Ever heard of the phrase, “be careful with those (THC) brownies!!!”?
Why do people consider edibles made with cannabis butter to be much stronger? Is there any truth behind this belief that edibles are stronger? And if so, what is the science behind it, and does the same then apply for CBD products?
Cannabinoids are Lipophilic
Cannabinoids are lipophilic, meaning that they are fat soluble and easily extracted into oils. However, lipophilic describes not only the ability for extraction, but also the way the body uses and store a compound. Marijuana is highly lipophilic which leads to its storage in adipose tissue, liver, muscle and spleen and then redistributed into the users blood stream long after ingestion. (1) Sufficient fats have to be present in the body for the cannabinoids to distributed and absorbed. Therefore, healthy fats can increase the bioavailabilty of cannabinoids!
Lets look at the basics of fat soluble compounds first before diving into this topic!
the degree and rate at which a substance (such as a drug) is absorbed into a living system or is made available at the site of physiological activity.
Lipohlic is defined as having an affinity for lipids (such as fats) and having the tendency to combine with or dissolve into lipids and fats compared to water.
Hydophilic is defined as being water soluble. A compound has a tendency to mix with, dissolve in, or be wetted by water.
Is there research increasing the bioavailabity of CBD?
Yes there is!
A University of Minnesota study, published in Epilepsia, examined whether eating high-fat foods after taking CBD increased the body’s absorption of CBD. The study tested whether fasting or a high fat meal has an effect when cannabidiol oral capsules were taken by patients. (2) A single dose of 99% pure CBD capsules was taken under both fasting (no breakfast) and fed (high fat 840-860 calorie) conditions. Blood sampling for CBD plasma concentrations was performed under each condition between 0 and 72 hours post-dose and measured by a validated liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry assay. (2)
The study found:
- CBD exposure is vastly increased when CBD is taken with high fatty foods;
- when compared to fasting, taking CBD with food increased the amount of CBD in the body by four-times, and the maximum amount recorded in the participants’ blood by 14-times;
- no cognitive differences were identified, which is consistent with previous studies.(1)
A similar study found that oral co-administration of lipids enhanced the systemic exposure of rats to THC and CBD by 2.5-fold and 3-fold, respectively, compared to lipid-free formulations. (4)
Healthy Fat Options Instead of Brownies!
Who doesn’t want CBD brownies occassionally but let’s face it we can’t consume a whole brownie everytime we need a dose of CBD! Try making a concious effort to take your CBD supplement with a Omega-3 supplement to increase the amount of omega-3s AND cannabinoids in your body. This is important for your health and your wallet! Just imagine that you could increase the bioavailbilty up to 14 times! That is certainly enough to help everyone remember to eat at least a small serving of a high fat food.
I love hemp hearts because they are filled with healthy Omega-3 fats. In fact, hemp hearts contain more Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids than a similar serving of chia or flax seeds. Since hemp hearts are plant-based, they are cholesterol-free, and they contain all nine essential amino acids!(5)
|1.||View of chemistry, metabolism, and toxicology of cannabis: Clinical implications [Internet]. Tums.ac.ir. [cited 2022 Feb 26]. Available from: https://ijps.tums.ac.ir/index.php/ijps/article/view/185/181|
|2.||University Relations News Service. High fat foods can increase CBD absorption into the body [Internet]. University of Minnesota. [cited 2022 Feb 26]. Available from: https://twin-cities.umn.edu/news-events/high-fat-foods-can-increase-cbd-absorption-body|
|3.||Birnbaum AK, Karanam A, Marino SE, Barkley CM, Remmel RP, Roslawski M, et al. Food effect on pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol oral capsules in adult patients with refractory epilepsy. Epilepsia [Internet]. 2019;60(8):1586–92. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/epi.16093|
|4.||Zgair A, Wong JC, Lee JB, Mistry J, Sivak O, Wasan KM, et al. Dietary fats and pharmaceutical lipid excipients increase systemic exposure to orally administered cannabis and cannabis-based medicines. Am J Transl Res [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2022 Feb 26];8(8):3448–59. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5009397/|
|5.||Plowe K, MS, RD. Hemp hearts nutrition facts and health benefits [Internet]. Verywell Fit. [cited 2022 Feb 26]. Available from: https://www.verywellfit.com/hemp-hearts-nutrition-facts-4585190|