Sublingual CBD is one of the most effective methods to take CBD for rapid absorption and potency. However, the term itself is an unnatural and unusual method of taking something for most people.  Even the word sublingual is not common language for many and has people scrambling for a secret dictionary lookup.  Unless you have been on medication that was recommended for sublingual administration, you probably are wondering why you take CBD that way.

Given your investment in CBD and the importance to your health, it’s important to know how to use it properly. Let’s explore the reason for sublingual CBD, how to use it, and some basic guidelines for CBD dosage.

Sublingual has its roots in Latin and literally means “under the tongue”.  In the context of CBD and the medical field, it is a method of taking medications by placing them under the tongue.

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Why Take CBD Sublingually?

Two primary benefits of taking CBD sublingually are the speed of absorption and the level of potency achieved.  There are other ways to take CBD effectively,

The speed of absorption is rapid under the tongue because the chemical is quickly absorbed by the mucous membrane.  The tissue under the tongue has a huge number of capillaries to allow for the substance to diffuse directly into the bloodstream.

If you take CBD and swallow it directly, or use other oral methods like edibles or capsules, the CBD goes directly to your stomach.  In those cases, there are a couple of main risks to the CBD that can cause degradation.

The first is your gastrointestinal tract, including your stomach.  This path is filled with dangers from various enzymes, stomach acid and bile. The second risk is that anything absorbed in your gastrointestinal tract / stomach must be processed by the liver.

Sublingual CBD Absorption Time

Taking CBD sublingually creates maximum bloodstream levels between 30 minutes and 4-5 hours.  The reason is may last even longer is that although some is absorbed in the tissues under your tongue, a lot is still swallowed and processed through your stomach and GI tract.

How to Take Sublingual CBD

Typically, you will be using a dropper to take the CBD oil.  Based on your desired dosage, place the liquid using the dropper, under your tongue.  You should leave it in your mouth between one and two minutes.  It’s recommended to swish it around your mouth a bit since you can get absorption in all the mouth’s tissues. This will distribute the oil to your cheek tissues or even your gums. Let it come to rest and sit under the tongue for a minute and then swallow it.

Depending on your taste, you can always choose one of the many flavors available or use just the non-flavored CBD oil or tincture.

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How much CBD should I take sublingually?

CBD dosage is dependent on several factors. The factors include bodyweight, body chemistry (tolerance) and what condition you are trying to treat. This last component is very important. Even if your weight is higher and your tolerance is low, knowing the “why” of using CBD is the most important piece to discovering the appropriate dosage.

We commonly recommend that individuals start with either a 500mg or 1000mg bottle of CBD Oil or Tincture. Taking 1ml a day to start, would be 17mg or 33mg respectively.   Depending on how you feel the effects, increasing the dosage over time until you find the right fit seems to be a good rule of thumb.

Types of Sublingual CBD Oil

CBD Isolate Oils – CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD (cannabidiol), being 99.9% pure.  During processing, they extract CBD alone from all the other compounds and cannabinoids of the cannabis plant.  By taking this sublingually, you get just CBD, no THC at all, and no other cannabinoids or terpenes.

CBD Full-Spectrum Oils – Full-spectrum oils include CBD and all the other cannabinoids found within the cannabis/hemp plant.  The plants are bred for high amounts of CBD and low amounts of THC, allowing it to be called hemp and below the 0.3% THC threshold to be federally legal. The benefit of full-spectrum oils is that you receive what is referred to as the “entourage effect” which are all the cannabinoid and terpenes benefits in addition to CBD.

CBD Broad-Spectrum Oils – Broad-spectrum is similar to full spectrum CBD Oils, where you have the entire cannabinoid and terpene profile.  The difference is it has gone through an extra step to remove 100% of the THC, making it not just below 0.3% THC, but 0%.


The benefit of consuming CBD oil sublingually is that the absorption process bypasses the digestive system and liver metabolization, allowing the compounds to reach your bloodstream and interact with the endocannabinoid system more quickly. For those looking for quick effects, a sublingual CBD oil product is ideal.

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