CBD Dosing Schedule

CBD Dosing Schedule

by, Tracey Roizman, DC

How and When to Take CBD for Optimal Results

One of the most appealing things about supplementing with CBD for many health-conscious people is that CBD works with the body’s inherent systems of maintenance, repair, and regeneration to promote health naturally. And, as a consumer, once you’ve done your due diligence, sorted through all the information, and finally arrived at the conclusion that a particular food or supplement would be a great addition to your healthy eating lifestyle or daily supplement routine you want to know that you’re going to get the most out of your valuable investment of time, energy, and, of course, money. This is true for CBD as for any other nutritional supplement and even more so if you choose a full spectrum CBD oil that contains a wide array of naturally-occurring beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, and other bioactive molecules.

By following a couple of simple guidelines for how and when to take CBD supplements you can optimize how much CBD your body absorbs to ensure you’re getting the most out of each dose and every milligram. And, you’ll be more likely to experience its benefits on multiple levels of health and wellness, as have so many people have through the years in time-honored herbal traditions.

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Taking CBD With Food

Fats Transport Fats

In its naturally occurring state, CBD is fat soluble. When you take CBD by itself, absorption, i.e. transport through the lining of the intestine into the circulation, is very inefficient, with some studies reporting less than 10% absorption. This is because the environment of the digestive tract is predominantly watery and hydrophilic, or water-loving, so, as a result, water-soluble nutrients are generally more rapidly and efficiently absorbed while fat-soluble nutrients are slower on the uptake.

Dose With Meals

The simplest (and most enjoyable) way to optimize CBD absorption is to take your CBD along with food that contains healthy fats. In laboratory animal studies, when CBD was consumed together with additional fat absorption increased by 300%. And, since the digestive process in humans is similar in this respect, researchers expect a corresponding effect in humans. The way this works is that during the digestive process fats are formed into particles known as chylomicrons (CMs). CMs contain protein molecules on their surfaces that have a strong affinity for CBD. The CBD and other fat-soluble cannabinoid molecules simply attach to the CMs and are absorbed along with them.

Bypass the Liver

An added advantage of taking CBD with fat-containing foods is that CMs enter the circulation by being absorbed directly into the lymphatic division of the circulatory system rather than the bloodstream. This system initially bypasses the liver where CBD is broken down. As a result, more CBD is made available for use by the endocannabinoid system for longer periods of time before ultimately being broken down. And while small amounts of CBD may be absorbed directly into the bloodstream, when it is consumed with fats, concentrations of CBD in the lymph have been found to be 250 times higher than in the bloodstream. 

Increased Digestion Time

Taking CBD with a meal can further improve how much CBD you absorb because the presence of food slows digestion and transit time, allowing your digestive system more time to dissolve, disperse and ultimately assimilate a greater proportion of the CBD.


The Right Amount

Studies show that the amounts of fat needed to optimize CBD absorption can be easily obtained in an average meal so there’s no need to eat more fatty foods or switch to a high-fat diet to get the most out of your CBD supplements. What about combining CBD supplements such as capsules or full spectrum CBD oil with extra oil to promote absorption and thereby make it possible to take CBD between meals, you might ask? The jury is still out on that, but in a human study, CBD absorption was relatively low when participants took CBD in capsules that contained additional dietary oil, on an empty stomach. So, for now, it appears that the digestive process that occurs during a meal has a greater activating effect on lymphatic system producing greater CBD absorption.




Dietary fats and pharmaceutical lipid excipients increase systemic exposure to orally administered cannabis and cannabis-based medicines


Oral administration of cannabis with lipids leads to high levels of cannabinoids in the intestinal lymphatic system and prominent immunomodulation.

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