CBD isn’t your average supplement. Aside from its purported effects, CBD is also taken in a different way. Rather than being swallowed like other supplements, it’s placed under the tongue.
Why should you take CBD oil under the tongue? The mucous membrane and gums absorb the active compounds in the oil quickly, because the layer of tissue is thin. It enters the bloodstream directly through capillaries visible under the thin membrane. CBD absorption under the tongue also prevents the oil breaking down in stomach acid.
Below, we explain exactly what the sublingual method is, and how it works. We also look at the other methods in use today, and why holding CBD oil under your tongue is the better option. So, read on!
There are three factors that affect how CBD affects you, how strong these effects are, how soon they are apparent, and how long they last. The first of these is the amount consumed: generally speaking, the more you take, the stronger the effect is. The second is the individual. Everybody’s body is affected to different degrees by CBD.
The third, and the one you have the most control over, is the way that the CBD is consumed. By consuming the CBD in a certain way, you maximise its effects. You can control whether you feel the effects straight away—or later that day—through the way you take it, too.
You may have heard the term ‘sublingual’ before. In this context, it means taking your CBD supplement by placing it underneath your tongue. There are four recognized methods of taking CBD supplements like the ones we offer at Hempura:
You can buy CBD products that allow you to try each of these methods. The most versatile is CBD oil, which you can take in every way but through inhalation. You can also buy CBD supplement capsules, CBD vapes, and topical creams for application to the skin. No matter which method you want to use, there’s a product for you.
But of these methods, sublingually is the best. It’s the most effective, and works the quickest.
The sublingual method doesn’t require you to do anything complicated. It’s no more difficult to understand than simply swallowing the stuff.
First, you measure out the appropriate dose. This is something for you to decide on before you start taking CBD—do so according to the uptitration method. This is where you start with a low dose, and increase the dose week by week. This maximises the benefits of the oil.
All you have to do is take the oil and place the appropriate dose under your tongue.
You then hold the oil there for sixty seconds. Over this time, it will absorb into your gums and the membrane under your tongue. If there’s still some left over after this time, feel free to leave it there for longer. If you get uncomfortable, though, simply swallow the rest of the oil.
This might feel unusual at first. With liquid in your mouth, especially under your tongue, you’ll likely get the urge to swallow. It’s no problem if you do swallow the oil, after all. But if you resist this urge for a minute, you’ll be done. And once you’ve tried the sublingual method a few times, you’ll be completely used to it.
But how is the oil absorbed, and why is this method better than just swallowing your CBD supplement?
Under the tongue, we all have mucous membrane. Mucous membranes are thin layers of tissue that line cavities in the body and cover the surface of our organs. Some mucous membranes do as the name suggests, and release mucus—like the membranes that line the nose.
These membranes are thin compared to skin, which has many layers. Underneath is a loose layer of connective tissue, plus lots of tiny capillaries. Head to a mirror and take a look underneath your tongue, and you’ll see some.
When you hold CBD under your tongue, the active compounds in the solution are absorbed through the mucous membrane and enter the bloodstream. It’s through the bloodstream that they then access your endocannabinoid system, and every other part of your body.
You won’t see all of the oil absorb into your mucous membrane and disappear, though. For that to happen, you’d have to wait a long time. After a set amount of time, you swallow the rest of the oil, where it can affect your body through the digestive system instead.
There are two reasons why you should ingest CBD oil this way.
The first is that as the mucous membrane is very thin, the oil makes its way into your bloodstream fast. Once in your bloodstream, it can quickly have the desired effect as a supplement. If you were to ingest the oil, it would take longer to get it where you need it.
The second reason is that when you ingest things through eating them, your stomach acid breaks them down. This is a natural process that the body needs to perform in order to properly digest and then use proteins and carbohydrates.
While no research has yet been done on what stomach acid does to CBD oil, it’s likely that it breaks down its active components, at least to an extent. You would therefore be missing out on some of the oil’s beneficial effects by ingesting it this way.
In terms of how the oil is absorbed, there are no disadvantages to the sublingual method. It doesn’t create any waste, and it doesn’t reduce the effects of the oil.
The only issue is that you may not initially feel comfortable holding the oil under your tongue. But, as pointed out above, you’ll get used to this feeling in no time.
As stated above, placing it under the tongue isn’t the only way to take CBD. There are other methods that you might want to consider.
These are through ingestion, inhalation and application (which is easy to remember!) You may find that one of these methods is preferable to the sublingual method—for example if you want to apply your CBD to a particular part of your body. Here’s how each method works, and why you should at least consider it.
The idea of inhaling CBD is not dissimilar to holding it under the tongue. The oil is first vaporised before being inhaled. It will then be absorbed in a similar fashion through the lining of the lungs, and into the bloodstream.
The main issue with inhaling vaporized CBD is your comfort. If you’ve never smoked, you may find the process uncomfortable. The oil itself will be absorbed, which is a positive, but if you don’t enjoy taking your supplement then you shouldn’t force yourself.
Of course, if you have a CBD vape, then inhalation is the only way to use it.
Applying CBD topically has mixed results.
The first issue is that the skin is much thicker than the mucous membrane. It has several layers that the oil has to soak through to reach your bloodstream in any quantity. This makes uptake slow. You’ll also get it all over your hands and waste half of your product.
However, it’s a good idea if you have a specific part of the body that you want to apply the CBD to. A particular patch of skin or a particular muscle could be benefited especially through direct topical application.
Overall, though, taking CBD under the tongue is the better method as it reaches the bloodstream quicker.
Swallowing CBD supplements is everybody’s first reaction. After all, you swallow every other supplement; why would CBD be any different?
The first thing to note is that uptake would be more gradual. The endocannabinoid system does operate throughout the body, as it is related to the entire peripheral nervous system. However, to get there, it has to first be absorbed.
When something is eaten, it is first broken down by the stomach before being passed on to the gut. Only then are any nutrients further broken down and absorbed by the body. This process takes a long time. When placed under the tongue, the oil is taken into the bloodstream immediately. That’s why we recommend holding CBD under the tongue, over any other method.
However, if you buy capsules, then you should swallow them. The sublingual method is intended for liquids, i.e. CBD oil. Capsules should be swallowed as per the instructions that come with the package.