What Does CBD Feel Like?
Cannabidiol, or short for CBD, is one of the 113 known compounds called cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa L. plant, also known as simply hemp.
CBD is known to support the mind and body in many wonderful ways. Among the many benefits that users notice and see results from, some of the main benefits of CBD are a sense of calm & relaxation, supports healthy sleep cycles, helps in recovery from exercise-induced inflammation, and more.
So what does CBD feel like when you take it? Does CBD oil relax you? Does CBD make you feel good? Does CBD oil give you a buzz? We’ll get into that, but first, it’s important to note something.
It mostly depends on what your body needs.
CBD acts as an adaptogenic, also referred to as “adaptogens,” which is “ defined as agents that support the body’s ability to accommodate varying physical and emotional stresses ” to influence more of what your body needs while promoting overall health and wellness .
The Human Endocannabinoid System
Before getting into how does CBD feel, it’s important we cover what the Endocannabinoid System is.
CBD works by activating the Endocannabinoid System, or ECS, indirectly by a channel of receptors within our central and peripheral nervous system located in our brain, spinal cord, organs, and immune system.
Cannabinoids behave differently, so one might trigger only one receptor, while others bind with both. In some cases, like CBD, the cannabinoids don’t bind to CB1 or CB2, instead, altering those receptors through other pathways.
Cannabinoids act as a primer for nerve endings, allowing your brain to communicate more effectively with your body. The goal of this to get your body back to normal healthy levels or equilibrium called “homeostasis.”
This explains why taking CBD doesn’t necessarily bring immediate results, but consumers see the real benefits of CBD over time of consistent use.
What Does CBD Feel Like? Can You Feel CBD?
Unlike many natural remedies, CBD does have an effect that on yourself that you will feel. When you take CBD, it takes about 15-45 minutes to feel an effect. Keep in mind that CBD is not like THC, where you feel “high,” but you feel a subtle effect of calm and relaxation.
When you talk about CBD’s ability to help mitigate symptoms of anxiety, pain, inflammation, and other health cases, it can take a couple of days, 3 to 7 days, to 2-4 weeks of consistent dosing to notice results.
That depends more on how bad your case is, your body’s response and tolerance to CBD, the quality of the CBD product, and your individual biology.
So how does CBD make you feel? It depends on a few things.
What’s impressive – and perplexing – is CBD’s versatility. To better understand this, let’s have to look at CBD’s potential adaptogenic properties.
Adaptogens are plants or extracts that help the body adapt to stresses and biological changes, including immune system activity. Theoretically, both Cannabis sativa L. and full-spectrum whole-plant extract could fit the adaptogen definition. However, CBD itself is a molecule – not a plant or extract.
But labels aside, CBD products display the same behaviors you’ll see from verified adaptogens.
Thanks to its adaptogenic performance, CBD extracts’ effects differ – even contradict – depending on your body’s needs. For instance, your brain will be more active during the day, so you may notice a clearer head and more energy.
The opposite will be true at night, with many people using CBD as a sleep aid or for general relaxation during inactive periods.
Another example is CBD’s seemingly opposing impact on eating habits. One 2018 CBD study noted both increased and decreased appetite as a side effect, depending on which participant they examined.
Overall, CBD can be either relaxing or stimulating, depending on what your brain and body need. Regardless, you won’t notice any physical or mental impairment like THC produces.
How Does CBD Make You Feel If You Take High Doses?
If you think higher doses mean better effects, you’re not alone. After all, it makes perfect sense. But we should know by now that CBD seems to defy conventional expectations.
CBD behaves in a “bell curve” or “u-shaped” fashion when it comes to dosing. Its effects are biphasic , meaning there’s a negative correlation between dose and potency – as dose increases, effectiveness eventually decreases.
In other words, too much CBD is just as ineffective as too little. Dosage requirements can range from tens to hundreds of milligrams per day. But if you exceed the “sweet spot” dose, the effects will weaken and eventually stop.
Another problem is that taking higher doses can cause tolerance, forcing you to take a three to seven-day CBD break and get back on a lower dose to allow your tolerance to CBD to reset.
However, CBD is known to have side effects , which will intensify as you increase the dose. We’ll get to that in a minute.
Does CBD Oil Give You A Buzz or High?
No, CBD oil won’t give you a buzz or high feeling. THC and – to a much lesser extent – cannabinol (CBN) are the only two major cannabinoids known to impair mental and motor function.
As we mentioned, CBD doesn’t bind to the CB1 or CB2 receptors, meaning it can’t directly affect the way THC and many other cannabinoids do. Instead, cannabidiol works through different pathways, altering the shape and behavior of endocannabinoid receptors.
Once altered, the CB1 and CB2 receptors may bind differently – or not at all – to other cannabinoids. For instance, not only will CBD not get you as high, but its effects block the uptake of THC, meaning cannabidiol can mitigate and shorten THC intoxication.
What Our Customers Say About What They Felt Taking CBD
Anecdotal evidence is the backbone of CBD’s reported benefits – and there’s plenty of that to go around. Although people often mention specific conditions, these are their observations. The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these claims, nor is CBD currently intended to cure, prevent, or treat any illness.
For instance, “Barbara H” of TrustPilot tried the Colorado Botanicals 3,000 mg oil. Although she laments the price, she can’t deny the payoff:
“…to treat pain associated with fibromyalgia and arthritis…While it doesn’t completely relieve the pain, it works better than the Aleve I was taking without the nasty side effects associated with NSAIDs or raising my blood pressure. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s helped lower it. It significantly decreased the level of pain and duration pain I usually suffer on a daily basis. Another bonus, it seems to help me relax and sleep better.”
The cost of CBD is a huge pain point for many people, including Barbara. Colorado Botanicals offers some of the best value around, and you can get a 15% discount by subscribing to regular deliveries.
“Ron” had similar feedback, saying:
“ Just after a couple days of using your CBD oil, I had the best day at work since my surgery. Much better attitude, and moved around great. I’m a believer [in you and] your product!”
“Millie Ackerman” is a senior citizen who tried CBD, with excellent results:
“I am happy with my CBD OILS. I am 75 years old and have the general aches and pains that go along with aging. Also, have Spinal Stenosis. The oils help my sense of well-being and comforts me. I plan on continuing the use of the oils.”
One of our customers was so happy; she agreed to film a testimonial for us. She openly shared her incredible experience using our products, which we’d love to show you too.
Of course, this is just the tip of a colossal iceberg. There are plenty of testimonials about CBD products, so we encourage you to look at independent customer reviews and publications. Our CBD blog also contains many handy information and links to studies where you can learn more about CBD.
THC vs. CBD Feeling
THC and CBD overlap in therapeutic benefits, but the overall experience is like night and day.
We already know that CBD is non-intoxicating. While CBD reportedly offers relief from many different symptoms through various non-ECS receptors, THC’s medical effects revolve around its powerful intoxicating properties.
Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to THC. Many people use it to deal with the same array of symptoms that gained CBD so much attention. But the experience is very different – and sometimes unpleasant.
When you consume THC, expect to feel the following:
- Racing (often creative) thoughts
- Increased appetite
- Mental impairment
- Reduced motor skills
- Short-term memory loss
Aside from relaxation and (possibly) nausea, you won’t experience any of the above effects when using CBD.
How Long Does it Take to Feel the Effects of CBD?
Besides product quality and your individual biology, the type of hemp-derived CBD product you take makes a difference. Each CBD product takes a different amount of time to reach your bloodstream after consumption.
CBD Oils are ingestible CBD extracts usually meant for sublingual consumption. You temporarily place the oil under your tongue and allow your mouth’s capillaries to directly absorb some of the CBD.
Thanks to the sublingual method, oils take around 15 to 30 minutes to take effect.
CBD Edibles and CBD Softgels
Edibles cover a broad range of products. In this case, we’ll define “edible” as any CBD directly ingested and processed exclusively in the liver. Edibles are products like:
Despite their different forms, these all share the same delay period of 30 to 45 minutes.
Smoking Hemp Rich in CBD
Smoking is another option known for its fast-acting – albeit shorter – effects. Currently, there are three ways to smoke CBD:
- Dried flower (i.e., joints)
- Vape oils
- CBD e-liquids (for standard e-cigarette tanks)
Smoking is the quickest option, so you’ll feel a notable difference within five minutes – if not immediately.
CBD topicals are the only product not intended for internal use. In other words, you apply it to the skin. However, this means the CBD won’t enter your bloodstream, so topical effects are focal. This provides excellent localized relief for issues like pain and inflammation.
A considerable variety of topicals exist, including:
- CBD moisturizers
- Bath bombs
- Massage oils
These products work within 10 to 20 minutes , so it’s not uncommon for pain relief to seem almost instant. However, you may need to give the topical time to do its work when countering things like inflammation.
If you want to know more about how long it takes CBD to work, check out our article about it here .
How Much CBD Should You Take to Feel a Difference?
Finding the right amount of CBD for you isn’t an exact science, as everyone’s cases and bodies are different.
We highly recommend reading our CBD dosing guide on how much CBD to take if you need help understanding how it works.
Here are some quick tips about CBD dosing:
- New users should “start low and go slow,” meaning starting with a lower dose to start. Increase by 5 to 10 mg every three days as needed until you’re satisfied with the effects.
- While high CBD doses are usually well-tolerated, less is more (again, due to CBD’s biphasic properties). Taking too much isn’t only a waste of good oil, but it also increases the risk of adverse effects.
- Keep a journal to track your doses and symptoms carefully.
- Mild symptoms require very little CBD, with many finding relief after just 10 to 25 mg.
- Be patient. Reaching your “sweet spot” takes time, but the payoff is worth it.
Can CBD Make You Feel Bad?
Although uncommon, CBD health and wellness products can cause side effects – especially at high doses. Fortunately, these are mild compared to many prescription medications. Some people who take CBD feel things like:
- Dry mouth
- Decreased appetite
Conclusion: How Does CBD Feel
What does CBD feel like? This can vary substantially based on your situation. CBD’s adaptogenic behavior also means effects might be very different depending on your brain and body’s immediate state.
There’s also the Entourage Effect and its critical role with our endocannabinoid system. Full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD is ideal compared to pure CBD isolate.
Again, experiences vary, but customers say they feel the effects of our CBD within 15 to 30 minutes. However, it can take days or even weeks of consistent exposure before you start seeing great results in your health and body. This is normal, so don’t be discouraged.
Remember that CBD is a supplement. It hasn’t been fully evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
We still have a lot to learn about CBD, but we can’t deny that it has potential. In many cases, it changed people’s lives, alleviating symptoms without (at least in our case) harmful chemical ingredients.
If you want to feel CBD’s true potential, our company, Colorado Botanicals, specializes in extracting and purifying our CBD extract using a pharmaceutical approach in separation science, allowing us to naturally retain terpenes. We strongly recommend you check out our line of CBD oils.
How Long Does It Take for Edibles to Kick In & Last in the Body?
CBD edibles take a different route than CBD oil. The oil absorbs directly into your bloodstream through the mucous membranes in your mouth, while CBD edibles are first metabolized by the liver.
That’s why they need more time to kick in.
For those who don’t know, CBD edibles are just hemp-infused food that you can find in various forms, including gummies, brownies, honey sticks, protein bars, and more.
They’re much like the weed gummies — but without the high.
CBD edibles have been found to help with a lot of ailments, such as anxiety, pain, and sleep problems. They’re also easier to take and more enjoyable than oils.
Yes, they do need more time to kick in, but their effects also last longer (up to 12 hours).
Today we’ll cover the topic of CBD metabolism from roots to branches.
Why Are People using CBD Edibles?
As mentioned above, CBD edibles are a fun way to deliver the health benefits of CBD. If you like that relaxed state of mind and physical relaxation but you’re not a fan of the earthy taste of oils, edibles may be your go-to form of CBD.
Even though the research on the clinical benefits of CBD is in the early stage, there are hundreds of studies describing its high therapeutic versatility and excellent safety profile.
The best part about edibles is that they’re the healthiest form of consumption. We need food to thrive, so it’s natural for us to consume it, unlike with vapes or other novel products.
CBD edibles are also affordable, easy to dose, and very accessible. If you take them in the right dosage, they don’t come with any side effects, so it’s no wonder why they have become so popular recently.
Why do Edibles Have a Different Onset Time?
No two people are the same — and this applies to our body chemistry too.
That’s why types of CBD take time to kick in the body differently depending on how people consume it. In terms of taking CBD edibles, some may notice the effects after about 30 minutes, while others will even need 2 hours to feel the difference.
Since edibles are broken down in your digestive system, the way they are processed depends on your individual metabolic rate.
But generally speaking, CBD edibles usually need 30–90 minutes to kick in. That’s longer than with oils, which start acting within 15–30 minutes; or with vapes, where a person usually feels the effects after 5 minutes.
On a positive note, you can count on a longer duration. Since CBD is gradually released into the bloodstream, the effects are stretched in time — acting up to 12 hours.
Factors that Impact the Time it Takes for CBD Edibles to Kick In
There are several factors that can affect the time it takes for CBD edibles to kick in. Most of them are related to your lifestyle, including:
- Diet and eating habits
- Tolerance to cannabis
How Long Does It Take for CBD Edibles to Kick In?
Edibles typically take around 30 minutes to kick in. Sometimes, the onset may be delayed by another 30 minutes, up to 2 hours if you have a slow metabolic rate.
If your product contains fats, it may need less time to start acting because fats improve the absorption rate of cannabinoids. For a faster-acting effect, you may consider taking your CBD edibles on an empty stomach. This way, your body will metabolize it faster than it would if CBD competed with other compounds from your food.
The type of CBD edibles will determine their onset too.
For example, CBD gum, lozenges, and lollipops kick in faster because some of their CBD content is absorbed sublingually when you’re sucking on them. Sublingual absorption bypasses the first-pass metabolism in the liver, ensuring faster effects.
On the other hand, chewable edibles, such as gummies, cookies, or chocolates, may have a delayed onset because the absorption first happens in the digestive tract, from where the active ingredients enter the bloodstream and travel to the liver.
In the liver, CBD is metabolized, released back into the bloodstream, and sent to the brain — which is when edibles start to kick in.
How Long Do CBD Edibles Last?
The average duration of edibles is around 5–6 hours. That being said, it’s also the potency of CBD and your metabolism that decide how long the effects of CBD will stay with you. The products that are chewed will surely last longer than those that you absorb sublingually. In extreme cases, CBD edibles can last up to 12 hours.
Peak blood levels can occur around three hours after administration. This is where you should feel most relaxed and calm. However, it may not be possible to estimate how long the effects of edibles will exactly last. A 2016 study that analyzed over a hundred thousand tweets about cannabis edibles concluded that an “unpredictable” duration was one of the most common side effects listed.
Common Forms of CBD Edibles
There are many forms of CBD edibles available, with new products coming onto the market every month. Common types of CBD-infused food include:
- Candy and sweets: gummies, lozenges, lollipops, hard candy, truffles, chocolate, fruit bars, marshmallows, chewing gum
- Baked goods: cookies, biscuits, waffles, and brownies
- Beverages: tea, iced tea, soda, energy drinks and shots, coffee, beer, wine, and cocktails
How Much CBD Should You Take?
Most CBD edibles describe the amount of CBD per serving on their labels. For instance, a single gummy usually contains 10 or 25 milligrams of CBD.
In some cases, the manufacturer lists the CBD content of the entire package. Using the gummy example, a jar may contain 300 mg of CBD. If the package contains 30 gummies, that’s 10 mg per gummy. This can be quite confusing with products like cookies or chocolate bars.
CBD Dosing (By Weight)
Since CBD is non-intoxicating, it won’t trigger mental discomfort such as anxiety or paranoia, unlike THC. Nevertheless, high doses may cause mild side effects, such as fatigue or changes in appetite.
The best way to start your journey with CBD edibles is to go with a small dose first, such as 5 or 10 mg, and work your way up to a dose that produces the desired effects.
A good CBD gummy dosage range for beginners is 1–5 mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight.
Since CBD can make you sleepy, it’s best to take lower doses in the morning and save higher doses for the evening until you understand how it affects your circadian rhythm.
Benefits of CBD Edibles
CBD-infused edibles are safer than smoking or vaping. Here’s why you may want to consider becoming a CBD foodie:
- No respiratory risk. When you smoke or vape CBD, this can irritate your lungs, not to mention that smoking also delivers harmful carcinogens to your body. Smoking can cause lung inflammation and bronchitis. Edibles don’t involve combustion and inhaling the smoke, so it doesn’t pose the same threat.
- Longer duration. Although vaping provides the highest bioavailability of all consumption methods, its effects are relatively short-lived. In contrast, CBD edibles can last for 8 to 12 hours, which makes them better for patients who want long-acting relief for their symptoms.
- Discreet. Much like any food, you can take CBD edibles without turning heads. Edibles don’t produce the pungent aromas associated with cannabis smoke. This may be helpful if you use CBD for medical purposes, and need to take your dose while at work.
- Accessible. You can easily make CBD edibles at home. Making your own vapes and CBD oils is more difficult and time-consuming, giving CBD an upper hand in this clash.
Potential Side Effects of CBD Edibles
According to a 2017 review of the safety profile of CBD, large doses can lead to the following side effects:
- Dry mouth
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in weight
CBD is also a potent inhibitor of CYP450, which is a group of enzymes that metabolize around 60% of pharmaceutical medications. Taking CBD with certain drugs can alter their effects by compromising the liver’s ability to break them down. This can lead to either a subtherapeutic effect or drug toxicity depending on the type of interaction.
If you take any medications and are concerned that CBD could interact with them, consult your doctor before buying CBD edibles online. A qualified medical professional will help you gauge the right timing for both substances to avoid negative interactions.
Key Takeaways on the Metabolism of CBD Edibles
CBD edibles are a fun and convenient way to experience the benefits of CBD.
When you take edibles, you don’t need to worry about washing your mouth with lots of water to get rid of that earthy aftertaste that comes with taking CBD oil.
CBD edibles are also more discreet and easier to dose because you know exactly how much CBD is in each serving.
Although they need more time to kick in than CBD oils or vapes, these effects are extended in time, lasting up to 12 hours. If you’re looking for long-lasting relief from your symptoms — or you just want to take CBD once or twice a day — edibles are the best bet.
Just make sure to consult a doctor before buying CBD edibles if you take any medications. A consultation with a holistic practitioner will help you with finding the right dose and avoid CBD-drug interactions.
Do you take CBD edibles? How long does it take for you to notice the first effects? Leave us a comment below!
1. Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 139–154. (1)
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
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How long does it take CBD oil to work?
In recent years, cannabidiol (CBD) oil has skyrocketed in popularity. Knowledge about how it works in the human body, however, has accelerated at a snail’s pace. If you’ve ever wondered, “How long does it take for CBD oil to work?” or “How long will the effects of CBD oil last?” you’re not alone.
In this article, we’ll answer these questions and cover how different consumption methods will alter your CBD experience.
How does CBD interact with the body?
CBD interacts with the brain and body through a number of mechanisms. Upon ingestion, CBD interacts with a wide range of proteins in the body and central nervous system. A key part of this interaction takes place within the endocannabinoid system (ECS) — specifically the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.
When cannabidiol is introduced to the endocannabinoid system, it inhibits the absorption of anandamide, a natural cannabinoid molecule that regulates pain. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
CBD also interacts with other receptor proteins not directly related to the ECS, such as the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A and vanilloid receptor TRPV1. Any potential anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties of CBD could stem from the activation of these additional biological pathways.
Bottom line: The relationship between CBD and the human body is complicated. The method of consumption, the quality of the CBD product, and individual body chemistry all determine how this cannabinoid moves through your body and how long it takes to leave your system.
The method of consumption matters
The method of consumption plays a critical role in how long it will take to feel the effects of CBD. CBD is available in many different forms, and each has an influence on the onset time, among other factors.
The most common method for CBD consumption involves administering a couple of drops directly into the mouth. Swallowing the oil will prevent the CBD from immediately entering your bloodstream, sending it instead through the digestive tract and eventually on to the liver, where it is broken down before finally reaching the bloodstream.
Studies show that when CBD compounds are metabolized by the liver, it undergoes what is called the “first pass effect,” where enzymes in the liver reduce CBD concentration before the remainder is finally sent to the bloodstream and circulated throughout the body.
When ingesting CBD edibles, the same principle applies. Let’s say, for example, you’re taking CBD gummies or adding a few drops of CBD oil into your favorite recipe. It will ultimately go through the same lengthy process and reduce the total CBD concentration in your bloodstream. With ingestion, it could be one to two hours before the effects of CBD finally set in.
Bottom line: Ingesting CBD via a tincture or a CBD oil-infused edible will result in a longer onset (up to two hours) and possibly weaker effects.
You can consume CBD oil sublingually by placing a few drops of CBD under your tongue and rubbing it into the tissue there with your tongue or finger for at least 30 seconds to a minute before swallowing. This will allow the mucous membranes in your mouth to absorb the CBD, partially bypassing the digestive system and liver, for much quicker entry into the bloodstream. Effects may be felt within seconds. Just like when you ingest THC edibles though, you’ll get a second onset of effects a couple of hours later when the CBD that wasn’t absorbed sublingually makes it through your digestive system.
Administering a couple of drops of CBD oil directly under the tongue is the quickest and easiest way to reap the potential benefits. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Bottom line: Expect to feel the effects of sublingual administration within 30 minutes. Any effects you feel should last an hour or more but be bolstered at about two hours.
Whether you’re smoking a high-CBD strain, puffing on a hemp flower pre-roll, or taking a draw from a CBD vape pen, inhalation is often seen as an effective method of delivery for CBD because of how quickly it’s absorbed in the body. When you smoke CBD flower or vape CBD oil, cannabinoids go directly to your lungs where they rapidly enter your bloodstream and circulate throughout your body. CBD reaches peak concentrations within three minutes after consumption, meaning the effects can be felt shortly after use.
Inhalation is often seen as an effective method of delivery for CBD because of how quickly it’s absorbed in the body. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Bottom line: Smoking CBD flower or vaping CBD oil is one of the fastest ways to experience the effects of CBD. Any effects you feel will set in almost immediately and last roughly an hour or slightly longer.
When it comes to easy, effective CBD dosing, transdermal patches have a lot going for them. Based on the same principles as nicotine or birth control patches, CBD patches deliver a long-lasting dose very efficiently. The cannabinoid readily diffuses into our skin, through our skin cells, and into the bloodstream, especially when it’s helped along by permeation enhancers. Patches can help with localized skin and muscle issues but they are right up there with smoking when it comes to getting as much of the CBD you consume into your bloodstream as possible. It’s also a discreet option that delivers a steady dose over hours.
CBD patches deliver a long-lasting dose very efficiently. Photo by: Shutterstock
Bottom line: Using a transdermal CBD patch is an efficient, effective way to enjoy the cannabinoid’s effects, which set in within an hour and last for several hours, depending on the patch’s formulation.
When you apply topical CBD products directly to your skin, the CBD is absorbed and slowly interacts with localized cannabinoid receptors. In some cases, CBD-infused topicals should be applied liberally to overcome the low cannabinoid absorption rate of the skin. With topical application, any CBD effects you feel will peak after about 90 minutes. This method of administration is often used for chronic pain in specific areas.
Topical CBD is applied directly to and can be absorbed through the surface of the skin. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Bottom line: Applying CBD oil topically isn’t likely to have a profound effect, but it may help address mild discomfort in specific areas of your body.
The way CBD interacts with and leaves your body depends on several factors that vary from person to person.
Body fat influences the amount of CBD you need to feel an effect. The larger the body mass, the more CBD required to feel potential effects. Bodyweight and mass also affect how long CBD will remain in your system. Like THC, CBD is stored in fat cells and gradually eliminated from the body through urine and feces.
The metabolic rate of the individual also has some sway over how long CBD stays in the system. The body’s metabolism determines the time needed to break down and synthesize compounds, which affects how long it takes the body to process and metabolize the cannabinoid.
Your body’s metabolism affects how long it takes to process and metabolize cannabinoids. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Frequency of use
It’s not just your body that influences how long it takes CBD to work, but also the quality of the CBD product and how often it’s used. Once you acquire CBD oil, the next step is to find the optimal dosing regimen, including frequency of use. The answers will depend largely on the type of product, amount of CBD inside it, and the specific ailment you are targeting. Most reputable manufacturers will provide instructions on how to properly use the product, but experimentation may be required to find the optimal dose for you and your specific needs.
Settling on the ideal CBD dosage is an important part of the treatment process, and will also impact how long CBD stays in your system. Hemp-derived CBD products are not intended to give the user a stoned buzz or intoxicated feeling, so there’s no need to be conservative with the dosage amount. Still, it’s recommended to start with a lower dosage and gradually increase it until the ideal effects are discovered.
If you’re brand new to CBD, start with a few puffs of a smokeable product, 1 milliliter of oil or tincture, or 10 milligrams of CBD if you’re consuming an edible product. Wait to see how you respond before consuming more.
How long does it take CBD to get out of your system?
We’ve covered the factors that determine how long it takes for CBD to work, but what about how long it takes to get CBD out of your system? Again, it depends on many of the aforementioned factors that determine the effectiveness of the cannabinoid itself.
CBD can be detected up to 72 hours after smoking. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
A 2018 review of existing CBD studies found that the estimated half-life of CBD was two to five days for those who took a daily oral dose. Other delivery methods delivered varied half-lives. Since you may feel the effects of CBD immediately after inhalation, this method is appealing for those seeking immediate, potential pain relief. The same study found that the half-life of smoked CBD was 31 hours.
How CBD affects drug test results
Some people may be apprehensive to try CBD over concerns that it could cause them to fail a drug test. It’s highly unlikely that CBD would show up on most drug screenings, as most tests specifically look for the presence of THC and THC metabolites. But even hemp-derived CBD can contain trace amounts of THC, so there’s technically a chance — albeit extremely slim — of receiving a false-positive test result from taking an unusually large dose of CBD oil (estimates range from 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams per day).
For those worried about THC showing up in their system, look for broad-spectrum oil or products that contain pure CBD isolate. Broad-spectrum oil, as opposed to full-spectrum oil, is refined to exclude the trace amounts of THC that may have been present in the hemp plant. Products with CBD isolate contain no THC or other plant-based cannabinoids. To find high-quality CBD, search for products that come with a certificate of analysis from a third-party testing lab to ensure that the information listed on the product label is accurate. Be careful not to confuse hemp seed oil or hemp oil, which seldom contain any CBD at all, with CBD oil. These products will provide a hearty dose of omega-3 fatty acids, but they won’t provide any potential pain-relieving or anti-anxiety effects.
Frequently asked questions
How long does it take for CBD oil to work orally?
Consuming CBD oil via sublingual administration will deliver any effects within 30 minutes. CBD edibles have the longest onset time, and it may take two hours to feel any effects.
How soon does CBD oil work for anxiety?
It depends on how you consume it. For the quickest potential anxiety relief, smoke high-CBD hemp flower, vape a CBD oil vape, or administer CBD sublingually, taking care to rub it in.
Does CBD oil actually do anything?
That depends on the person, the quality of the CBD oil, and the consumption method. If you’ve used a CBD product in the past and it did nothing, check whether it came from a licensed brand or retailer that performs third-party lab tests. If this is the case, the dosage might be at play. Unlike THC and most other cannabis products, CBD is non-intoxicating and you can experiment with large increases in your dose with little risk. If you take any prescription medication, be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before trying CBD in any form.
How long does it take for CBD oil to work for pain relief?
If you’re using a topical product for potential localized pain relief, it could take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour to feel a difference. Again, buy products from licensed brands and retailers that perform third-party lab tests to ensure you’re getting a legitimate product.