Is It Better to Take CBD Oil Before or After Meals?

September 04, 2019 5 min read

According to a Gallup poll, approximately 14% of Americans state that they use CBD products.  Of that population, about 11% say they use it for sleep, 20% for anxiety, and a whopping 40% for managing various types of pain.  While results of a Gallup poll is all user-reported, meaning, it's all anecdotal evidence, it gives us a peek inside what people are using CBD oil for and how it's benefiting them.

With CBD oil and other CBD products at an all-time high with popularity surging across the country, estimates about its popularity are only growing.  Therefore, this poses a ton of questions that are still largely unanswered when it comes to cannabidiol and how well it can work for a variety of issues.

The question of the day is this: should you be taking CBD oil before or after you eat?  This answer may have a bigger impact on CBD's benefits than one might think.  We look to answer this question today and more with our guide on what the best time is for taking CBD oil.

CBD oil instructions

On most CBD oil bottles, the label has directions for how to use the oil.  Most say to take the oil with food - but never specifies on whether that should be taken before, during, or after the meal.  Some labels, including that of our CBD Tinctures, suggest to take the oil sublingually, or under the tongue, and hold in mouth for up to 60 seconds before swallowing.

Despite the conflicting instructions, we want to clear this misinformation once and for all.

understanding bioavailablity

Remember how we've mentioned bioavailability of CBD and how it varies depending on the delivery method?  Here's a brief summary on it below:

Unlike what you may think, we don't absorb the full amount of CBD in each serving, but rather, we can only absorb as much CBD as is possible according to the bioavailability of the product.

When it comes to ingesting CBD products, edible products such as our Gummies, must first pass through the digestive system then on to the liver in what is called "First Pass Metabolism."  This is why sublingual application reigns supreme.  By dropping CBD oil under the tongue and holding in mouth for up to 60 seconds, your sublingual glands can effectively absorb cannabidiol and completely bypass the First Pass Metabolism with ease.

when should you take cbd oil?

So when exactly is the optimal time to take CBD oil?  First of all, to start, you should never take CBD oil on an empty stomach.  CBD oil should always be taken with food in your system, but there's not just one reason behind this fact.  While you can take it immediately before or after your meal, we certainly recommend taking it after.

Taking CBD oil after eating optimizes your chances of it having the highest bioavailability.  With food in your stomach already digesting, the CBD oil that is swallowed has a greater chance to be absorbed by the liver without losing too much of its efficacy seeing that MOST of its effects were already absorbed sublingually.

In short, taking CBD oil on an empty stomach is a waste of valuable product.  You're not optimizing the opportunity you have by taking it on an empty stomach; but instead, you are degrading the potency of the CBD oil.  This is what can cause CBD users to have to use more product, or event think that their product is ineffective.

eating helps with CBD

Did you know that the food you eat just before you dose up with CBD oil may further impact how well it absorbs into the rest of your body?  CBD as a compound cannot be absorbed by the body without a carrier oil.  For Envy CBD's Tinctures, we use a combination of MCT oil, hempseed oil, and ActivAloe all of which the CBD can bind to as these oils are all fat-rich.

Eating foods that contain medium-chain and long-chain fatty acids serves as the best binding agent for CBD and other cananbinoids, which is then more easily and directly metabolized through the livery.  First pass metabolism may still be present, but with the right combination, is limited; therefore increasing the bioavailability.

A team of researchers conducted a study published in 2013 that assessed the effect that food has on bioavailabilities of both CBD and THC.  The study concludes that the bioavailability tends to be four times higher in CBD products if they were taken after a meal instead of before or without.

what foods work best with cbd oil?

As we mentioned above, foods that are high in medium and long-chain fatty acids help to bolster the bioavailability of CBD oil.  So what foods would those be?  While we already mentioned that MCT oil, hempseed oil, and ActivAloe all play a large part in the synthesis of our CBD Tinctures, we also recommend:

  • Coconut Oil;
  • Olive Oil;
  • Soybean Oil; and
  • Sesame Oil

Other foods rich in fat include eggs, meat, fish, avocados, and nuts.  These healthy fats that do the body good are an excellent suggestion for what to eat before you take your CBD oil serving.  As a bonus, these types of fats are well-known for having other health-centric benefits, so you really put your well-being first when you try to optimize CBD's bioavailability like this.

the best method for taking cbd oil

Under the tongue, also known as sublingual dosing, is the best way to take your CBD oil.  This increases the bioavailability of that product to its full potential, so you don't have to worry if you're wasting product and getting the most out of it.  Retain almost all the potency that CBD oil has to offer by eating foods rich in fatty acids, then sublingual dosing before you swallow.

Non-psychoactive CBD oil is an excellent way to get the benefits of cannabinoids without the high from THC.  Stick with a trustworthy brand, such as Envy CBD, that has standard lab reports to demonstrate that each of batch of CBD oil is THC-free as well as free of heavy metals, pesticides, and other pollutants.

what happens if you just swallow cbd oil?

Technically, CBD oil is an ingestible product that can be swallowed directly or even added to food or a beverage.  If you just swallow CBD oil after eating without sublingually dosing, the effects will not be experienced as quickly or even last as long.  While you can swallow CBD oil if you don't like the taste, if becomes as effective as an edible or capsule when you do this, thus ushering in the first pass metabolism process that effectively digests the CBD before distributing its total potential benefit to the rest of the body.

the bottom line

Should you take CBD oil before or after eating?  Studies are starting to the show that it should be taken after eating.  By eating foods rich in medium chain and long-chain fatty acids before you take your CBD oil.  Take your CBD oil by placing it under your tongue for 60 to 90 seconds, then swallow.  This sublingual serving shows the highest bioavailability, saving you on product, time, and effort.

Happy dosing and good luck in finding the ultimate experience of relief, with CBD.


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