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sublingual oil

To find out—because there’s been relatively little rigorous research on CBD to date and I’m a skeptic by nature—I reached out to a doctor and a scientist for the 411. As I suspected, this isn’t a topic that has been studied in depth. Yet there is some reason to believe that certain CBD products may truly be more bioavailable when absorbed under the tongue than if taken through food or drink.

How does this apply to CBD? Surprise, surprise: It’s hard to say. “There has been very little scientific research on the sublingual absorption of CBD,” says Dr. Birdsall. The research that does exist has some inconsistencies, adds Kater, since there are so many factors that affect absorption—such as the quality of the CBD or the pH and consistency of the formulation. Plus, many of these studies focus on formulas that contain both CBD and THC—a psychoactive compound found in cannabis that’s supposed to be absent from CBD-only products—so it’s unclear whether their findings would also apply to a product that contains predominantly CBD.

Even so, Kater says that “most of the literature supports the notion that CBD has better bioavailability when consumed sublingually versus orally. [and] MCT oil-based tinctures are thought to provide better uptake than a traditional oil.” But, again, there’s no evidence that this applies to the exact CBD oil or tincture that you, specifically, have in your cabinet. As mentioned before, every formulation is different, and those small differences matter when it comes to bioavailabilty.

Long story short: You may as well try holding your CBD oil or tincture under your tongue before swallowing it—you could find that you feel it working slightly faster. Anecdotally, says Dr. Birdsall, experts recommended that you hold it there for at least 60 seconds. (A word of warning: There will be drool.) Your other option is to try a product that’s specifically created to be absorbed sublingually, like Kin Slips, which are kind of like those breath-freshening films that dissolve in your mouth.

After all, if there’s one thing that can be said about the wild west of CBD, it’s that experimentation is key—whether you’re looking for your perfect dose or your perfect delivery method.

For about 6 months I swallowed my CBD without really thinking about it. It seems almost implied that the best way to use a CBD oil tincture is just to swallow it.

This process dramatically increases how quickly you feel the effects from CBD, as the CBD quickly enters the bloodstream without having to first move through the GI tract.

Besides the lessened time for effects, the same dose of CBD is more bioavailable when taken sublingually than if you just swallowed it. The more bioavailable your CBD is, the more juice you get from the same CBD, which translates into needing to buy less CBD.

The sublingual method may be safer than vaporization or smoking and possess greater bioavailability than oral use. Sublingual usage also comes without having to inhale anything into your lungs, which is a concern for some, as smoking is known to tar the lungs. The potential health impacts of vaporization are also unclear.

Some other benefits of taking CBD sublingually: