The first few times you enjoy CBD can be a bit intimidating. How often are you supposed to take it? How do you consume it? Can you take CBD on an empty 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. Should I Take My CBD on an Empty Stomach or With Food? Whenever We Take any Type of Vitamin, Supplement or CBD Product, We Want to Make Sure it's Working the Best it Can.
Can I Take CBD on an Empty Stomach?
The first few times you enjoy CBD can be a bit intimidating. How often are you supposed to take it? How do you consume it? Can you take CBD on an empty stomach?
All of these questions are valid in terms of consuming CBD, especially if you’ve never tried it before. Today, we’re going to focus on CBD consumption, specifically, what happens if you take CBD on an empty stomach. With our busy and fast-paced lives, sometimes consuming supplements without food just happens. But how does this affect our bodies if it’s CBD we’re taking? Let’s find out.
Consuming CBD is super easy to do, especially with the many products that are available on the market today. You have the choice to enjoy CBD oils, CBD edibles, CBD beverages, CBD softgels, and so many more products, depending on your personal preference. Before we talk about how these products react when consumed without food, let’s quickly talk about CBD consumption in general. This way, you know exactly what’s going on that first time you put CBD in your belly.
How the CBD travels throughout the body depends on the type of cannabidiol product you’re consuming. For example, consuming some CBD oil sublingually is going to act quite differently than a CBD edible does. These results are because manufacturing processes vary from product to product.
CBD oils, when taken sublingually, get absorbed into the bloodstream through the tissue underneath the tongue. Basically, cannabinoids get a fast-track into your blood, able to start working almost immediately after consumption. Here, using the bloodstream, the cannabinoids travel to areas that require its support, and you begin to feel effects shortly after. This quick onset time is a big reason why so many people choose to opt for sublingual consumption methods.
If we have a CBD edible, on the other hand, the process will be much slower. Just like with your food, your body has to digest the cannabidiol before it can get to work. So, after consumption, you must wait for your body to fully process the infused treat you ate. Once it digests, the cannabinoids will be absorbed by the liver and then travel throughout the bloodstream and do their duties. Thus, being patient with edible CBD products is absolutely crucial.
Unfortunately, some people misunderstand the onset time of effects. This causes them to consume more CBD than they may have liked, as the CBD just hadn’t kicked in by the time they finished another dose. Overconsumption is a good way to get your stomach feeling upset, so make sure to always give the CBD some time to work. When you do this, it allows your body to adjust to the new substances inside.
Is CBD Safe to Consume?
Sometimes, the thought of consuming a new substance like CBD can feel a little strange. A lot of people are left wondering if CBD is safe for us to consume in the first place! Thankfully, yes, CBD is safe for consumption.
In general, CBD is regarded as safe in the health and wellness sphere. The cannabinoid comes directly from a plant that, typically, doesn’t have any psychoactive or harmful properties. In 2018, the federal government legalized hemp for cultivation and production after seeing such benefits (and low risk) from the plant itself. Thus, hemp-derived CBD is also legal and considered safe for consumption.
Interestingly enough, CBD consumption tends to be safe for people of all ages. The elderly population has discovered serious support from CBD products, while parents of children who have incurable conditions see miraculous results from giving their kiddos cannabidiol. People from all sides of the spectrum can safely consume CBD — you just have to make sure you’re consuming responsibly.
As we mentioned above, overconsumption of CBD is usually when you see stomach upset or undesirable results. So, while CBD is definitely safe to consume, it doesn’t entirely come without adverse side effects. Though some people may never find any problems with CBD consumption, others may discover mild upset with too large of a dose. That’s why you always start as low as possible with a dosage and then make your way up as your body adjusts. Simply take your time.
What Happens if You Take CBD on an Empty Stomach?
If you’ve taken CBD on an empty stomach, don’t panic — nothing all that awful is going to happen. However, you may find yourself feeling a bit less comfortable than expected. Why? Because CBD acts best when consumed alongside a full belly.
When consuming CBD, as we mentioned, there’s a digestion process involved. Because the CBD has to be metabolised in the liver before releasing its properties (when taken orally), your stomach should have food already inside. When you take CBD with a bit of food, it makes it much easier for your stomach to break down and digest the cannabinoids, and less of the potency is lost by the time it reaches the liver. If you think about it, CBD works extra-hard in the body to give you the support it needs; having some just gives your body a bit of help, too.
So, what happens if you take CBD on an empty stomach? Thankfully, nothing too major.
When you take your dose of CBD without eating anything else, your stomach is going to struggle to digest the CBD oil. Along the same lines, your liver will also struggle to absorb the CBD. These factors combined make it extremely challenging for your body to digest correctly, likely leaving you to feel a little bit nauseous. In fact, it’s quite common for consumers to get a bit of stomach ache after consuming CBD on an empty stomach. Feeling queasy, having stomach cramps, and even vomiting have all been reported after CBD consumption without food.
However, just because you shouldn’t take your CBD on an empty stomach doesn’t mean you should take CBD with just anything. Adding CBD to a stomach full of high-sugar and high-starch foods will also likely affect the process, leaving you feeling a bit uneasy as well. This is because CBD acts best alongside healthy fats (hence why your CBD oils pair with coconut oils, typically) and even certain complex carbs. When they interact with these more nutritious foods, the cannabinoid can break down easier, react better, and leave your stomach feeling a whole lot more at ease.
If you take CBD on an empty stomach, nothing drastic will occur, and for some people, the body may act best without food in the belly. Some find taking their dose of CBD first thing in the morning is the best way to experience the full effects without anything in the stomach. But for others, that’s the exact route to a stomachache.
Typically, we do suggest taking CBD with food. If you find that this simply isn’t working for your digestive system, then try taking your dose of CBD on an empty stomach. After all, CBD is just as unique as you are.
Counteracting Uncomfortable Side Effects
Even though consuming CBD on an empty stomach can result in a few uncomfortable side effects, these side effects are quite easily combated.
In general, the side effects of CBD are pretty mild and can be prevented or treated through the use of everyday activities. If you consume too much CBD and find yourself feeling fatigued, nauseous, or dizzy, take the time to eat a nice meal. Eating a balanced (somewhat nutritious) meal can sometimes be exactly what your body needs to get itself back on track. This can especially be efficacious if your stomach is upset due to a lack of food. Make a quick snack, eat it slowly, and let your body decompress just a bit.
If eating a meal isn’t enough to remedy these uncomfortable side effects, try sipping on some water or tea. Again, these everyday choices can do wonders for your mind and body, easing the kind of imbalance you’re going through.
As a whole, you want to be cognizant about what you’re putting in your body during this time of discomfort. Of course, it was likely the lack of food in the first place that’s causing you to feel pain or nausea! So, turn to a small, healthy snack to try to give your body what it’s asking for. If your stomach is upset from CBD, don’t turn to some fried chicken or a cheeseburger from McDonald’s. Instead, eat a granola bar, some nuts, or even fish if you have it. Trust us: your body will thank you!
The most important thing to remember when experiencing this stomach upset is that it won’t last forever. The effects of CBD are only temporary, and they don’t last very long whatsoever. As long as you’re actively making choices to benefit your mind and body, you should be just fine.
Different Types of CBD Have Different Reactions
The last thing we will discuss regarding CBD consumption is the different types of CBD products. Primarily, we’ve been focusing on the effects of CBD oil, either taken sublingually or orally. However, if you have a CBD edible that contains a good amount of healthy fats, there’s a good chance you won’t have to consume any food alongside these types of products.
As you can imagine, CBD edibles are a kind of product made to be consumed. They are foods and snacks that companies have infused with varying amounts of CBD to make them productive and potent. Some people may find that consuming a small CBD edible on an empty stomach might cause a bit of upset, but this usually isn’t the case. CBD edibles are one of the few CBD products that most people can safely consume any time of day — whether you’ve eaten already or not. And, again, this is because they’re food products themselves!
Other products, like CBD capsules and tinctures, don’t have the luxury of coming with such sustenance. Thus, it becomes a lot more crucial for you to consume those forms of CBD alongside some food, as it gives the cannabinoids the buffer they need.
However, if you’ve never tried CBD before and you want to see how edibles do, we do suggest eating your edible after having a small snack. This way, you’re giving your body a chance to absorb the new substance just a little bit better.
CBD Consumption Conclusions
So, what have we learned about CBD consumption? Primarily, you want to make sure you’re consuming your lovely CBD products with a bit of food in the stomach. Though consuming CBD on an empty stomach isn’t going to kill you, it can cause some severe discomfort that no one deserves to go through. When you take the time to ensure your belly is (somewhat) full of healthy fats and complex carbs, your CBD products can work flawlessly.
Don’t be too intimidated by consuming CBD. Just like most medications, supplements, or vitamins, CBD may cause just slight stomach upset — that’s all. This mild discomfort is easily combated and tends to go away quite quickly. But, if you find that your stomach reacts this way every time you try CBD, that may be a sign that CBD simply isn’t for you. If that’s the case, contact your health care practitioner to discuss other options you may have.
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.
Does CBD Work Better on an Empty Stomach
When someone ingests CBD, in its purest form, less than 10% gets into their blood stream. This is one of the primary reasons that high fat content oils are used to formulate CBD products. The fat content in the oil, actually helps the body to absorb CBD. A recent study from pharmacologists at the University of Minnesota examined how eating a meal affects the absorption of CBD. Normally researchers have people fast and take CBD in the morning before eating — this reduces variability, but it also changes how well your body can absorb the CBD. On a full stomach, CBD will stay in the gut for longer and have more time to be up-taken. If the meal is particularly fatty, the body will try to collect the oils, and CBD might get caught up along with them. This is exactly what the researchers found!
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying to go eat a double cheeseburger every day before taking your CBD, but when taking CBD half an hour after a fatty meal (good, healthy fats), people were exposed to nearly 5x more CBD. The peak plasma concentration of CBD was 14x higher when participants ate first. This suggests that eating before taking CBD might reduce the required dose
People shouldn’t be too caught up with bioavailability. It’s our recommendation and a best practice that when starting with CBD, you should micro-dose. Very simply, start with a low dose and take multiple times throughout the day and or night rather than a single large dose.
Pay attention to how you are feeling throughout the day after taking your initial dose and top-up using your choice of consumption methods when you feel the effects wearing off. Something to note here is that different consumption methods work in different ways. Here’s a rough idea of how long you can expect it to take;
- Vaping CBD: will usually take effect within a couple of minutes
- Sublingual oils (Tinctures) usually take around 20 minutes to take effect
- Capsules & Edibles can take up to two hours to take effect
- Topicals will vary depending on the additional ingredients and can take anywhere from minutes to hours to take effect.
Some people find that certain methods help them more. Combining different CBD products is a completely safe thing to do as long as you pay attention to your body, watch out for side-effects and control your dosage.
If you’re looking to add more CBD products to your regimen and have questions, never hesitate to reach out to us with questions.