Is Sublingual Administration The Best Method To Take CBD?

sublingual cbd

The legalization of Hemp products and increased acceptance by the people has led to an unfolding of new information about the goodness and benefits of CBD. From how much to take, which one to take, how to take it, and when to take it, CBD has become the hottest topic to discuss at the moment. Every wellness influencer on social media has specific recommendations to incorporate CBD into their daily regime. But the common thing everyone swears by is that taking  sublingual CBD results in the most effective absorption and provides better results. Of course, not all the methods are the same, and how the product is consumed will affect the absorption level in the body. Sublingual consumption is just one of the various methods of using CBD. 

The increase in demand for CBD led to innovation and production of different types of products infused with its wholesomeness. There are so many modes of delivering CBD into the body, edibles such as CBD gummies are a total hit, CBD oil tinctures are also taking over the market by storm, CBD Vape Oil is creating a buzz in the vaping industry, and Topical CBD products that provide more of the localized benefits. How does sublingual consumption vary from other methods, and what makes it more effective? We are here to help you find out.

What Is a Sublingual Method Of Taking CBD?

Sublingual Method Of Taking CBD

The term ‘sublingual’ is not a commonly heard word for many people, unless you, or someone you know, are already consuming a medication that needs to be administered sublingually. The word sublingual means underneath the tongue. Sublingual methods involve taking the CBD oil drops under the tongue, and giving them time to diffuse through the mucus membrane to enter the bloodstream. CBD starts working in the body when it enters the bloodstream. 

The oral CBD method is not the same as the Sublingual Method. Oral CBD refers to the process wherein you put the CBD-containing compound in your mouth to be swallowed directly, you won’t need to hold it. Whereas in the sublingual method you are required to hold the CBD oil under your tongue for some time to allow the absorption. 

How Should You Take CBD Oil Under Tongue to Make It Work?

To take CBD sublingually, we would advise you to do it in front of the mirror to ensure you are placing the droplets correctly.

  • Fill the glass dropper by squeezing the rubber tip.
  • Stand in front of the mirror.
  • Raise your tongue and take the dropper close to it.
  • Release the liquid dropwise on either side of the tongue.
  • Relax your tongue and close your mouth.
  • Swish it in your mouth to allow more surface area for absorption.
  • Then, hold the oil for 60-90 seconds. 
  • Swallow the remaining oil.

Safety Tip: Do not allow the dropper to directly touch the membrane of your mouth. If the saliva gets transferred to the oil bottle, it may introduce bacteria and cause spoilage of the oil.

Steps To Increase Sublingual Absorption

To increase the absorption by the sublingual method, it is advised to hold the drops of oil under your tongue for at least 90 seconds. The more it stays in contact with the mucus membrane, there are more chances of getting absorbed effectively. 

Onset Time for the Effects of CBD by Sublingual Method

The maximum concentration in the bloodstream is usually obtained anywhere between 30 minutes to 4-5 hours. The effects last longer because first the CBD gets quickly absorbed in the mouth and after you swallow it, the remaining CBD gets absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract after the digestive process.

How Long Does Sublingual CBD Stay in Your System?

when the effect of cbd begins

The half-life of CBD, when taken sublingually, varies widely between 1 to 10 hours, depending on the amount and concentration that you have consumed. You can read more about this on our blog – How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System.

How Does Sublingual CBD Ensure Better Absorption?

If a product has to undergo more steps after entering the body, there are more chances of it not getting utilized properly. When the compound carrying the CBD has to be broken down to gain the benefits, some of the chemicals get lost in the process. For instance, when you consume CBD as an ingredient of a product, it is taken to the digestive system and broken down. From there it is taken to the liver where it gets metabolized further, and the extracted nutrients or chemicals are released into the bloodstream. A study shows that liver cells eliminate nearly 70-75% of the consumed dosage. 

  • In the case of the sublingual method, CBD only undergoes action by the salivary enzymes whereas in the case of oral CBD method, CBD gets acted upon by the digestive enzymes of the stomach, intestines, and then the liver.

How is Bioavailability of CBD Oil Affected?

Bioavailability of CBD Oil

Bioavailability is an important term when you plan on using CBD or its products. It refers to the extent to which a compound gets absorbed to be available at the targeted site of activity after consumption. In simpler terms, it is the amount of CBD that gets delivered to your bloodstream after consumption. The amount that makes it to the bloodstream will decide the magnitude of effects you will feel. How you consume CBD will decide how much of it gets absorbed.

The different ways by which you can administer CBD are: 

  • Eating it (edibles CBD products)

cbd gummies

      • Edible CBD treats such as CBD Gummies, or as part of baked goods in case you choose to get creative, are the most fun and popular way to allow CBD to enter your body, but may not be the most efficient one. A study shows the bioavailability rate of this method to be between 4 to 20% at the most. This is because of the two-step digestive process – first the stomach & intestines, and then the liver. Our CBD Gummies 400 mg packet is specially curated to get you just the right amount and the benefits of CBD you need.   
  • Holding it under the tongue

      • Taking CBD in form of pure CBD oil extract or the CBD oil tinctures by holding it under your tongue increases the bioavailability of CBD (around 12-35%) because the oil gets directly absorbed by the membrane of the salivary glands under the tongue and enter the bloodstream directly from there, thus avoiding the digestive tract. Starting with a dose of 1000 mg CBD oil can help you identify the right dose for you and whether you need to increase it to get better effects from the same. 
  • Inhalation (Vaping)

cbd vape

    • Vaping the CBD oil offers an excellent bioavailability rate as the vaporized CBD directly enters the lungs and is then passed into the bloodstream.
    • This method is not as popular as other methods because of the possible irritable effects on membranes of the lungs.
  • Topical application
    cbd cream

    • This method offers more of a localized effect and is not an option if you want the CBD to enter the bloodstream. The porous nature of the skin will allow the CBD to get absorbed slowly. However, the layers which allow only water-soluble materials to pass obstruct the passage of CBD further into the skin to reach the bloodstream. 


Sublingual Method – Advantageous or Not


Every method comes with pros and cons and it is important to discuss it before you decide on the suitable method for you.

Advantages of Consuming CBD by the Sublingual Method:

  • Increase in Bioavailability of the CBD Oil.
  • A good option for those who want quicker results.
  • Suitable for people who do not like edibles.
  • Easy to use.
  • Can be used discreetly.
  • Effects last longer because of double absorption – first by the membranes of the mouth, and later by the digestive system.



  • You cannot eat, drink or smoke for some time after the use to allow the efficient absorption of the CBD.
  • Not suitable for those who want a slow release of CBD.
  • It will have effects on any condition with the buccal membranes. For instance, if you have mouth sores, CBD oil can irritate them and cause pain.


Final Word


Whether to label sublingual administration of CBD as the best method to absorb CBD to the bloodstream depends on how a consumer wants the results to show up in their body. Taking the CBD oil drops under your tongue does allow a quicker and safer method of absorption than oral consumption, as the bioavailability of CBD increases. Moreover, the effects last longer. When looking at it from the angle of proper absorption of CBD in the body, then yes it is an effective method for those who do not like vaping. 


Frequently Asked Questions 


Q: Can you take CBD vape oil orally?

  • Yes, our CBD Vape oil can be taken orally as well, and it comes in delicious flavors.

Q: Can I make a sublingual dose from CBD isolate?

  • CBD isolate is the powdered form of crystallized CBD. The powder can directly be applied under the tongue and left for 60-90 seconds to allow absorption. Or you can also mix the CBD isolate with an oil of your choice (olive oil or MCT oil) to create your own CBD oil. It will however have a peculiar earthy taste of the CBD.

Q: How much CBD should be consumed and when?

  • For first-time users, we recommend starting with a quarter of the dropper. For those who already have experience with hemp products, follow the recommended dosage and then later customize it as per your requirement. 
  • When to consume CBD depends on your specific requirements. When will the effects of CBD benefit you the most? What do you want to achieve by using it? To know more about when to consume it, give our article Best Time Of Day To Take CBD Oil a check!

Q: Is the sublingual method the same as the buccal method?

  • No. The sublingual method requires you to put the drops under the tongue, and in the buccal method, you need to hold the substance between your gums and cheeks to allow slow dilution and/or absorption.

Q: Can I overdose on CBD?

  • First, CBD is not addictive or psychoactive. Secondly, studies show that CBD was found to be safe even in extremely high doses such as 1500 mg/day. However, we don’t recommend overdosing on CBD.

Q: Are there any side effects of sublingual absorption?

  • There are no particular side effects associated with the sublingual absorption method. However, consumption of CBD may result in rare, and mild side effects such as fatigue, dry mouth, diarrhea, dizziness, etc. 


Charlie Thompson

Charlie Thompson is an expert cannabis botanist and a plantsman who believes that our lives revolve around plants and that a person can create the healthiest version of himself by exploring the power of plants. Charlie, who's the Chief Editor at Divine Hemps suggests that choosing the right CBD product is as crucial as getting the right form of treatment for your ailment. He closely works with the team of Divine Hemps and helps them create unique formulations of CBD that are tailored to customer's needs and are safe, pure, and lab-tested.

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