CBD products are new to the masses and many don’t know how to tackle this new tool in the world of wellness. The subtleness of CBD is one of its strongest assets, but it may lead some to believe they are not feeling a difference with CBD use. The goal of CBD is to promote homeostasis, or internal balance. That’s why ou Should you take CBD on an empty stomach, or is it better to have a meal first? Read to find out how to consume your CBD for maximum effectiveness and potency. An increasing body of research makes it easier for us to understand how CBD works. Providing us with answers to questions as: ‘should I consume CBD oil drops with food or does it work better on an empty stomach?’
Not Feeling a Difference With CBD Use? These Reasons Might Be Why
CBD products are new to the masses and many don’t know how to tackle this new tool in the world of wellness. The subtleness of CBD is one of its strongest assets, but it may lead some to believe they are not feeling a difference with CBD use .
The goal of CBD is to promote homeostasis, or internal balance. That’s why our CBD is non-psychoactive and comes without intoxicating side effects. However, there may be many other reasons why you are not feeling a difference with your CBD use. Read up to see if any of these tricks can help you feel the optimal benefits of CBD that you long for.
How CBD Works
To get a clearer understanding as to why you might not be feeling the effects of CBD, it’s good to have solid foundational knowledge of CBD.
The human body is lined with cannabinoid receptors. These receptors gauge the environment that is brewing throughout different areas of your body. This includes your skin, your brain and your gut.
There are many ways to consume CBD. However, they all fall into the following categories.
Oral supplementation includes CBD tinctures. You can take tinctures directly by mouth or you can add the liquid to food or drinks.
Using a CBD tincture or CBD vape pen are the quickest ways to enjoy CBD’s effects. With that being said, you will also burn through the cannabinoids faster.
As for edibles, most effects happen through the digestive tract.
When you consume edibles, your body must break down the solid material surrounding the CBD. Whether it’s a brownie or a gummy bear, you won’t feel the effects until the CBD oxidizes into the bloodstream.
With that being said, you don’t digest a full edible immediately. While the effects may take a while to kick in, they will last longer than a tincture. In the same breath, your stomach acids may destroy some of the cannabinoids. This comes with the territory of eating. The nutrients in a salad have the same struggle. Therefore, edibles may not pack as intense of a punch as a CBD tincture.
Digestive CBD products aren’t just edibles. They also include CBD softgels. Instead of food surrounding the cannabinoids, you get a capsule. Capsules are not as dense as an edible, so you will most likely feel the effects sooner with CBD softgels than eating food infused with CBD.
Remember how we said your body was lined with cannabinoid receptors? The largest organ boasts a hoard of them. In fact, studies find that the skin has its own endocannabinoid system.
Skin is very porous and yet we try masking those pores with makeup and other harsh chemicals. Well, we shouldn’t. This porous surface soaks up everything we put on it, including CBD. You can apply CBD salve to muscles after a workout or try a CBD serum to promote a healthy complexion!
While it takes a bit longer than a CBD tincture, the effects will come quicker than the digestive method.
Now that you have a solid foundation on the workings of CBD products, let’s figure out some of the reasons you may not be feeling the benefits of CBD.
Get Out of Your Head
One reason you might not be feeling anything is that you’re thinking too much about it. While many understand CBD doesn’t get you high, there’s still a cognitive correlation to the other cannabis plant that does. Many who are new to CBD expect to feel this great sense of euphoria. That’s not what CBD is meant to do.
In fact, if you are feeling a bit light-headed, then you probably consumed too much CBD. Don’t fret. There have been no medical instances of a CBD overdose that required hospitalization or ended in death.
Check Your CBD Serving
In uncharted waters like CBD, many say start slow. That’s a great idea. Just as you dye one strand of hair first before dyeing the whole head, you need to test the waters with cannabinoids.
With that said, our livers are pretty solid and you can most likely metabolize low servings of CBD with ease without feeling the effects. After you see how you feel after one tincture dropper or one piece of CBD chocolate, up the ante. Once you feel the effects you desire, you’ll know it. Trust your body. It knows more than you do!
Don’t Consume CBD on an Empty Stomach
Any time you take a supplement, you should have a little something in your stomach. Your stomach acids are extremely potent. If the first thing your CBD comes into contact with is stomach acid, the cannabinoids won’t stand much of a chance.
By having a slight bite to eat, you create a raft on your stomach acids. That way, the CBD in the edible/CBD-laden saliva/softgel you consumed has something to land on.
As your acids break down the solid material, the CBD is free to oxidize. That means the compounds within the CBD dissipate into the contained atmosphere that is your body. From there, CBD will bind onto receptors throughout your system.
Consume CBD with Healthy Fat and Complex Carbs
Sure, you shouldn’t take CBD on an empty stomach. However, you shouldn’t take it on a stomach full of sugary, starchy or fried foods either. Ideally, you should consume CBD with healthy fat and complex carbs.
CBD to fat is like a moth to light. Fat soaks up CBD. This makes a nice little cocoon for the cannabinoids as the fat flops into your stomach acid reservoir. With that being said, you don’t want a big, fatty steak that will clog up your system.
Instead, consume fats that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These are found in lean proteins, seeds and legumes. What’s great is that you can find omega-rich foods that will work at any time of the day. Try consuming CBD with foods such as:
- Hemp seeds/hemp oil
- Flax seeds (ground)
- Free-range chicken eggs
- Free-range chicken
- Chia seeds
- Organic coconut oil
- Organic extra-virgin olive oil
To ride the wave of effects even longer, be sure to eat some complex carbs. These are fibers that your body takes a long time to digest, which means they will create a blockade in your system that allows the CBD more time to oxidize.
Now, blockade might sound scary, but complex carbs are okay. Consuming complex carbohydrates strengthens beneficial bacteria that help you better absorb nutrients.
Some of the best complex carbs to have with CBD include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Steel cut oatmeal
- Whole wheat pasta
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat bread
Complex carbs are preferred over starchy ones like white rice and potatoes because they are packed with micronutrients. When your beneficial bacteria break down these foods, they release a multitude of phytochemicals into your system.
These benefits will be further enhanced by CBD. Studies have shown that broad or full spectrum CBD has an entourage effect — when it’s in the presence of other phytochemicals, it gives their benefits a boost.
You Haven’t Tried Long Enough
Rome wasn’t built in a day! Nothing in this world is a cure-all and most things take time to work.
CBD has been getting so much mainstream attention that many are expecting mountains to be moved within one use. Not to mention, those who are new to the concept still have the marijuana stigma looming in the back of their minds. Consumers have a tendency to envision the instantaneous high that comes with the other cannabis plant. These preconceived notions are a natural storm of unreachable expectations.
Are You Using Low Quality?
Perfumes have cheap rip-offs in gas stations. “Healthy” granola bars are laden with sugars and artificial ingredients. When something strikes it big, there are bound to be imitations. CBD is the new belle of the ball in the world of wellness. While still in its infancy, subpar products are already popping up. Don’t fall for the scam.
CBD products are not currently well regulated, so you’re going to want to do your due diligence when selecting CBD products. Make sure you opt for a brand that offers either “full spectrum” or “broad spectrum hemp oil.”
This means many of the 100+ unique phytochemicals in hemp are present in the product. That sets the entourage effect into motion. By using a higher quality CBD product, you are getting a load of benefits that go beyond just CBD.
Lastly, you want to make sure the company you are buying from is using strict farming methods. Pesticides are synthetic chemicals — that means they have reactions with everything they come into contact with. When you’re adding synthetic ingredients into the mix, they do nothing but dilute the overall potency.
That’s why you need to opt for a brand like Joy Organics. Not only do we use hemp grown by U.S. farmers, but we also test the purity of each formula through a third-party laboratory. In the CBD world, transparency is important. Otherwise, you might not feel the desired effects of your CBD products.
If you’re still unsure why you aren’t feeling a difference after using CBD products, feel free to contact us so we can talk through it.
Thanks for reading! To show how much we appreciate you, we’re going to give you 16% off your next order. Just use code READER16 at checkout!
Hannah Smith is Joy Organics Director of Communications. She is driven by her passion for providing clear and accessible wellness and CBD education. In 2015, she received her BA in Media, Culture and the Arts from The King’s College in New York City and before Joy Organics, worked as writer and photographer in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Vice, Vox, Denver Post, and the Coloradoan.
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.
Remember how we’ve mentioned the bioavailability of CBD and how it varies depending on the delivery method? Here’s a summary:
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
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.
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.
Is it better to take CBD oil with food or on an empty stomach?
There is still a lot to be discovered about CBD and the way it works in the body. Although each person reacts differently to the substance, there’s always some science applicable to all consumers. And while we long had to rely on anecdotal proof of how CBD actually works; an increasing body of scientific research makes it easier for us to understand the plant’s substance now. Providing us with answers to questions as: ‘should I consume CBD oil drops with food or does it work better on an empty stomach?’
As you might know, most CBD products are best consumed multiple times a day. In the morning, around lunchtime and at night before you go to bed – for example. Though something you might not’ve considered, is that your body processes your CBD oil drops differently on those various occasions. Mostly because of the biological variables we provide the Cannabidiol (CBD) to work with.
For instance, you might take your CBD drops on an empty stomach when you wake up; on top of a light lunch during the afternoon and after a serious meal at night. Even though it might look like this won’t make a big difference, nothing could be further from the truth. As science proves, the food you might or might not have eaten does impact the way CBD is processed by the body. And consequently, the way it affects the body.
How CBD works in the body
To understand why that is, we have to look at the way the body absorbs Cannabidiol. More specifically, we focus on CBD’s bioavailability and how that might be influenced by the ‘first-pass-effect’. Bioavailability means the ratio in which a substance becomes actively available where it’s needed, after consumption. Or in other words, how much and how fast CBD actually reaches the bloodstream after you take the oil.
And as you might’ve learned in one of our other blogs – about the water-soluble CBDactive+ for example – Cannabidiol in itself generally has a very low bioavailability. Even when it’s diluted with a carrier oil, like hemp seed oil or olive oil.
In fact, regular CBD oils provide a bioavailability of just 6-12% of the consumed Cannabidiol. Which means that much of the consumed cannabinoid is actually broken down by the body before it can make a difference; in something we call the ‘first-pass-effect’. Considering the fatty molecules have a hard time traveling through the mouth’s tissue; regular CBD oils need to pass through the digestive system before they can be processed by the liver.
There, the body breaks the consumed cannabinoids down into over 100 different metabolites. All with the help of the so-called P450 cytochrome enzymes. Though unfortunately, the body breaks down and excretes much of these metabolites before they reach the bloodstream. With a low bioavailability of the product as a result. Meaning you might need more CBD oil to reach the desired effect; compared to CBD products with a higher bioavailability; like CBDactive+.
Taking CBD oil drops with food
Though as science shows, there is an easy and cheap way to make the substance more effective; and that is to take your CBD oil combined with food. Proven by researchers of the University of Minnesota, consuming CBD with food could possibly avoid the first-pass-effect and increase the efficacy of the drops you take.
This research was performed on eight adult participants with therapy-resistant epilepsy; and focussed on exploring the impact food has on CBD’s effects. For the experiment, participants received ‘one dose of 99% pure CBD capsules’. In other words, capsules filled with CBD isolate crystals. And they were instructed to consume it on an empty stomach, as well as after a fatty meal (840-860 calories). Blood plasma levels were noted immediately after taking the CBD and again several days later.
As the results show, the body absorbs four times more Cannabidiol – and much faster too – when consumed with fatty food than it does on an empty stomach. And despite of the relatively small size of the study, it does in fact confirm what we know about the absorption-rate of fats and oils.
Fatty acids and CBD
This study’s results are backed by a review done by the Harvard Medical School – which focused on the bioavailability of fatty acids in the body. Which showed that conventional fats and oils act as energy-rich and quick-acting fuel.
Accordingly, the body absorbs fatty food faster and so avoids that part of it is broken down by the ‘first-pass-effect’. In most cases, CBD is diluted with a carrier oil consisting of organic fats or fatty acids. However, this is often not enough to protect the CBD from the P450 enzymes. Thus it might be advisable to start taking your CBD after you’ve eaten; or combine it with fat foods as fish, avocado, nuts, red meats and coconut oil to name a few.
More effective CBD
On the other hand, there are products available, especially developed to reach maximum bioavailability. Take our CBDactive+ for example, a water-soluble CBD extract with all cannabinoids and terpenes needed for the best entourage effect. Due to the chemical make-up of the active ingredients in this product, it completely avoids being ‘attacked’ by the P450 enzymes; and is absorbed for the full 100 percent. Accordingly, this means that a CBDactive+ product with 4% CBD is comparable to a regular CBD oil of 40% in terms of effects.
Summarizing, it might be advisable to increase the number of healthy fatty acids you consume daily to increase the effects from regular CBD oils. Another possibility, is switching to a hemp product with a high bioavailability like CBDactive+. All depending on what you’d like to achieve with the use of the cannabinoid supplement, of course.
Need help finding the right product for your personal needs? Get in touch – we love to help!