Woman using nasal spray

CBD Nasal Sprays: Do They Work?

Some people are switching to CBD nasal sprays instead of using regular CBD oil. But do these products work? What are their advantages? We take a look at the science behind applying CBD intranasally and review the two most popular CBD spray products.

What is CBD Nasal Spray?

A CBD nasal spray is an aerosol product that delivers CBD into your body through the nose. 

You’ve likely heard of this way of administering drugs before as it’s frequently used by decongestants, antihistamines, and other medications aimed at relieving nasal symptoms 1 Marx, D., Williams, G., & Birkhoff, M. (2015). Intranasal drug administration—An attractive delivery route for some drugs. In Drug Discovery and Development-From Molecules to Medicine. IntechOpen. . However, this intranasal route can also be used to deliver active substances systemically, which means that they can reach the bloodstream and benefit your whole body 2 Bruni, N., Della Pepa, C., Oliaro-Bosso, S., Pessione, E., Gastaldi, D., & Dosio, F. (2018). Cannabinoid delivery systems for pain and inflammation treatment. Molecules, 23(10), 2478. .

While it may not sound particularly pleasant, administering drugs through the nose has several advantages, such as relative ease of use, immediate effects, and effective absorption. 

How Does CBD Nasal Spray Work?

A CBD nasal spray is sprayed directly into your nasal cavity, administering the CBD onto the nasal mucosal membrane. 

This membrane is not only thin but lined with many blood vessels. This makes it easy for CBD to absorb across the membrane directly into your bloodstream, leading to fast effects. According to research, this method of administering CBD works within 10 minutes 3 Paudel, K. S., Hammell, D. C., Agu, R. U., Valiveti, S., & Stinchcomb, A. L. (2010). Cannabidiol bioavailability after nasal and transdermal application: effect of permeation enhancers. Drug development and industrial pharmacy, 36(9), 1088-1097. .

The intranasal method has a lot in common with the sublingual (under-the-tongue) route used by regular CBD oil tinctures. Both of these drug administration routes seek to deliver CBD to your mucosal membranes, which line the mouth (oral mucosa), nose (nasal mucosa), and other parts of the body. Whereas a CBD spray targets the nasal mucosa, regular CBD oil is aimed at its oral counterpart, particularly the sublingual mucosa found under the tongue. 

This is mainly done to avoid what’s called first-pass metabolism, a phenomenon where the concentration of the substance you take — like CBD — is significantly reduced in the digestive system before it can be absorbed 4 Millar, S. A., Maguire, R. F., Yates, A. S., & O’Sullivan, S. E. (2020). Towards better delivery of cannabidiol (CBD). Pharmaceuticals, 13(9), 219. . This not only makes CBD more effective by increasing its absorption rate but also makes it work faster.

To illustrate this, multiple studies have shown that the oral bioavailability — the percentage of a substance you take that’s actually absorbed and has an effect — of CBD is only about 9-19% 5 Mechoulam, R., Parker, L. A., & Gallily, R. (2002). Cannabidiol: an overview of some pharmacological aspects. The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 42(S1), 11S-19S. 6 Xu, C., Chang, T., Du, Y., Yu, C., Tan, X., & Li, X. (2019). Pharmacokinetics of oral and intravenous cannabidiol and its antidepressant-like effects in chronic mild stress mouse model. Environmental toxicology and pharmacology, 70, 103202. . This means most of the CBD (80+%) you ingest orally is lost before it becomes active. In comparison, animal studies suggest that CBD administered by nasal spray has a bioavailability ranging from 34% to 46%, which is much higher 1 Marx, D., Williams, G., & Birkhoff, M. (2015). Intranasal drug administration—An attractive delivery route for some drugs. In Drug Discovery and Development-From Molecules to Medicine. IntechOpen. .

Effectively, this means that you can use a much smaller CBD spray dose to achieve the same effects as an oral CBD product like capsules or gummies. 

Buy the Best CBD Nasal Spray

CBD nasal sprays are not as popular as CBD oil, capsules, and similar products. However, you can still find many companies offering them online. 

The two most popular and reputable options are Nasadol and Rhinodol. Here’s a quick look at how they compare. 

The Most Popular CBD Nasal Spray: Nasadol

Like most CBD products, Nasadol is designed to help with anxiety, pain, sleep issues, inflammation, and other ailments.

Nasadol comes in a 10 ml container containing 100 mg (regular) or 200 mg (extra-strength) of pure CBD. Depending on the version you buy, one spray provides 1-2 mg of CBD.

Nasadol has a fairly standard formula. Similar to many CBD oils, it contains pure CBD dissolved in coconut-derived MCT oil, as well as flavoring and lecithin, another fat-based ingredient. It also contains the saline used in most nasal medications and emulsifiers to mix it with the CBD and other fat-soluble ingredients. The manufacturers also claim to use nanotechnology to help make the CBD water-soluble.

Like any reputable CBD product, Nasadol is backed by third-party tests done by an independent lab. The posted test results confirm that Nasadol provides slightly more CBD than advertised. They also verify the lack of heavy metals and other contaminants. 

According to the reviews, Nasadol works within minutes, with most people successfully using it to relieve panic attacks, anxiety, and stress. Other reported benefits include pain and migraine relief and improved mood. Some users also noted that the effects of Nasadol felt stronger than other CBD products, especially considering the relatively small dose. 

All in all, when it comes to nasal CBD sprays, Nasadol seems to be the most reputable option.

CBD Spray Runner Up: Rhinodol

Rhinodol is another popular nasal CBD spray. It’s designed to relieve anxiety, pain, inflammation, sleeplessness, and congestion. 

Rhinodol comes in a 15 ml bottle with two strengths: Rhinodol 500, which provides 500 mcg (0.5 mg) of CBD per spray, and 1000, with 1000 mcg (1 mg) of CBD per spray. With 114 sprays per bottle, this should equate to about 57-114 mg of CBD in total. 

. Rhinodol’s formula also includes saline solution, aloe vera extract, rosemary extract, vitamin C, eucalyptol, and nano-silver (a preservative). 

The manufacturer claims to use a broad-spectrum formula, which is a type of extract that should contain other beneficial hemp compounds in addition to CBD and no THC. However, there are no third-party lab tests provided to confirm this. 

Like Nasadol, people who bought Rhinodol say it helped them with arthritis, pain, anxiety, and improved sleep. 

The Verdict: Spray Away!

CBD nasal sprays are an effective alternative to more established types of CBD products like edibles

Although it’s difficult to say whether they’re better than CBD oil due to a lack of research, there is enough evidence to suggest that sprays are more effective than oral CBD products such as capsules because they have higher bioavailability. 

According to anecdotal reviews, nasal CBD sprays can provide the same potential benefits as other CBD products, like anxiety, pain, insomnia, and inflammation relief. 

Your two best options for CBD nasal sprays are Nasadol and Rhinodol. While they’re somewhat similar, Nasadol seems to be the more popular and reputable option because it comes with publicly available third-party lab test reports.

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Interested in the health benefits of CBD products? Check out our complete guide.

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Looking for a different type of CBD spray? CBD inhalers contain water soluble CBD and may help manage symptoms of asthma.

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