Here’s How Long It Takes to Feel the Effects of CBD
CBD oil is the top trendy ingredient on the market right now. It’s so popular, in fact, that revenue from products made with CBD are projected to grow to $20 billion by 2024.
In case you’re wondering what is CBD, exactly?, here’s a quick refresher: CBD is a naturally occurring compound present in the flowers and leaves of cannabis plants. There’s no THC in it, which means it can’t get you high, no matter how much you take.
The reason CBD is so compelling to consumers is due to a laundry list of promising purported health benefits, from reduced muscle pain and anxiety to help with nausea, insomnia, and inflammation. We’re still waiting for clearance from the FDA (and more robust research on the proven perks of the ingredient), but in the meantime, many Americans are eager to test out the positive potential of CBD.
If you’re wondering whether it’s time to jump on the CBD bandwagon, you’re not alone. But as with any new food, drink, or supplement that promises health benefits, it’s best to start slow—and smart.
One question we often hear regarding trying CBD for the first time is how long it will take to have an effect on your body. According to Boris Shcharansky, the chief operating officer at Papa & Barkley, the length of time depends largely on the dosing method. Here’s a simple breakdown.
Topical forms of CBD
CBD topical products, like balm, ointments, and lotions, should take effect pretty immediately. Once you apply these products to your body, you should start feeling relief within about 15 minutes.
Ingestible forms of CBD
For ingestible products, like tinctures, capsules, gummies, and the like, the results are different. When kept under the tongue, tinctures typically absorb within 30 seconds and effects are felt within 15 minutes. When ingesting CBD (i.e., swallowing it or consuming a food that contains CBD), you can expect to feel the effects within about 45 minutes to two hours.
Don’t overdo it without waiting
If you’ve got aches, inflammation, or other issues that you’re hoping to soothe with CBD stat, be very careful not to overdose without waiting the appropriate period of time. “Ingesting CBD is typically associated with more attentiveness, less anxiety, and less inflammatory-related pain,” explains Shcharansky. “While higher doses—over 200 milligrams—have been associated with drowsiness.”
In other words, dosing should be determined on an individual basis, and consumers should be wary of high doses early on. If you’re curious what the right dosage of CBD is for you, read our guide here.
For those who are hoping to feel the effects of CBD as quickly as possible, Shcharansky recommends taking a tincture sublingually, meaning dropping it under your tongue, waiting a few seconds, and then swallowing.
“But the benefits of CBD are less about immediate effects and more about cumulative benefits,” he explains. “If you take CBD daily, you’ll continuously reduce your inflammation, which over time, should reduce your pain and keeps flare-ups at bay.”
How will CBD make me feel?
You may have heard a bit about how CBD (cannabidiol) can interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system to potentially help restore balance in a huge range of bodily functions.
You may also have heard anecdotes from friends about the benefits bringing this natural supplement into your life has to offer. But, while fascinating to learn about, you may feel as though none of this has clearly told you how CBD will make you feel. We’re here to fill you in.
In this article we’ll cover:
How will CBD make me feel?
The impact CBD has on the human body is, given the way we are mostly all made the same inside, similar for many people. However, the dosage you take, the strain of hemp used in the product, how/where the product is grown, extraction and other ingredients included, not to mention the reason you have chosen to take CBD in the first place, all make for unique experiences.
As a very simple explanation, you can think of the core effect of CBD as being similar to that you experience when you take something like Paracetamol (Acetaminophen).
When it takes effect you experience the absence of symptoms and a return back to a more ‘normal’ state – more ‘you’.
First and foremost, legal, professionally made CBD products in the UK will not get you high. There’s little to no THC present in CBD that is sold legally in this country – that’s the psychotropic compound commonly associated with the heady, almost drunk feeling you can get from consuming marijuana.
However, that being said, stronger doses of CBD (1,000mg+, far more than would ever normally be consumed) may make you feel ever-so-slightly light headed, briefly, as it works its way into your bloodstream and around the receptors in your body.
This is nothing to be concerned about. In fact, this sensation is mostly your own ‘bliss molecule’, the endocannabinoid called Anandamide, being allowed to flow freely as a result of CBD binding to your CB1 and CB2 receptors which then changes the shape, blocking Anandamide’s usual spot, while inhibiting the enzyme which would ordinarily break Anandamide down before it has a chance to get around. If THC is also present, this sits tightly in those receptors so there’s no chance of Anandamide settling in, making for even more of that lovely stuff swimming around your system.
But this little ‘rush’ isn’t the case for everyone. In fact, those with acute pain, anxiety, sleep deprivation (to name but a few) often find that all they feel is a sudden sense of equilibrium, perhaps manifested as pain reduction, a wash of soothing calm, or an energy boost.
Interestingly, the same goes for many people using medical marijuana for acute distress, even with higher levels of THC present. Many experts have theorised that this feeling of restored balance may come from a regulation of something dubbed an ‘endocannabinoid deficiency’ – an extremely common problem where our bodies have stopped producing and delivering appropriate amounts of Anandamide and a wide variety of other endocannabinoids, resulting in troubles with many cognitive and physiological processes, such as memory, pain, stress response, and appetite.
A number of factors are thought to cause endocannabinoid deficiency, such as lack of quality sleep, poor diet and chronic stress. CBD products simply help your body return to centre.
How can I start using CBD in the most effective way?
The most common way to start with CBD is as oil drops, taken under the tongue. Simply place 4-5 drops under the tongue and allow to absorb for 90 seconds before swallowing.
It’s really important to seek out high a quality product, from a reputable brand where you can be assured that you’re getting what’s on the label. KLORIS CBD are one of the most awarded brands, with stringent quality control and are available for next day delivery from this website, found in leading health spas like Six Senses and Bvlgari and are one of the only CBD brands approved for sale on Amazon.
How can CBD affect people in so many different ways?
Does it seem a little strange to you that some people use CBD to relax while others use it as a pick-me-up?
It’s certainly a very special property of CBD products and it comes down to two things:
- Cannabis is pleiotropic, meaning it has many different effects through many molecular pathways and activates or binds to multiple receptors throughout the body.
- Cannabis, although not officially labelled as an adaptogen, contains cannabinoids which work in a typically adaptogenic way, adapting their function depending on what the body needs, be that physical, chemical or biological. Cannabis (and adaptogens such as Ginseng and Reishi mushroom), bring the body back into balance, moderating stress response, lowering inflammation and even enhancing mental performance. What’s more, they can possess opposing qualities, such as being stimulating and relaxing at the same time. Whatever your body needs when the adaptogen gets involved. Amazing, huh?
Does CBD really relieve pain?
Cannabinoids on their own are endlessly captivating – there’s so much we have learned already, yet there is still so much more to discover. But one thing we do know is that it’s how these cannabinoids work in synergy with each other (the entourage effect) and with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that gives the results people are raving about. Really, they’re just a gentle helping hand to encourage your own body to function just as it should.
The ECS spans the entire body. It’s considered to be one of the most important and complex networks, alongside the Central Nervous System (CNS) and Immune System. The receptors that make up the ECS have even been found within the CNS and Immune System and are now known to regulate mood, pain, inflammation, appetite, coordination among many, many other functions./p>
Because of this, plenty of CBD users have claimed that they find CBD to be extremely effective when it comes to pain relief, when taken internally and also when applied topically, as receptors are also found in almost every skin cell throughout all lipid layers. It’s not possible to make any hard claims as to this yet though.
Is CBD addictive?
You may find that once you start taking CBD, the change to your body is so wonderful that you’ll not want to be without it! But this isn’t because it’s addictive. It’s just a game-changer. At a molecular level CBD is not in any way addictive and numerous studies have shown this to be the case. In contrast, evidence suggests that CBD may actually help combat existing addiction to substances such as tobacco, alcohol and even opioids.
One week-long 2013 study published in the Addictive Behaviours journal found that participants given a CBD inhaler to use every time they felt the need to smoke reduced their number of cigarettes by 40%, while those with the placebo showed no notable difference.
Another 2019 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry observed the effects of treating long-term heroin users with CBD. The 42 subjects were split into three groups, one had 400mg of CBD administered, the second were given 800mg and the third received a placebo. The results showed that those who used CBD experienced significantly less cravings and anxiety induced by the drug cues.
Can I drink alcohol while taking CBD?
Mixing cannabis with alcohol is usually a no-no, as many a teenager will attest to, however, this is not the case when it comes to low THC or THC free CBD products.
Where marijuana with booze might leave you feeling very much worse for wear, CBD is actually thought to have the opposite effect by soothing alcohol induced depression and anxiety for a far more relaxed buzz. Better still, the negative side effects of drinking could be somewhat cushioned by including CBD in your tipple.
One 2013 study in the journal of Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behaviour, found that CBD reduces the neurodegeneration drinking can cause, while another 2014 study published in the journal of Free Radical Biology and Medicine revealed that CBD protects the liver by inhibiting oxidative stress and increasing the destruction of damaged cells.
This, blended with everything else CBD helps your body do, could not only make for a more enjoyable night, but a more bearable morning after too.
Can I take CBD with medication?
There is still so much to learn about CBD and this is one area that is crying out for attention – the reason for this being that the potential CBD has for those on medication could possibly be great, or not good at all.
Cannabidiol (and cannabis, including THC and all other cannabinoids) has a fantastic safety record as a food supplement, even in high doses. Unlike many pharmaceutical medications there’s no chance of serious harm if you take a little more than you mean to. However, some studies have indicated that CBD has the ability to block a family of enzymes called cytochrome P450, which are responsible for metabolising (and therefore eliminating) 70% to 80% of pharmaceutical drugs in the liver.
If enough research is done and safety measures are put into place, this could open up the possibility of patients being able to take much lower doses of their medication when used alongside CBD. But it could also indicate build up of pharmaceutical chemicals in your system, which may end being very toxic.
Until we know more, it’s best to err on the side of caution. And of course, always consult a medical professional for their expert advice.
Does CBD have any negative side effects?
A huge and ever-increasing number of studies looking into cannabidiol are now (thankfully and finally!) being published on a yearly basis, and the vast majority of them are pointing towards CBD being a pretty amazing thing in almost all respects. But as this is still a relatively new science (the ECS was only discovered in the 90s after all) and widespread use of concentrated CBD is a recent thing, we are always learning.
So far, the World Health Organisation deems CBD as perfectly safe, without risk of dependency or abuse and full of promise for a wide range of medical uses.
The only clinical trial showing negative side effects has been through using extremely high doses of Epidiolex, an FDA-approved CBD prescription medication. This looked at daily doses equivalent to 1,360 mg (more than an entire bottle of most CBD products) and even that exhibited mild symptoms such as dry mouth, decreased appetite and gastrointestinal distress.
That being said, it is vitally important to be wary of poor quality, unregulated CBD products. When purchasing CBD, always look for organic growing methods and transparent lab reports to ensure you are only ever putting the very best ingredients into your body.
How long will I feel the effect of CBD for?
This mostly depends on what form of CBD you take (i.e. oil, capsules, vapes, edibles etc). Vaping or using cbd oil drops sublingually (under the tongue) ensures the CBD enters your bloodstream fast, and you’ll start to feel the effects within 5-10 minutes. Capsules and edibles take much longer to get to work (up to 90 minutes) and, due to having to go via your digestive system, will end up having lower bioavailability too (so you need to take much more to have the same effect). But they’re great for a slow, steady, accumulative build up.
Once CBD is in your system, however it gets there, it will reach what’s known as ‘elimination half-life’ (the time it takes to reach half the dosage in your body) in 18 to 32 hours. But you won’t feel it as strongly during this whole time as you do when it first gets going (what’s called ‘active life’), even though those lovely cannabinoids will still be subtly working away.
How Long Does It Take for CBD to Work?
We’ve gathered all you need to know about how CBD interacts with the body so that you can have a reasonable expectation of how long its effects will take to occur.
What is CBD?
CBD is a chemical compound found in and extracted from cannabis and hemp plants. Also known as CBD, this chemical belongs to a family of compounds called cannabinoids. Native to cannabis and hemp plant groups, cannabinoids can interact with our bodies when consumed to induce a range of potential effects.
CBD is best known for its potential health benefits. Research tells us that CBD holds significant health potential, with evidence that it may be able to improve the symptoms of anxiety, pain, sleep, and inflammation ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ).
How does CBD interact with the body?
CBD interacts with a body a little differently from most cannabinoids, affecting different receptor types. Typically, cannabinoids exert their effects on the body by binding to cannabinoid receptors like CB1 and CB2. CBD, however, can only weakly bind to CB1 and CB2, meaning that cannabinoid receptors are not an effective means of action. Instead, CBD’s effects occur by the cannabinoid binding to non-cannabinoid receptors and acting on other receptor pathways.
The receptor that CBD binds to will determine the effects that you experience. If a CBD binds to a serotonin receptor, then you might feel reduced anxiety, whereas if it binds to a glycine receptor, then you might experience reduced inflammation ( 6 , 7 ).
Method of consumption matters
The way you choose to consume CBD will alter how quickly you will feel its effects. Different consumption methods go through different biological systems with varying forces that impact how quickly CBD reaches your bloodstream to induce its effects.
As well as affecting the speed of delivery, different consumption methods will also determine CBD strength. This is known as the bioavailability of a consumption method. The higher the bioavailability percentage, the higher the amount of CBD that actually reaches the bloodstream. A high bioavailability percentage means that you will experience stronger effects from the CBD.
Ingesting CBD is likely to leave you with a longer wait time to experience the full effects. Because of the slow absorptive nature of the gut, you should expect edible products to hit their peak at roughly 1.5 to 4 hours after ingestion ( 8 ).
CBD edibles might last a while, but they are not the hardest-hitting product available. Because CBD degrades in the strongly metabolic gut, you can expect a relatively low amount of CBD to reach your bloodstream when you eat it, with a bioavailability hovering around 6-20% ( 9 ).
Inhaling CBD smoke or vapour will transport the cannabinoid’s effects to you quickly. This speedy delivery is because inhalation passes smoke and vapour through the lungs, which contain extremely permeable tissue that allow CBD to get to your bloodstream faster. With CBD inhalation you can expect to feel peak results as early as three minutes after consumption ( 10 ).
The effects of inhaling CBD are also likely to be strong. Smoking CBD can result in a bioavailability of roughly 31%, while vaping can reach a whopping 70% ( 11 , 12 ).
Applying CBD under the tongue can be a way to take CBD with slightly quicker and stronger effects than edibles. Placing CBD oil under the tongue rather than swallowing it might not seem like much of a difference, but the structure of the tongue may provide a quicker delivery. The underside of the tongue contains a mucous membrane that can absorb CBD and transfer it to the blood more effectively than if it had to go through the gut. You can expect to feel CBD’s peak effects at around 2 hours after consumption ( 13 ).
Transdermal products like CBD patches are designed to reach your bloodstream by travelling through your skin, and the time it takes for you to feel the effects of CBD will depend on the specific make-up of the product. These typically have additional ingredients added to them to help CBD penetrate your skin. Transdermal patches can take a few hours to a day to induce their peak effects on the body.
Due to the nature of CBD, it cannot reach the bloodstream through the skin alone. CBD is lipophilic, meaning that it can’t dissolve in oil. Our skin has an oil layer and to cross it, CBD must be “carried” across through additional ingredients like those found in transdermal CBD products.
The key benefits of transdermal CBD are that it allows for easy delivery while avoiding the gut, which degrades CBD and leaves you with a lower bioavailability. An effective transdermal CBD product should leave you with stronger effects than an edible CBD product ( 14 ).
While they are placed on the skin like transdermal CBD products, topical CBD differs in that it is not designed to reach the bloodstream. Topical CBD products like lotions and shampoos are meant to induce a local effect on the area of the skin that they are applied to. Because of this, you may feel local effects from topical CBD relatively quickly.
How dosage affects duration
Because of how different consumption methods metabolise CBD, the time it takes for CBD’s effects to be felt in the body will be roughly the same regardless of the dose . The biggest difference you will experience from a higher dose is the strength of those effects. There may be some slight time added to the duration due to the additional metabolism required.
The bottom line
When it comes to CBD, the method you use to consume it will have the most significant effect on how long it will take to work. Some methods will leave you waiting a few hours before you experience the peak effects of the cannabinoid, while others can deliver you results in minutes.