You’ve probably noticed that most CBD tinctures come with instructions that they be administered sublingually, but what does this mean? And why do some brands suggest holding a tincture under the tongue for thirty seconds while other brands instruct you to keep it there for more than a minute?
In this brief post, we’re going to clear up the confusion once and for all.
What Is Sublingual Ingestion?
Sublingual is derived from the Latin for “under the tongue” and is a method of administration for some substances. Sublingual ingestion involves holding a compound under the tongue for a specified time before swallowing. Sublingual preparations come in many forms—sprays, lozenges, strips, tablets, liquids, and more. However, in this post, we are primarily concentrating on CBD oils and tinctures.
How Does Sublingual Administration Work?
Numerous tiny capillaries can be found under the tongue, separated only by the thin mucous membranes in your mouth. When a substance is held there sublingually, some of it is absorbed into the bloodstream directly rather than passing through the digestive system first.
There are a few reasons why this could be beneficial for those who take CBD:
- While swallowing CBD oil or capsules may provide excellent results, this method can take an hour or more to take effect. Absorbed under the tongue, the potential benefits of CBD may be felt within minutes.
- If a compound is swallowed, it must be digested and metabolized by the liver before it can go to work in the body. This is called bioavailability, and compounds that are swallowed vs. taken sublingually are less bioavailable. The result is that less CBD will make it into the bloodstream, and much of it (up to 80 percent, in fact) will go to waste.
Given that taking a tincture or oil sublingually provides your body with more CBD at a faster rate of absorption, sublingual administration just makes sense.
How Long Do I Leave CBD Oil Under My Tongue?
You’ve probably found conflicting information about how long you need to leave the tincture under your tongue for it to be effective. Brands do differ, but most experts agree that leaving it for at least 90 seconds should be sufficient. You can leave it for as long as you like, though, and many people prefer to hold it for two to three minutes. Less than 90 seconds may not be enough time for the good stuff to be absorbed. When you are done, swallow the oil, and you’re good to go.