Smoothies are great, aren’t they? When made right, they’re kind of like a salad that tastes like a dessert. Or a milkshake that has the nutritional value of a salad. Either way, it’s the best salad. So why not add a little of the hemp goodness into your smoothie? Yes, making your favorite smoothie a CBD smoothie is simple, easy and won’t affect the flavor. Adding CBD to your smoothie will give you a daily dose of cannabinoids and help keep your endocannabinoid system in balance. Which is great for your immune system, metabolism and a whole host of other benefits.
If you enjoy incorporating CBD into food, the good news is that early research suggests taking CBD along with certain foods makes it easier for your body to absorb, and makes even small doses more effective.
But pairing CBD with certain foods can greatly increase its absorption into your body. Plus, pairing it with food can make for a delicious and fun way to take CBD.
Here’s how to whip up a CBD smoothie that makes your daily dose both nutritious and delicious – and as effective as possible
1. Use a water-soluble form of CBD
The cannabidiol molecule is not soluble in water, which is why many CBD products are oil-based. The problem? Smoothies are water-based, and oil and water don’t mix.
The easiest way to get around this is to buy your CBD in a water-soluble form. Try an option such as nano CBD like a Beam Dream CBD Powder. This is CBD that has been processed into very tiny particles. Those particles are then coated in a substance that allows them to emulsify in water. Essentially, it works just like the oil in a salad dressing.
Not only will it mix into your smoothie nicely, but it also comes with the added benefit of increased bioavailability. Usually, most of the CBD you eat gets filtered out by the liver and gut wall, and never reaches your bloodstream. Researchers estimate that the bioavailability of CBD consumed orally may be as low as nine percent. However, this figure goes up when you use nano CBD. Which is due to the tiny particles are far easier for your body to absorb.
You’ll often find water-soluble CBD in powder or liquid form.
2. Include high-fat ingredients in your CBD smoothie
It might not sound like a healthy move to add fat to your smoothie. But the right kinds of fat can be beneficial to your heart health and greatly increase CBD absorption.
A 2016 animal study found that taking fats along with CBD allowed at least a third of the CBD to be absorbed into the bloodstream. That’s significantly more than the normal sub-10% bioavailability.
Nuts and nut butters are probably the most delicious way to incorporate good fats into a smoothie. Peanut butter, almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews and macadamias will all give your smoothie a fat and flavor boost. They’ll also add nutrients such as vitamin B, antioxidants, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Other good options are avocado or coconut cream. Both of those will give your smoothie a creamy texture while adding healthy plant fats.
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3. Make a meal of your CBD Smoothie
Early evidence suggests that CBD absorption is significantly higher when taken with a meal than on an empty stomach.
A 2019 study compared the absorption of CBD capsules in people who had a fatty breakfast and those who fasted. People who took CBD capsules after eating had a maximum blood concentration that was 14 times higher than those who fasted.
A well-made smoothie can constitute a meal in itself, especially if you eat enough of it. Make your smoothie a meal by adding some delicious healthy fats, and then bulking it up with plants and protein. Try some celery, cucumber and spinach for a smoothie packed with green goodness.
If you’re longing for some fruity sweetness in your smoothie, berries are a great option. That’s because they are relatively high in fiber and low in sugar compared to other fruits. Although they’re a healthy option, they still have a sweetness and can give your blend a delicious flavor and color.
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4. Give it a crack of black pepper
Black pepper isn’t something you’d normally grind into a smoothie. But there’s a good reason to include it when whipping up a CBD smoothie.
Black pepper contains a compound called piperine, which research suggests can improve gut absorption of various chemical compounds including CBD. One animal study found that CBD levels in the bloodstream were six times higher when it was taken with piperine compared to without piperine.
Black pepper can be a delicious addition to a strawberry and basil smoothie. Or, you can blend it up with turmeric, which is often used in natural medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties. Add ginger to a turmeric smoothie for a delicious, unique beverage that’s packed with nutrients and flavor.
5. Choose full or broad-spectrum CBD
Full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD might be more effective than CBD isolate. This is because of something called the entourage effect. The entourage effect is a theory that combining all cannabinoids are greater than the sum of their parts. And when they all work together, they are more effective.
If you’re looking to maximize the impact of your CBD dose, then we recommend full or broad-spectrum. Full-spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids found in the plant, including a minute amount of THC. Broad-spectrum CBD contains all cannabinoids except for THC, which is intentionally removed during the extraction process.
Before you get blending, remember that combining these tips may increase the amount of CBD your body absorbs. And that’s compared to other methods of consuming CBD via digestion. This means you may feel a strong effect than usual and might experience more side effects.
You can always adjust your dosage until the effect feels right for you. The benefit is that with optimized absorption. You can use less CBD for the same effect, which helps your chosen CBD product stretch further.
A CBD smoothie is the perfect addition to your morning routine and it makes for a nourishing, tasty post-workout treat. Bottoms up!
Sian Ferguson is a freelance writer based in Cape Town, South Africa and she has written for publications such as Healthline, Greatist, and Psych Central to name a few.