Fasting is a practice performed widely by many people for several reasons. Some of these reasons revolve around religious and spiritual beliefs, while others serve the purpose of weight loss (such as keto and paleo regimens).
During fasting, people choose to refrain from anything except water. Some even go without it. However, many such people use cannabidiol oil for its therapeutic benefits.
They’re usually the ones who ask:
Can CBD Affect My Fasting? Will It Break My Fast?
Let’s find out!
People who have benefited from CBD products often believe it is a cure-all! We can’t be sure of that. What we ARE sure of are the facts that it has helped many people and that scientists have found credible evidence of those effects.
This has generated a lot of hope among the scientific fraternity – and the number of believers seems to be growing by the day!
The Many Ways of Using CBD & Their Issues With Fasting
- CBD as an oral spray (or tinctures may also be used) has been approved by the FDA to treat seizures in patients suffering from certain rare forms of epilepsy.
- CBD topicals are also known for their anti-inflammatory and analgesic Fasting has also been found to be good for inflammation too.
- CBD edibles are known to ease the natural process of digestion as it heals intestinal inflammations and reduces the irritation our body undergoes when processing food.
- Vaping CBD-infused e-liquids is one of the most effective ways of reducing pain, inflammation, anxiety, among other medical conditions.
Recent studies indicate that CBD may soon be utilized as an anti-obesity drug. CBD is known to support our metabolic health by influencing the mitochondrial system (the energy factory of our body). In another study, a marked difference in weight was seen in rats when they fed on CBD.
Often people think that using CBD while fasting may be detrimental to their health and it could defeat the purpose of fasting. However, research shows that CBD on an empty stomach has many benefits.
Firstly, if you’re using CBD as a topical skin treatment cream or pain balm, there is no issue at all.
Secondly, the issue arises when you consume it orally – either used sublingually, i.e. under the tongue, or as an edible, in which case, the digestive system comes into play. In other words, here arises the whole question of “empty stomach” or “fasting”.
In this article, we’ll address the topic from three angles:
- The benefits & drawbacks of consuming CBD oil on an empty stomach
- The ways of consuming CBD when you’re fasting.
- Does CBD break your fast?
It is believed that CBD works best when taken 30 minutes after having food. Others suggest eating fatty foods with CBD for the best effects. Others have pointed out that having it on an empty stomach can actually be more beneficial as the stomach juices don’t have to deal with the food first and will absorb the substance faster than usual.
Pros & Cons of Using CBD On An Empty Stomach
Before we get into the impact of having CBD on an empty stomach, let’s first find out a little bit about CBD’s bioavailability (i.e. concentration of the substance that reaches the bloodstream or is made available to the body for use) and its rate of absorption when taken through different delivery routes.
This will help understand which delivery method would best serve the purpose while fasting.
- Smoking has a bioavailability of 31% CBD – the highest among all delivery methods, even though it’s not recommended as a practice due to its adverse effects on our lungs. The maximum impact of inhaled/vaped CBD was observed on a full stomach, particularly when administered in lipid-based (fatty acids) formulations.
- Sublingually, the CBD absorption rate is 12%-35%.
- The oral (edibles and capsules) route is even slower and offers a much lower bioavailability. CBD’s bioavailability was found to be 13–19% among animals, whereas it was found to be about 6% for humans. This is due to the first-pass effect. According to another study, it’s somewhere between 4% – 20%.
- Transdermal consumptions would often bring down the absorption to 45%. This formulation of CBD bypasses the gastric metabolism process, thus making it more effective.
Is CBD Intake On An Empty Stomach Beneficial Or Disruptive?
Here are some observations:
- CBD is known to curb hunger pangs. It has even been to attenuate cravings caused by THC in humans.
- CBD intake is seen to reduce binging and overall body weight. This may be a boon to those who are fasting to reduce weight.
- CBD is also known to help regulate insulin levels and facilitate weight loss. This is yet another benefit for obese and diabetic patients who are fasting to lose weight.
- There is also evidence of how CBD alters the lipid levels in the body to promote weight loss. Cannabidiol is known to promote browning of 3T3-L1 adipocytes that helps cholesterol patients lose weight and appetite.
However, many experts point out that having CBD on an empty stomach may not be a good idea. Even though the absorption rate of the CBD is higher when there is no food in the stomach to process, gulping down liquid CBD extract may produce too intense an effect that may lead to abnormally higher side effects, like nausea and dizziness.
However, having CBD edibles (which are usually high on sugar and fats) usually do not have that effect, as CBD-infused edible products are – after all food products.
If you choose the edible option, CBD works best with fatty acids or medium and long-chain triglycerides like olive oil, soybean oil, sesame oil, hemp seed oil, and coconut oil in the diet since CBD is a lipophilic (fat-loving) agent.
Using CBD on an empty stomach might make it difficult to process CBD oil as CBD doesn’t mix with water – and our body is 60% water.
- According to a 2013 clinical trial, published in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, demonstrated the benefits of consuming food before taking a CBD product sublingually. The findings also showed that its bioavailability increased 4-folds when taken after a meal. However, it was also established that food can delay the peak concentration of CBD in the blood plasma by about two hours.
So, if you’re worried about breaking you fast, need to take the right dosage, but don’t want any of the side effects, like dry mouth and dizziness, it is best to use CBD topically, i.e. as creams or balms (for pain, inflammation, and calming your nerves) directly on the skin’s surface or use a tincture (i.e. sublingual delivery method).
For the second option, the usual duration of holding the tincture under your tongue, i.e. 45 – 60 seconds (before swallowing it) may not be enough. Try to keep it as long as possible, without gulping it down. Moreover, when you do swallow it, drink lots of water. This would ensure you don’t experience any side effects.
These two options will not break your fast.
There is, however, a third option – vaping. This too will not break your fast. However, using vaping products on an empty stomach is worse than the above-mentioned options, as its potency and bioavailability is higher and can give you an immediate and intense hit. Even though CBD is unlike THC, its effects will increase manifold when taken on an empty stomach. Besides, its side effects will also be stronger, making you even more nauseous and giddy.
However, using edibles – which is, in fact, best if your stomach is empty – will break your fast. It IS, after all, food!
So, Can CBD Break Your Fast?
In a way, we can say that it depends on your purpose of fasting.
If you’re fasting to rejuvenate your metabolic health or simply as a religious practice, CBD won’t be breaking your fast, even if it is a little sugarless, CBD-infused cake.
However, if you’re fasting to give your gut some rest – well, you will be breaking your fast by taking CBD on an empty stomach.
CBD oil is originally made from fatty acids and mixes with fat and lipids, not water. It won’t stop ketosis and won’t disrupt your keto diet either! However, adding sugary foods to CBD will do that.
Some people, who practice fasting, believe in observing zero-calorie fasts, refraining from consuming CBD in any form during the fasts. Others believe that consuming up to 50 calories doesn’t break a fast. They can use CBD with a carrier oil to keep within the calorie limit.