Are You Supposed to Swallow CBD Oil?

Tinctures or drops are the most popular way of taking CBD. For the best results, gently squeeze the dropper bulb and place the drops under your tongue. Then hold the oil under your tongue for at least 60-90 seconds.

Holding it under your tongue will allow the CBD oil to absorb sublingually through the mucous membranes and directly into your bloodstream. This is the recommended way to taking CBD oil drops to maximize its bioavailability, or amount of CBD that actually enters your bloodstream.

But what if some CBD oil remains under your tongue after the 60-90 seconds? Should you swallow the rest? Or what if you have trouble holding the drops under your tongue? Can you just swallow them from the start? This article discusses why you should minimize the amount of CBD oil that you swallow.

Swallowing the Extra CBD Oil is Better Than Spitting it Out

Most of the CBD oil will have been absorbed if you keep it under your tongue for at least 60-90 seconds. But there will still likely be some small amounts left behind. By swallowing any remaining oil, you allow the extra CBD oil to still get the chance for absorption into your bloodstream via the digestive tract.

The bioavailability of the CBD oil that you swallow will be lower, but it’s preferable to just spitting it out if you don’t want to waste any of your product. Having said that, if swallowing any of it creates a problem for you then you certainly can just spit out any remainder. 

Can I Swallow the CBD Oil From the Start?

You can just swallow the oil from the start, but the bioavailability will be much lower. So it’s not recommended. Based on our research, the amount of CBD that actually enters your bloodstream is between 20-30% if you take the drops sublingually. And it’s only around 5% if you swallow it.

So you’ll have to use a lot more product to get comparable effects if you are just swallowing it.

What if you Really Dislike the Taste of the Drops?

If you are having trouble keeping the oil under your tongue or swallowing it because of taste, you have some options.

You can try to mask the taste of your current product. Our article How to Mask the Taste of CBD Oil has some useful suggestions on how to do this based on ideas that users have shared with us.

If the “earthy” taste of the natural drops isn’t to your liking, you can try flavored CBD oils that are increasingly becoming available. When switching brands, just be aware that dosing requirements and effects can change. This can be especially true if you’re switching from a full spectrum product to a broad spectrum or isolate one, or vice versa.

Maybe the drops just aren’t your thing. If so, you can consider other ways of taking CBD such as gummies or capsules. The bioavailability will be lower than the sublingual drops but the gummies and capsules are easier and more convenient to consume.

Alternatively, you can switch to a higher potency product. By doing so, you can take fewer drops to get the same CBD serving size. For example, you would take half the amount of a product with 1000mg of CBD in a 30ml bottle than you would of a 30ml bottle with 500mg to get the same dose. You can learn more about potency and see our rankings of the strongest drops on our CBD Oil Drops Potency Comparison page.

Sarah Jorczyk

Sarah Jorczyk is an advocate for CBD products and one of the Administrators of the CBD Oil Users Group on Facebook. She strives to educate the public, and promotes the use of safe products while helping others throughout their CBD journey. You can also find a variety of her content, including reviews and educational videos, on the group's youtube page.

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