CBD Absorption Increases with Food, Milk, and Alcohol, Compared to Fasted State in Clinical Trial

CBD Absorption Increases with Food, Milk, and Alcohol, Compared to Fasted State in Clinical Trial

In 2020, a clinical trial was conducted to examine the impact of various foods and drinks on the absorption and processing of cannabidiol (CBD) in the human body. The trial specifically aimed to investigate the effect of meal composition and alcohol on the pharmacokinetics and safety of CBD in healthy adults. The findings revealed that the exposure of CBD was highest when taken with food, whole milk, or alcohol compared to a fasted state. 

When CBD was administered after a high-fat and high-calorie meal, the increase in exposure was the greatest. In contrast, the fasted state had the lowest absorption, with CBD exposure being significantly lower than when administered with food, milk, or alcohol. This may be due to the fact that CBD is lipophilic, which means it dissolves in fat, and that it is better absorbed when consumed with food that contains fat. The dose used in the study was tolerated by participants, and no severe or serious side effects were reported.

This information can help healthcare providers better understand how to recommend CBD to patients and how to manage their expectations of its effects, as consuming CBD with a meal that contains fat or whole milk, or with alcohol, may result in better absorption and overall efficacy.

The clinical trial was designed as a randomized, open-label, three-period, three-way crossover trial. The study included a total of 30 healthy adult participants, with 28 completing the trial. The study employed a partially balanced incomplete block design, with the reference treatment given to all 30 subjects and the test treatments given to 15 subjects each. The study measured the plasma concentrations of CBD and its major metabolites, 7-OH-CBD and 7-COOH-CBD, and analyzed the pharmacokinetics parameters. The clinical trial also monitored for any adverse events experienced by the participants.

In the clinical trial, each subject received a single oral dose of 750mg of CBD under five different test conditions: fasted, 30 minutes after starting a high-fat/calorie breakfast, 30 minutes after starting a low-fat/calorie breakfast, immediately before intake of 500 mL whole milk, and immediately before intake of 40g alcohol diluted in 500mL still lemonade. The same dose of CBD was administered in each test condition to ensure consistency in the results.

The high-fat/calorie breakfast consisted of two fried eggs, one portion of bacon or brie, one portion of fried potatoes, two slices of whole-wheat bread with butter/margarine, and one glass of whole milk. The low-fat/calorie breakfast consisted of two slices of whole-wheat bread, one Swedish crisp bread, margarine, one portion of cheese or ham/chicken breast/smoked meat, two portions of jam, one portion of apple treacle, and decaffeinated coffee or tea or water.

In this study, a single dose of 750mg of CBD was found to be well-tolerated across all test conditions. There were no severe or serious adverse events in this trial, and no new safety concerns were identified. However, some participants did experience mild adverse events such as headache, somnolence, and diarrhea, and dizziness was reported in some subjects who consumed CBD with alcohol. It is important to note that these adverse events may not have been directly related to the CBD, as they could have been caused by other factors, such as the foods or alcohol tested in the study. Therefore, further research is needed to determine the specific cause of these adverse events.

In conclusion, this clinical trial provides important information on the effects of different meal types, whole milk, and alcohol on the pharmacokinetics of CBD in healthy subjects. The study shows that food intake can significantly impact CBD exposure and suggests that external variables, such as diet, should be taken into consideration when prescribing CBD to patients. Furthermore, the trial demonstrates that a single 750mg dose of CBD was well-tolerated and safe in healthy subjects. Overall, this study provides valuable insights into the pharmacokinetics and safety of CBD and can help inform clinical practice in the use of CBD for therapeutic purposes.

Study Title: A phase 1, randomized, pharmacokinetic trial of the effect of different meal compositions, whole milk, and alcohol on cannabidiol exposure and safety in healthy subjects
Study Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7065230
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