BBC Food Taking CBD oil under the tongue is the most effective way to get the most out of your CBD drops. Discover the benefits of taking CBD oil under the tongue.
Why are people eating CBD and will it get me high?
Cannabidiol, or as it’s better known CBD, is a legal cannabinoid (chemicals found in cannabis) and can be sold in the UK .
It’s not the psychoactive cannabinoid that gets you high, called THC. Instead it’s a product believed by its high-street users to have medicinal properties, such as relaxation and pain-, nausea- and anxiety-relief, although studies are not conclusive.
So why are we increasingly seeing CBD-labelled coffees, cakes and croissants in shops, cafes and restaurants all over the UK?
What is it doing in food?
CBD is normally sold in combination with a base oil, such as olive or coconut, as a supplement, vape, gel to be applied to the skin and more recently, in food and drink.
“Businesses have picked up on growing public awareness and have been promoting their products online, in high-street retailers and increasingly in food and drink,” says Professor in Substance Use, Harry Sumnall, Liverpool John Moores University. We spoke to chefs at two restaurants who use CBD on their menus in completely different ways.
“CBD is actually hard to cook with. It has a disgusting taste”, says Greg Hanger, head chef at Kalifornia Kitchen in London, who has created an entire CBD afternoon tea . Greg pays attention to the type of oil that the CBD is mixed with, saying “coconut oil CBD is great in Thai cooking balanced with coriander, ginger and lime. Olive oil CBD is great for Middle Eastern foods like hummus or you could even mask the flavour with rosemary and put it in cheesy sauce or mashed potatoes .”
“CBD tends to work well in foods with a stronger, earthy taste, such as chocolate and coffee”, says Meg Greenacre, head chef at Erpingham House in Norwich. “I’ve been inspired by menus in London to create a delicious CBD brownie for our customers here. I was surprised that during taste tests, no one could tell which brownie the CBD was in and actually, most people thought it was the batch that did not contain it. I am looking into adding CBD to more sweet bakes such as nutty flapjacks and beetroot chocolate cake , which naturally have a deeper and richer flavour, complementing the earthy, almost bitter, taste and smell of CBD oil.
“When you cook with CBD, you have to be careful not to heat the mixture at too high a temperature”, advises Meg. A search on CBD websites brings up details of CBD evaporating and losing its ‘health’ properties past 160–180C, though “there is also little understanding of what happens to CBD when you cook it or add it to a drink”, says Professor Sumnall.
Is CBD a miracle cure?
“There is a greater public awareness of the potential therapeutic uses of medical cannabis and cannabinoids such as CBD, particularly in light of the UK government decision to permit some cannabis prescriptions in response to high-profile campaigns by the families of children affected by severe epilepsy,” says Professor Sumnall.
“The emerging UK CBD industry, inspired by the successes of the legal cannabis industry in the USA, has adopted a similar marketing strategy, and whilst the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency rules mean products can’t make direct health claims without going through formal licensing, the language of ‘wellbeing’ allows them to bypass regulation.
“But there is no good scientific evidence that these consumer products have any real benefits.
“Many of the CBD products available on the high street contain so little CBD that you would need to consume vast quantities to even approach some of the doses that are administered in clinical trials of medicines”, concludes Sumnall.
Coffees and cakes may contain between 5–10mg of CBD. But clinical trials administer doses of around 100–1,500mg per day, with medical supervison.
However, it is not clear whether it would be advisable to consume higher doses of CBD than is currently in these products. “I do worry that if people believe a small amount is good and it’s completely safe, they may believe a large amount is better, says Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and Clinical Director of Patient Info.”
“The problem we have is there hasn’t been enough research and we just don’t know”, Jarvis continues.
This is currently not a regulated market in the UK and so there are no rules on the quality, source, or content of CBD in these type of products, said Professor Sumnall. Michael Wight, Head of Food Safety Policy for The Food Standards Agency said, “We are not aware of any significant safety concerns related to CBD, but as part of the ‘novel foods’ authorisation process they do need to be evaluated for safety. We are continuing to actively monitor food safety aspects of CBD. If we find credible evidence to say that CBD extracts in general, or specific products containing CBD, risk harm to the public, they will be removed from sale.”
How To Take CBD Oil For The Best Results
Taking CBD oil under the tongue (sublingually) is the best way to allow the CBD oil molecules to absorb through the surrounding tissue into your bloodstream.
This will help your body to react to CBD oil in the most effective way possible, so you can get the most benefits in the shortest amount of time. Let’s discuss in more depth how to exactly take CBD oil under the tongue, and the benefits it brings to you.
How to Correctly Take CBD Oil Under the Tongue
Though the method of taking CBD sublingually is very specific, it’s also incredibly easy. CBD oil needs to be put under the tongue and held for at least 60 seconds to allow sufficient time for the molecules to diffuse across the epithelial cells.
It’s important to note that the substance must be held under the tongue as different areas of the mouth have different types of cells that might not be permeable enough for diffusion into the bloodstream.
This method remains the same whether you are taking CBD oils or tinctures as well as for different dosages. There is no correct dosage or best time of day to do this as it varies depending on the person and condition being treated.
We recommend holding the CBD under your tongue for up to 1 minute without swallowing.
Additionally, it’s advised not to take the CBD during or directly after a meal as some of the oil may absorb into the food particles and not into the bloodstream.
How Often Should You Take CBD Oil Under The Tongue?
Figuring out how often you should take CBD oil depends on the individual and relates to various factors such as body weight and severity of the condition.
Although it varies, most individuals take CBD oil sublingually once or twice a day, either in the morning or a few hours before bed, or both – though you are not limited to these times.
Speaking to a qualified nutritionist can help you figure out when best to take your CBD oil, according to the benefits you want to bring to your body.
3 Benefits of Taking CBD Oil Under The Tongue
1. Increased Bioavailability
Since sublingual application bypasses the metabolic process of digestion, far less of the raw CBD is lost. The term bioavailability refers to how much of a substance can be utilised by the body and differs depending on the method.
As for CBD products, the only method with higher bioavailability than sublingual is inhalation.
2. Faster to Take Effect
Similarly to increased bioavailability, bypassing the slow digestion process means that the effects of CBD tinctures taken sublingually can be experienced much faster. Whereas it can take upwards of 30 minutes to benefit from oral consumption of CBD, taking CBD oil sublingually can yield results in only a few minutes.
3. Ease of Use
Not having to prepare the product or inhale smoke and vapor makes sublingual application easier. Just place a few drops under your tongue, don’t swallow for a few minutes, and let your body do the rest.
Is Holding CBD Oil Under the Tongue Safe?
Yes. CBD oil is understood to be safe compared to most substances. Taking CBD oil sublingually doesn’t increase the risk of any CBD-related side effects compared to oral consumption.
Furthermore, CBD oil is not going to make you ‘high’ unless it includes THC. If you are taking a certified CBD oil product that contains no THC, you are not going to experience any side effects that are commonly associated with THC.
While a side effect of THC can make someone feel anxious, have an increased heart rate, slower reaction times, and memory loss, CBD oil alone can actually help you relax, getting a deeper night’s sleep, and being able to unwind.
Side Effects of Taking CBD Oil Orally and Sublingually
The potential side effects related to the sublingual application of CBD oil are mild and uncommon, though some people have reported the following:
- Slight numbness under the tongue
- Aversion to the texture of CBD oil
- Aversion to the taste of CBD tinctures
Sublingual CBD Myths Busted
Despite the low risk of mild side effects associated with CBD, there are some unfactual claims about certain supposed side effects that simply aren’t true. The most popular ones are:
CBD stains your teeth
This myth comes from the associations between smoking and stained teeth. Make no mistake, smoking tobacco products, and cannabis alike will definitely stain your teeth over time, but simply putting a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue will not turn your teeth yellow.
CBD makes your breath smell
This myth likely also comes from the associations between smoking and bad breath or potentially from the relatively unpleasant taste of CBD oil.
However, while bad breath is caused by odour-producing bacteria in the mouth, CBD has antibacterial properties that can actually aid bad breath.
If you’re still worried about the potential effect of CBD oil on your dental hygiene, simply take it before bed or in the morning and brush your teeth afterwards, as this will not impact the effectiveness of the product.
The Bottom Line
Taking CBD tinctures under the tongue is far more advantageous than oral consumption of tablets or oils. With its higher bioavailability and speed, while not presenting any higher risk of side effects, sublingual application is one of the best and most effective ways of taking CBD.
Before including CBD in your lifestyle, you should consult your doctor, especially if you are on other medications.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Happens if You Accidentally Swallow CBD Oil?
Accidentally swallowing the CBD oil won’t pose any risks to your body. However, once you swallow the substance, you are no longer taking it sublingually.
Instead, you are consuming it, which means that it will have to be metabolised through your digestive system before your body can utilise it. Although this isn’t dangerous, it does mean decreased bioavailability and slower onset of effects.
2. Should You Take CBD With Food or an Empty Stomach?
Since sublingual application bypasses the digestive system entirely, there’s no need to worry about taking it with food or on an empty stomach. Neither will change the results.
3. Can You Drink Water After Applying CBD Oil Under the Tongue?
Yes. After the total time is up, the process is complete, and the CBD has diffused into your bloodstream. Drinking water or eating food now won’t prevent the CBD from working, so you are free to do as you please.
However, you might want to give it a few more minutes before drinking any water just to ensure that your body manages to absorb as much CBD as possible.