February 17


How Long Does CBD Take To Work?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve likely heard of CBD oil. With claims that it can help ease anxiety, treat chronic pain, alleviate depression, and more, you may have some questions. One of the biggest questions is – how long does CBD take to work?

Unfortunately, the answer to this isn’t one size fits all. Your dose, health concerns, CBD type, even the form you take it in all affect how it will take to kick in.

In this article we’ll go over:

  • How does CBD affect the body?
  • How long does CBD take to work?
  • How long do the effects of CBD last?
  • Ideal dosing for CBD
  • Signs that your CBD is working
  • What to do if your CBD isn’t working

While more research in this area is definitely needed, over time and through many reports, we can pretty accurately determine the length of time it takes CBD products to work in the body.

How does CBD affect the body?

CBD is a cannabinoid that comes from cannabis. Both marijuana and hemp are classified as such, but most CBD comes from the hemp plant. This is due to the high CBD, low THC ratio the plant has; marijuana is the opposite.

Cannabinoids like CBD work by attaching to receptors found in the Endocannabinoid System. This system was discovered in the ’90s; it’s thought to affect many other parts of the body, including the immune system and reproductive system, and regulates things like body temperature, sleep, immune function, mood, and memory.

One big role of the Endocannabinoid System is to keep the body in balance. You can think of cannabinoids as a sort of regulator. They attach to the Endocannabinoid System’s receptors and essentially tell the cell that they are attached to how to respond. This sort of balance in the body is called homeostasis.

Many reports have come from people who claim relief from all sorts of ailments, most notably, chronic pain, anxiety, and inflammation. The reason behind why CBD seems to be a catch-all supplement is because of the way that it interacts with the cells in the body. While there is extensive research behind some of these claims, such as anxiety, much more is needed before fully understanding all that it is capable of.

How long does CBD take to work?

Depending on how you take your CBD, the amount of time it takes for the CBD to kick in will be different. The most popular forms of CBD include CBD oils or tinctures, CBD capsules, and topical CBD products.

Here are the approximate times you can expect to wait for your CBD to start to work with each of these:

CBD oils or tinctures

The most common method of ingestion for CBD is in oil or tincture form. But just because you take it by mouth doesn’t mean you should swallow it.

Most CBD oils and tinctures on the market are meant to be taken in sublingual form. Sublingual means under the tongue.

Taking CBD underneath your tongue allows it to absorb into the sublingual glands and blood vessels there. This bypasses the digestive system and allows the CBD to start going to work more quickly.

Various studies show that taking CBD oil sublingually bypasses the “first pass” effect. When you swallow CBD oil, it must travel first through the digestive tract to the liver, then metabolized. During the first pass effect, CBD concentration is reduced before it is sent to the bloodstream.

Sublingual CBD oils and tinctures generally start to take effect approximately 15 to 20 minutes after taking them.

CBD capsules

CBD products like CBD capsules and other edibles are taken by mouth and have to pass through the digestive system before they start working their magic.

Because of this, CBD capsules take longer than oils or tinctures to take effect; expect to wait anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Topical CBD products (lotions, creams, salves)

Topical CBD products work by interacting directly with the cannabinoid receptors in the skin. These products provide localized relief and don’t normally enter the bloodstream; products like transdermal CBD patches are the exception to this, as they have ingredients designed to do just that.

Because topical CBD products directly affect the receptors, relief from these CBD products is generally felt very quickly; 5-15 minutes is the normal range here.

How long do the effects of CBD last?

Depending on how you decide to take your CBD, the effects can last anywhere from 2-6 hours. Of course, this can be affected by many other things as well.


Naturally, the amount, or dose, of CBD that you take will affect how long it lasts in your system and is also influenced by other factors, such as a person’s individual metabolism or body weight.

For someone taking a small dose, the effects are likely going to diminish much quicker than for someone who has taken a much larger dose.


The metabolic rate is one of the many factors that decide how long certain substances like CBD stay in your system. This rate holds for many other things as well, such as medication or supplements.

Your metabolism determines how long it will take to break down and synthesize cannabinoids in the body.

Body Weight

Like THC, CBD is stored in the body’s fat cells. A larger person will require more CBD to be effective vs. a smaller person. CBD is eliminated from the body through its own waste over time, so it stands to reason that a person with a larger mass is going to have CBD remain in their system for longer. Despite this, they may not feel its effects for longer than a person of smaller mass.

Ideal Dosing For CBD

CBD isn’t one size fits all. While it is currently being used to treat all sorts of ailments from anxiety to arthritis, finding the correct dose can be tricky.

Starting with CBD, it’s best to go with a low dose and gradually increase over time. You might be wondering why this is. It’s actually due to how CBD works and a little something called the bell curve effect.

Simply put, take too little CBD, and you won’t get much out of it. Take too much, and the results actually start diminishing. It’s all about finding that sweet spot with CBD, and the right dose can work wonders.

We recommend starting out with 5-10mg of CBD twice a day, and increasing from there.

Signs That Your CBD Is Working

While the effects may be pretty subtle, especially at first, there are a few ways that you can tell if your CBD is working.

You’re less stressed

Stress can come from many different areas in your life – work, home, school, relationships – it doesn’t differentiate.

The stress hormone, cortisol, is responsible for the body’s flight or fight response, and high levels of it can have a very negative impact on both your mental and physical health.

Studies have shown CBD to lower the amount of cortisol in our bodies, and ultimately, our stress levels.

You’re sleeping better

CBD does a fantastic job of regulating the stress hormones in our bodies. The amount of cortisol we have floating around in us is directly tied to our sleep quality. It also plays a role in regulating the melatonin in us, another hormone responsible for our sleep-wake cycles.

By taking cannabinoids like CBD, you’re optimizing your body and priming it for better sleep health. Want to go a step further? Check out CBN. Commonly called the “sleepy” cannabinoid, CBN combined with CBD is greatly effective at treating mild sleep disorders.

Your body feels more relaxed

One of CBD’s biggest roles in the human body is reducing inflammation. Cannabinoids work by way of the Endocannabinoid System and suppress the inflammatory response while regulating the immune system.

By reducing levels of inflammation all over, you’re likely to feel a lot more comfortable in your own skin.

You’re happier

Another way CBD is helping millions around the globe and here in Canada is by reducing anxiety. Cannabinoids mimic the body’s own natural endocannabinoids, one of which is Anandamide.

Anandamide is commonly referred to as the “bliss” molecule and is thought to increase serotonin levels in the body, which in turn can lead to a more positive mood and outlook.

What To Do If Your CBD Isn’t Working

Having trouble deciphering whether your CBD is working or not? Many factors play into the effectiveness of CBD, and there are a few things you can try and tweak if you’re not getting the expected results.

Make sure you’re only buying and using quality CBD

Over the past few years, the amount of Canadian CBD brands has gone through the roof. With the number of brands continually on the rise, you must research them to determine the good ones from the bad.

Any CBD brand you go with should:

  • Have third party lab reports and testing done on all products
  • Be from a 100% Canadian CBD company
  • Have clear instructions for use and proper labeling
  • Have solid customer service for any questions and concerns

Increase (or decrease) your dose of CBD

We mentioned above that CBD works on a bell curve response. If you do not see the results you’re looking for, it’s time to play around with your dose. If you started out taking just a minimal amount (5-10mg), try upping your dose gradually over the next week. If you’re taking a lot right now(30-50mg), try dropping it down slightly.

Take your CBD more frequently

CBD only lasts in the system a maximum of about 6 hours. By taking your CBD on a regular schedule, you’ll be keeping the levels of CBD up in your body at all times.

Many people start out and only take their CBD once a day, but it works much more effectively when you take it multiple times in a 24 hour period.

Try a different method of ingestion

If you’ve been trying one way of ingesting CBD, like gummies, and don’t feel like it’s working, try another form.

Sublingual CBD oils and tinctures are more bioavailable than edible forms of CBD, and sometimes a switch is just what you need to get you on track.


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