CBD On Empty Stomach: Edibles, Oil, Vape, Topicals, With Melatonin, Etc


What if you’re nauseous and don’t feel like eating. Can you take CBD without eating any food and be ok? What actually happens if you were to take CBD on an empty stomach?

Overall, taking CBD on an empty stomach can cause you to feel the effects both harder & faster, but the effects of CBD may not last as long. CBD on an empty stomach can give you more side effects. Topical CBD creams, under the tongue, drops, & inhaling skips the stomach. 

Below, we’ll look at more specifics on taking CBD on an empty stomach, what to eat to enhance your experience, and how long you should wait to take CBD after eating.

Type Of CBD Can You Consume On Empty Stomach?
CBD Tincture Oil Drops (Under Tongue) Can take with or without food. Under the tongue, drops go directly into the bloodstream with most CBD skipping digestion and absorption through the stomach.
CBD Tincture Oil Drops (Swallowed) Eat a high-fat meal 30 minutes before swallowing CBD oil drops.
CBD Capsule Pills Eat a high-fat meal 30 minutes before taking CBD capsules.
CBD Gummies, energy drink mix Eat a high-fat meal 30 minutes before taking CBD Gummies.
CBD Inhaler; vape, flower, eliquid, etc Can take with or without food. Inhaling CBD goes directly into the bloodstream. 
CBD Topical cream, salve, lotion, skin patch, bath bombs Topical CBD gives dose via skin and works directly on receptors. Small amounts can get absorbed into the bloodstream, without any CBD needing to be processed in the stomach.
CBD + Melatonin For melatonin to have maximum effect, preferably melatonin take on an empty stomach 30 – 60 minutes before bed (up to 2 hours before bed plus light snack).

Should You Take CBD Oil With Food Or Empty Stomach?

Most sources show you can take CBD and be just fine while taking CBD on a full or empty stomach.

Potential benefits of taking CBD on an empty stomach

  1. Faster to feel the effects
  2. Effects are more potent

Potential disadvantages of taking CBD on an empty stomach

  1. Less chance of being absorbed by the liver
  2. Stomach acids might destroy cannabinoids
  3. Increased chances of experiencing negative side effects
  4. Lower overall bioavailability

CBD is a fat-soluble substance that requires the presence of healthy fat from the food you eat will impact how CBD affects you.

There are pros and cons to taking CBD either with food and on an empty stomach.

You’re preference and needs of the moment will help you determine what’s most appropriate for your situation.

One study shows taking CBD with a meal high fat (840-860 calories) leads to a large increase in maximum concentration, as well as a longer time to reach the maximum concentration of CBD.

When you have a stomach full of food, it helps to keep the CBD inside of your stomach for a longer period of time.

With CBD staying in your stomach for a longer duration, your body will have more time to process and absorb more CBD.

In most instances, taking CBD on a full stomach gives your body more CBD absorption allowing you to take a lower required dosage. (link to calculator)

Taking CBD on an empty stomach provides you with faster absorption and can offer a more intense experience.

On an empty stomach, you may feel the effect faster and harder, but they won’t last nearly as long as when you eat a meal high in healthy fats.

One Reddit users recommend you avoid high fiber foods because it may interfere with fat absorption.

Can You Eat CBD On An Empty Stomach?

Most sources don’t recommend eating CBD on an empty stomach.

However, those who do take CBD edibles on an empty stomach report the experience was more intense with the effects occurring much faster.

One drawback of taking CBD edibles on an empty stomach is the potential of having increased negative side effects.

Should I Take CBD Gummies On An Empty Stomach?

While it’s possible to safely take CBD gummies on an empty stomach, it’s not advisable by most sources.

By taking CBD gummies on an empty stomach, you lower your chances of having your body absorb as much of the CBD as it could have absorbed if you were to have taken it after eating a meal high in healthy fat.

When taking CBD gummies on an empty stomach, the results are a decrease in bioavailability.

Lower bioavailability means your body absorbs less of the CBD.

Having your body absorb less CBD means you don’t get to experience the full effects and you may need to take more CBD to compensate.

Taking CBD gummies on an empty stomach may ultimately mean it can be more expensive because you’ll have to potentially take more CBD gummy to get the effects you desire.

Smoking CBD On Empty Stomach?

Some people’s body chemistries don’t allow their stomachs to process and digest CBD very well and might need to take CBD via inhalation.

Inhaling CBD can allow you to completely skip needing your stomach to process and absorb it to have an effect.

This is advantageous for those who are severely nauseated or have other gastrointestinal problems that might be preventing them from eating or consuming CBD through non-inhalation methods.

If you find yourself in a situation when you need to inhale CBD on an empty stomach, start with a very low dose and work your way up until you achieve the results you want.

Can You Take CBD Oil On An Empty Stomach?

If you’re going to swallow CBD oil drops without holding them under your tongue first, you may want to have a belly full of a healthy high-fat meal to get the most optimal effect.

Taking CBD oil under your tongue and holding it for about 60 seconds allows the CBD to go directly into your bloodstream, without it having to get processed by the stomach and liver.

Therefore, by allowing most of your CBD to get absorbed under your tongue and directly into the bloodstream, you’re bypassing the stomach and liver processes.

This means your stomach doesn’t necessarily need to have high-fat contents sitting in your stomach for the CBD to take advantage of and get maximum absorption into the liver.

Can You Take CBD + Melatonin On Empty Stomach?

According to eMental Health, Melatonin is best absorbed into the body on an empty stomach.

Taking a CBD + Melatonin capsule 30 – 60 minutes before bed on an empty stomach will provide a more reliably potent experience.

Recommended CBD + Melatonin capsules.

  1. Medterra: Liposomal CBD+ Good Night Capsules (Check Pricing)
  2. Joy Organics: CBD Softgels with Melatonin & CBN for Sleep (Check Pricing)

If you find yourself experiencing any negative side effects from taking CBD + melatonin capsules this early before bed, you may want to try taking it two hours before bed while consuming a healthy light snack to help with proper absorption.

How Long Should I Wait To Eat Or Drink After Taking CBD Oil?

Depending on how you took your CBD will help you decide if and when you want to eat or drink.

  1. Edibles/Capsule: 30+ minutes
  2. Tincture Drops: 15-20 minutes
  3. Inhale Vape: About 60 seconds
  4. Topical: Immediately

Eat method of consumption requires different amounts of time to have your body process the food or drink to achieve optimal results.

Can I Drink Water After Taking CBD Oil?

If you take CBD under your tongue (sublingual), it’s recommended you wait 60 – 90 seconds to allow for maximum absorption.

Other than that, there are several CBD-infused liquid drinking products such as coffee, tea, shot, etc.

Foods That Enhance CBD

Published in the peer-reviewed journal, Molecules shows how your food matrix controls the bioaccessibility of CBD.

A food matrix is a complex chemical interaction taking place between the various compounds in food.

Whereas bioaccessibility is how much CBD actually gets absorbed and used by your body.

A high-fat food matrix improves several complex factors in the bioaccessibility of CBD.

High-fat foods that can increase CBD bioavailability up to 22x or more.

Healthy fats to increase bioavailability include:

  1. Avocado
  2. Dark chocolate
  3. Fish
  4. Nuts
  5. Hemp seeds
  6. Oil; olive, sesame, MCT, coconut
  7. Green olive
  8. Pomegranate
  9. Sweet corn
  10. Dandelion
  11. Dill
  12. Tomatillo

View the nutrient chart here to see a list of other fruits and vegetables that have a high-fat content to improve the bioavailability of CBD.