When you shop for CBD oil online or read about CBD on blogs or user groups, you’re going to see fairly consistent instructions regarding how you should take CBD oil. Every website says essentially the same thing: that you should place a dropper of oil under your tongue and hold it there for at least 30 seconds before swallowing it.
The fact is, though, that holding oil under the tongue – particularly if the oil happens to taste a bit on the “hempy” side – isn’t necessarily everyone’s cup of tea. If you’ve tried using CBD oil sublingually and found that you simply didn’t enjoy it, then you’ve got one big question on your mind. Do you really need to hold CBD oil under your tongue – and what are the benefits of doing so?
What Are the Benefits of Taking CBD Oil Sublingually?
There are two reasons why CBD brands recommend that you hold CBD oil under your tongue.
Sublingual Administration of CBD Oil Bypasses the First-Pass Effect
To understand why CBD oil is typically administered sublingually, you need to become familiar with how the body processes drugs and supplements – anything with an active ingredient – that you take orally. When you swallow CBD, it travels from the digestive system to the liver, where a significant portion of it is metabolized before the rest of the CBD enters your general circulation. This phenomenon is the first-pass effect.
When you take a drug or supplement orally, anything that the liver metabolizes is wasted. However, an active ingredient taken through another route of administration – like CBD oil taken sublingually – skips the first-pass effect. In other words, if you hold CBD under your tongue, more of the CBD will reach your bloodstream than would be the case if you swallowed the same amount of CBD oil without holding it under your tongue.
Sublingual Administration of CBD Oil Promotes Quick Absorption
The other reason why people generally hold CBD oil under their tongues is because sublingual absorption of an active ingredient gets that ingredient into your system much more quickly. When you swallow CBD oil – or any drug or medication – it might take up to two hours for it to enter your general circulation. The exact time depends on the efficiency of your digestive system and how recently you’ve eaten.
When you hold CBD oil under your tongue, on the other hand, you’re absorbing it through an area with one of the highest concentrations of capillaries in your entire body. Most importantly, you’re absorbing the CBD through your sublingual artery. That’s close to the internal carotid artery, which supplies blood to the brain. If you want to take CBD in a way that allows it to become active in your bloodstream as quickly as possible, the sublingual route is bested only by inhalation.
Do You Really Need to Hold CBD Oil Under Your Tongue?
In case you haven’t already surmised from reading the above, it isn’t strictly necessary to hold CBD oil under your tongue if you don’t want to. You’ll lose the benefits of higher bioavailability and faster absorption that sublingual administration provides, but that’s not a tragedy if you use CBD oil for its other benefits, most notably price; CBD oil tends to cost less per milligram of the active ingredient than most other CBD products. It’s possible that you simply buy CBD oil for the lower price and don’t care about the fact that it’ll absorb more slowly if you don’t hold it under your tongue. If that’s the case, feel free to take CBD oil in the way that suits you best.
What if You Don’t Like the Taste of CBD Oil?
If you don’t like holding CBD oil under your tongue because you don’t care for the taste, you should experiment with different ways of taking the oil. Some people, for instance, enjoy drizzling CBD oil over their meals or mixing it with salad dressing. You might even try stirring it into your morning coffee. Try adding a dropper to your smoothies. When taking CBD oil with food, the only limit is your own creativity.
An important thing to remember about the flavor of CBD oil is that all CBD oil products do not taste the same. A major part of why some CBD oils taste so “hempy” is because of the waxes and other plant particles that end up in the final product. The extraction process can also strip hemp of its chlorophyll, which tastes quite bitter. Filtering the raw hemp oil removes much of the content that can affect the flavor of the oil in an undesirable way. Some CBD oil companies also put the oil through winterization, a process in which the hemp extract is mixed with alcohol and frozen. Bitter plant waxes clump together during the winterization process, making removal easy.
When it comes to making CBD oil taste as good as it possibly can, some companies, like New Orleans-based CBD brand Crescent Canna, go the extra mile to make their CBD oil taste delicious with all-natural flavorings and finely-tuned recipes that have been refined over years of product development. Their CBD oil’s delicate flavors mask the somewhat bitter natural flavor of CBD extract, while maintaining the highest potency and purity.
What Are Some CBD Oil Alternatives?
If you decide that you don’t enjoy CBD oil at all, there are several alternative forms of CBD that you might consider. Many companies make CBD gummies, which are perfect for people who want to find a tasty CBD oil alternative. In addition to the fact that they taste good, CBD gummies have the benefit of extremely consistent dosage. You know exactly how much CBD you’re getting per gummy, and you can adjust your dosage by changing the number of gummies you eat per day. If you’d prefer not to eat excess sugar, CBD capsules are also available. In that case, there’s no sugar and no flavor.