New Study Shows High-Fat Foods Increase CBD Absorption and Bioavailability

As more research continues to emerge on cannabis and its effects on our bodies, the question of CBD absorption and effectiveness is also being studied in tandem.  As with any vitamin or supplement, it doesn’t matter how much you take if it’s not being absorbed and properly utilized by your body.

If you’re brand new to CBD, start by reading out Beginner’s Guide to CBD.

Many supplements and medications specify whether to take it with food or while fasted. The research on CBD is still in its infancy so there has not been a generally adopted principal on whether or not to take CBD with food when ingesting it orally.

CBD Absorption Rate

CBD is highly lipophilic, which means it is more soluble in fat than in aqueous solutions. For this reason, CBD is usually contained within a carrier oil (MCT oil, grape seed oil, hemp seed oil, etc.), which has been shown to provide some “protection” for the CBD and aid in its absorption rate while it travels through the digestive system.

Going one step further, a new study by the University of Minnesota tested whether consuming CBD on an empty stomach vs taking it with food has different effects in patients. 

The study also examined whether the type of food has any importance on CBD’s efficacy. The results show that CBD absorption is more effective and bioavailability increases when consumed with high fat meal.

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Methodology of measuring CBD Absorption Rate

The research team measured CBD concentrations in epileptic patients who took pure 99% CBD isolate capsules. One group took CBD on an empty stomach while a second group took CBD with a high fat (840-860 calories) breakfast.  Researchers drew blood after two weeks and compared the results, then the two groups switched and researchers continued to monitor the results.  

The Results

The study concluded that consuming CBD with high fat food increased the amount of CBD absorption in the body by 4X vs the group that took CBD while fasted, and the maximum amount recorded in the participants’ blood was 14X.

For patients with epilepsy, consistency is key, so patients should strive to take CBD in the same manner for each dose, not to cause variations in blood concentrations, which could make them more susceptible to seizures.

For the average consumer taking CBD for conditions such as pain, anxiety or insomnia, you may want to maximize its effectiveness by taking CBD with food, especially foods high in healthy fats, like olive oil and avocados.


Key Takeaways

  • CBD absorption is increased when it is taken with high fat foods.
  • By optimizing CBD absorption rate with high fat foods, you may be able to reduce the amount of CBD required to be effective, thus lowering the cost of taking CBD.
  • Try and be consistent with the way you take CBD (fasted or with high fat foods) in order to achieve consistent results.
  • We advise healthy fats such as olive oil and avocados, vs unhealthy fats such as fried foods and trans fats.

Online Searches for CBD Surpasses Nearly All Other Alternative Health Searches

CBD, short for “cannabidiol”, is the non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant and has surged in popularity in recent years due to its therapeutic properties. CBD is available nearly everywhere and sold in oils, lotions, capsules and edibles, among other formats.

A new study shows that Google searches for CBD has more than doubled each year for the past 3 years as more and more Americans are looking for information on CBD and hemp or are interested in buying CBD products.

If you’re brand new to CBD, we suggest starting with our Beginner’s Guide to CBD.

CBD in the Spotlight

A recent Forbes article has reported that CBD searches are more popular than Kanye West, Taylor Swift, the Beatles and even Jesus!

According to the new study by JAMA Network Open, led by UC San Diego health scientists, as many as 6.4 million Americans are Googling CBD every month, eclipsing most other alternative health topics.

The team analyzed Google searches for either “CBD” or “cannabidiol” in the US from Jan 2004 through April 2019, and have projected the results through Dec 2019.  The growth in searches grew 125% in 2017, 160% in 2018, and is forecasted to grow by 180% or more in 2019.

“CBD has become insanely popular” said Dr. John W. Ayers, co-author of the study.  “Three years ago, there was essentially no one searching about CBD online, but now there are an estimated 6.4 million unique searches each month.”

The team also compared searches for CBD to other health related topics and found that CBD searches eclipsed those for acupuncture, meditation, vaccinations, exercise and veganism.

The only other search topics that CBD has not caught up with are yoga and diet, but it may just be a matter of time as the popularity of CBD does not seem to be slowing down.

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A Word of Caution

Some are touting CBD as a panacea, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support CBD’s effectiveness for conditions such as pain, anxiety, insomnia, skin conditions and neurological disorders, but much more research is required.

While there are little to no side effects reported for CBD, there may be potential drug interactions that the public needs to be aware of.  Likewise, as CBD’s popularity continues to soar, there will be a need for more regulation in order to promote public safety, including testing standards and labeling guidelines.

The FDA has been cracking down on unfounded claims that hemp CBD can treat conditions or diseases.  They’ve issued several warning letters to companies who are claiming that CBD can treat conditions like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Another caution is that consumers need to do their due diligence on who they are purchasing CBD products from. Several reports and studies have determined a large portion of CBD products on the market were mislabeled with inaccurate potencies or questionable ingredients.

Tessera Naturals is committed to leading the charge for transparency in an exciting, yet unregulated industry.  We are passionate about educating consumers and clarifying many of the misconceptions and wild claims around CBD.  We continue to keep our thumb on the pulse of the ever-changing issues surrounding CBD and hemp and will provide updates and articles as new research and information surfaces.

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Is CBD Oil Legal?

One of the biggest confusions consumers have is whether CBD oil is legal or not. Unfortunately, it’s not a straight forward yes or no answer. Furthermore, things are changing rapidly across the country, making it even harder to keep up with the current status at any given time.

CBD oil has been steadily gaining popularity due to the many therapeutic benefits it is able to provide without causing intoxication. For people looking to enjoy the health benefits of the cannabis plant without getting high, CBD oils would be a prime choice. 

However, even though CBD is not psychoactive like THC, it would be incorrect to assume that it is entirely legal under United States law. Overall, the precise legality of CBD products is a very complicated issue. Let’s shed some light on the current, often murky, laws regarding CBD.

Cannabis/Marijuana Laws

Since CBD is a constituent of the cannabis plant, we must first review the laws referring to cannabis and marijuana. Although marijuana has been classified as a Schedule I substance since 1970, individual states have since instituted their own laws on its recreational and medicinal use. 

In ten states–Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington–cannabis is legal both for medical and recreational use. In these states, cannabis products can be easily purchased by those who are of legal age, either online or at dispensaries.

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In addition to the ten states where marijuana is completely legal, 23 states allow for medicinal marijuana use. In 12 other states, marijuana is still illegal. Some states have also “decriminalized” marijuana, and similar legislation has been passed eliminating criminal penalties for CBD.

As an aside, federal law supersedes state laws according to the Supremacy Clause, but the federal government and the DEA rarely interfere with matters involving marijuana/cannabis use.

CBD-Specific Laws

Although some states place restrictions on marijuana use, CBD is often allowed under certain rules and regulations. In some cases, CBD is the only accepted form of legal cannabis.

In states such as Texas, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Kansas, CBD oil made from hemp or with less than .03% THC is legal. In Ohio, only CBD oils sold from licensed dispensaries are considered legal.

In states such as Wyoming, South Carolina, and Mississippi, CBD products are typically only authorized for patients with treatment resistant epilepsy, as long as they contain less than the legal limit of THC. In Virginia and Wisconsin, CBD can be used to treat any condition as long as it is approved by a physician or doctor. In South Dakota, the only form of CBD allowed is the FDA-approved drug Epidiolex. 

If you are looking into any CBD products, it would be wise to review your state’s specific laws on CBD.

The 2018 Farm Bill

The passing of the Farm Bill in late 2018 was a big step forward for CBD. With this bill, hemp, its derivatives, and THC contained in hemp were all removed from the Controlled Substances Act. The bill also made hemp and hemp-derived products legal for sale, transport, or possession, albeit under several regulations and restrictions. Hemp cannot contain more than .03% THC, and can only be grown by licensed cultivators who must discard any cannabis plants exceeding this limit. 

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Although the Farm Bill legalizes hemp on the federal level, it doesn’t make all forms of CBD legal. CBD and other cannabinoids are only considered legal if they are produced in compliance with the Farm Bill, and if not, they are still considered to be a Schedule I substance. Therefore, CBD produced derived from marijuana or by an unlicensed hemp grower will still be illegal. While the Farm Bill marked an important step in the legalization process, additional legislation must be passed before CBD is truly legal. 

Why Does CBD Oil Have Such a Confusing Legal Status?

CBD is non-intoxicating, non-addictive, has scientifically-backed health benefits, and is even accepted as a sole source of medicinal marijuana–so why is its legality so complicated?

One of the main issues is due to confusion over classifying CBD as a health supplement or a medicine. According to the FDA, any product intended to have a therapeutic or medical use is a drug. Many CBD products are marketed as health supplements, but are still used by people with serious conditions as a primary method of treatment, which also makes it a medicine. CBD is not psychoactive like THC-based products, so it has additional viability as a medicine, but its manner of use is still interchangeable.

It is also important to note that CBD products have a history of being mislabeled. If the contents of a CBD oil product are not verified by a third party lab, it’s possible that it could contain potentially dangerous additives or more than the legal amount of THC. A lack of FDA regulation makes it impossible to make sure that all CBD oil products are quality, additive-free, and in accordance with the Farm Bill, which is why its legal status remains complicated.

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CBD Oil’s Future Legality

Even though CBD oil is technically not fully legal in the United States, recent trends suggest that full legalization could be coming soon. The complete legalization of CBD oil will require better regulation of CBD products by the FDA, more research on CBD’s effects in humans and animals, and increased awareness by legislators. The 2018 Farm Bill could allow researchers to more readily access CBD for studies, which might hasten the legalization process.  

A likely scenario in which CBD oil is legalized will be if specific standards for its preparation are approved by the FDA and DEA. This way, the contents of CBD oils would be verifiable. In addition, there’s also the potential that CBD will be rescheduled under the Controlled Substances Act, while cannabis as a whole remains the same. Given that THC is currently listed on its own as a controlled substance, it’s reasonable to assume that CBD and other cannabinoids could be rescheduled independently.


Key Takeaways

  • Hemp-derived CBD oil containing less than .03% THC is legal under federal law.
  • Most CBD oil is also legal at the state level, but many have strict rules and regulations on its use.
  • The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp, its derivatives, and THC contained in hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, but it did not necessarily make CBD entirely legal on the federal level. 
  • Better regulation of CBD products and additional research will help CBD become fully legal.

BREAKING NEWS: New research says CBD may possibly be used as an antibiotic.

Is CBD an antibiotic? A new preliminary study says yes, which would have huge implications across the world.

CBD (cannabidiol) a non-psychoactive chemical compound found in cannabis is being investigated for a number of medical conditions including, anxiety, pain and inflammation with limited side effects. While the research is still emerging on CBD’s ability to kill a wide range of bacteria including staph and strep, work led by Dr Mark Blaskovich at The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Centre for Superbug Solutions found that CBD was successful in killing a wide range of Gram-positive bacteria.

“Given cannabidiol’s documented anti-inflammatory effects, existing safety profile in humans, it is a promising new potential antibiotic worth further investigation,” said Dr. Blaskovich. “The combination of inherent antimicrobial activity and the potential to reduce damage caused by the inflammatory response to infections is particularly attractive.”

Can CBD Be the Answer for Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria?

Most remarkably, the CBD retained its activity against certain strains of bacteria that typically become resistant to other traditional antibiotics. According to the CDC, more than 2 million people in the US get an antibiotic-resistant infection each year, and at least 23,000 of them die as a result. In fact, the bacteria studied were not able to form resistance to the CBD at all.

Blaskovich says that they’re not entirely sure exactly how the CBD is effective against bacteria, and states that it may be a “completely new mechanism of action”.  More research on CBD for antibiotic resistant infections needs to be done, but this research is definitely groundbreaking, and provides much hope for the future of infectious medicine.

The project was co-funded by Botanix and Innovation Connections, an Australian government grant scheme to commercialize new products, processes and services. The paper was presented on June 23, 2019 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco during the annual conference of the American Society for Microbiology.

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