how long.does it.take.for.cbd

How Long Does it Take for CBD Oil to Work?

How long it takes for CBD oil to work depends on several factors. For example, CBD oil tinctures work marginally faster than other consumption methods due to sublingual absorption.

Although CBD is beneficial any way you choose to take, it still does take time for CBD to kick in, thanks to the trip it takes through our system.

So how long does it take for CBD oil to work and why? To better understand this, we first need to look at CBD, its mechanism, and consumption methods.

How Does CBD Interact With the Body?

We still have a lot to learn about CBD’s potential, but its mechanism is relatively well-understood. A lot goes on inside your body when you consume CBD. There’s so much to discuss that we could go on forever, so we’ll stick with the basics.

The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a broad-reaching assembly of receptors found throughout the body. Classified as CB1 and CB2, these receptors are found primarily in the central and peripheral nervous systems, respectively.

Our bodies produce their own cannabinoids, which we know as “endocannabinoids, and those found externally in cannabis are known as “phytocannabinoids.”

Endocannabinoids maintain a certain physiological and neurological balance, referred to as “homeostasis,” which is essential for physical and mental health.

CBD and the ECS

Some phytocannabinoids, like THC, bind well to CB1 and CB2 receptors, while others might only bind to one. However, in a few cases – including CBD – a cannabinoid doesn’t affect CB1 or CB2.

Wait a second. How can CBD interact with the ECS if it doesn’t bind well to either receptor? Here is where things get interesting.

Although CBD doesn’t directly affect the ECS compared to cannabinoids like THC, CBD still works with other critical receptors.

CBD and Other Receptors

CBD is known to impact various other non-cannabinoid receptors directly. However, this interaction is what gives CBD many of its therapeutic properties.

Multiple studies were done on the role of CBD and different key receptors, specifically:

CBD’s dynamic here has tremendous potential. Studies showed promise when they examined CBD’s possible physical and neurological benefits.

CBD and Endocannabinoid Receptors

As we said, CBD doesn’t bind well to the CB1 or CB2 receptors. It does, however, impact them substantially.

One of CBD’s notable talents is its ability to hamper the effects of THC. CBD is comparatively passive. It doesn’t go straight for the CB receptors but instead sits on the sidelines, changing the shape of those channels.

By altering the physical properties of the CB receptors, CBD can change the way many cannabinoids interact with them.

In THC’s case, CBD alters the receptor’s shape in a way that inhibits the reuptake of THC. Ultimately, this leads to a less intense high when evenly mixed with THC. It’s also handy if you consume too much of the intoxicating cannabinoid.

Factors that Affect CBD Absorption

The time before you feel the effects of CBD can change depending on several factors. Some are under your control, but most are physiological. Consequently, dosages, efficacy, and side effects (if any) inevitably vary.

If you’re unhappy with your CBD product’s performance, you may need to examine or consider the following list.

How You Take CBD

Easily the most predictable factor, your chosen consumption method greatly impacts how CBD affects you. There are advantages and disadvantages to each option, but each effectively caters to everyone’s needs.

Today, you’ll find an endless list of potential products, including:

  • Tinctures
  • Edibles (gummies, baked goods, etc.)
  • Drinks
  • Capsules
  • Pre-rolled joints
  • Loose flower
  • Vape products (e-liquid, vape oil)
  • Topicals

CBD Dosage and Potency

Many conclude that taking a higher amount of CBD allows it to work faster. While this makes sense on the surface, it’s not true. It doesn’t matter how much CBD you take. Excessive dosing won’t speed up the product’s effects.

Dosage will, however, impact how long CBD stays in your system. We’ll discuss the duration again shortly.

CBD Quality

It’s easy to tell if your CBD is great with a quick glance at the label or a look at your vendor’s website. When judging CBD quality, consider the following:

  • Sourcing
  • Extraction
  • Type of CBD
  • Customer feedback
  • Testing
  • Cannabinoid/terpene profiles

Individual Biology

You could have the best CBD on the market, a perfect dose, the right product, and still feel underwhelmed by its effects. What’s going on? Not to sound cliché, but in this case, you have to look inward.

Keep these few things in mind:

  • Weight
  • Biological sex
  • Tolerance
  • Metabolism


It makes sense that your most recent meal might impact how quickly and effectively CBD behaves when ingested. But it doesn’t stop there. The food you eat before your CBD dose makes a difference regardless of whether it’s ingestion or some other non-oral option.

More on that in a moment.

CBD Consumption Methods and How Long it Takes for CBD to Work

The effects of CBD tinctures mirror that of edibles and other oral routes but differ significantly from approaches like vapes or topicals. Let’s take a closer look at the list of examples we provided earlier.

CBD Oil Tincture

CBD tincture is one of the oldest cannabidiol products on the market but continues to hold its own. Tinctures are taken sublingually, meaning you hold them under your tongue for about 60 seconds before swallowing.

Temporarily leaving the product inside your mouth lets your capillaries absorb some of the CBD. Then, a dose of cannabidiol immediately hits your bloodstream while you wait for your digestive system to handle the rest.

The duration of effect is substantially longer than smoking – lasting between four and eight hours. This makes CBD tincture more effective for continued, regular dosing compared to complete immediate relief.

However, because tincture is sublingual, it takes effect in 15 to 30 minutes, while other ingestible options require more time. We’ll discuss those next.

CBD Edibles

Edibles cover a range of products, but CBD gummies seem to be extremely popular among all other edible choices. Of course, plenty of companies offer a range of options, including chocolates, baked goods, gum, and more.

Drinks work the same way as solid foods. Today, CBD tea, coffee, energy drinks, soft drinks, and even CBD “beer” (alcohol-free) are available from vendors across the U.S.

However, edibles are the least efficient. Not only do they suffer from the low bioavailability that comes with ingesting CBD, but they also go straight into the stomach. In other words, no sublingual administration. Consequently, it can take 30 to 45 minutes on average for these products to work.

CBD Softgels

CBD softgels are pill-sized capsules filled with hemp CBD oil. Unlike tincture, there’s no sublingual step. This puts these products in the same category as gummies and other edibles.

People like CBD softgels because they offer very precise dosing and easy administration. The capsules also prevent any need for flavoring, as it’s impossible to taste the oil inside.

The downside is that, like edibles, they rely exclusively on the digestive system, so you’re again facing a 30 to 45 minute wait time.

Smoking Hemp/CBD

Inhaling CBD is the opposite of ingestion in every way imaginable. Consumers choose between dry flowers, such as joints, or vape products.

While there are some differences between the two, the duration of the effect remains the same – roughly two to four hours.

When inhaled, CBD goes into the bloodstream from the lungs, hitting within two to five minutes.

CBD Topicals

CBD Topicals sit in a league of their own. Instead of being sent to the bloodstream through digestion or the lungs, topicals are applied directly to the skin.

These products can range from therapeutic creams to shampoos and even transdermal patches.

When applied directly to the skin, CBD may have powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects – among others. This is why topicals are popular for people who need acute relief.

Fortunately, topicals work very quickly, with their therapeutic effects reportedly starting within 10 to 15 minutes.

The Importance of CBD Bioavailability

We know CBD absorption varies depending on the product, but why is that the case? It all comes down to CBD bioavailability.

Bioavailability refers to how much of the compound (CBD or otherwise) is left over for your body to use after being processed. CBD absorbed directly into the bloodstream always works faster than products processed through ingestion.

Experts – including renowned cannabis researcher Raphael Mechoulam – looked into the bioavailability of different CBD consumption methods. Their findings are particularly relevant if you need CBD as a therapeutic supplement.

Edible CBD Bioavailability

According to the above review, oral bioavailability – including CBD oil tincture – is the lowest of all. This makes sense, considering the digestion process delays the time it takes for CBD to work.

Referred to as the “ first-pass effect ,” this primarily occurs in the liver where a portion of the drug (or in this case, a cannabinoid) breaks down and absorbs before reaching circulation.

Unfortunately, the liver devours CBD. Consequently, oral bioavailability through CBD oil and other edibles is extremely low, landing in the 13 to 19% range, according to the review.

The publication also found that sublingual bioavailability was only marginally higher.

Smoked CBD Bioavailability

Smoking or vaping CBD sends the cannabinoid straight into the bloodstream, sparing it from your liver’s wrath. Naturally, bypassing this roadblock dramatically increases bioavailability.

This consumption method involves either dry herb smoking or CBD vaping, whose bioavailability also differs.

Hemp Joints and Flower

While this wasn’t widely available (if at all) during the dawn of CBD, plenty of vendors today carry or specialize in CBD flower, complete with their own strain names.

According to the aforementioned review, the bioavailability of combusted hemp CBD (joints, pipes, bongs) is about 31%.


The problem with combustion is that fire burns many times hotter than the boiling point of CBD. Lighting with a flame flash-boils a lot of the cannabinoids, which means a lower dose and less bioavailability (although still much better than ingestion).

However, vaping (including dry herb vaping) keeps the temperature well below combustion level, carefully boiling the CBD, terpenes, and additional cannabinoids (if any) into vapor instead of smoke.

People who consume through vaping have seen bioavailability as high as 56%. Keep in mind that the type of vaporizer you use makes a difference. More expensive, complex vapes typically perform better than starter vapes or budget ones.

However, it’s still best to take CBD through vaping if you want fast, potent results with minimal impact on your lungs.


Some consumers might think CBD absorbs better on an empty stomach – but that’s not the case, according to one study .

Cannabinoids bind to fatty substances, so researchers decided to examine CBD and THC’s bioavailability in rats and humans when mixed with a high-lipid diet.

The rats’ bioavailability increased 2.5 to three times when fats were added to their oral CBD. Humans who fasted and then consumed a fatty breakfast before taking CBD also saw a similar increase in blood CBD levels.

Does this mean you should load up on greasy foods with every meal? Not at all. There are plenty of healthy fats you can get from fruits, vegetables, nuts, and even hemp.

How Much CBD Oil Tincture Should I Take?

This is a tricky question with no definitive answer. An important thing to keep in mind is that CBD – like all cannabinoids – is biphasic, meaning “two phases.” In pharmacology, this means there’s a negative correlation between dosage and efficacy. In other words, “less is more.”

CBD has a perfect middle ground that you’ll only find through number-crunching and gradual experimentation.

But don’t worry – you’re not alone. There are many different CBD dosage calculators available to help get you started. Keep in mind, these are guidelines. It’s always best to start with the lowest dose possible and slowly work your way up.

Aside from giving you a general springboard, CBD dosage calculators are handy for setting expectations about what your required dose may eventually be.

If you want a reliable calculator, try this one from Colorado Botanicals . They offer a fantastic calculator, along with a detailed guide offering handy tips and information to help you better understand how dosing works.

Remember, though, that everyone’s body is different. You may find your ideal dose to be higher or lower, depending on your biology.

How Fast Does CBD Oil Tincture Work?

We now understand that CBD tincture has to primarily go through the digestive system before most of it absorbs into the bloodstream. Thanks to the sublingual step, absorption speeds up, so expect an average delay of 15 to 30 minutes – but this can be higher.

CBD tinctures are slow to trigger the effects of CBD. Some people need CBD to work immediately, which makes these products a poor choice.

Of course, this doesn’t take into account the laundry list of variables covered earlier.

Ultimately, CBD tincture takes longer than most CBD products to work. But its longer-lived effects make it perfect for regular, consistent dosing rather than immediate relief.

When you compare edible and smoked CBD, it’s quite reflective of the famous Jerry Seinfeld routine:

“But it’s so hard to figure out. Sometimes they have this one’s quick-acting, this one’s long-lasting. Hmm, when do I need to feel good? Now or later?”

Strange as it sounds, this is a question you need to ask yourself in order to buy the right CBD product.

How Long Does CBD Oil Stay in Your System?

How long CBD oil stays in your system depends on a few things, but these factors can make the difference between CBD remaining with you for days or even weeks.

The half-life of CBD oil and other forms of oral consumption is two to five days, according to one 2018 study .


The more CBD you take in, the more time your body needs to eliminate it, as one 1991 study demonstrated after regularly administering subjects with 700 mg of CBD.


The time it takes for you to metabolize CBD dictates how quickly your body breaks down and gets rid of any remaining CBD.

Body Weight

Many prescription drugs are administered based on body weight. While CBD oil supplements aren’t prescription drugs, the same rule applies.

Take your weight into consideration – especially when it comes to body fat. CBD can take time to build up in the fatty tissue, which requires a larger dose before you see results.

Consumption Method

Oral CBD takes much longer to leave your body than any other method. The study above found that the half-life of inhaled CBD was 31 hours. Smoked or vaped CBD, on the other hand, is much faster.


Tolerance is something you need to look out for – although it won’t be a problem if you’re just starting out. If you find that your CBD is losing its potency, consider a short break of one to two weeks (if possible) before resuming your usual dose.

Why CBD Quality Matters

Conventional wisdom tells us that a high-quality product delivers high-quality results. While there are exceptions, CBD isn’t one of them. Well-sourced, clean, third-party tested CBD is much more likely to get the results you need.

Full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD is loaded with terpenes and other cannabinoids to help enhance your CBD through the entourage effect.

Clean separation methods like CO2 extraction eliminate toxic solvent traces compared to alcohol or butane.

Sourcing is essential, too, since you’ll want a company that grows their hemp without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Furthermore, some companies – like Colorado Botanicals – test their soil regularly because hemp easily absorbs toxins from the surrounding environment.

How Long Does It Take For CBD Oil To Work?

We’ve come a long way since the start of the cannabis revolution.

Instead of the most common questions being what is CBD? Does CBD oil really work? People are now asking another question:

How long does it take for CBD oil to work?

Join us below to find out the answers you need. We’ll share what exactly affects the effects of CBD.

But if you want a super quick answer: depending on the consumption method it could be minutes to hours!

Here’s the top line summary: On average, edibles take 90 minutes to feel the effects. Sublingual or “oromucosal” methods in general work faster than this due to mixed absorption and avoiding “first pass” metabolism.

Why’s there such a variance? Keep reading to learn more!

How CBD Works In The Body

First things first: This isn’t going to be a boring hemp plant biology class (pinky finger promise).

But to understand how any active compound (such as CBD) works, we do need to dig deeper.

The goal here is to learn more about the unique connection CBD shares with the human body.

The effects of CBD oil are not that easy to put into strict frames. And the same goes for THC, among other cannabinoids.

Edibles can take 1-6 hours to reach peak concentrations, and then last for up to 20-30 hours.

Yet, that’s what makes the science and magic of cannabis so incredible. It’s such a personal and intimate experience.

Understanding The Effects Of CBD: Scientific Insights

Cannabidiol is one of almost 150 active cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant. Since these come from plants, they are often referred to as phytocannabinoids.

Each cannabinoid interacts with the body through the endocannabinoid system (aka ECS). The body is known to make cannabinoids on its own that regulate many functions, and so they are called endocannabinoids.

Moreover, each cannabinoid has its pathways of activating the receptors across the ECS and various other receptors that researchers are still learning about.

Quick Mental Floss: Did You Know.

The ECS has been evolving along with human anatomy for over 600 million years!

Ultimately, the ECS is one of our internal biological systems.

Other internal systems include but are not limited to:

  • the respiratory system,
  • the immune system,
  • the digestive system.

What makes the endocannabinoid system unique in terms of action and influence on human well-being?

The endocannabinoid system ensures that all other biological systems function properly, in balance.

CBD Interaction Pathways: Sustainable Wellness Gateways

Some of the main reasons why the effects of CBD are complex and unique?

CBD interacts with the body through a wide number of mechanisms, some of which are still not fully known.

Yup, how long does CBD stay, as well as how long does CBD take to get out of the body isn’t a single-folded process.

CBD works through a vast range of proteins.

Generally termed “G-protein-coupled receptors”, these are a class of receptors that are very active and can be broken down into many subcategories, including CB1 and CB2 receptors.

Partially, CBD-human body interaction happens within the endocannabinoid system. That’s thanks to the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.

CB1 receptors are located in the central nervous system. The proper activity of these receptors relates to the regulation of:

CB2 receptors are found mainly in nerves within the peripheral nervous system, immune cells, and the central nervous system but to a smaller extent than CB1. They are thought to decrease inflammatory and pain responses.

The activity of CB2 receptors relates to the proper function of our digestive system and immune system.

The role of the ECS on the brain-gut axis keeps intriguing more and more scientists.

On the other hand, there are interactions between CBD and:

  • vanilloid receptor TRPV1
  • serotonin receptor 5-HT1A

These receptors are not a direct part of the endocannabinoid system. Yet, they do have their unique ways of interacting with CBD.

The TRPV1 receptor plays a fundamental role in pain signaling. It also has to do with cardiovascular and gastrointestinal function.

The 5-HT1A receptor is

involved in the mechanism of action of anxiolytic, antidepressant and antipsychotic medications.”

Which, in plain English, means it manages the way medications that target anxiety, depression, and psychosis work within the body.

This is highlighted in a 2019 article published by the Psychopharmacology Institute.

The Relationship Between CBD And The Body: A Short Wrap Up

The bottom line: this relationship is, oh well, complicated. And just as fascinating.

But like Fredrik Backman said:

Everything is complicated if no one explains it to you.

The war on marijuana has lasted for too long. Thus, the science of cannabis has also been negatively affected and blocked from progressing.

Fortunately, things are changing! Slowly but surely.

But no, we do not yet know everything about how CBD works in the body or exactly how long CBD stays in the body.

Some recently available data compared the half-lives of CBD in single vs. chronic CBD use, resulting in about an hour to half-day vs 2-5 days.

Such estimates range widely and need to be studied further. In addition, the pharmacology of CBD and its metabolites are not fully understood and could be biologically active, theoretically raising the concern of drug interactions, transaminase elevations, or long-term effects that need further study.

So far, CBD has generally shown a low risk of significant drug interactions. However, always talk to your healthcare provider first to determine if it’s OK to take CBD or if you have any health concerns.

However, we do have a clearer idea of the pathways through which CBD works.

Thus, we are becoming more aware of the other factors that affect and shape the CBD experience for each user.

These factors are strictly unique to each individual and include:

  • A person’s body chemistry, genetics, and body composition
  • Method of consumption
  • CBD products’ quality
  • The dose consumed
  • Dosing schedule.

Yes, these factors all have to do with learning how long it takes for CBD to work.

Nonetheless, these are points that give you some insight into answering the next common question of how long does CBD stay in your system.

How Long Does CBD Take To Work: The Meaningful And Practical Answers You Need

The short answer to this question is:

  • Anything from just a few minutes to a couple of hours.

Now, let’s assume you’ve taken the right dose of CBD for your needs. Also, assuming you’re taking high-quality CBD that has been third-party lab tested to assure safety, potency, and quality.

The time it takes for CBD to work depends greatly on how you’ve taken it.

You see, how CBD oil works depends much on the personal approach you apply.

How to develop the right approach then?

Start by learning how each method of consumption affects the action of CBD, aka

Your CBD Consumption Method Matters

Each consumption method affects the onset time and duration of the effects differently.

The thing with CBD is, bioavailability varies with consumption method.

Simply put, bioavailability relates to absorption rates.

The concept of bioavailability refers to the amount of CBD that actually gets to enter your bloodstream upon consumption.

CBD’s absorption rate is part of a process known as pharmacokinetics. This term denotes how your body processes a particular compound.

Why is it so important to know more about CBD’s bioavailability?

CBD-infused edibles, CBD pills, and CBD capsules have the lowest bioavailability.

According to research, only about 13 – 19% of the total amount of CBD consumed orally will be absorbed by the body.

Yet, people can try to combine their favored oral CBD consumption method with foods high in healthy fats to boost absorption by up to 2.5-3 fold.

As a rule of thumb, remember that a different CBD consumption method = a different CBD absorption rate.

The more quickly CBD enters your bloodstream, the faster you will experience its effects.

Below is an easy-to-digest breakdown of the different consumption methods, along with the expected time for CBD to work.

Sublingual (CBD Oil Tinctures)

Sublingual use refers to taking a few drops of CBD oil and placing them under your tongue via a tincture. It is also scientifically referred to as oromucosal, meaning some CBD is being absorbed in the mouth.

You hold these drops under the tongue for around 60 seconds before swallowing.

The area beneath the tongue is full of blood vessels. Meanwhile, the tissue covering these vessels is thin.

Thus, consuming CBD oil sublingually allows it to get absorbed into the bloodstream rapidly through the mucous membranes in your mouth.

Expected time to work:

  • You can feel the first onset of effects of CBD oil within 30 minutes or so.
  • Also, expect a lighter second onset, assuming you swallow some of the oil. This should occur a couple of hours later as the CBD oil will make its way through the digestive tract.

This method somewhat bypasses the digestive system and liver, also called “first pass” metabolism, allowing significantly faster absorption. However, the majority is still believed to be metabolized via first pass.

Vaping & Smoking

Expected time to work:

  • Psychoactive effects usually within 90 seconds
  • Peaks within 3-10 minutes after inhalation.
  • The bioavailability of vaporized CBD is suggested to be as high as 56%.
  • Usually eliminated with 1-4 hours

Note that both smoking and vaping CBD deliver quicker effects as opposed to ingestion methods.

However, the effects are also shorter-lasting when compared with oral consumption, transdermal and topical methods.

Vaping is the fastest method to feel how CBD works as it enters the bloodstream immediately. Vaping also offers a more efficient delivery method than smoking while greatly reducing tar:cannabinoid ratio to about 10:1.

It’s as simple as choosing to take a draw from your vape pen—bonus points for the ease of controlling the desired dosage.

Alternatively, you can opt for the good ol’ inhalation methods, aka you may roll and smoke a high CBD strain.

Either way, CBD directly enters your lungs, bypassing the digestive tract. It flows rapidly into the bloodstream, reaching peak concentrations quite fast.

CBD will then quickly make its way to be metabolized by the liver.

Research highlights that smoking CBD has a lower bioavailability rate than vaping – about 31%.


Expected time to work:

  • The effects are usually set within an hour and a half after applying the transdermal patch. Unfortunately, there is very limited data on tissue distribution in humans.
  • Depending on the formulation, the effects may last for an estimated 48 hours. This was the amount of time CBD was detectable in research after topical application.

Mind that this method has a rather slow absorption rate. Yet, it does deliver a continuous, consistent CBD dosage.

It is unclear exactly how much CBD is systemically absorbed and what that relevance may be, including bioaccumulation of cannabinoids and their metabolites.

One of the benefits of transdermal administration is that it avoids the need to break down in your liver to be absorbed. Although, ultimately, the liver is responsible for the metabolism of cannabinoids.

But cannabinoids have an extremely hydrophobic nature as they are fat-soluble. In other words, they don’t get along with water.

That’s why their diffusion across the aqueous layer of the skin remains limited.

Permeation enhancers are now progressively used as a means to increase absorption rates with transdermal patches. This is highlighted in a preclinical 2003 study.

All in all, CBD patches work on the same principle as nicotine patches.

People looking for a precise, slow-acting, long-lasting dose of CBD may enjoy the effects and benefits of the transdermal application.

A 2015 study on transdermal CBD for arthritis-related pain and inflammation provides valuable food for thought.

Where a team of researchers concluded that transdermally applied CBD:

has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviours and inflammation without evident side-effects.”

Note that the results of this study are based on animal models, which don’t always reflect the same results in human studies.


Expected time to work:

  • Following the application of the preferred CBD topicals, concentration should peak after about 90 minutes.
  • Onset of effects and human tissue distribution is still unclear

With a topical CBD product, the cannabinoid has to be absorbed through the skin. Yet CBD interacts with the skin receptors slowly and somewhat more poorly as compared to other delivery methods.

CBD topicals are generally preferred by people looking to feel relief in a specific area of the body. However, these products should be applied liberally as while skin is covered with cannabinoid receptors; topical products have a much lower absorption rate than other methods.

The effects can address mild discomfort in the specific body area where the product has been applied.

Up-to-date, the available research confirming the benefits of topical cannabinoids is still limited but promising.

Did You Find Your Dosage Sweet Spot?

When it comes to how long it takes for CBD oil to work, the dosage matters much more than you might realize.

Now, delivery methods and different forms of CBD aside. However, you do need to make sure to find what amount of CBD works best for you to minimize side effects and maximize its potential.

This dosage can be completely different from someone else, and of course, it differs across consumption methods.

Chances are, if you still haven’t reached that sweet spot, you might not be taking enough.

Then again, mind that “the best” dose for person A will not necessarily be the best for person B.

As long as you choose to start low and go slow, it’s merely a matter of time to hit that extra sweet CBD spot.

It may take several weeks to figure out your personal best dosing and feel the full effects. Your provider may be able to help you determine propriate dosage, or recommend further testing and/or another medication to be safe and prevent long-term complications or consequences.

Best to see a provider first to rule out anything serious like skin cancers or autoimmune conditions that can have irreversible consequences if not caught early. Don’t delay!

After that’s checked out, don’t be afraid to experiment. Just make sure to increase the dosage carefully, patiently, and gradually.

Also, remember that finding the right dosage for you is not something set in stone. Instead, it is a dynamic process.

At a certain point, you may choose to decrease the CBD dosage rather than increase it.

Listen to your body and journal down your experiences. This makes it much easier to reflect on them and act accordingly.

Below is a full list of the important factors that influence the best dosage. These vary from person to person and shape the unique CBD experience.


The body’s metabolism determines the time needed to break down and synthesize any compound.

So, metabolism affects how long it takes to feel the effects of CBD. Also, it has to do with how long does CBD remains in the body, genetics, and your tolerance level.

As a rule of thumb, metabolism rates relate to absorption rates, determining whether you will feel the effects of any CBD product faster or slowly.

Note that a high metabolism (assuming all else being equal) should equate to a faster excretion of CBD from the body.


Just like THC, CBD is stored in fat cells. Gradually, the body eliminates CBD and any other cannabinoids through urine and feces.

Ultimately, body fat the amount of CBD a person needs to take to experience the desired effects.

People with a higher body mass index might require a higher amount of CBD to reach that sweet spot we discussed above.

Age relates to metabolic rates. As we grow older, metabolism tends to slow down, all else being equal.

However, it’s also important to remember that an overweight teenager will likely have a slower metabolism than an individual in his 50s who is exercising regularly, which is supplemented by a balanced and healthy diet.

Older adults tend to take more medications than the younger population does. This affects the rate of CBD metabolism by interactions with the same enzymes responsible for degrading both.

What Kind Of CBD Did You Take?

Yup, there isn’t just one kind of CBD extract out there.

The content and method of production of the CBD product you choose can potentially influence the effects of CBD.

Your best bet? Question everything.

What are the rest of the active ingredients on the label of your favorite CBD oil?

Does it consist of natural compounds, such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil, among other healthy carrier oils? Or are there ingredients of murky origin?

What about the cultivation and extraction methods applied? Is it third-party tested?

Does the product contain other cannabinoids and compounds from the Hemp plant, including terpenes and flavonoids?

According to the entourage effect theory, the active compounds of cannabis work better together in synergy.

Picture this as the difference between a solo song performance vs. an orchestra music performance. It might be a good idea to experiment with some CBD products and assess the entourage effect for yourself.

Do mind that the entourage effect is still only a hypothesis, and more research is needed.

Some good food for thought about the entourage effect by Mowgli Holmes – geneticist and founder of a cannabis genetics company Phylos Bioscience. In an interview for Scientific American he shares:

“But you have thousands and thousands of people reporting the same thing. It gets hard to ignore.”

Diving into this further, here are the most common types of CBD extracts summarized:

Full-spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD comes in many forms, including tinctures, lip balms, and more.

Full-spectrum CBD oil products contain all of the naturally occurring compounds from the plant.

This includes terpenes and trace amounts of THC (below 0.3%) and varying levels of other cannabinoids and flavonoids.

Broad-spectrum CBD

Similar to full-spectrum CBD oil, but the major difference is that THC is virtually fully eliminated from the end product.

Unlike full-spectrum CBD oil, CBD Isolate products contain only pure, isolated CBD with no terpenes or other cannabinoids.

CBD Due Diligence Is Essential

Remember that the growing CBD market is still largely unregulated. In addition, not all CBD products are created equal in terms of quality.

So, if you take something that’s mislabelled, you might not feel the same effects of CBD as you might have done with another brand.

While CBD is considered safe to use and with minimum side effects, low-quality products are unfortunately very common.

Only opt for CBD that comes with a Certificate of Analysis.

This is the only way you can be sure what gets into your body. Moreover, by doing so, you will avoid falling victim to scams, mislabeling, and contamination issues which are still omnipresent in the booming CBD industry.

How Long Does It Take CBD To Get Out Of Your System?

According to available research, CBD stays in your system for between 2 – 5 days. This study examines how long CBD remains in the blood.

A study published in the Journal of Pain Research highlights that CBD in urine is detected only over 24 hours.

But then again, this depends on many strictly individual factors. For some people, CBD may remain intact for weeks.

Further study is needed to look into CBD and its metabolites to determine what biological, long-term, or clinical significance they might pose.

Wrapping Up: The Secret Keys To Master Your CBD Routine

So, to answer how long it takes for CBD to work, you need to ask yourself how you’re taking it, the dosage, and how often.

The bottom line: It isn’t just about how long does it take for CBD oil to work or how long CBD stays in your body.

It’s so much about WHAT does it take for CBD oil to work?

The answer is consistency.

Remember that working with CBD supplements requires patience. If you’re struggling with this, try a dosing journal so you can track your CBD journey.

You can try doing this for a few weeks until you note desired effects, and you can share this info with your provider.

To feel the effect, be open to exploring it. Your personal experience will keep progressing and shaping over time.

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When we’re in pain or feeling anxiety, we don’t typically want something to start working tomorrow. We need it to start working now. Some of us have looked into CBD for pain or stress management, but have been left to wonder, “But will it help me right now?”

The good news is that for some people, the answer is yes. CBD products can start to work within minutes. For some people, however, and with some conditions, the effects may take longer to set in or to become regular.

We’ll break it down by reason for taking it, for pain or anxiety. Then we’ll look at how to take it.

CBD for Pain

There are a number of reasons why you might want to take CBD for pain. One of the reasons a lot of people like it is that it’s not an opiate. You won’t get addicted and there are no dangerous side effects. We broke down how long each type of CBD product typically takes for specific pain needs.

Creams and Salves: Fastest

Generally best for soreness after a workout or for an injury that’s healing up, creams and solves are applied topically, or on the surface. If your shoulder is bothering you, you can rub some CBD cream right onto your shoulder and expect relief typically within minutes.

Sublingually: Within Fifteen Minutes

Placing a drop of CBD oil under the tongue is one of the most common ways to get CBD into your system. It’s absorbed by the capillaries in our mouths and goes straight to our blood stream. The good news is that it works faster than edibles, like gummies. The bad news is it’s not as targeted as salves and creams, which means it may take a little bit longer.

However, because it’s not targeted, it may be the best option for people suffering from wide-spread or chronic pain. For fibromyalgia or chemo patients, for instance, this option provides whole-body relief, quickly.

Gummies or Capsules: Longest

That may seem like a bad thing, right? If an edible takes the longest, why bother? We’ll tell you. Because it’s a controlled dose and you can take it like a vitamin, you can manage your pain with gummies and other edibles before the pain starts. That means if you have a knee that acts up everyday, or arthritis that flares up around noon no matter what, you can take an edible for a nice, easy, slow-releasing CBD into your system.

CBD for Anxiety

The options are largely the same for anxiety as for pain, with the obvious exception of creams. We should say right at the top, though, that sometimes anxiety can take a little bit longer to quell than pain. And because everyone’s anxiety is different, please note your results may be a little different.

Sublingual: Under an Hour

Many people report seeing less anxiety in under an hour when they take CBD under the tongue. But there are two important things to remember. The first thing to keep in mind goes by many names, from placebo effect, to mind-over-matter, to the more technical term psychosomatic. Basically what it means is that sometimes the act of doing something can help us feel better.

Some people like using the CBD oil under the tongue for that very reason. When having acute feelings of anxiety, it can help to assert some control over the situation by doing something about it right away. In that way, sublingual CBD can make you feel better, sooner.

The second thing to keep in mind with under-the-tongue CBD is that it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream—so be careful with doses. Start slow and keep it low.

Edibles: Half-Hour to an Hour

With gummies or pills, sometimes it can take a little longer to feel the anti-anxiety effects of CBD. That’s because your body needs to process the CBD through the digestive tract, then into the blood, and finally to the endocannabinoid receptors in our brains. The good news with this method, though, is that some users report feeling better long term effects. Taking the same dose, day in and day out, at the same time, helps their body adjust to and make the best use of the CBD.

Aromatherapy: Varies

People with stress and anxiety have been using various aroma therapies for years now. And for good reason. Breathing in the oils of various plants gets their essences into our lungs and our blood stream in a calming, relaxing way. Adding CBD to your aromatherapy routine, whether in a machine or at bathtime, can help you unwind and melt away your stress. This method can be hard to judge for time because of variance in uses, whether in a steam room, a bath, or other environmental differences.


Whether you’re looking to ease an elbow after a tough workout, or you have chronic anxiety, CBD can be a great way to get relief and help. But not knowing how long until you’ll get that relief can be stressful all by itself. That’s why we recommend reading up on the product and strength you’re choosing. Lastly, please note our final tips at the bottom. And always consult your doctor if you’re on prescription medications for your condition.

Pro Tips

Start Slow and Low: When you’re starting a CBD regimen, start with a low dose and take it regularly for a week or two to get started. Sometimes your system needs some time to adjust. If you’re not getting relief after two weeks, consider going to a stronger dose, then.

CBD Cannot Cure Diseases: Research is being done every day on the efficacy of CBD in clinical and medical applications. Until your doctor tells you to, never stop taking a prescribed medication, no matter how good CBD makes you feel.

Why We Did Not Include Vaping: Many people get the fastest and strongest results from vaping CBD directly. And honestly, that’s one of the reasons we didn’t include it in our article. There is so much variance in vaping and everyone’s body is so different, there’s no way to tell someone how much CBD they may be getting per inhalation. CBD professionals always advise starting out with low doses, and that’s incredibly hard, or impossible, to control with inhaled vaping. In addition to that, so many risks associated with inhalation of oils are still unknown. On the other hand, creams and tinctures and gummies have been used safely and effectively for years.