Should I Take CBD Oil After a Meal or On an Empty Stomach?

As the request for cannabinoid products keeps growing on the market, so does curiosity. One of the most popular such products is the cannabidiol (CBD) oil extract. Its verified health-boosting properties keep garnering customers all around. The question that many have is related to its consumption. “Is it better to take the oil before, or after a meal?” The answer is simple, yet complicated.

First of all, cannabidiol oil is definitely taken with food. The answer, however, has many questions of its own. In order to answer these, we need to understand the digestive process of a human body.

When CBD oil is ingested in any of its oral forms, it first reaches the stomach. During digestion, drugs turn out to be less effective than expected, for one reason. Let’s dig into it.


Bio-availability, as its name suggests, is the amount in which a consumed substance becomes available to the body. Simply put, bio-availability is the amount and rate at which the fraction of a consumed drug reaches the systemic circulation from its point of absorption. Everything that enters our circulation from the stomach is first digested. Digestion usually slows and diminishes the bio-availability of any drug, such as CBD oil in this case.

The issue is in between consumption and the oil’s integration into the system. In other words, the main culprit for the reduced effectiveness of any drug is presystemic metabolism. Before any substance enters the body, it has to go through the liver and pass the gut wall. The liver then lowers its bio-availability by turning a selected amount of the drug into metabolites.

The enzymes of the gut wall and the gastrointestinal lumen, as well as bacterial and hepatic enzymes help the liver in this process. Scientists thus decided to experiment with many kinds of digestible substances, in order to increase bio-availability. They found out that fatty acids can help whatever is co-absorbed with them to bypass some of the metabolism.

In conclusion, this means that CBD oil has a greater effect when taken with foods that contain various fatty acids. Examples include but are not restricted to: fish, nuts, grapes, marjoram, spinach, soy, eggs and milk.

Breaking The Myth

Some websites suggest that taking CBD oil on an empty stomach can bolster its effect. In theory, this does sound plausible. However, the fact that it will enter the body faster does not imply high quantity. Yes, the oil will take significantly less time to reach absorption, but no, it won’t help you as much.

The much better way to increase the effectiveness of CBD oil is to consume it with the mentioned fatty acids. Unlike taking it on an empty stomach, consuming it with fatty acids will ensure that a vast amount of it doesn’t turn into metabolites.

In case you were wondering, CBD oil doesn’t actually contribute in its metabolite form. Yes, some of the one-hundred plus different metabolites that come from it may slightly improve metabolism, but that’s pretty much it. Fact is that the body doesn’t use more than about a half of them.

A recent study tested just how much more effective CBD oil is when taken after a meal. The results went further than expected, and showed an increase of 400% in comparison to pre-digestion consumption.

CBD Oil Consumption Types

The majority of CBD oil consumers rely on capsules in order to ingest the extract. However, there are numerous other ways of absorbing the substance into your system. Most of them, in fact, are much more effective than the popular method.

One would think that other consumption types don’t have that much to do with eating a meal, but that’s also a myth. Digestion is a process that influences the entire body in various ways, some of which influence all types of drug activity.

For example, sublingual injection of CBD oil still greatly relies on the body’s metabolic activity. When taking CBD oil sublingually, the extract is placed in liquid form under the tongue. This way, the mouth’s mucous membranes absorb it and deliver it directly into the bloodstream. The problem in this specific scenario is that some of the oil is naturally swallowed.

Having a liquid substance in your mouth without swallowing it still means that some of it will enter the stomach. After approximately 90 seconds, the mouth itself begins to drain the liquid down the esophagus. The swallowed CBD oil then goes through the digestion process, just as it would in the encapsulated form.

There are still more ways of taking CBD oil, and the liver’s activity is excluded for most of them. In that case, it is better to take the extract before the meal.

Taking Advantage Of Peak Concentration

Those that take CBD oil intravenously, for example, need to pay attention to their body’s activity. When digesting, the body uses a lot of its energy to enhance this process. This means that whatever is in the bloodstream will take time to achieve its effectiveness.

If CBD oil is injected via a syringe, it of course bypasses entire digestion and bioavailability factors. Then again, its peak concentration will face a delay of approximately four hours, if food is ingested. Peak concentration refers to the amount of the injected drug in one of the bloodstream’s compartments.

In other words, eating right before or after injecting the extract will delay its time of efficacy. In these scenarios, it’s better to take the drug way before or after food consumption.

Time It Right

Whenever taking any form of CBD oil, remember to do so in accordance with your body. As explained, different types of CBD oil requires different times of bodily activity. Oral consumption depends on digestion, but other ones do not.

In the end, do not be mistaken – CBD oil will work anyway. These tips are there only to help you benefit from it in the highest possible amount. In conclusion, those who bolster the efficiency of their medicine will achieve health in a shorter amount of time.


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