Want to Absorb More CBD? Put it Under Your Tongue
There seems to be more news every day about cannabidiol (CBD) and how it interacts with cell receptors in the body to create balance and support health. In fact, articles and studies on the potential health benefits of CBD seem to be popping up everywhere. But for CBD to work, it first needs to be adequately absorbed by the body. Thus, it’s important to know the best way to consume CBD so that it can be efficiently absorbed into the bloodstream, where it can go to work on the receptors in our endocannabinoid system (ECS) and flex its natural balancing muscles.
The most common way to consume CBD oil is orally, or through the mouth. In fact, there are myriad food and drink products hitting the market that contain CBD. Moreover, you may have heard or read about adding CBD oil to your morning coffee or other beverages to make taking it more convenient. But is eating or drinking CBD oil really the best way to absorb it? Not so much. Here’s why:
A Long Road to the Bloodstream
When CBD is ingested orally, it is absorbed and broken down by the digestive system. From the stomach, it goes to the liver where it is further metabolized (broken down) by enzymes before passing on what remains of the compounds into the bloodstream. The phenomenon of CBD being lost to the liver and gut is known as the first pass effect. So, while ingesting CBD orally may be the easiest method, it isn’t necessarily the most efficient.
The Sublingual Method (A Fancy Way to Say Putting it Under Your Tongue)
If CBD oil is held under the tongue for 60 to 90 seconds before being swallowed, the mucus membranes in the mouth absorb the compounds. This sublingual method allows CBD to completely bypass the digestive system and liver metabolism, so the compounds can avoid being broken down by enzymes and reach the bloodstream more quickly.
Other Methods: Inhalation and Topical Application
Inhaling CBD by vaporization “vaping” allows the compounds to be absorbed by the alveoli in the lungs, which are then transferred immediately to the bloodstream. So, sure, this a faster way to absorb CBD (compared to ingesting it orally), but this method comes with its own set of drawbacks. Many people can’t tolerate or don’t like inhaling foreign substances for one. Plus, coughing fits from inhaling too much or vaping at too hot of a temperature can be extremely detrimental to the lungs of someone suffering from a lung condition.
When CBD is applied topically to the skin, it never reaches the bloodstream, but it can be absorbed through the skin’s surface to interact with nearby cannabinoid receptors. The very nature of skin is to block things from entering your body, but if CBD salves and lotions are applied heavily enough, they can permeate the skin through the pores to have a potentially positive effect
How Long to Keep Hemp Oil Under Your Tongue
To our longtime partners, good friends, followers and anybody new to Green Lotus Hemp, “Welcome!” It’s a fine day, and the coffee smells fresh. We deal today with the often-discussed question, How long before swallowing? That is, more precisely, before swallowing Green Lotus Premium Hemp Oil Tinctures?
Under the Tongue: Green Lotus Hemp Responds
Sublingual, or under-the-tongue, administration is the second fastest and efficient method to deliver a substance, including the cannabinoids in hemp oil tinctures, into the human circulatory system. (Only injection via hypodermic needle is faster.) Sublingual pathways are part of a larger discussion of bioavailability, and we’ll be releasing a deep-dive blog post into bioavailability soon. There will be a lot of biochemistry and pharmacology. Keep checking in. For now, we’ll stick to good old, real-life advice.
Like most practices related to hemp oil, ordinary people have hashed out their own approaches to dosing and administration. It’s a personal thing. Yesterday, we ambushed virtually every member of the Green Lotus Hemp team and asked the same question, “How long do you keep hemp oil tinctures under your tongue before you swallow?” Each member agreed to go on the record. These are their responses:
Carlos, CEO, Co-Founder: “15 to 45 seconds”
Kassie, Sales Advocate: “30 seconds!”
Adam, VP of Sales: “I try for…15 to 30 seconds.”
Brandon, Sales Advocate: “30 seconds or more. I try to forget about it. The longer the better. I usually have to talk at some point.”
Tim, Customer Advocate: “Five seconds. I swallow it, but because of the oil’s viscosity, there is still a coating under my tongue, on my tongue and even in the back of my throat.”
Alayna, Customer Advocate: “Basically until I can’t stand it. 45 seconds? Until I have talk to someone.”
Brad, Sales Advocate: “I try for 30 seconds. That’s what I read.”
Alex Frias, Co-Founder: “I hold it for 30 seconds. If I have a bad headache, I’ll hold it in for 30 minutes. As long as I can.”
Clay, Brand Manager: “3 to 4 seconds.”
Joel, Marketing Director: “At least 30 seconds. I figure, the longer the better. Then you get to the point where the saliva starts building up.”
Myles, Operations: “As long as possible. Sometimes shorter, because if someone calls.”
Warren, Account Advocate: “I give mine away,” he said. “to my grandmother.” (He gives his free full spectrum hemp oil to his grandmother. What a saint!) “If you call me a saint in that article,” whispered Warren as he moved closer, his two pupils dark as obsidian, “You’d better expect a bolt of lighting.” To reinforce his point, Mr. Warren gestured in a way to mimic the explosive effect of a single bolt of lightning. “Pffshaaww!” he shouted, in triumph.
Analyzing the Results
Out of the 12 respondents, just two held in their tinctures for under 10 seconds, four held for between 10 and 30 seconds, and three held up to 45 seconds. A total of five respondents used similar phrases — “as long as possible,” “as long as I can” — to indicate a time much longer than 45 seconds.
The internet falls squarely on the side of the “greater than 45” group. Based on Google results, one minute is the ideal time, though it’s easy to imagine where a time like one minute comes from. It’s simple to remember and seems to make sense.
A review article from International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences sets some boundaries. Different drugs absorb at different speeds. For example, Glyceryl trinitrate, a heart drug, becomes active after just 1 to 2 minutes when absorbed sublingually. The article concludes more broadly that, in most sublingually administered drugs, “peak blood levels are reached somewhere in the range of 10 to 15 minutes.” Add this to the fact that the majority of the drugs mentioned in the Intl. Journal article are opioid analgesics, anxiolytics and antipsychotics, and that in some experimental models cannabinoids indirectly affect the signaling pathways linked with analgesic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic drugs, and we have some reason to think that different sublingual durations could lead to different outcomes. As far as we can tell, maximizing your “under tongue time” can only help.
Tincture-time: Sacred and Subversive
“Tincture-time” is your time; your time everyday to do something unexpected. It’s the part of your morning and evening routine where you set the agenda. Nothing is expected of you other than that which you expect of yourself. Inside tincture-time, you are free.
#1 – Buy a New Pillow. It’s hard to account for the reluctance, on the part of most of us, to purchase a superior pillow. We see the infomercials, we stare longingly at those fluffy beds in department stores, yet we refuse to take action. Log in to Amazon and buy the pillow with the best reviews. It should be expensive enough to make you feel guilty later.
#2 – Make an Origami Cat
If the process ends up taking longer than one or two minutes, do not panic. If you take your time, you’re likely to produce a higher-quality paper cat, while simultaneously benefitting from an increased blood level concentration of naturally occurring cannabinoids.
#3 – Do Nothing. Think of Nothing. Keep Your Eyes Open. Breathe. Politely decline the invitation to worry.
#4 – Look up “Unlikely Animal Friends” on YouTube. You’re welcome!
#5 – Perform a Sock Purge/Replacement. Because the Purge will undoubtedly take longer than the Replacement, start with Replacement. Again, log on to your preferred online retailer and make a selection. When it comes to sock purchases, the familiar saying, “Over-buy for socks and pie,” is a good guiding principle. (Anticipate a much lengthier time investment for the first step, the Purge. You’ll need to hunt down all of your mismatched and old socks, just like Darth Vader hunted down the Jedi. Vader was realistic: he didn’t expect the final destruction of the Jedi Order to happen overnight, and neither should you.)
#6 – Take a Shower. Add organic lavender soap, and the wellness is off the charts.
#7 – Be Intentionally Grateful. Try celebrating the small things. Can you breathe easily through your nose? How does the air taste?
#8 – That thing shouldn’t be there. It belongs in the drawer, but it is not in the drawer. Put that thing in the drawer.
#9 – Think of an Invention – What’s due for an upgrade? The toilet. Think about it: a “Smart Toilet.” You might as well be on the cover of Forbes Magazine already: “Upstart Inventor Looking to Make a ‘Splash’ in the Sanitation Industry.”
#10 – Get Soil on Your Hands. Walk outside and put your hands in the soil or dirt. Scrub your hands with it. The scent of freshly cut grass and rich, minerally soil is unusually calming. Soil is like hand soap for stress.
#11 – Delete Apps on your Phone. There are three different types of apps: Really, Maybe and Ideally.
- Really – the applications we really use. Really applications can be functional( Messenger, email) or recreational; they can exert net-positive influences (keeping up with Grandma) or net-negative benefits (spending too much time playing video games). These are the applications you actually use, for better or worse.
- Maybe – the applications we sometimes use, or used once. These apps may be useful in a future scenario, even if that scenario is unlikely to occur.
- Ideally – the applications we will never use. Ideally apps populate the phone of an ideal version of ourselves who does not exist. “1000 PushUps Daily” “Latin Dictionary” “Advanced Life Organizer”
To declutter, delete at least three Maybe-apps. Delete all Ideally-apps. Sometimes, we aren’t ready to work toward one thousand pushups, learn latin or organize. Unused, Ideally-apps are demoralizing, and are more likely to keep us from our goals than help us attain them.
#12 – Rearrange Your Wallet. New is happy!
#13 – Pick a Random Contact on Your Phone Who You Don’t Recognize. Call That Person. Always remember: if anything about the conversation makes you feel unsafe, hang up immediately. There is a chance — a thin chance — that you might spill your tincture. No conversation is worth a spilled tincture.
Spillage isn’t the only threat. It’s unfortunate, but true: some bad apples out there are known to become angry when contacted by a person who can’t really talk because they have hemp oil under their tongue. It reflects the sad state of our world when a person who is called in the middle of the business day can’t muster the courtesy to have just one civil conversation with an unknown caller who gurgles incomprehensibly for two minutes until terminating the call.