The Four Routes of Absorption


Today we’re going to be talking about the four routes of absorption. When we say “routes of absorption,” we’re referring to the method used to absorb CBD.

When comparing products in a Hemplucid product line, whether Whole-Plant, THC-free or otherwise—one of the biggest differences between them is the route of absorption. 

Let’s break those down. There are four primary routes of absorption and each route has its own benefits. 


The first and most common route of absorption is sublingual. Using a tincture sublingually means you’re putting your serving of CBD under your tongue with a dropper. There are membranes beneath the tongue that absorb hemp extracts more effectively than swallowing the tincture. 

We generally recommend holding the oil under your tongue for at least 30 seconds. Each tincture has its own unique and natural taste full of flavorful terpenes.

From there, any remaining oil is swallowed and absorbed by your digestive system—which leads into our next route of absorption.


While tinctures are also absorbed by way of ingestion, this route generally refers to things like gummies and capsules. And if tinctures aren’t your thing, ingestion is an easy, premeasured option for on-the-go use.

That said, ingestion is the slowest route of absorption. This is because CBD is absorbed throughout the process of digestion, meaning it might take a little bit longer to experience noticeable effects. 

And while it may be slower, this route benefits from an “extended-release” effect as the CBD makes its way through your system. 


Alright, so we’ve covered the slowest route, but what’s the fastest? Well, the quickest way to absorb CBD is through your lungs, aka inhalation. Just be sure you’re using a product intended for inhaling and avoid vaping anything with MCT oil or hemp seed oil. 

If you aren’t familiar with this route of absorption, you may be wondering why it’s the fastest. And that’s simply because this route bypasses digestion altogether. CBD and other hemp compounds that are absorbed through your lungs make a shorter trip to cannabinoid receptors than slower digestive routes. 


And last but not least, we have the topical route of absorption. This route is completely different than others because any topically applied CBD is absorbed into the skin. 

So why would you want to use CBD that doesn’t actually enter the body? Well, it doesn’t, but it does. Let me explain. Did you know there are cannabinoid receptors in your skin? 

When CBD is absorbed, it interacts with those receptors. The effects of topical CBD, like body cream or lotion, for example, will be a little bit different than other routes. But the cool thing about topical products is they allow you to target specific areas. 

We believe it’s ideal to combine this route with others to promote a more complete balance of the body, both inside and out. 

If you’d like to learn more about the different routes of absorption, please feel free to contact us here at the Hemplucid corporate office. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have.

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