Cannabidiol (CBD) Dosing: Plasma Pharmacokinetics and Effects on Accumulation in Skeletal Muscle, Liver and Adipose Tissue

Nutrients. 2022 May 18;14(10):2101. doi: 10.3390/nu14102101.


Oral cannabidiol (CBD) consumption is widespread in North America and Europe, as it has analgesic, neuroprotective and antitumor effects. Although oral CBD consumption in humans affords beneficial effects in epileptic and inflammatory states, its pharmacokinetics and subsequent uptake into tissue are largely unknown. This study investigated plasma pharmacokinetics and accumulation of CBD in gastrocnemius muscle, liver and adipose tissue in adult rats following oral gavage. CBD was fed relative to body mass at 0 (control), 30, 115, or 230 mg/Kg/day for 28 days; with 6 males and 6 females per dosing group. Pharmacokinetics were assessed on day 1 and day 28 in the group receiving CBD at 115 mg/Kg/day. The rise in tissue CBD was closely related to specific pharmacokinetic parameters, and adipose tissue levels were ~10 to ~100 fold greater than liver or muscle. Tissue CBD levels were moderately correlated between adipose and muscle, and adipose and liver, but were highly correlated for liver and muscle. CBD feeding resulted in several gender-specific effects, including changes in pharmacokinetics, relationships between pharmacokinetic parameters and tissue CBD and differences in tissue CBD levels. CBD accumulation in mammalian tissues has the potential to influence receptor binding and metabolism; therefore, the present findings may have relevance for developing oral dosing regimens.

Keywords: CBD; adipose; cannabidiol; cannabinoids; cannabis; fat; liver; metabolism; muscle; pharmacokinetics.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Animals
  • Cannabidiol*
  • Female
  • Liver
  • Male
  • Mammals
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Plasma
  • Rats


  • Cannabidiol

Grant support

This research was funded by [cbdMD] grant number [55472] and the APC was funded by [cbdMD].