If you’ve ever gone shopping for a quality CBD tincture, you’ve likely encountered a buzzy (and sciencey- looking) little adjective on many prospective products’ labels: “sublingual.” The word sounds complex –and maybe even a little gross –but its definition is actually pretty simple. Sublingual tinctures are meant to be deposited, held, and absorbed under (sub) your tongue (lingual).

So what’s wrong with good old-fashioned swallowing? Many companies claim that, when you hold their tinctures under your tongue for 30-60 seconds, you allow all the good stuff to “travel through your mouth’s tissue and directly into your bloodstream, skipping digestion and first-pass metabolism in the liver to achieve ultra-speedy results. Sounds too good to be true…but is it?

Well, yes and no. Sublingual absorption is possible. But the reality is that most so-called “sublingual” CBD tinctures are actually made up of molecules that are too large to fit between the cells under your tongue. While you can hold them in your mouth until the cows come home, they’ll ultimately end up running down the back of your throat and passing through your digestive system like any other beverage. Will they still work? Yes! Will they work quickly? Probably not. You’re looking at a 30-60 minute onset time, depending on how full your stomach already is at the time of ingestion.

Woman in grey sweater sticking out her tongue on a purple background

If you’re looking for a truly sublingual tincture, your best bet is to find one made with a nanoemulsion–for example, Wana Wellness Fast-Acting Hemp Tincture. Now, the science behind nanoemulsion technology actually is pretty complicated, but we can break it down into two basic concepts:

  1. SIZE –While the molecules of traditional tinctures tend to clump together in oily globs that measure as much as 1000nanometers in size, the particles in the nanoemulsified Wana Wellness Tincture are actually MUCH smaller –somewhere in the neighborhood of 25nanometers. That’s smaller than bacteria, or even a human gene! Small enough, in other words, to actually fit between the cells under your tongue.
  2. SNEAKINESS–One reason typical CBD tinctures can take awhile to kick in is that cannabinoids like CBD are lipids, or fats. Your body is 70% water. Since water and fat don’t like to mix, it’s difficult for your system to absorb the CBD efficiently. Not only does it take longer, but it means as much as 80% of the milligrams you ingest are eliminated from your body without effect. But the nanoemulsion in Wana Wellness Tincture encapsulates these fatty molecules in a thin, water-soluble layer. It’s like a disguise that tricks your body into absorbing the CBD!

Because Wana Wellness Fast-Acting Hemp Tinctures are made of these tiny, water-friendly molecules, they actually can be absorbed under your tongue and into your bloodstream without taking a detour through the digestive tract or liver first.
This results in an onset time of just 5-15 minutes (as much as 12x faster than your average so-called “sublingual” tincture).

AND–good news for your wallet –it drastically increases the total amount of CBD absorbed, making it both more efficient and more cost effective than competing tinctures.

So remember: just because a label tells you to hold some tincture under your tongue doesn’t mean it’s actually sublingual. If you’re looking for a CBD tincture that can be absorbed rapidly and efficiently under your tongue, trust one with the technology to back it up