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CBD Timing — How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Work?

Melissa Cox March 11, 2022 0 comments

The popularity of CBD products is at an all-time high. Still, many people are in the dark about this non-psychoactive substance. While some are aware it comes from the cannabis plant and there are many different ways to consume CBD, these bits of information are hardly common knowledge. So if you ever wondered, “How long does it take for CBD oil to work?” or “How long CBD stays in your system?” — you are not the only one.

With that being said, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to these types of questions. The reason for it is simple — there are way too many person-to-person differences regarding CBD use. Although most people will feel the effects within 15 minutes of vaping or taking CBD through the sublingual route, some might have to wait much longer until the same dose “kicks in.”

Learning how long CBD products may take to deliver their beneficial effects can help you get the most out of your every CBD experience. Plus, this element of CBD know-how is crucial if you want to determine how long the effects of CBD will last.

What Elements Determine How Soon Will CBD Oil Work for You?

Numerous factors affect how CBD interacts with the human body. They range from your preferred method of CBD consumption to your body’s metabolism to the quality of the product you use.

If you wonder, “How long does it take CBD to work?” and “What variables affect how does CBD interact with the body?” getting to know these factors can help you answer these questions. Let’s go through the most significant ones below.

Body Weight

Like in the case of any other substance, establishing how much CBD you need starts with considering your body mass. The higher it is, the more CBD you must take to feel its therapeutic effects.

If you consume less CBD oil than recommended for your weight range, the effects of CBD might be barely noticeable. Conversely, if your daily CBD dosage is way too high for your body weight, you increase the risk of unpleasant side effects, such as drowsiness or nausea.

Furthermore, as CBD is fat-soluble, having more fat cells allows you to store CBD for longer in your body. On the other hand, a lower density of fat cells will prevent you from enjoying CBD’s beneficial effects for an extended period.

So, this element not only determines how soon CBD will work but also long it stays in your system.


Besides your body weight, metabolism also plays a crucial role in how fast CBD works its way around and out of your body. If you are physically active and have a high metabolic rate, you can expect CBD to stay in your system only for a brief moment. But, there is also a significant benefit to high metabolism — you will get the effects much faster.

Simply put, your body’s metabolism determines how quickly you break down and synthesize compounds — including CBD. It impacts both the time needed to feel the effects of CBD and how long it takes to eliminate any trace of it from your system.

Multiple variables affect your metabolism, including:

  • your age,
  • your lifestyle,
  • your level of physical activity,
  • your digestive system,
  • your genetic profile.

Frequency of Use

CBD is a part of group of compounds called cannabinoids. They are commonly found in the hemp plant and can interact with your endocannabinoid system, providing several advantages, such as pain relief and a stronger immune response.

However, they can also put your endocannabinoid system out of balance. This situation could affect your sleep, mood, and appetite. Most importantly, it might also extend the time needed to feel the effects of the CBD product you consumed. It means that if you consume CBD frequently, it will affect how it works for you.

A long-time CBD user will probably experience heightened benefits, as they have already accustomed their body to this substance. At the same time, a CBD beginner might find that their endocannabinoid system is less receptive to CBD oil.

Nonetheless, determining how long-term CBD use will affect you is a complex matter. For this reason, it would be best if you closely monitored the way your body reacts to this substance and react accordingly.

Consumption Method

Because of how different consumption methods metabolize CBD, the one you select can significantly change the time it takes this non-psychoactive substance to work its magic. While some methods allow you to absorb CBD quickly, others can provide long-lasting effects. As a result, the choice you make in this regard can notably alter your CBD experience.

The crucial element here is the bioavailability these methods provide. It is the percentage of the substance that reaches the systemic circulation. If it is high, the drug needs less time to work and is more potent. On the other hand, lower bioavailability means you will probably need to increase your dose to get the beneficial effects you want.

Here is how different ways to take CBD can influence the onset time and other factors regarding taking this substance.

CBD Edibles

If you opt for a CBD edible, it means the compound will have to pass through your digestive system before entering the bloodstream. It lowers its bioavailability, making the product less effective. This phenomenon is known as the first-pass effect.

Still, it does not mean that taking CBD gummies cannot help you deal with your medical condition. In fact, many people prefer it over other methods, claiming that it is much more straightforward and convenient.

Whether this method is suitable for you depends on your current circumstances and goals. If you expect your CBD products to offer you an easy way to boost your cannabinoid levels, opting for a CBD edible might be the best option for you.

CBD Tinctures

Like CBD edibles, tinctures can be taken orally — resulting in the same issues and advantages discussed above. Nevertheless, consuming CBD tinctures is not limited only to administering a couple of drops directly into the mouth and swallowing. There are also other ways to reap the beneficial effects they provide — each of them offering a slightly different experience.

Many people claim tinctures work best when mixed with drinks and food. The reason for it is that most CBD tinctures have a bitter taste. However, if you do not mind the aftertaste they leave behind, tinctures can be an excellent choice to take your daily dose of CBD sublingually. This way, you can make the most out of every drop you take.

Sublingual administration is about putting a few drops under your tongue and waiting for a while before swallowing. It allows the mucous membranes in your mouth to deliver CBD right into your bloodstream, avoiding the first-pass effect.

Many people choose the sublingual administration because they enjoy how fast it produces noticeable effects. If it is not a priority in your case, you might want to experiment with adding a few drops of CBD tincture into your favorite drink.

CBD Oils

You can expect your CBD oil to work much like CBD tincture. The primary difference between the two is that the former does not leave a bitter aftertaste, as it does not contain alcohol. Instead, it is combined with a neutral carrier oil, such as MCT oil or hemp seed oil.

Like in the case of a tincture, you can absorb CBD through the mucous membrane in your mouth. Still, you can choose to add it to your favorite drinks and dishes if you enjoy enhancing their taste with this natural compound.

CBD Topicals

Topical CBD products work best in cases of localized nerve pain. These include various lotions, ointments, transdermal patches, and even shampoos.

How long will a CBD topical take to produce effects? This process usually takes a while, as it has to penetrate the skin’s water barrier. Like other CBD products, topicals work best when used systematically over a more extended period of time.

CBD Vapes

Although vaping CBD and smoking CBD are two different ways to take this substance, both of them offer almost immediate results. Consumption through inhalation reigns supreme, both in terms of the period it takes the substance to be absorbed by the body and the time span required to produce effects — regardless of one’s body composition.

Using a CBD vape significantly reduces the time it takes CBD to work, allowing you to enjoy its benefits as soon as a few minutes after taking the first puff. However, keep in mind that inhaling smoke or vapor is harmful to your lungs, which might lead to a serious medical condition like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


Determining how long it will take CBD to work also depends on the dose you take. If you consume lots of CBD oil, then you can expect to feel the effects of CBD much faster. Alternatively, if your daily dosage is pretty low, it might take CBD longer to interact with a serotonin receptor and offer beneficial effects.

It is vital to find the dosage that works best for you. It should not be too high or too low, as the results will be slightly off the mark in both cases. It might take some time, but the results are well worth the effort.

Potency and Type

Finally, the potency of the CBD product you use also plays a significant role in how long it takes for CBD oil to work. It affects how CBD interacts with the body, altering the effects you may experience, the time it takes the compound to come into contact with the cannabinoid receptors, and how long CBD stays in your system.

The type of CBD oil you use matters as well. For instance, a full-spectrum CBD oil will interact with your system in another way than CBD isolate. Furthermore, hemp-derived CBD products will work differently from those made from the marijuana plant.

It is also worth mentioning that water-soluble CBD comes with unique advantages and disadvantages worth considering. Because it has a nearly perfect bioavailability, using it as a dietary supplement can help you ensure CBD works quickly after taking it.

Estimating how CBD will interact with your body can be challenging. But, it is not impossible.

You should always purchase a high-quality CBD product that offers just the correct dose of CBD you need. This way, you can be confident that you will quickly feel the effects of CBD.

Whether you use it to treat chronic pain or other health conditions, consider consulting your doctor before using a CBD product. They can help you establish if CBD interacts with your prescription medications, whether you should use full-spectrum CBD oil or CBD isolate, and how long CBD might stay in your system.