Whether you have begun using CBD or are still searching for more information about it, you will probably wonder when it is best to take CBD. You might already know which dose is best for you, which product you want to take, and so on. But there may be one thing you are overlooking: Do you use CBD with or without food?
There is a surprising amount of misinformation about taking CBD with or without food throughout the internet. Rather than relying on anecdotal evidence, take it from CBD experts when we say that CBD is best taken with food.
Let’s talk more about why this is the case:
Should CBD Be Taken With Food?
The simple answer is “yes.” CBD is better absorbed by the body when you eat it with food.
However, things are never entirely that simple. If you use CBD gummies or capsules or adding droplets to a smoothie or beverage, the question about CBD and food is relevant. In all cases where the CBD is first orally consumed, the chemical has to first be processed by the entire digestive system before it becomes available to the body for use.
This is called “bioavailability,” which is a measure of how much of a substance can enter the bloodstream when introduced to the body and still have an effect. Capsules and edibles have about a 5 per cent bioavailability. This means that if you take a single CBD gummy containing around 25mg of CBD, your body will only be able to use around 1.25mg of it.
This brings us to the second part of the puzzle—something called “first pass metabolism.” The reason orally consumed CBD has such low bioavailability is due to the time it takes for CBD to move through the digestive system enzymes and liver. In the liver, CBD is oxidized by CYP450 and breaks down into over 100 metabolites. Some of these metabolites are not useable by the body.
So, how do you make orally consumed CBD more available to your body?
You take CBD with fatty acids, primarily medium and long chain triglycerides. Doing so will increased the bioavailability of CBD by four fold. If you don’t want to do that, then you should use tinctures or liquids that can be placed under the tongue.
What Science Says About CBD and Food
There are a couple of studies that highlight the effectiveness of consuming CBD alongside fatty acids. One study done by the University of Minnesota looked at how CBD was affected when consumed with food in patients that had refractory epilepsy. Eight of the patients had been previously prescribed CBD capsules for their seizures. These individuals were instructed to take the CBD capsules both fasting and fed to see how much CBD was in the bloodstream on both occasions.
It was found that CBD in the body was four times higher in the body when consumed with fatty acids than when taken on an empty stomach. A similar study conducted by the Harvard Medical School concluded that fats and oils helped make CBD more rapidly available to the human body. This supported the results of the study from the University of Minnesota.
Other studies are currently underway, but all evidence points to fatty acids being important for CBD bioavailability.
What About Using CBD on an Empty Stomach?
Now, what if you are using a CBD product that does not require you to ingest it? If you are smoking, vaping, topically applying, and using tinctures, then you don’t have to worry about what the liver does with the compound, because none of that is involved.
Using methods like the ones listed above is really the only way you can use CBD on an empty stomach and still get the full effect.
Ways To Add CBD To Food
Do you want to add CBD oil to foods to get more or an impact? If you get an organic CBD oil with a healthy carrier oil, such as avocado oil, olive oil, and coconut oil, you can add it to recipes.
You can toss salads in CBD-infused oils, add oil to smoothies and juice, mix it into dough, chocolate, honey, or even add it to porridge, tea and coffee. You don’t even need a lot of drops to get the benefits of CBD.
Also, here are some foods containing long-chain fatty acids, so you can increase the bioavailability of your CBD:
• Olive oil
• Avocado oil and avocados
• Soybean oil
• Sesame oil
Science has spoken: If you are presently using sublingual drops, a transdermal product, topical cream, or vaping, then you don’t have to worry about eating while using CBD. However, if you are taking gummies, capsules, or some other edible form, then you should be incorporating food to help increase the bioavailability of CBD. The most effective way to do this is to eat foods high in fatty acids at the same time.
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