Cannabidiol (CBD), the second-most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis, has been touted in recent years as a medicinal extract that can be used to treat everything from stress and anxiety to back pain. While the full extent of its effectiveness is yet to be known, it has been approved by the FDA to treat certain forms of epilepsy.

With all of these potential benefits, it is unsurprising that many people want to incorporate CBD into their health routines. That being the case, it would be wise to first reevaluate one’s diet, as evidence has emerged that one high in fat enables a person to absorb cannabidiol much more readily.

That was the conclusion of a new study from the University of Minnesota, which compared the impact CBD made on epilepsy patients who ingested a fatty breakfast, as opposed to those who used the compound on an empty stomach. As Angela Birnbaum, co-author of the study and a professor at UM’s College of Pharmacy, explained it in a post on

“The type of food can make a large difference in the amount of CBD that gets absorbed into the body. Although fatty foods can increase the absorption of CBD, it can also increase the variability as not all meals contain the same amount of fat.”

Researchers found that CBD absorption was, on average, four times greater for those who took it as part of a high-fat diet, as opposed to those who fasted. Increased absorption, said Birnbaum’s co-author, Ilo Leppik, could result in lower costs on medication.

But the main conclusion is that in order for CBD to be used most effectively on patients, a specialized diet plan should be considered. Some examples of high-fat diets that are being recommended include the ketogenic diet and the paleo diet. Both have grown in popularity in recent years as healthy alternatives to the Standard American Diet, but both are somewhat controversial, given their embrace of fat and meat products. The ketogenic diet in particular is fat-based.

At the very least, it would appear such diets have their place as part of a CBD-based treatment plan. Ironically, CBD is also used as a way to mitigate appetite and control obesity. However, the aforementioned study suggested that CBD combined with high fat intake was still an effective way to lose a few pounds.

All of this is evidence of something Hippocrates once said: Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Turns out they work side by side, too.