No risk of intoxication
  • This is the most accepted in the global market 
  • Provides efficacy against a wide range of conditions
  • More convenient to use than other methods of application
  • Can be advised to people with chronic conditions 


  • It might take longer to be absorbed into the bloodstream 
  • The concentration of the drug is reduced before reaching the affected area
  • May interact with food
  • Not advisable for unconscious patients


3. Oral administration (Pills, tablets, etc.)

Oral administration of CBD is one of the most accessible and most convenient means of ingesting CBD. This method stays longer in the body, up to 5 days. It comes in varieties–tablets, jelly, chewing gum, etc. –and can be taken depending on preferences. This is advisable for patients with chronic conditions and requires large doses of cannabinoids in their system. 


  • It's convenient and easy to use 
  • It has varieties (jelly, capsules, gum, etc.) to choose from
  • Affordable and more economical than other routes of administration
  • It's possible to measure the dosage ingested, helping you control your intake


  • It takes longer to be absorbed in the bloodstream (almost 3 hours!)
  • Bioavailability is low, and only a small dosage may be available after ingesting.
  • A large fraction of the CBD degrades when passing through the digestive system


4. Gels and patches 

This is one of the best and most effective routes of administering CBD. They provide more efficacy over oral administration. Unlike oral administration, using transdermal patches don't need to be metabolised by the body before it's been circulated in the blood.

Therefore, more doses are present in the bloodstream to relieve the pain. What's more intriguing about this application method is that it is designed to be used for more than a day. So this means you can apply it to the affected area and remove it when the pain disappears.


  • Targets the specific area of pain
  • They are absorbed faster in the body than other routes of administration 
  • You can wear a CBD patch for more than one day 


  • You cannot use it for the entire body pains
  • The effect is concentrated in the applied areas
  • Some patients react with other chemicals used in the patches

5. Sublingual administration 

This is one of the commonest routes of administering CBD. This method involves placing CBD oil drops under your tongue and letting the oil permeate the blood vessels through the tongue tissues. The tongue tissue has a rich network of blood vessels, so the CBD is readily absorbed when held up to 1 minute under the tongue. The absorption rate is up to 19%, much higher than oral administration. 


  • It is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream 
  • Avoids the first-pass metabolism
  • More convenient and easy to administer
  • The biodiversity rate can be up to 35% in some cases


  • Efficacy can be altered by food
  • Not advisable if you have open sores in your mouth

6. Topical administration 

This is the application of topical balms and ointments on the skin surface. Unlike the preceding methods, topical administration does not contact the bloodstream. Instead, it connects with the cannabinoid receptors under the skin. They are perfect for people with skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and eczema. 


  • Can be self-administered  
  • Convenient and easy to administer
  • Targets the affected areas 
  • An alternative for people who have difficulty swallowing
  • It can cover a large surface area than other methods of administration 


  • Dosage cannot be measured
  • Not suitable to treat or mitigate serious health conditions and symptoms.

In conclusion, Sublingual administration is the best way to use CBD to mitigate serious symptoms and conditions. However for skin related problems, to improve your skin health and mitigating aging symptoms the topical CBD administration is the way to go. It's rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and it stays longer before it finally wears off. Also, you won't feel the psychoactive effects of CBD! Explore other options in Fiorhe to know the best fit for you.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.