Combining cannabidiol (CBD) with chewing gum and mints sounds like a devious marketing ploy. Sure, gum and mints spare others from our bad breath. But does CBD gum actually work? The truth is stickier than you might think.
CBD gum/mints are an excellent way to deliver CBD into our circulatory systems. Active compounds, like CBD, absorb into our bloodstream quickly and efficiently via the oral mucosa, or the mucous membrane that lines the inside of our mouths. CBD chewing gum also offers other benefits, such as discretion, user-friendliness and consumer acceptance.
The Power of Chewing Gum
The U.S. Military has provided soldiers with caffeine chewing gum in their ration kits since 2003; the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research points out that “caffeine was absorbed at a significantly faster rate,” and with “bioavailability comparable to orally ingested formulations”. Tobacco smokers have used nicotine-infused gum for years to help kick the smoking habit . Then there was Aspergum – a discontinued chewing gum that effectively delivered over 200 milligrams of aspirin per piece.
Bob Estey, founder of MedCBDX, was once a CFO for pharmaceutical companies. Now he operates one of two global manufacturing companies for functional chewing gum, or gum designed to administer active ingredients that deliver functional benefits to the consumer. His company developed and manufactured the caffeine gum used by the U.S. Military. Now a main priority happens to be leveraging this expertise with CBD products. Each piece of mint-flavored MedCBDX chewing gum delivers 10 milligrams of hemp-derived CBD. The mint lozenges are dosed at 5 milligrams CBD per piece.
“It’s convenient and discreet,” Estey said. “If you’re chewing our gum products, nobody knows the gum is delivering active ingredients that provide functional benefits.”
According to past surveys, roughly 40% of adults find it challenging to swallow a pill. This makes functional chewing gum even more relevant. Estey admitted, “I have people who buy our products who are 80 or 90 years old, because it works.”
Oral Absorption = Better than Digestion
How we take CBD significantly affects the potential benefits we receive. The scholarly journal Clinical Pharmacokinetics explains: “…drugs that are absorbed through the oral mucosa directly enter the systemic circulation, bypassing the gastrointestinal tract and first-pass metabolism in the liver .” Oral mucosa absorption results in quicker delivery and increases bioavailability of the active compounds.
Bioavailability refers to the amount of drug or compound that actually reaches circulation and is used by the body. A substance injected into a vein has 100% bioavailability. Of course, we aren’t going to inject ourselves! But when swallowed (via capsules, gummies or drinks), cannabinoids are heavily metabolized and may have bioavailability as low as 4% . The beneficial effects of CBD may not be felt with low bioavailability this low; the value proposition from ingesting CBD products is also low.
When we chew functional gum or mints for several minutes or longer, the buccal mucosa (lining of the cheeks and lips) and glands under the tongue (sublingual) absorb CBD. The CBD bypasses the digestive system and liver metabolism, quickly circulating into the bloodstream. Bioavailability increases dramatically. That means more CBD with faster onset of effects, and a high value proposition – you get the benefit of what you paid for.
CBD chewing gum and mints are a sensible and easy way to get effective doses of CBD in a consumer-friendly form. Plus, they freshen our breath. That’s what you call a win-win.
- Kamimori, G., et al. (2002). The rate of absorption and relative bioavailability of caffeine administered in chewing gum versus capsules tonormal healthy volunteers. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 234, 159-167.
- Lam, W., et al. (1987). Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials of Nicotine Chewing-Gum. The Lancet,330(8549), 27-30. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(87)93061-3
- Zhang, H., et al. (2002). Oral Mucosal Drug Delivery. Clinical Pharmacokinetics,41(9), 661-680. doi:10.2165/00003088-200241090-00003
- Huestis, M. A. (2007). Human Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetics. ChemInform,38(47). doi:10.1002/chin.200747256