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!