The first few times you enjoy CBD can be a bit intimidating. How often are you supposed to take it? How do you consume it? Can you take CBD on an empty CBD products are new to the masses and many don’t know how to tackle this new tool in the world of wellness. The subtleness of CBD is one of its strongest assets, but it may lead some to believe they are not feeling a difference with CBD use. The goal of CBD is to promote homeostasis, or internal balance. That’s why ou
Can I Take CBD on an Empty Stomach?
The first few times you enjoy CBD can be a bit intimidating. How often are you supposed to take it? How do you consume it? Can you take CBD on an empty stomach?
All of these questions are valid in terms of consuming CBD, especially if you’ve never tried it before. Today, we’re going to focus on CBD consumption, specifically, what happens if you take CBD on an empty stomach. With our busy and fast-paced lives, sometimes consuming supplements without food just happens. But how does this affect our bodies if it’s CBD we’re taking? Let’s find out.
Consuming CBD is super easy to do, especially with the many products that are available on the market today. You have the choice to enjoy CBD oils, CBD edibles, CBD beverages, CBD softgels, and so many more products, depending on your personal preference. Before we talk about how these products react when consumed without food, let’s quickly talk about CBD consumption in general. This way, you know exactly what’s going on that first time you put CBD in your belly.
How the CBD travels throughout the body depends on the type of cannabidiol product you’re consuming. For example, consuming some CBD oil sublingually is going to act quite differently than a CBD edible does. These results are because manufacturing processes vary from product to product.
CBD oils, when taken sublingually, get absorbed into the bloodstream through the tissue underneath the tongue. Basically, cannabinoids get a fast-track into your blood, able to start working almost immediately after consumption. Here, using the bloodstream, the cannabinoids travel to areas that require its support, and you begin to feel effects shortly after. This quick onset time is a big reason why so many people choose to opt for sublingual consumption methods.
If we have a CBD edible, on the other hand, the process will be much slower. Just like with your food, your body has to digest the cannabidiol before it can get to work. So, after consumption, you must wait for your body to fully process the infused treat you ate. Once it digests, the cannabinoids will be absorbed by the liver and then travel throughout the bloodstream and do their duties. Thus, being patient with edible CBD products is absolutely crucial.
Unfortunately, some people misunderstand the onset time of effects. This causes them to consume more CBD than they may have liked, as the CBD just hadn’t kicked in by the time they finished another dose. Overconsumption is a good way to get your stomach feeling upset, so make sure to always give the CBD some time to work. When you do this, it allows your body to adjust to the new substances inside.
Is CBD Safe to Consume?
Sometimes, the thought of consuming a new substance like CBD can feel a little strange. A lot of people are left wondering if CBD is safe for us to consume in the first place! Thankfully, yes, CBD is safe for consumption.
In general, CBD is regarded as safe in the health and wellness sphere. The cannabinoid comes directly from a plant that, typically, doesn’t have any psychoactive or harmful properties. In 2018, the federal government legalized hemp for cultivation and production after seeing such benefits (and low risk) from the plant itself. Thus, hemp-derived CBD is also legal and considered safe for consumption.
Interestingly enough, CBD consumption tends to be safe for people of all ages. The elderly population has discovered serious support from CBD products, while parents of children who have incurable conditions see miraculous results from giving their kiddos cannabidiol. People from all sides of the spectrum can safely consume CBD — you just have to make sure you’re consuming responsibly.
As we mentioned above, overconsumption of CBD is usually when you see stomach upset or undesirable results. So, while CBD is definitely safe to consume, it doesn’t entirely come without adverse side effects. Though some people may never find any problems with CBD consumption, others may discover mild upset with too large of a dose. That’s why you always start as low as possible with a dosage and then make your way up as your body adjusts. Simply take your time.
What Happens if You Take CBD on an Empty Stomach?
If you’ve taken CBD on an empty stomach, don’t panic — nothing all that awful is going to happen. However, you may find yourself feeling a bit less comfortable than expected. Why? Because CBD acts best when consumed alongside a full belly.
When consuming CBD, as we mentioned, there’s a digestion process involved. Because the CBD has to be metabolised in the liver before releasing its properties (when taken orally), your stomach should have food already inside. When you take CBD with a bit of food, it makes it much easier for your stomach to break down and digest the cannabinoids, and less of the potency is lost by the time it reaches the liver. If you think about it, CBD works extra-hard in the body to give you the support it needs; having some just gives your body a bit of help, too.
So, what happens if you take CBD on an empty stomach? Thankfully, nothing too major.
When you take your dose of CBD without eating anything else, your stomach is going to struggle to digest the CBD oil. Along the same lines, your liver will also struggle to absorb the CBD. These factors combined make it extremely challenging for your body to digest correctly, likely leaving you to feel a little bit nauseous. In fact, it’s quite common for consumers to get a bit of stomach ache after consuming CBD on an empty stomach. Feeling queasy, having stomach cramps, and even vomiting have all been reported after CBD consumption without food.
However, just because you shouldn’t take your CBD on an empty stomach doesn’t mean you should take CBD with just anything. Adding CBD to a stomach full of high-sugar and high-starch foods will also likely affect the process, leaving you feeling a bit uneasy as well. This is because CBD acts best alongside healthy fats (hence why your CBD oils pair with coconut oils, typically) and even certain complex carbs. When they interact with these more nutritious foods, the cannabinoid can break down easier, react better, and leave your stomach feeling a whole lot more at ease.
If you take CBD on an empty stomach, nothing drastic will occur, and for some people, the body may act best without food in the belly. Some find taking their dose of CBD first thing in the morning is the best way to experience the full effects without anything in the stomach. But for others, that’s the exact route to a stomachache.
Typically, we do suggest taking CBD with food. If you find that this simply isn’t working for your digestive system, then try taking your dose of CBD on an empty stomach. After all, CBD is just as unique as you are.
Counteracting Uncomfortable Side Effects
Even though consuming CBD on an empty stomach can result in a few uncomfortable side effects, these side effects are quite easily combated.
In general, the side effects of CBD are pretty mild and can be prevented or treated through the use of everyday activities. If you consume too much CBD and find yourself feeling fatigued, nauseous, or dizzy, take the time to eat a nice meal. Eating a balanced (somewhat nutritious) meal can sometimes be exactly what your body needs to get itself back on track. This can especially be efficacious if your stomach is upset due to a lack of food. Make a quick snack, eat it slowly, and let your body decompress just a bit.
If eating a meal isn’t enough to remedy these uncomfortable side effects, try sipping on some water or tea. Again, these everyday choices can do wonders for your mind and body, easing the kind of imbalance you’re going through.
As a whole, you want to be cognizant about what you’re putting in your body during this time of discomfort. Of course, it was likely the lack of food in the first place that’s causing you to feel pain or nausea! So, turn to a small, healthy snack to try to give your body what it’s asking for. If your stomach is upset from CBD, don’t turn to some fried chicken or a cheeseburger from McDonald’s. Instead, eat a granola bar, some nuts, or even fish if you have it. Trust us: your body will thank you!
The most important thing to remember when experiencing this stomach upset is that it won’t last forever. The effects of CBD are only temporary, and they don’t last very long whatsoever. As long as you’re actively making choices to benefit your mind and body, you should be just fine.
Different Types of CBD Have Different Reactions
The last thing we will discuss regarding CBD consumption is the different types of CBD products. Primarily, we’ve been focusing on the effects of CBD oil, either taken sublingually or orally. However, if you have a CBD edible that contains a good amount of healthy fats, there’s a good chance you won’t have to consume any food alongside these types of products.
As you can imagine, CBD edibles are a kind of product made to be consumed. They are foods and snacks that companies have infused with varying amounts of CBD to make them productive and potent. Some people may find that consuming a small CBD edible on an empty stomach might cause a bit of upset, but this usually isn’t the case. CBD edibles are one of the few CBD products that most people can safely consume any time of day — whether you’ve eaten already or not. And, again, this is because they’re food products themselves!
Other products, like CBD capsules and tinctures, don’t have the luxury of coming with such sustenance. Thus, it becomes a lot more crucial for you to consume those forms of CBD alongside some food, as it gives the cannabinoids the buffer they need.
However, if you’ve never tried CBD before and you want to see how edibles do, we do suggest eating your edible after having a small snack. This way, you’re giving your body a chance to absorb the new substance just a little bit better.
CBD Consumption Conclusions
So, what have we learned about CBD consumption? Primarily, you want to make sure you’re consuming your lovely CBD products with a bit of food in the stomach. Though consuming CBD on an empty stomach isn’t going to kill you, it can cause some severe discomfort that no one deserves to go through. When you take the time to ensure your belly is (somewhat) full of healthy fats and complex carbs, your CBD products can work flawlessly.
Don’t be too intimidated by consuming CBD. Just like most medications, supplements, or vitamins, CBD may cause just slight stomach upset — that’s all. This mild discomfort is easily combated and tends to go away quite quickly. But, if you find that your stomach reacts this way every time you try CBD, that may be a sign that CBD simply isn’t for you. If that’s the case, contact your health care practitioner to discuss other options you may have.
Not Feeling a Difference With CBD Use? These Reasons Might Be Why
CBD products are new to the masses and many don’t know how to tackle this new tool in the world of wellness. The subtleness of CBD is one of its strongest assets, but it may lead some to believe they are not feeling a difference with CBD use .
The goal of CBD is to promote homeostasis, or internal balance. That’s why our CBD is non-psychoactive and comes without intoxicating side effects. However, there may be many other reasons why you are not feeling a difference with your CBD use. Read up to see if any of these tricks can help you feel the optimal benefits of CBD that you long for.
How CBD Works
To get a clearer understanding as to why you might not be feeling the effects of CBD, it’s good to have solid foundational knowledge of CBD.
The human body is lined with cannabinoid receptors. These receptors gauge the environment that is brewing throughout different areas of your body. This includes your skin, your brain and your gut.
There are many ways to consume CBD. However, they all fall into the following categories.
Oral supplementation includes CBD tinctures. You can take tinctures directly by mouth or you can add the liquid to food or drinks.
Using a CBD tincture or CBD vape pen are the quickest ways to enjoy CBD’s effects. With that being said, you will also burn through the cannabinoids faster.
As for edibles, most effects happen through the digestive tract.
When you consume edibles, your body must break down the solid material surrounding the CBD. Whether it’s a brownie or a gummy bear, you won’t feel the effects until the CBD oxidizes into the bloodstream.
With that being said, you don’t digest a full edible immediately. While the effects may take a while to kick in, they will last longer than a tincture. In the same breath, your stomach acids may destroy some of the cannabinoids. This comes with the territory of eating. The nutrients in a salad have the same struggle. Therefore, edibles may not pack as intense of a punch as a CBD tincture.
Digestive CBD products aren’t just edibles. They also include CBD softgels. Instead of food surrounding the cannabinoids, you get a capsule. Capsules are not as dense as an edible, so you will most likely feel the effects sooner with CBD softgels than eating food infused with CBD.
Remember how we said your body was lined with cannabinoid receptors? The largest organ boasts a hoard of them. In fact, studies find that the skin has its own endocannabinoid system.
Skin is very porous and yet we try masking those pores with makeup and other harsh chemicals. Well, we shouldn’t. This porous surface soaks up everything we put on it, including CBD. You can apply CBD salve to muscles after a workout or try a CBD serum to promote a healthy complexion!
While it takes a bit longer than a CBD tincture, the effects will come quicker than the digestive method.
Now that you have a solid foundation on the workings of CBD products, let’s figure out some of the reasons you may not be feeling the benefits of CBD.
Get Out of Your Head
One reason you might not be feeling anything is that you’re thinking too much about it. While many understand CBD doesn’t get you high, there’s still a cognitive correlation to the other cannabis plant that does. Many who are new to CBD expect to feel this great sense of euphoria. That’s not what CBD is meant to do.
In fact, if you are feeling a bit light-headed, then you probably consumed too much CBD. Don’t fret. There have been no medical instances of a CBD overdose that required hospitalization or ended in death.
Check Your CBD Serving
In uncharted waters like CBD, many say start slow. That’s a great idea. Just as you dye one strand of hair first before dyeing the whole head, you need to test the waters with cannabinoids.
With that said, our livers are pretty solid and you can most likely metabolize low servings of CBD with ease without feeling the effects. After you see how you feel after one tincture dropper or one piece of CBD chocolate, up the ante. Once you feel the effects you desire, you’ll know it. Trust your body. It knows more than you do!
Don’t Consume CBD on an Empty Stomach
Any time you take a supplement, you should have a little something in your stomach. Your stomach acids are extremely potent. If the first thing your CBD comes into contact with is stomach acid, the cannabinoids won’t stand much of a chance.
By having a slight bite to eat, you create a raft on your stomach acids. That way, the CBD in the edible/CBD-laden saliva/softgel you consumed has something to land on.
As your acids break down the solid material, the CBD is free to oxidize. That means the compounds within the CBD dissipate into the contained atmosphere that is your body. From there, CBD will bind onto receptors throughout your system.
Consume CBD with Healthy Fat and Complex Carbs
Sure, you shouldn’t take CBD on an empty stomach. However, you shouldn’t take it on a stomach full of sugary, starchy or fried foods either. Ideally, you should consume CBD with healthy fat and complex carbs.
CBD to fat is like a moth to light. Fat soaks up CBD. This makes a nice little cocoon for the cannabinoids as the fat flops into your stomach acid reservoir. With that being said, you don’t want a big, fatty steak that will clog up your system.
Instead, consume fats that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These are found in lean proteins, seeds and legumes. What’s great is that you can find omega-rich foods that will work at any time of the day. Try consuming CBD with foods such as:
- Hemp seeds/hemp oil
- Flax seeds (ground)
- Free-range chicken eggs
- Free-range chicken
- Chia seeds
- Organic coconut oil
- Organic extra-virgin olive oil
To ride the wave of effects even longer, be sure to eat some complex carbs. These are fibers that your body takes a long time to digest, which means they will create a blockade in your system that allows the CBD more time to oxidize.
Now, blockade might sound scary, but complex carbs are okay. Consuming complex carbohydrates strengthens beneficial bacteria that help you better absorb nutrients.
Some of the best complex carbs to have with CBD include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Steel cut oatmeal
- Whole wheat pasta
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat bread
Complex carbs are preferred over starchy ones like white rice and potatoes because they are packed with micronutrients. When your beneficial bacteria break down these foods, they release a multitude of phytochemicals into your system.
These benefits will be further enhanced by CBD. Studies have shown that broad or full spectrum CBD has an entourage effect — when it’s in the presence of other phytochemicals, it gives their benefits a boost.
You Haven’t Tried Long Enough
Rome wasn’t built in a day! Nothing in this world is a cure-all and most things take time to work.
CBD has been getting so much mainstream attention that many are expecting mountains to be moved within one use. Not to mention, those who are new to the concept still have the marijuana stigma looming in the back of their minds. Consumers have a tendency to envision the instantaneous high that comes with the other cannabis plant. These preconceived notions are a natural storm of unreachable expectations.
Are You Using Low Quality?
Perfumes have cheap rip-offs in gas stations. “Healthy” granola bars are laden with sugars and artificial ingredients. When something strikes it big, there are bound to be imitations. CBD is the new belle of the ball in the world of wellness. While still in its infancy, subpar products are already popping up. Don’t fall for the scam.
CBD products are not currently well regulated, so you’re going to want to do your due diligence when selecting CBD products. Make sure you opt for a brand that offers either “full spectrum” or “broad spectrum hemp oil.”
This means many of the 100+ unique phytochemicals in hemp are present in the product. That sets the entourage effect into motion. By using a higher quality CBD product, you are getting a load of benefits that go beyond just CBD.
Lastly, you want to make sure the company you are buying from is using strict farming methods. Pesticides are synthetic chemicals — that means they have reactions with everything they come into contact with. When you’re adding synthetic ingredients into the mix, they do nothing but dilute the overall potency.
That’s why you need to opt for a brand like Joy Organics. Not only do we use hemp grown by U.S. farmers, but we also test the purity of each formula through a third-party laboratory. In the CBD world, transparency is important. Otherwise, you might not feel the desired effects of your CBD products.
If you’re still unsure why you aren’t feeling a difference after using CBD products, feel free to contact us so we can talk through it.
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Hannah Smith is Joy Organics Director of Communications. She is driven by her passion for providing clear and accessible wellness and CBD education. In 2015, she received her BA in Media, Culture and the Arts from The King’s College in New York City and before Joy Organics, worked as writer and photographer in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Vice, Vox, Denver Post, and the Coloradoan.