How to Take CBD Oil Tincture (the right way)
Updated: Sep 26, 2018
CBD in tincture-form is one of the best (and fastest!) ways to get cannabinoids like CBD into your system. No smoke or vapor gets into your lungs and—if taken properly—most of the volatile cannabinoids and terpenes won't even have to pass through the rigamarole of your digestive system.
But wait? Isn’t tincture something you take orally? Why wouldn't it go through the digestive system then?
Good question! But first let's make sure you're up on what a tincture is. Then we can talk about how not to put it through the digestive system, and why.
What is CBD tincture?
After extraction from the hemp plant, the mighty cannabinoid CBD is in fatty-molecule form; super small particles that are very fragile. When bottled as a CBD tincture, these active cannabinoid molecules are packaged with a carrier oil inside a small, opaque bottle to keep the CBD safe—the carrier oil buffers the cannabinoids, and the opaque bottle shields them from the damaging effects of light. The bottle will come with a glass dropper that is used to orally administer the oil.
How NOT to take CBD tincture
Most people squeeze the dropper-full of CBD oil onto their tongue and then swallow it. Please don’t do this! You’re wasting your money if you take it this way! That’s because the delicate, volatile cannabinoids have a dreadfully long and harrowing journey before they actually make it into your cells... if they ever get there at all.
Molecules that are ingested (swallowed) have to stop in the stomach where they’re basically washed in an acid bath. Then they pass into the small intestine where they’re hit with enzymes and then absorbed into the liver. There, the molecules are filtered and funnelled. Finally they’re picked up by the bloodstream and then deposited into the cells of the body. By ingesting the oil, you’re essentially putting these fragile, magic little molecules through needless turmoil and tumult.
(Hmmmm.... You may be wondering right now if those CBD capsules you've been hearing about are the best way to administer CBD. If you're doubting their efficability, you're probably right. Capsules are great for kids or adults who absolutely hate the taste of CBD oil and will not comply otherwise. For everyone else, stick with tincture. But take it the right way. Keep reading...)
Sublingual administration of CBD tincture
The best way to take CBD tincture is to squeeze the dropper-full of oil under your tongue and allow it to sit there (and sit there, and sit there, and sit there.) This is called sublingual administration. Under the tongue is where it’s at. Here's why:
There are gazillions of tiny little capillaries nestled under the tongue just waiting to take up all kinds of very tiny particles that are already so small they don't need to be broken down via the digestive process. This includes CBD molecules! Yay! If allowed to sit under the tongue, the capillaries there will take up the CBD molecules and chauffeur them directly to the cells. Directly to the cells. This is what you want; the CBD gets sucked up into the bloodstream and is sent, non-stop, to the one-and-only place that can actually do anything with it: your cells.
How long should I leave CBD tincture under my tongue?
Use the glass dropper to squeeze the oil under your tongue. Then let it sit there for a minimum of 30 seconds. Better 60 seconds. And best yet... 90 seconds, or until you just simply forget about it!
Morning or night. Once in the morning when you wake up, and again before you go to bed is a good habit. If you’re only taking one dropperful per day, it’s really up to you to take in the morning or the nighttime. What works best for you? What’s easiest?
On an empty or full stomach. Best to take on an empty stomach, but remember, if you're taking it sublingually, which is now what you know you should be doing, a lot of the CBD will bypass the stomach anyways. So it really isn’t a big deal if you happen to take it with a full stomach. Just make sure you’re not eating or drinking at the same time of taking the tincture, or just afterward.
After you brush your teeth or drink water. You don’t want to rinse away any remaining CBD molecules that are hanging out inside your mouth if you can help it. You want to retain the oil in your mouth as long as possible without washing it all away.
A dropperful of oil isn’t that much. You may think it’s a mouthful but it’s not. Sure, oil is a liquid and will transgress the under-the-tongue boundary. No worries! It won’t fill your whole mouth, and most people like (love) the taste. Just do your best not to swallow it for at least 30 seconds. Remember your goal: to allow the capillaries under the tongue to absorb most of the small CBD particles so they can go directly to the cells via the bloodstream, rather than being dragged through the perils of digestion.