Should CBD Be Taken On An Empty Stomach
This is a good question that has a secret answer.
Better yet, an answer with a big benefit to people who use CBD and their wallets.
We have to dig down into how CBD is processed and look at its effects on the gut.
The star of the show is the liver so we'll need to explain its role as well.
These are the topics we'll cover:
- How CBD is processed
- CBD and the liver after a meal
- How to boost absorption by 4x's
- Can CBD be taken on an empty stomach
- CBD and GI issues like nausea and constipation
- A quick note on the type of CBD and stomachs
Let's get started!
How CBD is processed
Many supplements and medications need to break down into something else to affect the body or brain.
Some substances have their effects directly without going through this transformation.
CBD is such a substance.
CBD can cross the blood-brain barrier and be absorbed into the bloodstream via the stomach, albeit not in significant amounts.
It's a hostile environment down there and a great deal of CBD gets lost on the way to the bloodstream.
The major roadblock to CBD and most medications for that matter is the liver.
This directly affects whether we should take CBD on an empty stomach or not.
Let's go there now.
CBD and the liver after a meal
The liver is frantically breaking down almost everything you ingest.
It's the great protector and cleaning crew for our digestive tract.
That's why alcohol, NSAIDs, and other substances can damage the liver with time.
This directly affects CBD as it is primarily processed in the liver.
In fact, there's a very common pathway called p450 which processes CBD and almost 60% of medications.
The more available the liver is for breaking down CBD, the less CBD will actually get through.
Our goal then becomes this….how do we keep the liver busy so more CBD can get through?
Simple. Full stomachs. Preferably your fattiest meal.
If your liver is busy processing food and fats (which are very intensive), more CBD can get through.
There's only limited ability in a given pathway (such as p450 above).
The rule is thumb is to take CBD after a meal preferably.
Does that mean you can't take it on an empty stomach?
Let's go there now.
Can CBD be taken on an empty stomach?
Yes. You can take CBD on an empty stomach.
In fact, many people take it before sleep or even in the middle of the night if they wake up.
We have issued a big caveat here.
We're talking about CBD isolate. CBD by itself...usually with a clean base oil like MCT or coconut oil.
We can't speak for full-spectrum CBD as many people have GI issues or responses from all the plant material in that mixture.
Here's the deal that most people don't know.
Roughly 40-60% of the population has histamine (allergy) issues.
This number goes up as we get older and for women (dropping progesterone is at fault).
Many people have bad reactions to full-spectrum CBD on an empty stomach which goes away with CBD isolate.
That's why we focus on isolate. Originally, the founder tried 3-4 of the biggest brands that all push full-spectrum and had terrible reactions.
Reactions that went away with CBD isolate.
Check out why at our CBD isolate versus full spectrum review.
Maybe more importantly, all the research is on CBD isolate so that guides our focus.
This can affect stomach issues with CBD on an empty stomach.
Next up, a way to boost absorption by 4x's before we even get to an empty stomach.
How to boost absorption by 4x's
We covered this in detail here but a quick review.
There's a gland right under your tongue called the sublingual gland (literally..under the tongue).
When you hold CBD there up to 60 seconds, research shows this can increase the amount that can get into the blood (our goal after all) by four times.
You can then swallow from there whether your stomach is empty or not.
This is important since cost is the flipside of absorption.
If we can increase bioavailability (the amount that gets into the blood) by 4x's, we're essentially cutting the cost by 75%!
We price our CBD at 2-3 cents per mg before discounts up to 30% but any boost helps!
What about CBD and gut issues in general?
CBD and GI issues like nausea and constipation
Again, we can't speak for full-spectrum CBD since histamine responses can definitely cause GI issues.
CBD by itself, however, is showing interesting promise for a host of gut issues.
We've covered just a few here:
There is positive research along a range of stomach issues including nausea, motility (bowel movement), and gut inflammation.
The inflammatory range of stomach diseases are especially promising.
We'll cover them all in-depth when we wrap with mental health and addiction.
Two conditions we have to mention for CBD on empty stomachs.
A quick note on the type of CBD and stomachs
Many people worry about taking CBD on an empty stomach because they feel discomfort, indigestion, or nausea.
Again, we only see this with full-spectrum due to the plant materials and histamine response.
If you read our reviews, you'll see many people see bad side effects go away when they switch to isolate.
Remember, the role of histamine in the body is to get bad things out….FAST!
It's intimately tied to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and any other "get out fast" stomach reaction.
We haven't seen any issues or research with CBD issues on an empty stomach.
Then there are just bad products.
Unfortunately, the CBD market is rife with bogus products. Even harmful product.
Being a nutritional supplement, it's not regulated after all.
This is why 3rd party testing is so important.
We actually test our oils twice for this reason.
We don't even trust the FDA registered farm and processor.
Another separate testing is requested on the finished product from us.
Our entire family takes it so we don't mess around.
If your stomach is empty or not, we want a really clean product.
The following are mandatory:
- Organically grown at an FDA registered farm in the USA
- CO2 processed (much cleaner process)
- 3rd party tested (we test twice - two different labs - ProVerde and 360Analytics)
- No THC - many people are allergic to THC actually
- No Pesticides
- No Heavy Metals
- No Solvents
- No Bacteria
- No Mold
If a brand doesn't publish its 3rd party testing and make it readily available (top right corner on every page for us), run...don't walk.
This is a bare minimum in our opinion.
Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!
The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.