“Take with food”
It’s a common direction on prescription medications because many substances are actually absorbed more easily with food. In other cases, medications can cause stomach irritation or nausea if they’re taken alone.
This has led many people to wonder about alternative methods like cannabidiol or CBD. With a host of health benefits, CBD has become a go-to for many people looking to enhance their well-being naturally. There are many ways to take CBD, from smoking and vaping to oral supplements and edibles. But should CBD be taken on an empty stomach?
A few recent studies suggest that taking CBD with food could be beneficial. Which foods enhance the effects of CBD? This guide looks at the factors involved, as well as the top contenders for maximizing CBD.
Foods and CBD: A Match Made in Heaven
Low rates of bioavailability have led researchers to ask how people can increase CBD effectiveness. Because CBD capsules and oils are so popular, it was only a matter of time before scientists have tried to maximize absorption rates. As a result, we’ve learned that taking CBD with certain foods can improve bioavailability.
One small study suggested that a high-fat meal increased blood levels of CBD by a factor of 14. Cannabinoids are fat-soluble, so the presence of fat may help CBD move into the bloodstream. However, the study did have its limitations.
To maximize absorption, try pairing your CBD with foods that are rich in healthy fats, such as:
- Olive or sesame oil
- MCT oil, or coconut oil, which can improve the bioavailability of CBD
- Emulsified fats, such as those found in chocolate or mayonnaise
Fats can also cross into the bloodstream through the mouth, speeding up absorption. And since they’re solids, edibles like gummies or cookies may beat out liquid CBD formulas. An easy fix is to add CBD oil to foods like oatmeal and smoothies.
The Gang’s All Here: The Entourage Effect
The so-called “entourage effect” refers to the benefits derived from consuming cannabis as a whole. Cannabis contains many cannabinoids and terpenes, which all work together to enhance the overall benefits of the cannabis plant. When you consume only CBD, you may miss out on some of the benefits.
Try pairing your CBD with terpenes, which are naturally occurring in herbs and foods besides cannabis. Research has pointed to a CBD “entourage effect,” where the terpenes enhance the effects of cannabinoids, and terpenes also have their own health benefits. Different terpenes have different effects, and researchers think this may explain the different effects of the many strains of cannabis.
One terpene, in particular, to look for is caryophyllene. This terpene acts independently on the CB2 receptor, which may enhance the effects of cannabinoids like CBD. It is naturally occurring in rosemary and hops.
There may be another reason to consider what’s on the plate when taking CBD. Cannabis sativa isn’t the only plant that contains cannabinoids. Many plants have low levels of cannabinoids.
A Different Kind of Munchies
A variety of terpene-rich herbs and spices could enhance CBD absorption rates. Look for foods with these herbs and spices or sprinkle them on a favorite dish:
- Black pepper
Taking a full-spectrum CBD oil, which includes terpenes in the plant, could also help.
Caffeine may speed up absorption since it moves quickly through the digestive system. CBD may hitch a ride, hitting the bloodstream sooner.
Get More with the Right Products
Taking CBD with a meal can increase bioavailability, but choosing the right products will make sure people get the most out of their CBD. These great products could boost bioavailability:
This high-quality oil is mixed with cold-pressed MCT oil to maximize CBD. Plus, with hints of grapefruit and lavender, it’s a tasty way to start the day.
Tinctures can be taken sublingually, which enhances bioavailability. This particular formula adds MCT oil, ginger, and turmeric for a blend that delivers the most CBD possible.
Papa & Barkley focuses on solvent-free extraction and the use of the whole plant, resulting in broad and full-spectrum CBD products that contain the entourage effect of terpenes and flavonoids.
If you’re looking for some quick relief, CBD flower is an excellent choice. Golden Redwood is a cross between Sour Tsunami and Cannatonic, two strains known for their potent CBD power. This strain also contains the terpene caryophyllene.
THC plays a role in the CBD entourage effect, interacting with both CBD and terpenes.
Papa & Barkley’s high-quality, organic CBD meets MCT oil in this high-CBD vegan capsule.
Cannabis, chocolate, and coffee are all rolled into one delightful treat from KIVA. These convenient beans have caffeine to speed absorption and chocolate to improve bioavailability.
Explore Your Options
Taking CBD oil orally is easy and convenient. Explore all the options for using cannabis by consulting with a medical marijuana doctor today.