Taking CBD with food can increase the compound’s bioavailability, and eating certain types of food can enhance it even further.
Bioavailability is the rate and degree that a substance is absorbed and delivered to the bloodstream, which is where it interacts with the natural systems inside the body.
When you ingest any product orally, its active ingredients are absorbed via the digestive system.
If we’re looking specifically at CBD oil, the CBD and other compounds are broken down in the stomach before the small intestine absorbs them and then sent through the portal vein directly to the liver.
It’s at the liver that having specific foods in your system becomes beneficial to the rate at which CBD is absorbed.
In the liver, a family of enzymes called cytochrome P450 (CYP450) act on the CBD, metabolizing compounds before they are distributed throughout the circulatory system.
During this process, what occurs is a process referred to as the first-pass metabolism, which breaks down CBD into more than 100 different metabolites, many of which are not used within the body and quickly excreted.
This process diminishes the concentration of CBD and therefore reduces its bioavailability. Thus, less CBD reaches your bloodstream due to the first-pass metabolism.
When you ingest CBD oil alongside certain types of foods, the loss of CBD concentration has limited impact because the foods help CBD to bypass the first-pass metabolism process. By mixing CBD with food, you can help ensure a more significant concentration of CBD is absorbed than when you use CBD on an empty stomach.
The ideal types of foods to eat with CBD oil must include medium and long-chain triglycerides, which are fatty acids.
These fatty acids serve as a potent binding agent for cannabinoids like CBD. They are quickly metabolized into energy by the liver, so the loss of CBD concentration through the first-pass metabolism is limited.
This process means that your body is able to burn fats and put them – and the CBD and other trace cannabinoids they hold – to use right immediately.
Long-chain fatty acids are those with 14 or more carbons. They’re found in most oils, fats, and certain foods, including:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Soybean oil
- Sesame oil
You can get creative and make your own DIY CBD edibles at home, ensuring you are using CBD with food
Hemp CBD oil has several active ingredients that need to be taken with food to increase their bioavailability.
Taking products that are CBD-infused on an empty stomach can diminish the bioavailability of these active ingredients. This is due to the effects of the first-pass metabolism which alters the structure of CBD and changes the compound into one of its metabolites.
A study on various CBD products that were absorbed sublingually initially, and then swallowed showed more positive effects in subjects that had eaten before consuming any supplements.
The results of this study show that bioavailability levels were four times higher when CBD was taken after food. That said, it was also revealed that food can cause a delay in the peak concentration of CBD found in the bloodstream by over two hours.
What Time Should You Take CBD?
While several cannabidiol users think the best time of day to consume CBD oil is before bed to improve their sleep, other users prefer to take it in the morning for increased energy. This can be confusing for some people: is CBD a sleep-aid or a stimulant?
The truth is, every person's endocannabinoid system responds differently to CBD, and, depending on what effects you're looking for, CBD can be taken at different times throughout the day and night.
Some people may find that CBD provides unbounded energy, while others might liken CBD to taking a melatonin supplement. The different effects could be related to dosage size, body composition, or when the CBD is taken.
Certain studies illustrate that CBD may improve sleep, whereas others suggest that CBD use promotes wakefulness. While contradictory at first glance, the two may not be mutually exclusive – CBD may utilize multiple systems that given the sleep-wake cycle.
Sometimes, the method of CBD delivery makes a considerable difference in your dosage, and this is especially true with the case for pain relief, which almost always needs immediate attention.
While transdermal assistance in the form of a topical ointment or cream is said to work quicker than most ingestible CBD products because it skips the digestive process, sublingual intake of CBD and other substances can accelerate how quickly the healing compounds are absorbed by the tissues beneath the tongue and enter the bloodstream.
If pain is impacting the quality of your sleep, you could try a higher dose before bedtime. Everybody is different. For most other forms of CBD, the body's efficient metabolism process breaks down the supplements molecules, meaning you end up waiting more and absorbing less product — unless you choose a product with high bioavailability, such as Enecta's premium CBD range.