Roughly 14% of adult US Americans state that they currently use CBD products, according to a Gallup Poll in August 2019. About 20% of that total CBD user population report using CBD to relieve their anxiety, 11% use it for sleep, and 40% use it to relieve various types of pain. Though this is just based on user report, and not hard-hitting evidence, it does give us a peek inside what people are most commonly using CBD for and how it could benefit others.
As CBD products build popularity to an all-time high, with estimates that it will only continue to increase, there are a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to the cannabinoid in question.
Many CBD users across the US and globally have big questions that could help them improve their cannabidiol experience. Likewise, people who haven’t yet started incorporating CBD into their daily routine, but they’ve been considering taking the jump may have some questions left unanswered that keeps them from taking the plunge.
One of those big questions is, when is the best time to take CBD throughout the day? Should you take CBD before, or after eating? We look to answer these questions and more today with our guide on the best time to take CBD products throughout the day.
Follow the Instructions
When in doubt, make sure you’re following the instructions for how to use your CBD product. Most CBD oils, for example, will have a label with directions on the side of the bottle. However, most labels fail to specify if you should take the CBD before or after eating. Without being able to tell from the product information’s instructions when you should take the CBD product, you may not be getting the most efficient and intense effects that you could be.
When Should You Take CBD?
When you look at how digestion works within the human body, the answer becomes clear – never take CBD on an empty stomach, or before a meal. You’ll see some instructions recommend that CBD should be taken with food, and while that’s true, they never specify if you should do it before or after. We’re here to clarify – do it after.
There’s not just one reason behind this fact, either, so we’re going to dive into that later in this guide. Until then, we want to tough briefly on how CBD is affected by bioavailability, and what bioavailability is in the first place. We don’t absorb every amount of CBD in each serving. Rather, the bioavailability of that specific CBD product is what determines how much we can absorb.
There are many CBD brands who will claim to carry products that have the highest bioavailability in the industry, but CBD oil and other consumable products that can be ingested are usually the ones that take the cake. Besides smoking and especially vaping, oral products that must be ingested contain active ingredients that can absorb quickly by being placed as a sublingual dose under the tongue.
Taking a CBD product straight into the stomach prevents it from being absorbed into the bloodstream and makes it have to go through the liver to take effect instead. Rather than being impacted by the enzymes found within the liver, CBD oil under the tongue has the highest chance of providing relief faster and more intensely.
The short answer? Take CBD right after eating your first meal of the day. While taking it before your meal is technically an option, we always and consistently recommend taking it after the meal, and we’ll explain why further down.
Why You Shouldn’t Take CBD on an Empty Stomach
Whether you’re taking CBD oil or a different CBD product, you optimize its effects by eating first. It has the highest bioavailability at this time, when our pores are opened, and the digestive system has started to function from eating. Food’s already digesting now, so swallowing the CBD oil once you’ve had it under your tongue will truly increase your chances at getting the most relief possible.
In our opinion, the best way to enhance results and feel the effects from a CBD oil as quickly as possible, place your preferred serving under the tongue for about 90 seconds. Swish it around, ensuring it hits the gums and gets absorbed, at least partially, through the pores in your mouth. After the 90 seconds is up, swallow the rest of the CBD oil.
Essentially, taking CBD oil or any other CBD product on an empty stomach is nothing short of wasted product. You’re potentially degrading the potency of the CBD oil by taking it on an empty stomach instead of eating first. Taking it after a meal, especially in the morning, is likely to save you product and money over time, because you’ll be using less to get the same results.
Eating Helps with CBD
The food you do eat just before you take your serving of CBD can even play a role on just how much it affects you – and there’s some lovely science behind that that we’ll be happy to explain.
Published in 2013, a study assessed the bioavailability of THC and CBD when effected by certain foods. Though we’re still anxious to see more studies and research on the topic, the study did indicate that the bioavailability of CBD products was four times higher when taken after a meal rather than before or without a meal. In a separate study, researchers from the University of Nottingham reinforced the beneficial effects that come with consuming CBD alongside fatty acids.
Foods that are rich in long-chain and medium chain fatty acids are most recommended to eat alongside or before CBD. This type of fatty cells can bind the cannabinoids, making them far easier to metabolize in the liver. This limits first pass metabolism, allowing for a fuller and more beneficial effect to the cannabinoids in question.
What Foods Should be Taken with CBD Products?
So, if the bioavailability of CBD increases when you take it just after eating something rich in long-chain or medium-chain fatty acids, what foods should you eat it with? We’ve uncovered that there’s potential behind taking CBD products after you eat – now we just need to discover what the best foods rich in those fatty acids are.
Coconut oil, or MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil is, literally, made up of medium-chain fatty acid. It’s why you’ll see one of those two types of oil used as a base for CBD tinctures. If you’re looking for things to infuse your own CBD extract with, though, or to just truly optimize its effects before you take it, there are some other excellent choices. Soybean oil, olive oil, and sesame oil work as perfect alternatives for the usual coconut oil.
If you’re looking for something outside just oil, nuts, avocados, fish, meat, and eggs are all full of good fatty acids. Rich in health fats, any number of those types of goods are deal suggestions for what to eat with your serving of CBD. Plus, these foods have the good fats that your body craves, allowing you to put health in even more of a forward focus as you take a serving of CBD each day to feel the benefits stack over time.
What Time Should You Take CBD Products?
To answer the central question of our guide, the best time to take CBD throughout the day is just after a meal – but it does depend on the product. A CBD topical, for example, is likely to be used more frequently. The instructions for most topicals will suggest using it as needed, so you can apply it multiple times a day without worry that you’re taking too much.
However, for products like capsules, tinctures, and other general wellness supplements that you’re supposed to take once a day, we often recommend taking it in the morning. This is the best way to kick start the rest of the day, and the benefits that stack over time will become noticeable after just a few weeks.
Take CBD products just after you’ve eaten something rich in healthy fats. Don’t just swallow the product if it’s a consumable, though – try to get most of the product to be absorbed under your tongue and in your mouth first. A CBD oil, for example, can be taken as a sublingual dose directly under the tongue and kept there for around 90 seconds before swallowing. This often takes waiting over an hour for relief down to just 20 minutes, though everyone is different and there are varying results.
Should you take CBD before or after eating? Research is quickly leaning towards after eating being the better option. What time should you take CBD throughout the day? To promote general wellness and overall health, we must recommend taking CBD in the morning, up to 30 minutes after breakfast. If you’re taking CBD products to feel relief for any particular symptoms, though, you should take it as needed without exceeding the recommended preferred serving size each day.