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

September 04, 2019 5 min read

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

According to a Gallup poll, approximately 14% of Americans stated 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 data for Gallup polls is all user-reported, meaning it's anecdotal evidence, it gives us a peek inside what people are using CBD oil for and how it's benefiting them.

With the popularity of CBD oil and other CBD products at an all-time high, estimates about its surging use are only growing.There are still a ton of unanswered questions about cannabidiol and how well it can work for a variety of issues.

The question of the day is this: How do you decide when to take CBD? Also, should you be taking CBD on an empty stomach? These answers may have a bigger impact on CBD's benefits than you might think. We’ll tackle these questions and more in 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 specify when to take CBD, whether it should be taken before, during, or after the meal. Some labels, including that of our CBD tinctures, suggest taking the oil sublingually, or under the tongue, and holding it in the mouth for up to 60 seconds before swallowing.

Despite the conflicting instructions, we want to clear the confusion about whether or not to take CBD on an empty stomach once and for all.

UNDERSTANDING BIOAVAILABILITY

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

Bioavailability chart

Unlike what you may think, we don't absorb the full amount of CBD in each serving. 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 it in your mouth for up to 60 seconds, your sublingual glands can effectively absorb cannabidiol and completely bypass the first-pass metabolism.

WHEN TO TAKE CBD?

So when exactly is the optimal time to take CBD oil? First of all, you should never take CBD 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 strongly 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 on an empty stomach is a waste of valuable product. You're not optimizing the opportunity you have by taking CBD on an empty stomach; instead, you are degrading the potency of the oil. This is what can cause users to have to use more CBD for the same effect, or even think that their product is ineffective. Knowing when to take CBD can optimize its effect for maximum potency.

FEEDING YOUR CBD APPETITE

Envy CBD tincture with oranges

Did you know that the food you eat before you dose up with CBD oil may further impact how well it absorbs into 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, hemp seed oil, and ActivAloe, all of which the CBD can bind to as these oils are fat-rich.

Eating foods that contain medium-chain and long-chain fatty acids serves as the best binding agent for CBD and other cannabinoids, which are then more easily and directly metabolized through the liver. First pass metabolism may still be present, but it’s limited with the right factors, thereby increasing bioavailability.

A team of researchers conducted a study published in 2013 that assessed the effect that food has on the 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 on an empty stomach.

WHAT FOODS WORK BEST WITH CBD OIL?

Now that we know not to take CBD on an empty stomach, what is the best way to feed your CBD appetite? As we mentioned above, foods that are high in medium and long-chain fatty acids help to bolster the bioavailability of CBD oil. While we already mentioned that MCT oil, hemp seed oil, and ActivAloe all play a large part in the synthesis of our CBD tinctures, we also recommend coconut, olive, soybean, and sesame oils.

Drawing of foods rich in fatty acids

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 serving of CBD oil. As a bonus, these types of fats are well-known for having other health-centric benefits, so you 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 that you're wasting product or not getting the most out of it.Even though it doesn’t go through your digestive system, you still shouldn’t take CBD on an empty stomach when dosing sublingually. 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 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. Although we know you shouldn’t take CBD on an empty stomach, if you just swallow CBD oil after eating without sublingually dosing, the effects will not be experienced as quickly or last as long. While you can swallow CBD oil if you don't like the taste, it 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 on an empty stomach? No, studies show that it should be taken after eating. Maximize your CBD appetite by having a meal or snack 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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