The cannabidiol (CBD) market is constantly shifting, with new products constantly bursting onto the scene or being pulled off of shelves. For now, injectable CBD is in the latter group. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a letter pressuring a company to stop selling its line of CBD injectables, citing “serious risk of harm to users because they are delivered directly into the bloodstream and bypass many of the body’s natural defenses…”
After receiving the letter in April, Biota Biosciences immediately agreed to pull the questionable products from the shelves. The firm wrote: “We would like to convey that the executive and management team at Biota Biosciences take full responsibility for these observations and understand the gravity of the risk to consumers by posting these unapproved claims…”
According to the FDA, Biota Biosciences claimed that their CBD injectable was an all-natural, side-effect free pain reliever.
There’s a reason why the company was interested in injectable CBD rather than an oil or tincture. CBD works by affecting your body’s endocannabinoid system. To do this, it needs to first enter your bloodstream and remain there long enough to reach your tissues and organs. The term “bioavailability” refers to how much of the compound can be accessed by your body.
CBD can enter your bloodstream directly with an intravenous injection. It can achieve 100% bioavailability. One study found that a 20mg dose of intravenous CBD had significantly greater bioavailability than smoked CBD, but it also had a shorter half-life (1). That means CBD doesn’t stay in your body as long when you inject it. Smoked CBD registered a half-life of 31 hours while intravenous CBD registered a 24-hour half-life.
However, the FDA has its own reason for being wary of injectable CBD. It simply doesn’t have enough information. Researchers within the FDA are currently working to clarify its stance on CBD.
- Ohlsson, A., Lindgren, J. E., Andersson, S., Agurell, S., Gillespie, H., & Hollister, L. E. (1986). Single-dose kinetics of deuterium-labelled cannabidiol in man after smoking and intravenous administration. Biomed Environ Mass Spectrom, 13(2), 77-83.
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