We get asked in our chat “how long does it take for CBD to work”, after we tell them it can vary greatly they say “why”. I’ve sought out to answer this in the best way I can because it’s a very complicated subject. To understand how long cbd takes to work, you need to understand what CBD is and how different variables can impact how CBD works for you. In general, it takes CBD within 30 minutes to 2 hours to absorb into the bloodstream, depending on the method of consumption, which I’ll cover below. However, other factors like the amount of CBD you take, how often you take it, and the product quality can all play a role in how long it takes to feel CBD, and how long CBD will stay in your system.
The major kicker to all of these questions is that it really depends on your body, your goals, and expectations from CBD in general. Some people may notice results from CBD within a matter of days, while others may require weeks of consistent use before beginning to notice a difference due to either a tolerance to plant based medicines or cannabis in general. Consistency and patience is sometimes key with deep rooted issues!
How Long Does CBD Take to Enter Your System
As I mentioned above, how long it takes for CBD to work really depends on what working means to you. Before even considering trying CBD oils you need to know what you want from them! Taking CBD for mild discomfort may have faster results than someone who is trying CBD for a serious issue, though both cases have found great results. CBD is not one-size-fits-all but more of a dietary supplement to add when YOUR body needs it. I’ll explain further as we progress.
The Method of Consumption Matters
The method of consumption plays a critical role in how long it will take to feel the effects of CBD. CBD is available in many different forms, and each method has an influence on the onset time and overall effect time.
The most common method of using CBD is sublingual administration. While this is a very quick and easy method, swallowing the oil will prevent the CBD from immediately entering your bloodstream, sending it instead through the digestive tract and eventually on to the liver, where it is broken down before finally reaching the bloodstream. When eating CBD edibles, the same basic principal applies. Let's say, for example, you're taking CBD gummies or adding a few drops of CBD Oil into your favorite recipe. It will ultimately go through the same lengthy process and activate the total CBD concentration in your bloodstream. With ingestion, it could be a little as 15 mins to 2 hours, based on dose, before the effects of CBD finally set in.
You can consume CBD oil tinctures sublingually by placing a few drops of CBD under your tongue and allowing it to soak in for 30 seconds before swallowing. This allows mucous membranes in the mouth to absorb the CBD, mostly bypassing the digestive system and liver. This bypass allows significantly faster entry into the bloodstream, therefore a faster effect. Effects may be felt within seconds depending on the dose. Depending on how much you let it soak and how much is swallowed, you may get a second onset of effects a couple of hours later when the CBD that wasn't absorbed sublingually makes it through past the liver! It’s common to feel the effects of sublingual administration within 30 minutes at the most. Any effects you feel should last an hour or more but typically can have effect half of the day with a proper dose of a quality CBD Oil.
One of the most overlooked methods of CBD use is inhalation. Inhalation is often seen as the most effective method of delivery for CBD because of how quickly it's absorbed in the body and bloodstream. When you smoke hemp flower or vaporize a CBD oil or a CBD concentrate, the cannabinoids go directly to your lungs where they enter your bloodstream very rapidly and circulate throughout your body within minutes. CBD reaches peak concentrations within three minutes after consumption, meaning the effects can be felt very shortly after use. Smoking CBD flower or vaping CBD oil is one of the fastest ways to experience the effects of CBD, while it is the shortest lasting. Any effects you feel will set in almost immediately and last roughly an hour and maybe slightly longer.
When you apply topical CBD products directly to the skin, CBD is absorbed and interacts a bit slower than other methods. In most cases, CBD-infused topicals should be applied liberally to overcome the low cannabinoid absorption rate of the skin. Some companies add other great oils like lavender or other pain relieving compounds to shorten onset times. With topical application, any CBD effects you feel will peak at around 90 minutes unless they contain things like menthol or other quick acting pain relievers. This method of administration is often used for chronic pain in specific areas. CBD salves have grown in popularity much slower than other products, though I believe they will be the most popular in the long run!
The way CBD oil interacts with and leaves your body depends on several factors that can vary quite a bit from person to person. See the links here for deeper insight on how cbd works or the endocannabinoid system!
Like alcohol or any other substance, the amount of body fat on an individual influences the amount of CBD one needs to feel an effect. The larger the body mass, the more CBD required to feel potential effects. Bodyweight and mass also affect how long CBD will remain in your system. Like THC, CBD is stored in fat cells and gradually eliminated from the body through urine and feces. It may take 30 days or more for your body to remove all traces of cannabinoids from the system.
The metabolic rate of the person dosing also has an effect over how long CBD stays in the system and how well it works. The body's metabolism determines the time needed to break down and synthesize compounds, which affects how long it takes the body to process and metabolize the cannabinoid, translating to onset and length of effect times.
Frequency of Use
It's not just your body that influences how long it takes CBD to work, but also the quality of the CBD product used and how often it's administered. How much you use will depend largely on the type of product, amount of CBD inside it, and the effect that you are targeting. Most reputable manufacturers will provide instructions on how to properly use the product, as mentioned in How To Use CBD Oil for Pain Relief, A bit of testing may be required to find the optimal dose for you and your specific needs.
Finding the ideal dosage is an important part of any treatment process, CBD is no different. I’ve found it takes anywhere from 100-200mg to really “hit” how I want it, but I also personally use a lot of cannabis on a daily basis, making my tolerance significantly higher than the average persons. As a non-cannabis user I would suggest starting with 10-50mg per dose! Dosage will impact how long CBD stays in your system and how well it works, so finding that sweet spot for you is keys most CBD products are not intended to give the user a stoned buzz or intoxicated feeling, so there's no need to be conservative with the dosage amount. With that said, I always recommend people to start with a lower dosage and gradually increase it until the ideal effects are discovered. Then again, CBD is non-toxic and non-psychoactive so you can’t really over do it!
If you're brand new to CBD, start with a few puffs of a smokeable product or around 20 milligrams of CBD if you're consuming an edible product. Wait a bit to see how you respond before consuming more.
Always talk with your doctor before starting a new cbd regime.