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.
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 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.
- 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.