As you begin to incorporate cannabidiol (CBD) oil into your or your family member’s daily health care routine, you’ll likely find that the versatility of CBD oil makes it easy to fit into your schedule. Previously we discussed whether there’s an optimal time of the day to take CBD. Today, we examine if there are benefits or unfavorable effects to taking CBD oil with food.
Should CBD oil be taken with food?
The short answer is yes!
Taking CBD oil with other foods may enhance bioavailability and increase the concentration of CBD to reach your bloodstream. Bioavailability is the degree and rate at which a substance is absorbed.
It’s important to first understand that taking CBD oil orally and swallowing, where compounds are eventually absorbed through digestion, can diminish the bioavailability of the oil’s active ingredients, including CBD. The first pass effect, also known as first pass metabolism, can alter the structure of CBD into one of its metabolites and diminish its concentration. Enzymes of the digestive system are responsible for this first pass effect. Before CBD reaches the circulatory system, enzymes in the liver called CYP450 mixed function oxidases act on CBD, yielding more than 100 different metabolites.
You can enhance oral bioavailability and increase the concentration of CBD absorbed by taking CBD oil with food. Recently, a study found that co-administering CBD with medium and long-chain triglycerides (fatty acids) allowed CBD to bypass some first pass effect. While some other websites may encourage you to take CBD oil orally on an empty stomach for faster results, doing so can reduce the overall potency of the CBD oil.
Another effective way to increase bioavailability is to allow CBD oil to first be absorbed sublingually under the tongue. CBD oil products like pure CBD oils, tinctures, and liquids can be held under the tongue to allow the CBD to be absorbed through the mucous membranes. This allows the CBD to bypass the digestive system altogether in its journey to your bloodstream. Once the CBD oil is swallowed, some of the absorption process will still take place along the digestive tract.
A study investigating the bioavailability of a cannabinoid product that was absorbed sublingually and then in the digestive tract after being swallowed found that bioavailability for CBD was four times higher when taken after a meal. The study did find that taking the product with food delayed peak cannabinoid concentration in the blood by a couple hours.
In review, taking CBD oil products with food, especially meals containing medium-chain triglycerides, may delay absorption but potentially increases bioavailability so that more CBD can interact with your natural systems.
You may also be interested in these related articles:
- How to Take CBD Oil: Ingestion, Sublingual, Topical and Inhalation Options
- What are the Side Effects of CBD/Cannabinoid Products?
- Want to Know How to Get CBD? Here are Your Options
- What Types of CBD Products are Best for First-Time Users?
- How Does CBD Oil Taste?