We get similar questions to this in our dispensaries. What does happen when you take a dropper full of CBD? What is going on when you eat a THC or CBD gummy? A lot of people are curious about what is going on when they take some of the awesome full spectrum, CBG, CBD, or other products which we have.
Here’s a general summary of the flow of cannabinoids, including endocannabinoids, throughout the body starting with the oral route using a gummy and separately with the sublingual route of administration via drops:
- Oral ingestion: When you consume a gummy containing phytocannabinoids, the cannabinoids are absorbed through the walls of the stomach and intestines. From there, they enter the bloodstream and are transported to the liver.
- First-pass metabolism: Once the cannabinoids reach the liver, they undergo a process called first-pass metabolism. This involves the liver breaking down some of the cannabinoids before they can reach the rest of the body. The extent of this metabolism depends on factors such as the specific cannabinoid, the dose, and individual differences in liver function.
- Distribution: After passing through the liver, the cannabinoids are distributed throughout the body via the bloodstream. They can cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain and central nervous system, as well as other tissues and organs throughout the body.
- Receptor binding: Phytocannabinoids such as CBD, Delta-8, Delta-9, THCV, and CBG can bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body. CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are more abundant in peripheral tissues such as the immune system, gastrointestinal tract, and cardiovascular system.
- Metabolism: Once the cannabinoids have bound to their receptors and exerted their effects, they are metabolized by enzymes in the body. The metabolites are then eliminated from the body via urine and feces.
Sublingual (this means under the tongue) administration via drops follows a slightly different path:
- Sublingual absorption: When you place drops of phytocannabinoids under your tongue, they are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes in the mouth. This allows for faster onset and more bioavailability compared to oral ingestion.
- Distribution: From the bloodstream, the cannabinoids are distributed throughout the body and can cross the blood-brain barrier to enter the brain and central nervous system.
- Receptor binding: Like with oral ingestion, phytocannabinoids can bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body after sublingual administration.
- Metabolism: Once the cannabinoids have bound to their receptors and exerted their effects, they are metabolized and eliminated from the body via urine and feces.
It’s important to note that the actual path of cannabinoids throughout the body can be complex and varies depending on factors such as the specific cannabinoid, the dose, the individual’s physiology, and the mode of administration. This is just a general overview of the potential pathways involved.