At CBD Supply Maryland, we are often asked when should you take CBD? It is a reasonable question because like other products you may take, it is most effective when it becomes part of a daily regimen. The answer though to when should you take CBD isn’t as simple as one sizes fits all for everyone. There will be different factors for each person as to when you should take it. This blog is going to walk through what CBD is and help you determine when might the best time be for you to take CBD.

Follow Instructions

A recent study by Gallup found that 14% of Americans say they use CBD. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you realize that number is nearly 46 million people or about the population of the entire country of Spain you begin to understand the shear amount of use in our country. So, it is understandable that many are asking when you should take CBD.

Here is the best answer. Follow the instructions on the label of the product that you are taking. Most CBD oil or other CBD products will have labeling or instructions that talks about what the serving size is of the product and how much is recommended to take. However, most labels fail to specify if you should take it before or after eating. Without being able to tell from the product’s instructions when you should take the CBD, you may not be getting the most efficient and intense effects that you could.

When Should You Take CBD?

Ok so the next question we are often asked is should you take CBD with food or without. Well the answer is it is best not to take it on an empty stomach or before a meal. Some companies will have instructions on their packing that recommends taking CBD with food, but it doesn’t really specify whether you should take before you eat your meal or after you have food.

The simple answer is you should take it after your meal. To understand why this is the case we need to talk about what bioavailability is and how CBD absorption is affected by bioavailability.

What Is Bioavailability?

CBD bioavailability is the percentage of CBD that is absorbed into the bloodstream. This is important because the more you absorb into the bloodstream, the more potent the effect. Bioavailability is mainly determined by the type of product you take and how you take it. However, there are a few other factors and ways you can increase CBD bioavailability and its therapeutic effects.

Bioavailability When Swallowed

CBD has different bioavailability based upon the different ways you take it. When you take an edible like a gummy, candy, drink, soft gel, or capsule it must be processed through your digestive system. This means that it ultimately needs to make its way through your stomach, intestines, and liver. Unfortunately, some CBD is broken down when it is ingested.

The bioavailability of ingested CBD is roughly 13-19%. This means that if you swallow 20mg of pure CBD on an empty stomach, sometimes less than 3mg of it will make it into your blood and have an effect.

Bioavailability When Taken Sublingually

When you take CBD sublingually it means that you are placing it under the tongue and allowing it to absorb in the sublingual glands in your mouth. Typically, you would take a CBD oil this way. Generally, taking it in this way allows for a greater amount of bioavailability than when you ingest CBD. This is because it does not have to go through your digestive system and liver, which can break down some of the CBD

When you take it sublingually, it has slightly more bioavailability 20-30% which is more than swallowed CBD at 13-19%. This is because it’s a quicker and more direct route to the bloodstream.

Why You Shouldn’t Take CBD On An Empty Stomach

When you take CBD on an empty stomach it forces it to go through your stomach and digestive tract and through the liver to take an effect. Unfortunately, the liver enzymes greatly diminish the bioavailability.  Taking it after a meal, especially in the morning, is likely to save you product and money over time, because you’ll be using less to get the same results.

This is the case because your body has the highest bioavailability after a meal, when our pores are opened, and the digestive system has started to function from eating. After a meal food is already digesting, so swallowing a CBD edible or even an oil after it has been under your tongue on a full stomach will increase your chances at getting the most relief possible.

How Does Food Help?

Taking CBD with food is no different than when you take other medications. You will often see many medicines say to take with food or after you have eaten. CBD is no different. A study published in 2013 found that the bioavailability of CBD was affected by certain foods. First, the study found that the bioavailability  was four times higher with a meal than without a meal. Research also indicates that the bioavailability is better when consuming fatty acids.

Foods that are rich in long-chain and medium chain fatty acids are most recommended to eat alongside or before CBD. These types of fatty cells can bind the cannabinoids, making them far easier to metabolize in the liver. This allows for fuller and more beneficial effects of the CBD.

When Is The Best Time To Take CBD?

While there isn’t one best time for CBD there may be sometimes that are better than others. Of course, the best time to take it is after a meal, but is there a better time to take the product during the day? The answer is it depends on what the product is being used for. If you are taking it multiple times of day, then there really isn’t one best time other than after a meal.

If you take CBD only once a day either in a pill, capsule, or edible form, then we typically recommend taking it in the morning. This is to allow it to have its pain, inflammation, and anxiety relief work for you throughout the day. Of course, when you take it in the morning remember to do so after you have had food.


As you can see it can be very helpful to take CBD after you eat if you are taking it in an ingestible form. Even when using an oil, it isn’t a bad idea to have food in your stomach as you typically swallow the oil after you have allowed it to sit under your tongue. Making these small adjustments in your routine can help increase the effectiveness of your product greatly and can ultimately effect how well your product absorbs in your body.