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How Long Does It Take CBD to Start Working?

Table of Contents

  1. How Long for CBD Oil to Take the Effect?
  2. What Affects How Long CBD Stays in Your System?
  3. How You Take CBD Oil Matters
  4. Quality, Manufacturer, and Type of CBD
  5. How Often Should You Take CBD?
  6. What to Expect in the First Month Taking CBD Oil?
  7. FAQ
  8. Conclusion

How fast does CBD oil work? It’s a question that many people have once they decide that they’d like to try CBD for the first time. Of course, understanding how quickly you’ll experience potential benefits is only part of the story. You’re also probably curious to learn about things like how long CBD stays in your system or which form of CBD offers the quickest results. Let’s unlock the answers!

How Long for CBD Oil to Take Effect after a Dose?

First, it’s important to know that your experience will vary based on your own biology and the product you’re using. CBD generally “kicks in” between 15 minutes and three hours after consumption. We’ll cover the fastest ways to get CBD results in just a bit.

Next, let’s explore some of the factors that contribute to each person’s unique experience with CBD.

What Affects How Long CBD Stays in Your System?

How long does CBD last in your system? This is a case where the answer is going to vary by person. A number of factors actually affect how long CBD stays in a person’s system. The general consensus based on research is that CBD stays in a person’s system for between two and five days. Some people could have CBD in their systems for weeks. That may be important to know if you’re interested in taking a full-spectrum CBD that contains traces of THC.

Here’s a look at some of the key factors that will reduce or lengthen CBD’s lifespan in your system:

  1. Frequency of use. CBD builds in your body over time.
  2. The amount that you use. A higher dose of CBD will stay in your system for a longer time.
  3. Your personal body chemistry and metabolism.
  4. Body mass index (BMI).
  5. Method of consumption.
Food intake can also impact how long CBD stays in your system.

Food intake can also impact how long CBD stays in your system. For instance, taking CBD on an empty stomach will cause the CBD to be metabolized and eliminated by your body in a faster cycle. Taking CBD on a full stomach slows the way it cycles through your system.

Next, we’ll discuss how your method of consumption impacts your CBD experience.

How You Take CBD Oil Matters

Yes, the method you use to consume CBD is going to impact your experience. CBD vape products tend to offer the quickest results because the CBD is entering your lungs directly. This method also causes the CBD to leave your body quicker than other intake methods. How long for CBD vape to work? You can typically expect to feel the effects within a few minutes.

CBD oils and tinctures also offer quick results. That’s because CBD oil that is applied under the tongue enters your bloodstream quickly. Unlike vape CBD products, CBD oil lingers in your system.

How long does CBD tincture take to work? It typically takes between 30 minutes and three hours for a tincture to kick in. The potency of the oil you’re using will play a role in how quickly things get moving. CBD oil that is mixed into the food can take longer to kick in than CBD oil that is applied directly under your tongue. The same goes for CBD edibles. You’ll have to wait for your digestive system to metabolize the CBD oil if you opt for the edible route.

CBD creams and lotions absorb slowly into the skin after being applied topically.

Lastly, you can opt for what is widely considered to be the “slowest” delivery method for CBD. That would be creams or lotions. CBD creams and lotions absorb slowly into the skin after being applied topically. Many people enjoy these products for long-term use. However, you generally won’t feel a huge impact upon the first application.

CBD Duration Chart

To summarize, let’s view CBD duration in the form of the table:

CBD Product TypeOnset TimeDuration of the Effects
CBD vape oils2 minutes30 minutes – an hour
CBD oils30 minutes – 3 hoursUp to 4 hours
CBD edibles60 minutesUp to 6 hours
CBD topicalsHours to show effectUp to 5 hours

Do Quality, Manufacturer, and Type of CBD Matter?

A higher quality of CBD is likely going to produce sharper, more potent results. What’s more, effectiveness and potency can vary by manufacturer. Potency can play a role in how quickly you’ll feel results with something like a tincture. That’s why it’s important to measure strength in milligrams against product volume instead of simply assuming that a higher volume means higher potency.

Don’t You Know How to Measure CBD Strength in Milligrams?
Read the post about CBD Dosage and Serving Sizes!

CBD type can also impact your experience. Generally, a full-spectrum CBD product is going to stay in your system longer than a broad-spectrum product. There is also the concern that the trace amount of THC contained in full-spectrum CBD could say in your system long enough to be detected in a blood test. Broad-spectrum CBD undergoes a process that eliminates THC.

How Often Should You Take CBD?

When creating a wellness schedule, it’s helpful to have a plan for how frequently to take CBD. Many people find that taking CBD at the same time each day helps them to create a more balanced, even way of being. Making a plan for when to take CBD can be especially important if you’re taking CBD for things like sleep support, mood or energy.

When to Take CBD Oil?

It’s helpful to know how long until CBD oil takes effect when creating a schedule for when to take your daily CBD dosage.

As we previously discussed, CBD products take between 30 minutes and two hours to absorb into your bloodstream to create full results. Your method of consumption will determine how quickly you see the effects. The bioavailability of different CBD products will determine how long it takes the CBD to absorb into your bloodstream. Sublingual and inhaled CBD products tend to create the fastest results. Edibles also create relatively quick results. Topical products that are applied to the skin typically have the slowest results.

Each person will ultimately create their own CBD schedule. However, there are some smart tips to follow if you’re taking CBD for the first time.

  1. If you’re new to CBD, start with one dose daily. This will allow you to really gauge the benefits of the particular CBD product you’ve chosen.
  2. The general recommendation for people who are trying CBD for the first time is to start with a low dose. Typically, that means 25 milligrams of CBD or less per dose. Do this for about a week to document any noticeable changes that you can observe.
  3. If you don’t know when to take CBD products, follow the tips described in our guide “What is the Best Time of Day to Take CBD Oil?”

There’s no need to feel limited by this suggestion. Once you’ve established that CBD is for you, you can certainly increase strength and dosage to fit your needs! If you have a case of CBD oil no effect, you can consider increasing dosage to see if you’re able to feel the benefits more profoundly.

What to Expect in the First Month Taking CBD Oil?

If you’re new to CBD, the first month of taking CBD products is an important time for noticing the benefits of CBD, seeing how different dosages affect you, and determining the CBD products that you like the best. It’s also important to know about some of the myths of CBD to avoid feeling that your expectations aren’t being met.

How Long Before CBD Oil Works?

While it’s very common to feel the effects of CBD right away, you may not see the full impact for a while. In fact, many people assume that CBD simply doesn’t work for them because they don’t feel an immediate, life-changing impact after that first dose.

In reality, it can take one to two weeks for regular dosages of CBD to create any type of noticeable difference. Your brain and body are actually adjusting to the presence of this new cannabinoid in your system. That means that it can take a while for your receptors to fully respond to CBD in a way that produces meaningful results. In addition to simply being patient, there are some things you can do to make the introductory period a bit smoother. The first is to make sure you’re purchasing high-quality CBD products with clear labeling.

What Should I Do If CBD Oil Makes Me Sleepy?

This is a common concern among people who try CBD for the first time. However, this side effect isn’t necessarily a reason for alarm bells to go off.

Can CBD oil make you sleepy?

Does CBD oil make you tired? Yes, fatigue is actually a common early side effect of CBD. That’s because CBD is known to relax muscles. This is precisely why so many people take it for mood, relaxation, and relief from tension-related conditions!

During the first two to three weeks of taking CBD, fatigue can become noticeable. Many people actually stop taking CBD before cycling through a full month of usage because they are worried that they will never feel alert again because they’ve heard about “CBD oil makes me lazy” myths. In reality, the “sleepy” side effects of CBD usually subside at the three-week mark.

Other Side Effects of CBD to Know About

Some people experience a “dry mouth” after taking CBD. While not necessarily serious, a dry mouth can be an annoying or uncomfortable sensation. It is believed that the “cotton mouth” effect of CBD comes from the way cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors in salvia. A good way to counteract this issue is to begin sipping water regularly starting on the day that you begin your first CBD dosage. Some people also experience slight eye dryness when using CBD.

CBD is also linked with some temporary digestive issues in some people. This can include anything from gastrointestinal discomfort to diarrhea. Typically, CBD digestive issues go away after three to four weeks. If you’re experiencing any digestive issues beyond four weeks, it’s wise to let your doctor know. You may want to consider lowering your dosage or switching to a different CBD product.

CBD can be a powerful wellness aid that allows people to live their lives with comfort and vitality. However, the expectation shouldn’t be that you’ll wake up the first morning after you take your first dose to feel like a new person! Like all new wellness changes that you bring into your lifestyle, CBD can take time to produce peak results. It’s important to know that staying consistent with your dosage, monitoring your progress and using high-quality products will allow you to see the best results.

FAQ

Now let’s sum up the information on CBD duration in our systems:

  1. How Long Does It Take CBD to Start Working?

    The length of time it takes CBD to start working depends on many factors. They include your body weight, metabolism, and body chemistry. However, some of the biggest influences are the method of consumption, the CBD potency, and the dosage amount.

    CBD taken sublingually will reach the circulatory system faster than CBD taken orally and has a higher bioavailability (more reaches the bloodstream). Also impacting the length of time to feel the effects of CBD is whether the product is made with CBD full spectrum, CBD broad spectrum or CBD isolate, and the milligrams of CBD in each dosage.

    Generally speaking, you can expect to feel the effects of CBD anywhere from 15 minutes to one to two hours after consumption, depending on the CBD forms and types. This is anecdotal information provided by users.

  2. When CBD Gummies Start Working?

    Any CBD product taken orally must travel through the digestive system first where cannabinoids are absorbed into the bloodstream. The cannabinoids then travel to the liver where they are metabolized and reenter the bloodstream. After reaching the brain, the effects are experienced. It can take from 30 to 60 minutes for an edible to begin working, per a study published on the National Institutes of Health website titled, “Smoking, Vaping, Eating: Is Legalization Impacting the Way People Use Cannabis?”.

    The higher the potency, the quicker you should experience results. Other factors to consider include the dosage amount, body weight, metabolism, and whether you eat the gummy on an empty stomach. Also important is the quality of the CBD product. It can take up to six hours for full absorption.

  3. How Does CBD Oil Work for Pain Relief?

    CBD users have provided a lot of anecdotal evidence that CBD helps alleviate pain and calms feelings of the stress that frequently accompanies chronic pain. Each person is different in terms of the cause of the pain and their physical makeup.

    However, the way CBD oil is consumed has a big impact on how long it takes the oil to work for pain. CBD oil placed under the tongue will work the fastest because it is absorbed almost directly into the circulatory system. CBD oil consumed by swallowing or adding to foods and drinks must be processed through the digestive system and liver before the effects are felt.

    Like edibles, it can take 30 to 60 minutes for CBD oil to beginning working on general pain when swallowed. It can take six to eight hours before the full effects are experienced.

  4. How Long Does it Take for CBD Vape to Work?

    As medical researchers note in an article posted on the National Institutes of Health website (“Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment,”), the effects of CBD inhalation are impacted by factors like vaporizer temperature, how long someone holds their breath and the condition of the respiratory tract. The first effects can begin in as little as a few minutes due to high systemic bioavailability.

  5. When Does Sublingual CBD Oil Start to Work?

    Sublingual CBD oil is a tincture is placed under the tongue for faster absorption. The CBD oil is absorbed through the mucous membranes located directly under the tongue and quickly enters the bloodstream.

    CBD tinctures made with alcohol solvents are stronger than CBD tinctures made with a solvent of vinegar, glycerin, or oil. Sublingual CBD oil can begin working in as little as 15 to 30 minutes because it has a short route to the brain.

  6. How Do I Know When CBD Patches Start Working?

    A CBD patch is applied to the skin where it can slowly release the CBD through the skin and into the bloodstream. The first CBD absorbed into the bloodstream can take one hour or longer, but there will be sustained delivery over a designated period of time.

    It could take hours to experience the full effect as a result. The CBD patches are particularly effective at reducing localized inflammation around the patch. Some patches are made with CBD and additional formulations to enhance the ability to penetrate the skin.

Conclusion

How quickly does CBD oil work? The bottom line is that you can feel an impact within minutes using a direct method like vaping or sublingual oil. Edibles or tincture oils mixed with food create more of a “trickle” effect. Nobody can say for certain how long any form of CBD will stay in a person’s system. Most data points to a window of two to five days. However, it’s not impossible for CBD to be present in your system for weeks.

Sources

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26992484/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30262735/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5968020/

By Alex Malkin

Alex Malkin is a CBD enthusiast, researcher, and the editor-in-chief at CBD.market. He's also the author of the book "CBD: A Door to Better Health" and a certified nutrition-and-wellness specialist.

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