When to consume CBD – As CBD product demand rises, so does the need for accurate information about this chemical compound. Notably, the FDA does not recognize CBD as a therapeutic agent (except Epidiolex) and does not provide CBD consumption guidelines. As such, much of the information we have comes from existing CBD research, anecdotal claims, and good ol’ trial and error.
This can make it difficult to determine exactly when to consume CBD; there are too many variables to answer that definitively. For example, age, gender, activity level, BMI, and even hormone levels can all alter CBD’s effectiveness and overall Endocannabinoid System functioning. Bearing this in mind, we’d like to discuss exactly when to consume CBD based on these factors and the intended goal of CBD consumption.
But first, let’s take a look at CBD in the body.
CBD in the Body
Before discussing when to consume CBD, we must first understand what CBD is and how it works within the body. To be clear, CBD is a phytocannabinoid that mimics endocannabinoid activity. Endocannabinoids, which the body produces on-demand to minimize stress, help regulate things like emotions, sleep cycles, pain, inflammation, bone development, and more.
Researchers suggest that ingesting CBD, whether orally or topically, may help stimulate endocannabinoid production and absorption. In doing, CBD could theoretically boost Endocannabinoid System functioning to improve problems associated with sleep, mood, pain, swelling, and so on. However, CBD’s ability to address these problems largely depends on things like consumption method, dose, and frequency.
Understanding CBD Bioavailability
Bioavailability refers to the degree at which a compound absorbs into the bloodstream and remains active. Importantly, bioavailability differs by consumption method, which also alters dose, frequency, and active duration. For example, if someone swallows a compound (like CBD), then that compound must pass through the digestive tract before it activates in the bloodstream.
Researchers estimate that swallowing CBD burns over 90% of the ingested cannabinoid, resulting in a bioavailability of about 6% digested CBD on average. However, CBD plasma levels also seem to increase when consumed alongside food. Notably, CBD that absorbs via the digestive tract also stays active in the bloodstream longer compared to other consumption methods.
On the other hand, if someone were to apply that same CBD product under the tongue, it could absorb directly into the bloodstream through the mucosal membrane that lines the mouth. This second consumption method, sublingual absorption, has a higher bioavailability (up to 35%) and reaches the bloodstream quicker. In other words, sublingual absorption requires lower doses and a shorter wait time. Of course, the effects are more short-lived, as well. Remember: always consider how long a substance will be active when choosing when to consume CBD.
The third form of oral CBD consumption, inhalation, boasts exceptionally high bioavailability, but may also come with certain complications. For example, smoking CBD could introduce unwanted toxins into the lungs whereas vaped CBD products could cause airway abrasion, especially if consumed at high temperatures.
When to Consume CBD; Topical Absorption
Topical CBD absorbs into the body without necessarily passing into the bloodstream. This makes topical CBD ideal for localized relief, especially when combined with special enhancers that improve skin permeability. Notably, topically applied CBD has a relatively low bioavailability because it never actually reaches the bloodstream. However, it does have a higher absorption rate because it absorbs into local receptors. As such, topical CBD products may be a good solution for those more sensitive to ingested products.
Important Considerations About When to Consume CBD
Understanding CBD bioavailability is integral to determining the proper dose and frequency. Notably, the same product’s bioavailability will differ based on the consumption method. Consequently, knowing when to consume CBD will also differ based on the preferred consumption methods.
For example, you can consume oil-based CBD products either under the tongue (sublingually) or by adding it to food or beverage (swallowed and metabolized). If absorbed sublingually, the product will absorb faster but remain active for a shorter period. If swallowed, it will take longer for the product to take effect, but the effects will generally last longer, too.
What’s more, swallowed CBD generally requires higher concentrations for the same effect as sublingual administration. However, consuming fatty foods like nuts or avocados could improve metabolic cannabinoid absorption. Essentially, the fat-loving cannabinoid hops a ride on these healthy lipids to absorb easier and more efficiently into the bloodstream. As such, you should always consider mealtimes when determining when to consume CBD for best results.
When to Consume CBD Based on Intent
As a non-intoxicating substance, CBD is safe to consume any time of day. The substance itself is not either invigorating or sleep-inducing, it simply reduces stressors that could cause disturbances in these areas. As such, the best time to consume CBD largely depends on your intended use and the corresponding products you choose. If you want help sleeping, consuming CBD capsules 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime could, indeed, be beneficial. If you seek quick relief, sublingually applied tinctures are a better bet, which you can consume virtually any time as CBD has relatively low toxicity. Finally, if you just want your achy shoulder to chill out for a while, as-needed topical CBD lotions and balms are an excellent solution.
Please note: CBD can interact with other medications to alter their effectiveness. Please consult your physician to decide when to consume CBD.
Why Product Quality Matters
With thousands of different brands, products, and formulas on the market, CBD product consistency can be a difficult find. Brands that sell inconsistent products deliver inconsistent results, which can negatively affect when to consume CBD. As such, you should always buy with quality, predictable CBD sellers, preferably those with a background in healthcare to ensure that your health is their top priority.
Buy Doc’s Oils or Schedule a Consultation
Doc’s Oils is more than just a great CBD brand, we are a team of cannabis enthusiasts and healthcare advocates headed by our Chiropractor founder, Doc. We focus on your health and well-being because that’s what we love. We also understand hemp’s amazing potential and work hard to advocate for its role in our holistic health.
Whether you’re wondering when to consume CBD, in the market for doctor-backed CBD products, or just want to learn how to improve your holistic health, we can help. Shop online or schedule a consultation today!
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