Author: Joy Hughes
Known for its amazing anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects, multiple studies have shown Cannabidiol (CBD) — a non-psychoactive cannabinoid — is a highly effective remedy for arthritis, pain management, insomnia, nausea, stress, skin acne, cancer, PTSD, digestive problems, fibromyalgia, etc.
However, from recent scientific studies, CBD is becoming more well known for its effectiveness in treating two of the most extreme forms of epilepsy: Dravet and Lennox–Gastaut syndromes. This scientific evidence has led to the first FDA approved plant-derived, synthetic-free cannabinoid-based medicine — Epidiolex — designated for the treatment of seizures that don’t respond to anti-seizure pharmaceuticals.
As the CBD market continues to grow, more and more consumers are sharing their own personal experiences with this powerful healing elixir. However, for those eager to try CBD for the first time, they may be wondering, “How long does it take for CBD to actually work?” Though there is no one clear answer to this question (as everyone reacts differently to CBD), in this article we’ll discuss the different methods to consume CBD and how long each delivery method takes to affect the body.
How long does it take for CBD oil (tinctures) to work?
Working out the best delivery method is much easier than you think. For starters, CBD oil, tinctures, and concentrates are perhaps the most popular ways to consume CBD. They are designed to be taken sublingually — holding a few drops or more under the tongue for about a minute or two before swallowing. Sublingual consumption allows the CBD to be absorbed through the mucous membranes and capillaries found underneath the tongue. It is through the branch of blood vessels, otherwise known as capillaries, that the CBD has a direct route into the bloodstream without entering the digestive system.
Depending on dosage and symptoms, sublingual intake is a relatively fast way to feel the effects of CBD. It takes anywhere from 10-40 minutes for the effects to kick in, and they can last anywhere from 3-4 hours. 1 2
If you're unsure how much CBD oil to take, try our CBD Dosage Calculator to find your recommended dosage.
Time to feel the effects: 10 min. to 40 min.
Duration of effects: 3 to 4 hours
How long does it take for CBD vaping to work?
Among many other delivery methods, vaping is thought to be the fastest way to feel the effects of CBD. Not only is vaping a convenient and discreet form of CBD consumption, it’s also widely accessible in a number of strengths, making every vape user’s experience different. When inhaling CBD, it is absorbed through the alveoli: tiny air sacs within our lungs that exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen to and from the bloodstream. Once CBD is absorbed into the lungs, it then enters directly into our bloodstream, taking effect instantaneously.
How much you vape, and how concentrated the CBD oil is, will determine how quickly and for how long you feel the effects of CBD. Some vape users claim instant relief, while others say it takes anywhere from 5-30 minutes. And while this delivery method is fast acting, the effects may not last longer than 1-3 hours, which leads to vaping more frequently. 2 3
Time to feel the effects: Instantly to 30 min.
Duration of effects: 1 to 3 hours
How long does it take for CBD dabs to work?
Dabbing CBD is another from of inhalation. This method uses butane or carbon dioxide to extract CBD from the hemp plant, which creates a highly concentrated substance known as a dab. Dabs come in a variety of forms: wax, crystals, shatter and more. Like CBD vaping, dabbing is considered one of the fastest ways to feel the effects of CBD, simply because it’s absorbed through the alveoli and enters directly into the bloodstream.
The main difference between dabbing and vaping is the way they are heated. Some suggest vaping is a safer form of inhalation, while others believe dabbing is just as safe if done correctly. Dabbing CBD takes a lot of practice and involves a number of tools and equipment, but it produces fast-acting results. For those considering dabbing, research and practice is key. Like vaping, CBD dabbing can take effect within 5-10 minutes for the majority of people, and lasting no longer than 1-3 hours at most. 4 5
Time to feel the effects: Instantly to 10 min.
Duration of effects: 1 to 3 hours
How long does it take for CBD topicals to work?
From creams and lotions, to salves and balms, there are a number of CBD topical products on the market today. With the skin being the largest organ of the body, it’s very porous, meaning it’s absorbing more than we know. CBD topicals are generously applied externally onto the skin and designed to target localized pain or skin irritations.
The absorption rate is much slower than other delivery methods such as sublingual or inhalation. However, depending on the strength of the CBD topicals, they typically last longer than any other delivery method. Topical users say they feel results within 15 minutes to an hour, with relief lasting up to 5 hours at a time. CBD topicals are great for arthritis, muscle aches, abrasions, skin disorders and cuts.2
Time to feel the effects: 15 min. to 1 hour
Duration of effects: Up to 5 hours
How long does it take for CBD edibles to work?
There are many determining factors that come into play with CBD edibles: metabolism speed, a healthy or weak digestive system, how much time has passed since you last consumed food, and the strength of the CBD edible. CBD edibles usually take the longest to affect the body. When consuming a CBD edible, it must first enter the stomach where it gets metabolized through the intestines and finally filters through the liver.
The amount of food you’ve consumed, how recent you’ve consumed that food, and the strength of the CBD edible, will all determine how quickly you will feel the effects of CBD. With a full stomach, the majority of people feel the effects of CBD edibles within an hour or longer. However, if taken on an empty stomach, it can take effect within 20 minutes. Once CBD edibles are fully digested, they can last about 2-4 hours.4
Time to feel the effects: 20 min. to 1 hour
Duration of effects: 2 to 4 hours
How long does it take for CBD pills to work?
Pills are another discreet delivery method of CBD. Much like CBD edibles, CBD pills must enter the gastrointestinal tract and go through the same metabolizing and filtering process. Again, how much and how recent you’ve eaten will determine how quickly you will feel the effects of CBD.
The lasting effects of CBD pills are typically longer than most other delivery methods, and they don’t produce any unwanted side effects such as headaches and dizziness that often come from inexperienced inhalation users. CBD pills take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours to kick in and can last up to 3 hours depending on the strength.
Time to feel the effects: 20 min. to 2 hours
Duration of effects: Up to 3 hours
CBD is becoming more and more available and popular to the masses. As the market grows, new consumption methods are continuing to develop. Whether you’re trying CBD for the first time or you’re a native to all things CBD, it’s important to know that what works for one CBD user may not work for another. Every person’s body is different.4
Have you benefitted from CBD?
We love hearing about how CBD has helped people with a variety of health conditions. Please share your experience with CBD to help spread the word!
4.5 11 Author: Dr. Ron Goedeke CBD is everywhere now, on the news, social media, major shopping outlets, which is a good indication that it is here to say. Thanks to its vast therapeutic potential, it has been successfully utilized in the treatment and prevention of several diseases, with a great probability of discovering more…
4.8 45 Author: Joy Hughes Cannabidiol (CBD) is gaining more and more popularity due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-spasmodic effects, along with many other health-promoting properties. There are many ways to consume CBD, which can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing. Here we’ll discuss the pros and cons of the most popular ways to consume CBD.…
4.6 12 Author: Joy Hughes When ingesting CBD, it first must metabolize through the digestive system and then filter through the liver. It is in the liver that CBD, along with other medications, must filter through a system known as the cytochrome P450 (CYP 450) — a family of various enzymes. It is through this system…
5.0 03 Author: Joy Hughes CBD has been gaining popularity lately, but it’s actually been studied for its health benefits for decades. Here are some health issues that CBD has shown promise for — either in scientific studies, or personal anecdotes. Jump to: Health Conditions Treated by CBD Acne Arthritis Asthma Anxiety and Stress Cancer…
4.8 13 Author: Joy Hughes Most adults who consume or have consumed alcohol, have experienced one or several hangovers in their lifetime. And by most accounts, a hangover is the last thing anyone wants to experience. The symptoms alone can be debilitating, causing a mountain of pain and an oath to never touch an alcoholic…
4.6 51 Author: Joy Hughes Over the last couple of years, CBD has become increasingly popular, and for good reason. It’s most widely known to address insomnia, anxiety, epilepsy, pain, and inflammation. However, for those considering adding CBD to their daily routine can find it overwhelming when faced with three of CBD’s most popular formulations:…
4.5 34 Author: Joy Hughes The CBD market is exploding, and new CBD stores are popping up on every corner. Even drug stores, grocery markets, and holistic health centers everywhere are jumping on the CBD bandwagon, and for good reason. Scientific studies as well as anecdotal evidence have claimed that CBD holds a number of…
5.0 01 Author: Jack Martin CBD has gained popularity because of its miraculous properties. One of the most common uses of CBD has been regarding pain management. We will discuss several types of pain that CBD can help treat. Painkillers are an obvious solution for many people who suffer from chronic pain, but after a…
5.0 01 Author: Kathy Cooley After years of struggle to step out of the drug image, cannabis is finally receiving all the praises it deserves. The medical community is widely supporting the launch of medical cannabis, and cannabis-infused products that promise to heal and lead away to a healthy lifestyle. Across the world, scientists are…
0.0 00 Author: Jason Beverly “One is regular coffee, while the other is decaf” Sometimes a lot of amazing benefits can result from the most unusual sources. This is the case when it comes to marijuana. Since some state laws have been lifted, more research has been completed which resulted in a better understanding of…