It’s an all too common problem we hear about these days; people spend a good chunk of money for a high-quality, lab-verified CBD oil hoping for (and expecting) immediate therapeutic results, but after a few hours, well… they don’t really “feel” anything.
What happened? Were they duped? Was the product a scam? Did it even contain any CBD in it at all?
Given the unregulated nature of the CBD market, these are all possibilities. In fact, a recent scientific investigation reported that up to 70% of online CBD oils and other CBD products were mislabeled in terms of the amount of CBD that was listed on the bottle.
| “CBD oil not working for you? Try some of these techniques to enhance the body’s response to the active compound.”
However, before you go blaming the company for manufacturing a bogus product with no CBD in it, bear in mind that the active cannabidiol compound can be a tricky one to deliver to the body’s cells. In this article, we discuss a few ways to potentially “increase your CBD uptake,” with the ultimate goal of maximizing the cannabis-based compound’s therapeutic effects.
Background info: CBD, bioavailability, and drug metabolism
Before we jump right into techniques for maximizing the effects of CBD, let’s take a brief look at how the compound is actually administered in the body, so that you can better understand the reasoning behind the following suggestions.
First, it’s important to understand that CBD is a fat-soluble compound, rather than a water-soluble one. Over millions of years of evolution, human cells have been ‘designed’ to digest mostly water-based substances. As such, when we introduce fat-based substances (like CBD), it can have a trickier time trying to “unlock” the chemical and nutritive benefits of the compound.
DID YOU KNOW: CBD is a fat-soluble compound, meaning the body much more readily absorbs it when infused in a high-fat carrier oil?
As you’ll see, several of our recommendations for maximizing the effects of CBD include incorporating some form of lipid (fat) content in order to increase cellular uptake. However, bear in mind that we are not clinical professionals or nutritional experts, so none of the following advice should be taken as medical fact or be mistaken as a clinical recommendation!
Tips and tricks for enhancing the effects of CBD
1) Read the directions!
So this might sound a bit obvious and we apologize in advance if we are insulting your intelligence here, but PLEASE don’t forget to read the dosage instructions on the bottle before you consume your CBD!
This is especially true if you are taking oral (under the tongue) CBD oil, as it’s crucial to hold the oil below the tongue for at least 30 seconds before swallowing. The sublingual area is loaded with salivary glands and capillaries, and this gives the body ample time to absorb the CBD compound into the bloodstream for transport to areas throughout the body.
You would not believe how many people just rip open the box, squirt a dropper full of oil into their mouth and swallow, and then are bummed out when they don’t notice any effects. What’s likely happening here is the oil is just “sliding” down the esophagus, down into the gut, and then on to the liver to be processed for urinary excretion. You need to give your body time to absorb the active compound.
2) Look for full-spectrum CBD products (instead of pure CBD isolate)
This is a very important tip for maximizing the effects of CBD, as most all experts agree that full-spectrum tinctures are much more effective than 100% pure CBD isolate.
| “Most experts agree that full-spectrum cannabis tinctures are much more effective than 100% pure CBD isolate…”
What’s meant by “full-spectrum,” you might be wondering? Full-spectrum simply means that all of the active cannabis compounds are included in the oil, rather than just the CBD by itself. Cannabis is loaded with hundreds of phytocannabinoids and dozens of different terpenes, and scientific investigations have shown that the therapeutic properties of the plant are much more potent when all of these compounds are working together, rather than by themselves.
3) Combine with melatonin
This is a decent tip to keep in mind for people trying to use CBD for insomnia or other sleep issues.
Melatonin is a natural hormone secreted by the body’s pineal gland that, among other things, is known to help regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Several reputable companies are now combining cannabidiol with melatonin in products like nighttime CBD sleep syrups, so this may be a good idea to try if you’ve been using CBD for help sleeping, with little effect.
4) Don’t forget about ‘regular’ weed!
Ok so we’re not advocating for your to get high here, but as we mentioned above, the active compounds in cannabis (including CBD) are known to be much more effective when taken together, rather than fractionated off as “pure” CBD isolates.
THC often gets a bad reputation because it’s the compound that gets us high, but the simple reality is that it likely plays a crucial part in all aspects of cannabis-based therapy.
| “In other words, the therapeutic effects of CBD are no doubt magnified in the presence of THC.”
Of course, most legal hemp-based CBD oils contain virtually no THC. If you’re finding that CBD hemp oil is having no effect on you, it may be worth it to try a whole-plant marijuana-based product that has higher levels of THC in it — that is, of course, if you live in a legalized state and have access to legal marijuana.
5) Go medical… and get your MMJ card!
If you live in one of the 41 states where weed is not available recreationally, however, it may be worth it to consider getting a medical marijuana card so you have access to legal, licensed dispensaries.
31 out of 50 states now have approved MMJ programs, and once you have a valid MMJ card, you will have access to CBD cannabis oils that contain higher CBD-to-THC ratios. Again, most experts would agree that these marijuana-based products are much more effective than hemp-based CBD products, which have virtually no detectable amounts of THC.
6) Make a CBD ‘super’ coffee!
So this tip is a little more “abstract,” but some users swear by adding CBD oil to something called a ‘super’ coffee.
Basically, super coffee is coffee that contains healthy added saturated fats – including things like organic grass-fed cow butter and palm oil. By adding CBD oil to your coffee along with these saturated fats, it’s assumed that the high lipid content will help “pick up” the active cannabidiol, in which case it will be more efficiently delivered to the bloodstream — and ultimately, to the appropriate areas of the body for an enhanced therapeutic response.
This definitely isn’t a scientifically proven method, but it’s certainly something worth checking out if you’ve been getting frustrated with your CBD oil’s effects (or lack thereof).
7) Try CBD liposomes
This is a relatively newly-introduced concept, but a few companies – including industry kingpin Elixinol – have recently come out with a product called “CBD liposomes” to enhance the molecular bioavailability of orally-ingested CBD.
Liposomes have been around in the medical world for ages, and are basically little capsules – or “pockets” – of fat that encapsulate lipid-soluble drugs. By encapsulating the active compound in lipid pockets, the idea is that the gut will be able to absorb the chemical components much more easily, and thus increase the availability of the CBD for the cell and tissue systems that actually need it.
| “By encapsulating CBD in a lipid pocket, the idea is that the gut will be able to absorb the chemical component and increase the bioavailability of the active compound.”
[Check out a much more in-depth description of CBD liposomes and how they work in this article].
Final Thoughts on How to Maximize the Effects of CBD
Well, that does it! Hopefully this article has provided a few helpful – and practical – tips for maximizing the therapeutic effects of your CBD. After all, we all know how frustrating it is to spend your hard-earned money on something, only to find out that it doesn’t work in the way you were expecting it to.
That being said, keep in mind that these are only suggestions – they should not be taken as clinical advice, or as a guarantee that your CBD oil will start to work better!
[Have any additional comments, questions, or concerns? Feel free to share your thoughts below!]