If you’re somewhat new to CBD then you may have begun seeing the word “sublingual.” While it’s a somewhat fancy word, it just describes a simple process of administrating CBD oil tincture.
Sublingual is a common term that describes the best way to consume CBD oil. The process only has a few steps and if you follow these steps you should feel the effects of the CBD relatively quickly, and for a longer period of time.
Prior to digging into how sublingual CBD oil work, CBD School wants to establish a better foundation for your CBD knowledge.
What is CBD Oil?
READ: What is CBD (Cannabidiol)?
CBD oil comes in a tincture bottle which is one of the more common CBD products on the market. The CBD, or cannabidiol, is extracted from the hemp plant, and it is then infused with a carrier oil to produce CBD oil.
Some brands will add additional ingredients to the CBD oil to either target a specific condition that the CBD oil is meant to assist with, like adding melatonin to a CBD oil that is produced to assist someone with sleeping issues, or sometimes a brand will add a natural or artificial flavor to the process so the CBD oil has a more desirable flavor, like mint.
How Does Sublingual CBD Oil Work?
As mentioned above sublingual administration refers to the process of consuming CBD (or a drug or supplement) by placing the CBD under your tongue and allowing the oil to be absorbed.
Underneath your tongue, the ventral (underbelly) surface is a membrane called the sublingual mucosa.
This membrane allows whatever is absorbed to “bypasses the first-pass metabolism and hence facilitates rapid absorption of the drug into the systemic circulation.”1
By bypassing the first-pass metabolism the CBD not only is able to retain a higher concentration of its benefits, but it also has a quicker time of reaching the systemic circulation using blood vessels.
Steps for Taking CBD Sublingually
Consuming CBD sublingually is rather easy if you follow these steps:
First, figure out how much CBD dosage is right for you. The common CBD dose is between .15mg – .25mg of bodyweight.Once you’ve determined how much CBD oil is right for you, squeeze the top of the dropper when the tip is submerged in the CBD oil tincture bottle.Place the tip of the dropper under your tongue and squeeze the top of the dropper allowing the CBD oil to empty under your tongue. You’ll find that there is a small pocket under your tongue where the CBD oil will remain. Allow the CBD oil to absorb into the membrane attempting to refrain from swallowing the oil.Wait between 1 to 2 minutes while the CBD oil absorbs under your tongue. When you feel the CBD oil has mostly been absorbed you can swallow.Once you have completed these steps you can drink or eat freely, the CBD oil has now been absorbed and you should feel the effects as quickly as 15-minutes.
Why Taking CBD Under the Tongue is Beneficial
Consuming CBD oil sublingually has a few benefits to consuming CBD in a mixed drink or directly swallowing the CBD from the dropper.
Quicker CBD Effects
Due to first-pass metabolism, CBD doesn’t have to follow the common tract that food does. The CBD oil is pretty much going straight into your bloodstream since it is bypassing the GI Tract and liver.
Since the CBD oil is going straight into your bloodstream the bioavailability rate increases quite significantly. Any time a substance is eaten and makes its way to the liver, the substance is broken down which decreases its bioavailability and strips many of the substance (in this case CBD) health benefits that it is providing you with.
Longer CBD Effects
Due to the CBD oil going directly into your bloodstream, the CBD will hang out in your body longer which will provide you with the benefits for a longer period of time.
Is it OK to Swallow?
If you have accidentally swallowed some of the CBD oil that is being absorbed do not worry as the CBD will still find its way into your bloodstream. However, you will lose some bioavailability, and the possible beneficial effects may take a bit longer.
It’s inevitable that some of the CBD oil will be swallowed, so relax everything is ok.
Side Effects of CBD
DISCOVER: Side Effects of Using CBD
While CBD is relatively harmless, there are a few potential mild symptoms that you may feel after consuming CBD.
According to the Mayo Clinic, CBD may possibly cause these side effects:2
Dry mouthDiarrheaReduced AppetiteDrowsiness or fatigue
Due to these side effects, it is always best to speak with your doctor prior to consuming CBD. CBD also can have a drug interaction with medication, so again, speak with your doctor to ensure nothing negative may occur when you consume CBD.
Consuming CBD oil tincture is one of the best ways of getting CBD into your body. Not only is the bioavailability rate one of the highest amongst CBD products, but the CBD remains in your system the longest when taking CBD this way.
When you add taking CBD sublingually all of these facts increase which has the potential to give you a better CBD experience.
Sublingual consumption is pretty easy and straightforward, just follow the above steps.
While CBD has the potential for mild side effects, you should be aware of these, and it’s best to speak with your doctor prior to beginning a CBD regimen.
1Tekade, R. K. (2018). Dosage Form Design Considerations (Vol. 1). Academic Press, an imprint of Elsevier.
2Brent A. Bauer, M. D. (2020, December 18). CBD: Safe and effective? Mayo Clinic. Retrieved August 4, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and-effective/faq-20446700