When you take any product orally, its active ingredients are absorbed through the digestive system. If we’re looking at specifically CBD oil, the CBD and other compounds are first broken down in the stomach before being absorbed by the small intestine and then sent through the portal vein directly to your liver. It’s at the liver that having certain foods in your system can become beneficial to the absorption rate of CBD.
Should you use your CBD with food? In short, yes . Using CBD oil with food may improve how the body interacts with its active compounds like CBD.
Why Taking CBD with Food is Beneficial
One of the ways you can improve how well CBD is absorbed by the body and delivered to your bloodstream is to schedule your serving with your eating schedule in mind – such as taking CBD with food or without food.
Taking your CBD with food can improve the compound’s bioavailability, and eating certain types of food can improve it further. Bioavailability is the degree and rate that a substance, in this case CBD, is absorbed and delivered to the bloodstream where it can interact with the body’s native systems.
There are other options for improving the bioavailability of CBD if you’d rather not worry about taking your CBD product with the right types of food.
CBD oil can be one of the quickest and most bioavailable ways to ingest CBD. Also, it can be tolerated by almost everyone and isn’t nearly as noticeable or pungent as smoking. While CBD doesn’t have many significantly harmful side effects, many people wonder when the best time is to take CBD. Should it be taken after eating or before? Full stomach or empty? This blog post will explain why CBD is best taken on a full stomach, and why you should always eat before taking your daily dose of CBD.
Some CBD users who have weaker stomachs have cited diarrhea as a side effect of CBD use. However, this is very rare for the average user and typically only happens to those who take CBD on an empty stomach. Again, to counteract this possible side effect, CBD should be taken 30 minutes to one hour after eating for the most comfortable absorption rate.
Many people experience nausea as a side effect after taking CBD, and sometimes it is because they took too high a dose for a beginner. More often, however, nausea is caused by taking CBD on an empty stomach. When the only thing in your stomach is CBD oil, your body may have trouble processing it. To counteract this effect, be sure to take CBD between 30 minutes to an hour after having a meal, as this is the optimal time for its bioavailability.
Like any other medicines you might take, CBD passes through the digestive system. When you take CBD, it is absorbed in the stomach and intestine but gets actively broken down by your body along the way. This process is why it’s crucial to prep your digestive system before taking CBD, ideally with foods that will maximize CBD’s effectiveness. Without prepping your digestive system with the appropriate foods, taking CBD could result in some unwelcome side effects.
The University of Nottingham conducted a study in which they concluded that CBD is best taken alongside foods that contain fatty acids, or medium and long-chain triglycerides. These fats are helpful because ingesting more fatty acids alongside CBD will help to bypass the first level of digestion, so the CBD isn’t broken down immediately. This buffer gives the CBD more time to digest, and it becomes more bioavailable to the body. Many everyday foods contain these kinds of oils and fats, including olives, donuts, fish, avocados, or eggs.
From what we know thus far—there is good reason to suggest taking CBD with food. To understand why CBD appears to have a higher rate of absorption with food, we need to explain two concepts—bioavailability and first-pass metabolism. The former is defined as “the proportion of a drug or other substance which enters the circulation when introduced into the body and so is able to have an active effect”. In lay terms, bioavailability is how much, and how fast, CBD enters the bloodstream.
Results showed that, when taken with fatty foods, the amount of CBD recorded in the body increased four-fold versus readings taken after fasted consumption. Although the sample size may be small, the findings are supported by what we know about the absorption rate of fats and oils.
Should you take CBD with food?
A study published by the University of Minnesota wanted to observe how CBD was affected by food in “adult patients with refractory epilepsy”. Eight patients who had all previously been prescribed CBD for seizures were given “a single dose of 99% pure CBD capsules” and instructed to take it “both fasting (no breakfast) and fed (high fat 840–860 calorie)”. To measure the amount of CBD in the bloodstream, plasma levels were recorded immediately after, and several days later.
That leads us nicely to the second important concept—first-pass metabolism. The reason orally administered CBD has relatively low bioavailability (slow rate of absorption, and not all of the compound reaches our bloodstream) is because it takes time for CBD to pass through digestive enzymes before entering the liver.
It is here that the compound is broken down into its core components by a family of enzymes called cytochrome P450 (CYP450). What starts as a simple CBD molecule actually becomes over 100 different metabolites. Unfortunately, many of those metabolites are processed and excreted before they can reach the bloodstream, lowering CBD’s overall bioavailability.