Taking CBD: To Eat or Not to Eat? Should you take CBD after eating, or on an empty stomach? Does it matter at all!? I pondered this question before chowing down on my bacon, egg, & cheese should i drink water after taking cbd? cbd comes in a lot of different forms, from tinctures and topicals to vapes, gummies, capsules, and even smokable hemp flower. there’s a lot of (sometimes 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
Taking CBD: To Eat or Not to Eat?
Should you take CBD after eating, or on an empty stomach? Does it matter at all!? I pondered this question before chowing down on my bacon, egg, & cheese sandwich. So, I took to the internet to uncover the answer:
Don’t worry too much! Although CBD gets processed faster & easier when taken alongside fats, the carrier oil included in the extract (MCT, Hemp Oil, etc.) is usually all you need. Some people prefer eating or not eating before CBD, although the effects of either aren’t significant.
CBD Absorbs Better With Fats
At this point, it’s known that foods high in fats can help increase the absorption of CBD. When eating CBD/THC, you may only see 10% of the original dosage enter the bloodstream! So, a 50mg dose breaks down to only 5mg.
A 2019 study performed by the University of Minnesota observed the effect that eating high-fat foods has on CBD absorption. Usually, studies have patients take their CBD in the morning on an empty stomach to reduce variability. This time, researchers had patients eat a high-fat meal thirty minutes before taking CBD. Here’s what they found:
- When you eat before taking CBD, it will stay in your gut longer & therefore has more time to be processed/absorbed. Specifically, if the meal is higher in fats.
- After eating & taking CBD thirty minutes later, patients were found to be exposed to nearly 5x the amount of CBD.
- Peak plasma concentration of CBD was 14x higher when patients ate beforehand.
This also suggests that taking CBD after eating high-fat foods may reduce the required dosage, which could cause more drug interactions. Researchers noted that epileptic patients who take CBD should take this into consideration, especially those on a ketogenic diet.
Why You Shouldn’t Worry Much
Now, you might be thinking that you’ve been taking CBD wrong & suddenly need to eat high-fat foods every time you take CBD; but don’t stress! There are a few reasons why you don’t have to be strict about eating or not eating before CBD.
Firstly, Cannabinoids like CBD or THC are typically decarboxylated to increase absorption & bioavailability to the human body. The process of heating up these compounds makes it easier for your body to properly & effectively receive them!
Second, most CBD products contain a carrier oil that is high in fats. This helps increase absorption/bioavailability within the body! MCT/Coconut Oil or Hemp Seed Oil are the most common.
What’s ‘Carrier Oil?’
Carrier Oils are added into CBD Oil Tinctures to help increase absorption/bioavailability. Also, it reduces the paste-like & pungent nature of raw CBD extract. MCT Oil is by far the most common choice among manufacturers.
The reason is, MCT oil is essentially made up of fatty acids! In fact, it’s exactly the kind of fats that help CBD absorb better. Medium Chain Triglycerides aka MCT’s, are found in foods like Coconut Oil & are perfect for optimizing CBD for our body!
Hemp Seed Oil may also be used as a carrier oil. It too contains higher levels of fatty acids that help increase the absorption of CBD! So, it’s another common option we see among CBD brands. Although it’s certainly less common than MCT Oil.
The Exception, Not The Rule
Although for most, we recommend not overthinking your stomach’s contents before taking CBD, it could certainly be a consideration in certain cases. Such as those who take CBD in response to Epilepsy.
For these kinds of cases, maintaining a minimum level/concentration of CBD in the bloodstream is important. So, knowing when/what you’re eating & how that will affect your CBD intake is useful.
In any case, eating high-fat foods only increases absorption. So, it shouldn’t be detrimental as you will be receiving more MG of CBD, not less. In other words, you don’t have to be worried about not having enough CBD in your system. As fats increase absorption.
So, whether you’re on an empty or full stomach, your minimum dosage should be accounted for on an empty stomach. If worst comes to worst & you happen to eat before taking CBD, it likely won’t affect you negatively!
should i drink water after taking cbd?
cbd comes in a lot of different forms, from tinctures and topicals to vapes, gummies, capsules, and even smokable hemp flower. there’s a lot of (sometimes incorrect) information out there about methods of administration, and oftentimes there’s no additional information about whether cbd should be taken with or without food/water like you would typically see on a bottle of medication. that’s why we’re here today – there has to be an answer to the question: “should i drink water after taking cbd?”
if you vape cbd, consume it orally, or use it topically, it is completely fine to drink water normally without disrupting absorption. however, if cbd is consumed sublingually via a tincture, you should give the tincture at least 30-60 seconds for full absorption before drinking anything.
even if you take cbd sublingually and do not allow it enough time to absorb fully, the rest will still be absorbed through the gastrointestinal system (aka the gut) just as it would with oral consumption through a capsule, edible such as a gummy or chocolate, or by putting it into your coffee or tea. there’s a lot that goes into how quickly and fully your body can ingest cbd, including different methods of consumption, the form of cbd you are consuming, and other health-related aspects, even those as simple as drinking water.
water and cbd: what’s most important
our bodies have tissues underneath our tongues (and between our gums and cheeks) that are largely mucous membranes. these membranes have a high concentration of blood vessels that can absorb a variety of chemical compounds directly into the bloodstream in rapid fashion. on the other hand, when you swallow something, it must go through the entirety of the gi tract (esophagus, stomach, and small- and large intestines) in order to be absorbed. the gi tract can be up to 30 feet long in humans, and it can take 30 minutes to two hours for effects of some oral medications to be felt.
the effects from sublingual consumption can be felt in as quickly as seconds, and often times can be fully felt within 20 minutes. yes, the small end of the scale could yield as small of a difference as 10 minutes, but a sublingually-administered medication could also be felt four-to-ten times faster, if not more.
cbd is one such compound that can be absorbed through sublingual administration. another way of consuming cbd directly into the bloodstream is through vaping it or smoking hemp flower, as the lungs also allow for rapid absorption. however, smoking and vaping also bring about their own side effects that do not come with consuming sublingual cbd drops , which is why we feel sublingual reigns supreme when it comes to methods of cbd consumption.
in addition to these methods, cbd can also be consumed through the skin by way of topicals in the same way that other skincare products such as lotions and balms can be. when using cbd topically, effects can be usually felt in around 20 minutes and can last for several hours. however, the effects are localized, meaning they will only be felt where the topical has been applied.
more on drinking water and taking cbd
firstly, we know that hydration is important , there’s no way around that. up to 60% of the human body is composed of water , and, well, we don’t need to beat a dead horse here to tell you how much better all your systems function when you’re properly hydrated.
so even if you shouldn’t drink water while you are consuming cbd (or anything else) sublingually, it’s important to make sure you’re staying well-hydrated all the other times when cbd has dissolved and is already in your system. doing so can help ensure that cbd is able to be absorbed by your bloodstream as easily as possible.
secondly, it is important to note that sublingual consumption may be hindered if one’s mouth is not clean. brushing your teeth may be the best way to prime your mouth for optimal absorption; but even if you aren’t near a toothbrush, it would be a good idea to drink some water and rinse out your mouth in order to maximize your mouth’s potential for absorption.
but what about food – does it matter if you take cbd on an empty stomach or a full one? there seems to be a lot of information out there, and it all is based on certain assumptions around methods of consumption. for example, it is not suggested to eat food directly with taking cbd if you are consuming it sublingually because, as we just learned, we want to have a clean mouth for maximum bioavailability.
cbd will work just fine on an empty stomach*as well as a full one. however, there’s also validity to the claim that certain foods can lead to increased bioavailability of cbd inside the body. you may have guessed, but since cbd is fat-soluble, fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, and fish can improve cbd’s absorption more than simple carbohydrates such as bread and sugar. but regardless, cbd is safe and nontoxic to the human body. all of this information is good to know, but there should not be any way to misuse it.
the kind of cbd you’re taking also matters
there are various forms of cbd out there even beyond just the finished product. you may see terms such as “isolate” or “full spectrum” associated with cbd products. another one you may see is “broad spectrum.” what are the differences, and more importantly, why does it matter?
to start, all cbd comes from the cannabis plant. that plant contains much more than just cbd, however. other cannabinoids (such as thc, cbg, and cbn) are also present, as are other compounds known as terpenes. these terpenes are kind of like essential oils to a plant, and a full spectrum extract of the cannabis plant contains all of the compounds that existed in the cannabis plant itself, terpenes and cannabinoids included.
broad spectrum is different from full spectrum in that the thc is removed. thc is the compound that is psychoactive, or gets you “high,” so to speak. last is isolate , which has isolated the cbd compound from everything else present in the cannabis plant, meaning all you’re getting is cbd – nothing else.
there’s a saying out there that talks about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. in cannabis, that is called the entourage effect : the presence of all of cannabis’ compounds causes a synergistic effect that maximizes the effects of cbd (and the other compounds). this means that consuming an isolate, even if it’s advertised as the purest form of cbd on the market, will result in both less benefits and weaker effects for the user.
that leaves us with full spectrum and broad spectrum extracts. as we mentioned before, the difference is the presence or absence of thc. at the end of the day, both are effective. despite being part of the same plant, thc and cbd have a relationship with one another that needs more research to be fully understood. ultimately, it is up to the user to do their research on anything they put into their bodies, and cbd is no different. but if you cannot consume thc for any reason and/or are concerned about even trace amounts of it showing up on a drug test, a broad spectrum extract is definitely the way to go.
are there any conditions where sublingual consumption is not best? of course there are! since you’re curious, other medications (like extended-release ones) may need to be processed more slowly by your system, and thus oral consumption is preferred in those cases. also, if you have any open wounds or sores in your mouth, you should talk to your doctor to make sure you are not putting your health at further risk by consuming anything sublingually, cbd or otherwise. and the same goes for if you experience any discomfort or irritation for any other reason.
what was up with that asterisk (*) up above? cbd may result in undesired effects such as nausea in a small amount of people who take it on an empty stomach. symptoms may vary, but if you do experience any such side effects, try taking it after having food in your system next time. cbd is safe, as long as you are consuming a clean product, but just like other supplements and medications, some people may experience different results when taking it on an empty versus full stomach
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.