Can You Take CBD Oil On An Empty Stomach


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Can You Take CBD Capsules On Empty Stomach? Each person has a unique physiology and can require different conditions to experience an optimal effect when taking CBD capsules. Taking CBD An increasing body of research makes it easier for us to understand how CBD works. Providing us with answers to questions as: ‘should I consume CBD oil drops with food or does it work better on an empty stomach?’

Can You Take CBD Capsules On Empty Stomach?

Each person has a unique physiology and can require different conditions to experience an optimal effect when taking CBD capsules.

Taking CBD capsules on an empty stomach enhances the potency, but reduces the length of its effects. CBD with melatonin is recommended you take on an empty stomach (right before bed) to maximize the effects of melatonin. When fasting, taking CBD capsules with MCT can produce optimal effects.

Let’s take a look below and see what conditions are best for taking CBD on an empty stomach and when you might need to take a little bit of food to optimize the effects.

Do You Take CBD With Or Without Food?

Depending on the time of day, and for what purpose, taking CBD with or without food can vary.

Certain types of medications require you take it before eating food or while your stomach is still empty.

The reason why some medications should be taken on an empty stomach is because certain types of food or beverages can impact the way some medications work.

  • Foods right in healthy fats
  • Olive oil
  • Sesame oil
  • MCT oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Chocolate
  • Mayonnaise
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt

By consuming healthy fats prior to taking CBD, you’re able to speed up the rate of absorption.

Since swallowing CBD capsules has a lower rate of absorption, consuming the above listed foods can increase the effectiveness of CBD.

To increase the effectiveness of CBD, other methods of consumption can have a higher rate of absorption or have a faster onset.

Should You Take CBD Capsules On Empty Stomach?

Certain types of food may prevent your body from properly absorbing the CBD and can make it less effective.

When taking CBD on an empty stomach, you can experience the effects much more rapidly.

Even though taking CBD on an empty stomach can make it work faster, the effects typically won’t last as long.

Some CBD capsules contain melatonin, used to further increase the potency to aid in supporting normal sleep cycles.

If you’re taking a CBD capsule that also contains melatonin, eating a large meal right before bed might interfere with the quality of sleep, as well as the effectiveness of melatonin.

Most sources recommend taking a CBD and melatonin capsule an hour or two before bed, and then potentially having a light snack.

According to the journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease And Treatment, melatonin is best absorbed on an empty stomach.

Furthermore, melatonin will have a much faster onset on an empty stomach.

If you eat a meal that’s high in fat with melatonin or soon afterwards, it may slow down the rate of absorption — thus minimizing its overall effectiveness.

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Take CBD on an empty stomach when:

  • You’re taking a CBD capsule with melatonin
  • Fasting
  • Right before bed
  • You want to experience the effects faster

Finding what works best for you, at the dose that’s most optimal, is the recommended approach in fine tuning the optimal experience.

Do You Take CBD Capsules On An Empty Stomach?

According to the American Journal Of Translational Research, taking CBD with lipids (fat, oils, wax, etc) can substantially enhance the absorption in the intestinal lymphatic transport.

Furthermore, the research states it’s not clear how much total amount of lipids are necessary to activate the mechanism of absorption via the intestinal lymphatic transport.

Certain research studies claim you might only need as little as one gram of lipids to activate the absorption mechanism.

Humans might need up to 10 grams of lipids to significantly optimize absorption.

Research is currently not completely clear if the amount of lipids contained in a capsule is sufficient to properly activate the full absorption mechanism.

However, research shows the lower amounts of lipids in a capsule were sufficient if you are fasting.

Some brands of CBD capsule contain lipids already, such as Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT).

Joy Organics and Medterra are two CBD brands that have MCT already infused in the capsules.

With CBD capsules already containing MCT lipids, the rate of absorption should be optimal and not necessarily require you to have a full stomach.

  • Taking a CBD capsule that has lipids in it (such as MCT)
  • Lipids optimize the mechanism of absorption through the intestinal lymphatic transport
  • You need about 10 grams of lipids to maximize CBD capsule absorption
  • If you’re fasting, you might need even less lipids for optimal CBD absorption
  • Quality CBD capsules have lipids already infused so you can potentially take them on an empty stomach and still receive optimal absorption

Only you know what’s working best for you and your situation, at the time you require CBD.

Experiment with what’s working and continue fine tuning how and when you consume CBD to get the best experience that works best for you.

Does CBD Work Better On An Empty Stomach?

Taking a CBD capsule on an empty stomach can make the effects work much more quickly.

However, when you take CBD capsules on an empty stomach, the effects might not last as long when you take it with higher amounts of fatty acids (lipids).

If you consume CBD by taking CBD drop under your tongue or by inhaling vaporized CBD, it doesn’t matter as much if you’re taking it on an empty stomach or with food.

When you take CBD drops under your tongue, the CBD is absorbed directly into your bloodstream via certain membranes.

Likewise, if you were to inhale CBD by smoking the flower or vaporizing it, the vaporized CBD is delivered straight to your bloodstream.

Since CBD is rising in popularity, numerous CBD companies are manufacturing new methods for consuming CBD.

Newer methods of consuming CBD can include CBD patches, creams, face masks, and many more.

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Is it better to take CBD oil with food or on an empty stomach?

There is still a lot to be discovered about CBD and the way it works in the body. Although each person reacts differently to the substance, there’s always some science applicable to all consumers. And while we long had to rely on anecdotal proof of how CBD actually works; an increasing body of scientific research makes it easier for us to understand the plant’s substance now. Providing us with answers to questions as: ‘should I consume CBD oil drops with food or does it work better on an empty stomach?’

Using CBD

As you might know, most CBD products are best consumed multiple times a day. In the morning, around lunchtime and at night before you go to bed – for example. Though something you might not’ve considered, is that your body processes your CBD oil drops differently on those various occasions. Mostly because of the biological variables we provide the Cannabidiol (CBD) to work with.

For instance, you might take your CBD drops on an empty stomach when you wake up; on top of a light lunch during the afternoon and after a serious meal at night. Even though it might look like this won’t make a big difference, nothing could be further from the truth. As science proves, the food you might or might not have eaten does impact the way CBD is processed by the body. And consequently, the way it affects the body.

How CBD works in the body

To understand why that is, we have to look at the way the body absorbs Cannabidiol. More specifically, we focus on CBD’s bioavailability and how that might be influenced by the ‘first-pass-effect’. Bioavailability means the ratio in which a substance becomes actively available where it’s needed, after consumption. Or in other words, how much and how fast CBD actually reaches the bloodstream after you take the oil.

And as you might’ve learned in one of our other blogs – about the water-soluble CBDactive+ for example – Cannabidiol in itself generally has a very low bioavailability. Even when it’s diluted with a carrier oil, like hemp seed oil or olive oil.

In fact, regular CBD oils provide a bioavailability of just 6-12% of the consumed Cannabidiol. Which means that much of the consumed cannabinoid is actually broken down by the body before it can make a difference; in something we call the ‘first-pass-effect’. Considering the fatty molecules have a hard time traveling through the mouth’s tissue; regular CBD oils need to pass through the digestive system before they can be processed by the liver.

There, the body breaks the consumed cannabinoids down into over 100 different metabolites. All with the help of the so-called P450 cytochrome enzymes. Though unfortunately, the body breaks down and excretes much of these metabolites before they reach the bloodstream. With a low bioavailability of the product as a result. Meaning you might need more CBD oil to reach the desired effect; compared to CBD products with a higher bioavailability; like CBDactive+.

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Taking CBD oil drops with food

Though as science shows, there is an easy and cheap way to make the substance more effective; and that is to take your CBD oil combined with food. Proven by researchers of the University of Minnesota, consuming CBD with food could possibly avoid the first-pass-effect and increase the efficacy of the drops you take.

This research was performed on eight adult participants with therapy-resistant epilepsy; and focussed on exploring the impact food has on CBD’s effects. For the experiment, participants received ‘one dose of 99% pure CBD capsules’. In other words, capsules filled with CBD isolate crystals. And they were instructed to consume it on an empty stomach, as well as after a fatty meal (840-860 calories). Blood plasma levels were noted immediately after taking the CBD and again several days later.

As the results show, the body absorbs four times more Cannabidiol – and much faster too – when consumed with fatty food than it does on an empty stomach. And despite of the relatively small size of the study, it does in fact confirm what we know about the absorption-rate of fats and oils.

Fatty acids and CBD

This study’s results are backed by a review done by the Harvard Medical School – which focused on the bioavailability of fatty acids in the body. Which showed that conventional fats and oils act as energy-rich and quick-acting fuel.

Accordingly, the body absorbs fatty food faster and so avoids that part of it is broken down by the ‘first-pass-effect’. In most cases, CBD is diluted with a carrier oil consisting of organic fats or fatty acids. However, this is often not enough to protect the CBD from the P450 enzymes. Thus it might be advisable to start taking your CBD after you’ve eaten; or combine it with fat foods as fish, avocado, nuts, red meats and coconut oil to name a few.

More effective CBD

On the other hand, there are products available, especially developed to reach maximum bioavailability. Take our CBDactive+ for example, a water-soluble CBD extract with all cannabinoids and terpenes needed for the best entourage effect. Due to the chemical make-up of the active ingredients in this product, it completely avoids being ‘attacked’ by the P450 enzymes; and is absorbed for the full 100 percent. Accordingly, this means that a CBDactive+ product with 4% CBD is comparable to a regular CBD oil of 40% in terms of effects.

Summarizing, it might be advisable to increase the number of healthy fatty acids you consume daily to increase the effects from regular CBD oils. Another possibility, is switching to a hemp product with a high bioavailability like CBDactive+. All depending on what you’d like to achieve with the use of the cannabinoid supplement, of course.

Need help finding the right product for your personal needs? Get in touch – we love to help!

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