Taking CBD Oil Sublingually (Under the Tongue): Guide, Safety, and Benefits
Updated September 20, 2023.
Sublingual application is the process of placing a substance under your tongue. This allows it sufficient time to diffuse through the surrounding tissue and into the bloodstream, which differs from regular oral consumption.
This article will discuss all you need to know about using CBD oil sublingually, the benefits, how-to, safety, side effects, as well as some product recommendations.
How to Correctly Administer CBD Oil Under the Tongue
Though the method of taking CBD sublingually is very specific, it's also incredibly easy. Note that the substance must be held under the tongue as different areas of the mouth have different types of cells that might not be permeable enough for diffusion into the bloodstream.
This method remains the same regardless of the dosage or the form (oils or tinctures). There is no correct dosage or best time of day to do this as it varies depending on the person and condition being treated, but it stands to reason that higher doses might require more time to diffuse into the bloodstream.
Additionally, it's advised not to take the CBD during or directly after a meal as some of the oil may absorb into the food particles and not into the bloodstream.
How Often Should You Take CBD Oil Sublingually?
Although it varies, most individuals take CBD oil sublingually once or twice a day, either in the morning or a few hours before bed. Bear in mind you can also take it both in the morning and in the evening, and that you are not limited to these times.
However, figuring out how often you should take CBD oil depends on the individual and relates to various factors such as body weight and the severity of the condition.
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Benefits of Taking CBD Oil Sublingually
Here are some of the biggest benefits of administering CBD oil under the tongue:
- Increased Bioavailability: Since sublingual application bypasses the metabolic process of digestion, far less of the raw CBD is lost. The term bioavailability refers to how much of a substance can be utilised by the body and differs depending on the method. As for CBD products, the only method with higher bioavailability than sublingual is inhalation.
- Faster to Take Effect: Similarly to increased bioavailability, bypassing the slow digestion process means that the effects of CBD tinctures taken sublingually can be experienced much faster. Whereas it can take upwards of 30 minutes to benefit from oral consumption of CBD, taking CBD oil sublingually can yield results in only a few minutes.
- Ease of Use: Not having to prepare the product or inhale smoke and vapour makes sublingual application easier. Just place a few drops under your tongue, don't swallow for a few minutes, and let your body do the rest.
Is Holding CBD Oil Under the Tongue Safe?
CBD is generally understood to be relatively safe compared to most substances. Taking CBD oil sublingually doesn't increase the risk of any CBD-related side effects compared to oral consumption.
Let's take a look at some commonly asked questions:
What Happens if You Accidentally Swallow CBD Oil?
Accidentally swallowing CBD oil won't pose any risks to your body. However, once you swallow the substance, you are no longer taking it sublingually. Instead, you are consuming it, which means that it will have to be metabolised through your digestive system before your body can utilise it. Although this isn't dangerous, it does mean decreased bioavailability and slower onset of effects.
Should You Take CBD With Food or an Empty Stomach?
Since sublingual application bypasses the digestive system entirely, there's no need to worry about taking it with food or on an empty stomach. Neither will change the results.
Can You Drink Water After Applying CBD Oil Under the Tongue?
After the total time is up, the process is complete, and the CBD has diffused into your bloodstream. Drinking water or eating food now won't prevent the CBD from working, so you are free to do as you please.
However, you might want to give it a few more minutes before drinking any water just to ensure that your body manages to absorb as much CBD as possible.
Side Effects of Taking CBD Orally and Sublingually
Aside from the general side effects of CBD, the potential side effects related to sublingual application are mild and uncommon, though some people have reported the following:
- Slight numbness under the tongue
- Aversion to the texture of CBD oil
- Aversion to the taste of CBD tinctures
Sublingual CBD Myths Busted
Despite the low risk of mild side effects associated with CBD, there are some unfactual claims about certain supposed side effects that simply aren't true. The most popular ones are:
- "CBD stains your teeth" This myth comes from the associations between smoking and stained teeth. Make no mistake, smoking tobacco products and cannabis alike will definitely stain your teeth over time, but simply putting a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue will not turn your teeth yellow.
- "CBD makes your breath smell" This myth likely also comes from the associations between smoking and bad breath or potentially from the relatively unpleasant taste of CBD oil. However, bad breath is caused by odour-producing bacteria in the mouth. On the other hand, CBD has antibacterial properties that can actually aid bad breath.
If you're still worried about the potential effect of CBD oil on your dental hygiene, simply take it before bed or in the morning and brush your teeth afterwards, as this will not impact the effectiveness of the product.
The Sublingual Route: Taking CBD Oil Under the Tongue is Safe and Effective
Taking CBD tinctures sublingually is far more advantageous than oral consumption of tablets or oils. With its higher bioavailability and speed while not presenting any higher risk of side effects, sublingual application is one of the best and most effective ways of taking CBD.
However, before including CBD in your lifestyle, you should consult your doctor, especially if you are on other medications.