Table of Contents
- HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR CBD TO WORK?
- HOW LONG CBD TAKES TO ENTER YOUR BLOODSTREAM
FACTOR 1: METHOD OF INTAKE
a) CBD BIOAVAILABILITY CHART
FACTOR 2: DOSAGE & POTENCY
a) HOW MUCH CBD SHOULD I TAKE?
- FACTOR 3: CBD QUALITY
- FACTOR 4: INDIVIDUAL BIOLOGY
- BODY WEIGHT
- ENDOCANNABINOID BALANCE
- FACTOR 5: CONSISTENCY
- FEELING OUT HOW CBD WORKS FOR YOU
- WHAT KIND OF CBD SHOULD I TAKE?
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR CBD TO WORK?
To understand how long CBD takes to work, you first need a basic understanding of what CBD is, and how different variables can impact its onset of action. In general, CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream within 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on the method of delivery.1 Other variables like the dosage, full spectrum or THC-free, consistency, and quality can also play a role in how quickly you begin to feel the benefits of CBD. How long does CBD oil take to work? It really depends on your goals and expectations, along with other variables like your age, body weight, and metabolism. However, for anyone trying CBD for a more serious issue, consistency and patience needs to be part of your wellness routine for the full potential of CBD to be realized.
If you’d like to know more about what it takes to begin seeing results, read on as we explore the variables, but first watch my short video below!
HOW LONG CBD TAKES TO ENTER YOUR BLOODSTREAM
As I mentioned above, the answer to how long CBD takes to work really depends on your own definition of the word "work." Mild anxiety is going to be much quicker and easier to address than a more serious condition.
Simply put: the answer to this question isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It is a step by step approach that acknowledges how the benefits of CBD, and how long it takes to achieve them, may differ from different delivery methods and the issue at hand. For example: how long it takes CBD to work will differ drastically between sublingual oils, CBD capsules, and CBD topicals. So let's get down to the nitty gritty!
FACTOR 1: METHOD OF INTAKE
There are many different ways to consume CBD. Each of these methods has a different impact on how much, and how quickly, the CBD gets absorbed into your bloodstream.2 This phenomenon is called bioavailability. It’s important to understand this because it will help you determine how much you’ll need to take to feel its effects; and you can also get an idea of how long it will take for your CBD to work.
CBD BIOAVAILABILITY CHART
As you can see in the chart above, the consumption method of CBD is the biggest determining factor in how long it may take for CBD oil to work. The quickest and most bioavailable method of CBD consumption is through inhalation, but many states still prohibit the sale of CBD-rich hemp flowers for smoking. The next best is a sublingual oil or tincture, followed by ingestible CBD capsules and finally topicals.
Because CBD capsules have to travel through your digestive system, they have what’s known as a first-pass metabolism. This means that it’ll take longer to feel the effects of the CBD, or in medical terms – the bioavailability rate. (To clarify: this applies for all edible cannabis products, because all of them have to pass through your digestive system.)
On the other hand, CBD oil avoids first-pass metabolism by going straight through the capillaries under your tongue. This makes it the most effective method of delivery after smoking, and it means you’ll feel it quicker.3 This is also the main reason we formulate our organic CBD oils with medium chain coconut oil. Because of its thin and viscous characteristics, it absorbs quickly when placed under the tongue.
There are other variables at play in how long it takes, but this should help you determine when your specific form of CBD will start working.
FACTOR 2: DOSAGE & POTENCY
The amount of CBD you're taking every day will affect how quickly you will begin feeling its effects. In general, the more that you're taking, the quicker you’ll feel it.
For example, if you take a high dose of CBD to Support a healthy Sleep Cycle, you’ll probably feel sleepy in about 15-30 minutes. In contrast, if you take a lower serving for general wellness or everyday aches or pains, it could take a few days of dosing to notice significant results.4
HOW MUCH CBD SHOULD I TAKE?
The bottom line is that when you’re choosing a CBD product, you should consider the type of results you're trying to achieve and adjust your dosage accordingly. This may also include testing different consumption methods or a different application style. It can also depend on your body mass, and if you're taking any prescription medications.5
Everyone is different, and this is something you need to dial in for yourself. A full dropper of our 750 mg CBD oil is 25 mg, which we think is a great daily serving to start with. But some people take more, and some need less. CBD can be a powerful supplement, especially when it contains THC alongside it. So it’s best to consult with your doctor to determine the right dose for you and avoid any CBD side effects.
FACTOR 3: CBD QUALITY
We’ve said it time and time again: not all CBD products are created equally. Because this market is largely unregulated, many brands on the market do very little to maintain the quality of their products.6 Some CBD brands use ingredients that have impurities, additives, and adulterants which will significantly effect the safety of your product. This is why you should always look for a third party lab test to know that you're getting a high quality CBD product, along with the USDA organic seal.
We also recommend looking for a full spectrum CBD product, which contains more cannabinoids than just CBD. Just like CBD, these other cannabinoids don’t get you high; but they do have a synergetic effect that heightens your body’s response through the "entourage effect."7One of those cannabinoids is probably one you’ve heard a lot about, and that’s THC. In order for a product to truly be considered full spectrum, make sure it contains trace amounts of THC. The legal amount is no more than 0.3 percent of total dry weight.
The origin of the raw hemp plant material is another key factor that determines the quality of your product. Hemp is a powerful bioaccumulator, meaning that it soaks up all the nutrients and toxins in the soil it grows in. If the soil isn’t pre-tested for toxins, pesticides, or heavy metals, those things could end up in your CBD. That's why you should only use CBD products made from hemp grown in the USA, and preferably in Kentucky. In addition, if the farmer uses synthetic fertilizers, or if the field doesn’t go through a multi-year crop rotation, there will be fewer nutrients in the soil and the hemp will contain less CBD.8
You can avoid all of these problems by opting for an organic cannabis product that’s been certified organic by the USDA. As we explore in this article, the USDA has strict guidelines for organic farming and processing. This means that USDA certified organic products will be responsibly sourced and of higher quality.9
FACTOR 4: INDIVIDUAL BIOLOGY
Although you can count on certain effects to take place, no two people respond exactly the same to CBD, even if they have the same consumption, the same delivery method, and the same body composition. One person could feel their CBD tinctures in 10 minutes, yet someone else could take the same dose and feel it in an hour. 10
There are several key considerations that fall into this category, and they all affect the amount of time it will take to feel CBD’s effects.
Like most cannabinoids, CBD is fat-soluble. Those who weigh more tend to have more fat cells in their body, which means that they’ll absorb and store CBD for longer in their body.
While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does mean that people with more fat cells in their body will most likely need more time to adjust. It’s not all bad news, though: the higher your body mass, the longer it takes for CBD to work.11
While individual metabolism does involve burning calories, it also affects how your body breaks down compounds like CBD. Depending on your age, your lifestyle, your digestive system, and your genetic profile, your metabolism can function at different rates. This is what we call our metabolic rate – and we all have different ones!12
If you exercise regularly and have a high metabolism, you’ll feel the effects come on faster; but you’ll also feel it wear off more quickly. On the other hand, if you have a slow metabolism, you’ll notice that it takes longer to feel your CBD coming on; and it will stay in your body for longer.
CBD is part of a unique set of compounds called cannabinoids. These compounds interact with a biological system found in nearly all animals. It’s called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), and its cannabinoid receptors are found throughout your entire body. While we’re just beginning to understand how the ECS works, research suggests that it’s responsible for many of your biological functions like your mood, sleep, appetite, and pain response.13
If your ECS is imbalanced, you could experience a large range of negative symptoms as a result. While the science is still out on this subject, CBD could help to alleviate these symptoms by attaching to the receptors and rebalancing your system. In general, the more your endocannabinoid system is imbalanced, the longer it will take to feel the effects.
While there’s no way to quantify how much of an imbalance you’re experiencing; you can probably gauge this yourself by assessing the severity of your symptoms.
FACTOR 5: CONSISTENCY
For some people, the positive effects come immediately. A lot of people will notice that they’re experiencing less stress, less tension, and better sleep after just one dose of CBD -- but this is just from anecdotal reports. For others, it might take a few weeks to notice the powerful effects of CBD. So if you don’t feel it right away, be patient.
Some impatient people might give up after a few CBD doses and brush it off as snake oil that doesn’t work. While these people might be taking a bad-quality product, they’re also ignoring one of the key properties of CBD oil -- take it consistently.
Regardless of what you’re feeling, the positive results come slowly. The key to getting the most benefits out of your CBD is consistency! A consistent, daily dose will eventually restore balance your ECS; and you’ll be glad you stuck with it.
FEELING OUT HOW CBD WORKS FOR YOU
When you’re new to CBD, the first thing to know is that the effects take a few days to become noticeable. That means when you begin taking CBD every day, it’s good to be mindful of how your body responds to your daily CBD dosage. To discover its full effects, we recommend trying it for a full 30 days.
Your first 30 days on CBD is an important time to better understand your body and how it responds. Below we answer many of the most common beginners' questions about CBD.
The potential therapeutic benefits that CBD oils and tinctures offer are becoming more recognized, making people more interested in getting started. The first 30 days can be a trial and error time in finding what works best for you, the individual. After reading these answers to the most common questions, you are likely to add a cannabis supplement into your everyday routine soon.
WHAT KIND OF CBD SHOULD I TAKE?
For first time users, we always recommend starting with full spectrum CBD oil, which you take sublingually — which means a dropper of oil under your tongue for 30 to 60 seconds to let it absorb through the mucous membrane in your mouth.
Some people have trouble taking our CBD hemp oil under the tongue, and so they prefer the CBD capsules. They are also worth considering if you’re experiencing inflammation in the lower digestive tract, as capsules get further down into the gut.
People looking for pain relief in a specific area often apply a CBD lotion on the affected area, while avoiding the eyes and mucous membranes. For best results, we recommend pairing CBD lotion or a CBD balm with sublingual oil, and using the same delivery methods at the same time everyday.
You’ll also always want to make sure whatever CBD product you are using has third party lab tests. The best companies have a QR code, and all of their company information, and testing lab information readily available to be reviewed before or after purchase. In order for CBD oil to work, you must first make sure that what you're taking is real! If you can’t view the third party test results before making your purchase, then hold off until you can do more research.
Unfortunately, many unscrupulous brands sell fake CBD oil.14 This is actually just hemp seed oil with a fake concentration listed on the bottle. You’ll also want to stay away from any brand that is making lofty health claims about its CBD oil. No medical claims regarding full spectrum CBD oil have been approved by the FDA, as of 2021.15