CBD and food: What you must know!

Many different types of advice exist when it comes to the best way of taking CBD (oil). One says on an empty stomach, or at least 15 minutes before or after you have eaten. Preferably dripping directly on or under the tongue and keeping it in your mouth for a while is also common advice. But are these the best ways to take CBD, or can they be much more effective? Yes, they can!

CBD and nutrition: What are the facts?

1. Our bloodstream

In order to maximize the effect of cannabidiol (CBD), we use oil tinctures because as much of it as possible of the active CBD must reach our bloodstream. Because your mucous membranes only absorb a limited amount of CBD oil, only a small part of the dose actually reaches the bloodstream.

Some experts claim that you will have to keep the oil on, or under your tongue longer than advised: at least 100 seconds. Furthermore, the CBD that is swallowed still has a long way to go via the stomach to the liver, where the phenomenon occurs what they call the first-pass effect.

How can we optimize the absorption? By ingestion with certain types of food!

2. The first-pass effect

In medical terms, first-pass metabolism or presystemic metabolism is defined as the rapid uptake and metabolism of an active compound into inactive compounds by the liver, immediately after enteric absorption and before it reaches the systemic circulation.


Here’s what this means. If you were to take an aspirin pill for a headache, it would go through your gastrointestinal system, through the portal vein, wind up in your liver, and then enter your bloodstream, after which it would relieve your pain. At every step of the digestive process, some amount of the active ingredient in aspirin would be lost, especially in the liver. Even though most tissues can metabolize drugs, the liver is the frontrunner in the process. The process by which a drug’s concentration is reduced in the liver is called ‘biotransformation’. The oral bioavailability (the amount of a substance that makes it to one’s bloodstream) of aspirin is 68%. Essentially, if you took 100mg of aspirin, 68mg would make its way to your bloodstream.

3. CBD and Food: Eat healthier

Here we are not talking about dishes stacked with CBD, but about taking your CBD with or while you are eating. By doing this you may be able to significantly improve the absorption of CBD into the bloodstream.

It is important that you fit the intake schedule of the CBD oil into your diet or vice versa. In addition to toppings, herbs, and sauces, the CBD oil will now also be on the table.

Why it is so effective?

Taking CBD oil with certain types of food can improve the bioavailability of the supplement. Bioavailability is the degree and rate at which a substance, in this case, CBD is absorbed and delivered into the bloodstream, where it can act on our body’s own cannabinoid system.

When you take a supplement orally, the active ingredients are absorbed by the digestive system. If we look specifically at CBD oil, the CBD and other compounds are first broken down in the stomach before being absorbed by the small intestine and then sent via the portal vein directly to your liver. It is important for the absorption into the liver that CBD is ingested with certain foods, which is very beneficial for the rate of absorption.

The liver

In the liver, a ‘family’ of enzymes called cytochrome P450 (CYP450) acts on CBD, metabolizing the compounds before they are dispersed through the bloodstream. During this process, there is the first-pass effect, which breaks down CBD into more than 100 different metabolites, many of which are not used by the body and are quickly excreted. This reduces the concentration of the CBD oil and therefore reduces its bioavailability. In short, CBD is less likely to reach the bloodstream.

When you use CBD oil with certain types of food, the loss of concentration has a limited impact because the food CBD helps to bypass the first-pass effect. By taking CBD oil with certain foods, you can ensure that a greater concentration of CBD is absorbed by the body.

4. CBD and Food: Powder versus oils

So taking CBD supplements with your food could be very beneficial. But what about the sort of product to use? To answer those questions we should think beyond the traditional tinctures and edibles. While you can use traditional oils to mix with your food, there are many reasons why it makes more sense to add our water-soluble patented CBD Powder capsules.

The difference between CBD Oil and CBD powder

CBD Powder from The Real CBD CBD oil
 52-fold bio-availability enhancement relative to cannabinoid-rich CBD Oil low permeability across the gut epithelial tissue
No smell and taste Medium, skunky odor. Unflavored CBD oil can have an earthy taste
100% water soluble (ideal for shakes and soups Not water soluble
Safe for humans and animals Safe for humans and animals
More versatile and easier to take Limited ways of administration
Easy to carry Breakable when travelling

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The most ideal foods

When you choose to take CBD oil or CBD powder (PREFERRED METHOD!) with food from now on, it is important to use the right products for this. The best types are the so-called triglycerides fatty acids. These fatty acids serve as a perfect binding agent for cannabinoids such as CBD and are directly converted into energy by the liver. As a result, the loss of CBD concentration is less. Your body gets the chance to burn the fats and use the CBD and other traces of cannabinoids directly. Medium-chain fatty acids have six to ten carbon atoms, long-chain fatty acids fourteen or more. They are found in most fats, oils, and certain foods.


Below is a list of foods that are particularly suitable for taking CBD oil with you:

  • Cold-pressed coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Oily fish
  • Avocado
  • Meat
  • Eggs

You can literally add your dose of CBD oil to a bite of food. The fats in these foods encapsulate the CBD, as it were so that it will pass through the digestive tract intact.

5. Research on Cannabidiol and food: What do the experts say?

New findings show that ingesting CBD with food may cause the dust to bypass the first-pass effect. And that increases bioavailability. However, do not take our words for granted; we are going to take a closer look at the research in question.

Recently, researchers from the University of Nottingham confirmed the beneficial effects of taking CBD with fatty acids. Research showed that the simultaneous use of CBD with long-chain triglycerides bypasses the first-pass effect, allowing significantly more CBD to be absorbed by the body.

Another study by a separate team of researchers found that the bioavailability of a cannabinoid product was four times higher when taken during meals. Enough reasons, then, to look at whether this method of ingestion improves the effect of CBD oil, right?

But research does not stop there!

The University of Minnesota published a study in which the researchers examined the influence of food on CBD in “adults with therapy-resistant epilepsy”. Eight people who had all previously been prescribed CBD for their seizures were given “one dose of 99% pure CBD capsules”. They were instructed to take it “both fasting (no breakfast) and with food (high in fat; 840-860 calories)”. To measure the amount of CBD in the bloodstream, the urine level was recorded immediately after ingestion and a few days later.

The results showed that the amount of CBD recorded in the body was four times higher on a fatty diet than on an empty stomach. Although this is a small research group, our knowledge of the absorption rate of fats and oils confirms these findings.

Should I take CBD with my food?

As far as we know now, there is a good reason for taking CBD with food. To understand why your body probably takes cannabidiol better with food, we explain two concepts. The first is bioavailability and the second is the first-pass effect. Bioavailability is “the percentage of a medicine or other drug that is made available to the body and is then effective”. In layman’s terms, it is the quantity and rate at which CBD enters the bloodstream.

It is crucial to ensure that bioavailability is as high as possible. The lower it is, the more of a substance you need for the same effects as a higher bioavailability alternative. If we can improve the bioavailability of CBD by something as simple as food, then that is something small with potentially big results.

That brings us to the second important concept – the first-pass effect. Orally administered CBD has relatively low bioavailability (low absorption rate and not the entire substance reaches our bloodstream). This is because it first has to pass through the digestive enzymes before it reaches the liver. And that takes time.

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