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.
In a small clinical trial, CBD was found to display improved bioavailability when consumed with or on a full stomach of fatty foods such as fish, avocado, nuts, red meat, and coconut oil. Improved bioavailability means more CBD reaches the target area, and at a faster rate. If you are someone who takes CBD first thing in the morning, or last thing at night without food, it may be worth considering a change in habit.
Should you take CBD with food?
Until recently, we had to rely on anecdotal evidence and unsubstantiated claims to understand whether the scenarios outlined above made any difference to CBD’s impact on the body. Thankfully, new insights suggest an answer to the FAQ: “Should I take CBD with or without food?”.
A review by Harvard Medical School discussed the biofunctionality of fatty acids (long and medium-chain triglycerides). They found that conventional fats and oils act “as high energy, rapidly available fuel”. Their conclusion goes hand in hand with the results of the study from the University of Minnesota.
Think about the last time you took CBD; was it with or without food? When juggling the typical nine-to-five, kids, and daily life, most of us opt to take CBD several times a day—when we wake up, with our lunch, and before bed. In all three of those situations, we are giving CBD a different set of biological variables to work with. In the morning, our stomach is empty; at lunch, we’ve most likely grabbed a quick bite to eat, while our final dose of CBD usually follows a more substantial dinner.
Unlike what you may think, we don’t absorb the full amount of CBD in each serving, but rather, we can only absorb as much CBD as is possible according to the bioavailability of the product.
A team of researchers conducted a study published in 2013 that assessed the effect that food has on 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 without.
With CBD oil and other CBD products at an all-time high with popularity surging across the country, estimates about its popularity are only growing. Therefore, this poses a ton of questions that are still largely unanswered when it comes to cannabidiol and how well it can work for a variety of issues.
In short, taking CBD oil on an empty stomach is a waste of valuable product. You’re not optimizing the opportunity you have by taking it on an empty stomach; but instead, you are degrading the potency of the CBD oil. This is what can cause CBD users to have to use more product, or event think that their product is ineffective.
According to a Gallup poll, approximately 14% of Americans state 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 results of a Gallup poll is all user-reported, meaning, it’s all anecdotal evidence, it gives us a peek inside what people are using CBD oil for and how it’s benefiting them.
Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s Real Scientific Hemp Oil™ (RSHO™) Liquids combine our award winning CBD oil with medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil sourced from wholesome coconut oil and sustainably sourced palm oil. These saturated fats serve as an effective binding agent for CBD to be efficiently absorbed by the body. Available in our Green, Blue, and Gold Label varieties , each standard serving size of RSHO™ Liquid contains 31 mg, and you can decide whether to increase or decrease your intake based on what’s right for you .
So what types of foods should you take with CBD oil? Medium chain fatty acids have 6 to 10 carbons, while long chain fatty acids are those with 14 or more carbons. They’re found in most fats, oils, and certain foods, including:
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.
Don’t Want to Worry About Food?
You may have discovered a surprising amount of conflicting information on the internet about whether it’s best to take your CBD oil on an empty stomach or after meals. When you look at how CBD is digested, however, the answer becomes clear.
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.
The best types of foods to eat with CBD oil include medium and long chain triglycerides, which are fatty acids. These types of fatty acids serve as a strong binding agent for cannabinoids like CBD, and are directly metabolized into energy by the liver so the loss of CBD concentration through first pass metabolism is limited. This means that your body can burn those fats and put them – and the CBD and other trace cannabinoids they hold – to use right away.
Just recently researchers from the University of Nottingham backed the beneficial effects of taking CBD with fatty acids. In a recent study, they found that co-administering CBD with long chain triglycerides bypassed some first pass metabolism, allowing significantly more CBD to be absorbed. Another study by a separate team of researchers found the bioavailability of a cannabinoid product was four times higher when taken after a meal.