While using top-quality CBD is important, your body actually needs to absorb the CBD before it benefits you. So, what can you do to increase CBD absorption?
There are a few things you can do to make CBD more bioavailable. “Bioavailable” refers to the amount that is actually absorbed by your body instead of excreted. The easier it is for your body to absorb CBD, the less CBD you’ll need to experience the same benefits.
Interested in getting the most out of your CBD? Here are a few ways to help your body absorb CBD better.
1. Choose a fast-working form of CBD
If you want to increase CBD absorption, pay attention to the type of CBD you’re using. Each form of CBD has its own advantages and disadvantages, and some of these delivery systems are better for absorption.
Inhaling CBD by smoking pre-rolls is one of the fastest ways to get CBD into your bloodstream. Smoking CBD pre-rolls also means that your body absorbs it better and faster. The same goes for vaping, but the long term risks of vaping are still being investigated.
CBD oil is slightly less bioavailable. While it doesn’t hit your bloodstream immediately, it can be quite bioavailable if you use it properly (see point 2 below).
The least bioavailable method is digesting CBD. If you’re digesting CBD (through capsules or edibles), it will take longer to absorb because it has to go through your entire digestive system before hitting the bloodstream.
2. Use CBD oil properly
Although it’s a popular health product, few people know how to use CBD oil correctly. And using it correctly will significantly increase CBD absorption.
CBD oil should be taken sublingually, which means it should be dropped under the tongue. Most CBD companies recommend that you keep it there for around 60 seconds, and then swallow. This gives it time to absorb into the tiny capillaries in your mouth.
If you prefer, you can add a few drops of CBD oil to most beverages or foods, but this means it’ll have to go through your entire digestive system before it enters your bloodstream. For better absorption, use it sublingually.
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3. Eat some high-fat foods before using CBD
Increased CBD absorption is much better when eaten after a meal, compared to an empty stomach.
The available scientific research has shown that high-fat foods can increase the absorption of CBD when used orally. This is in comparison to using CBD on an empty stomach. So, if you’re using CBD oil or capsules, for example, fat can help your body absorb it better.
Before having CBD, have a balanced meal with a little fat in it. Alternatively, take a fatty supplement (such as omega 3 fatty acid supplements) about half an hour before using CBD.
4. Add a little black pepper
Some research suggests that piperine, a compound found in black pepper, improves how your body absorbs certain chemical compounds. This includes CBD.
One animal study compared a CBD supplement with piperine to a CBD solution without piperine. When piperine was added, the maximum concentration of CBD in the blood was six times higher than with the normal CBD supplement. This is one of easiest ways to to increase CBD absorption.
It seems that piperine makes it easier for CBD to be absorbed into the bloodstream from the intestinal lining. More research is necessary, but adding a crack of black pepper to your meal may increase your absorption.
5. Opt for full-spectrum or broad-spectrum to increase CBD absorption
There are three kinds of CBD:
- Full-spectrum includes all the cannabinoids and terpenes found in the hemp plant.
- Broad-spectrum includes all cannabinoids and terpenes, minus THC, which is the part of the plant that can make you feel intoxicated (Although THC in hemp must be below 0.3%)
- CBD isolate is pure CBD with all other cannabinoids removed from it.
Because of something called the entourage effect, we know that cannabinoids may have a greater effect when used in conjunction with one another. This doesn’t necessarily improve absorption, but anecdotally, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD may be more effective than CBD isolate. In other words, 20mg of full-spectrum CBD is thought to be more “powerful” than 20mg of CBD isolate to some people.
Also Read: 6 questions to ask when buying CBD capsules
How to Increase CBD absorption – Be safe!
While you obviously want to absorb CBD as well as possible, it’s important to remember that high absorption can also mean you’re more likely to experience the side effects of CBD. While CBD is considered safe, some people experience nausea, fatigue, changes in appetite, and other side effects while using CBD.
For safety, it’s important to talk to your doctor before using CBD, especially if you’re using any chronic medication. Start slow with a low dosage and gradually increase your dosage if necessary. If you think you’re experiencing side effects, talk to your doctor.
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.