How Long Does CBD Take to Work?
Austin Beals |
* DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is for educational purposes only. It does not exploit or provide medical advice of any kind. Therefore, any reliance you place on the information below is strictly at your own risk. Please check with your medical provider before starting or changing a CBD routine.
There are so many clinically-exploredproven medicinal applications of CBD oil, which is why this cannabinoid has become increasingly popular and researched over the recent years. The use of CBD oil has been linked to the alleviation of symptoms from all sorts of ailments, including anxiety, Parkinson's disease, chronic pain, high blood pressure, Huntington's disease, heart disease, inflammation and cancer just to name a few.
But many people who consider taking CBD oil often wonder how long it takes to feel the benefits and what you will feel, if anything at all. This remains one of the biggest controversies amongst the cannabis and pharmaceutical industries, due to the individual subject response to cannabidiol and cannabinoids in general.
Cannabidiol is the main cannabis constituent substance in CBD oil. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which you’ll find in medical marijuana, CBD does not induceposses the psychoactive effects, which still seems to be a huge concern amongst new users. This means CBD products derived from hemp plants do not have the same effects of THC and will not alter a person's state of mind. Because CBD oil does notn’t produce psychoactive effects, it has recently become legal in the US on a federal level federally and is becoming more widely available not only in the US, but around the world.
HOW SOON DOES CBD OIL WORK IN THE BODY?
A number of factors influence how long cannabidiol CBD takes to cascade its effects after being ingested. It will depend on your body weight, your tolerance level and total fat mass. To start, the actual symptom that you are trying to alleviate influences how long it will take to feel the effects of CBD. Other factors that come into play include the concentration of the CBD, dosage and whether or not isolated, broad or full-spectrum.
However, the biggest determinant in how long CBD takes to work and the duration of its effect comes down to the method used to take it. And believe it or not, there is more than you would expect.
Related: What Does CBD Oil Do?
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE CBD OIL TAKE TO WORK FOR PAIN
This is one of the most asked questions within the industry and at this point in time there is no clear answer. The problem here is that every person responds to Cannabidiol (CBD) differently and depending on pain severity, body typing and tolerance you can expect the end result to vary from 10 minutes to 2 hours and sometime it may not work at all!
TIME TO WORK FOR ARTHRITIS PAIN
Data would suggest that a large portion of CBD consumers seek the benefits of cannabidiol for any and all forms of arthritis. Although many want a more natural substitute such as hemp derived CBD, the question still remains how effective and predictable the products can actually be. The current issue is that CBD products are unregulated by the FDA and therefore no known dosage recommendation actually exists and many prescribing doctors are unwilling to step into the wild west.
When it comes to arthritis, pain management always depends on the severity and progression of the disease. Prescriptions for pharmaceutical drugs often range in dosage depending on the person’s height, weight, age, health status and disease progression. Like prescription drugs, CBD also is only as effective as the dose response relationship to each individual...meaning that based on the variation in the patient demographics listed above, the time to effect can vary greatly person-to-person. In the case of arthritis, the testimonials and case studies that have been examined seem to aim time to effect being between 10 minutes and 2-hours and this would only be assuming that the individuals consuming the CBD guessed a fairly accurate dose.
TIME TO WORK FOR CHRONIC PAIN
Chronic pain is typically characterized by an incomplete inflammatory response or neuropathy caused by nerve damage. Meaning that lingering inflammation is signaling a slow and incomplete immune response to an injury or illness and can cause sensitive free nerve endings to produce constant pain signaling which in turn causes a feedback loop that delays healing.
Reducing inflammation can have a direct impact on reducing chronic pain, assuming there is no muscular-skeltal damage involved. With that being said, testimonials and case studies indicate that sublingual and transdermal Cannabidiol can have an impact on temporarily reducing pain in as little as 30-minutes. However, longer term pain reduction has not been determined.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE CBD OIL TO WORK FOR ANXIETY
Although there are very immediate and known signs and symptoms associated with anxiety, the underlying pathophysiology is not completely understood person-to-person due to the differences in sensitivity to stress and fear. However, it is understood that the regulation of epinephrine and norepinephrine and how they impact blood pressure, metabolism and oxygen uptake play a significant role, along with neuronal activity as it relates to stressful stimuli.
Indirect action of CBD on the central nervous system would depend on how it was taken. Inhalation and sublingual ingestion would ultimately be the most effective and fast acting, anywhere between 5-30 minutes. However, it brings us back to the issue with dosage. This would only be assuming that the individual dosage that the person ingested was appropriate for them. Often times this takes some trial and error. On the bright side, there is not much “error” when it comes to trial-and-error of CBD dosage. In fact, toxicology reports have yet to be conclusive as to whether or not a dangerous level of ingestion actually exists. It has been mentioned that often times people would experience fatigue, headache and upset stomach before and dangerous level were to be achieved.
INGESTING CBD THROUGH VAPING
Inhaling CBD oil by vaping offers the fastest means of delivering the compound to the body and experiencing its beneficial effects. The reason vaping works rather quickly is that it enters the bloodstream directly through the lungs and then straight to the central nervous system. The majority of people will start to feel the effects in about 3-10 minutes after vaping CBD.
APPLYING ORAL CBD DROPS
CBD oil that is taken sublingually (under the tongue), is another very fast way to feel the effects of the oil. The product is placed under the tongue and allowed to be absorbed by the mucous membranes. It is then directly absorbed into the bloodstream without having to go through the digestive system or liver to be metabolized.
CBD OIL WITH FOOD OR ON AN EMPTY STOMACH?
Many people prefer this method over inhaling the oil because it doesn't produce any side effects like headaches.
Adding CBD to your food or drink is a relatively easy and convenient way to take CBD oil because it can be added to just about any product.
That said, the effects take longer to kick in with this method of ingestion. That's because the CBD oil will need to go through the digestive system and be absorbed, after which the liver will need to metabolize it before you feel any effects.
In the majority of cases, it takes about an hour to feel the effects of CBD oil after you ingest it. However, effects may be felt in as little as 20 minutes on an empty stomach. The more food you’ve eaten before consuming CBD oil, the longer the effects will take to kick in.
APPLYING CBD PRODUCTS TOPICALLY
CBD oil products come in many forms, including CBD topical lotions, creams, and ointments. In these forms, the product would be rubbed onto the skin and absorbed by the cells transdermally by translating through the multiple layers of the skin, into the blood and muscles.
Many users who are using cannabinoids for their anti-inflammatory effects choose this method of application. The effects of the CBD last much longer because it is absorbed more slowly through the skin over time.
Other Application Methods
AVOID SAYING CBD OIL DOESN'T WORK BY FINDING THE RIGHT DOSAGE
Some people may be anxious to feel the effects of CBD oil right away and may be tempted to take a large quantity of the product in order to make that happen. However, it is important to start with a low dosage and gradually increase the amount in order to minimize any negative side effects that may come with a sudden high-quantity ingestion of CBD oil. Also, research has proven that each individual has a dose dependent response to CBD and one thing may work for one, but not the other.
The appropriate dosage of CBD oil will depend on your body weight, your tolerance level, total fat mass and the method of ingestion.
A good place to start is with a dosage of 2-5 mg. This will allow your body to get accustomed to the CBD oil. Most people can easily tolerate this level while still being able to feel the effects. From there, you can steadily increase the dosage in order to allow your body to get used to the product while experiencing even greater relief from symptoms.
Generally speaking, the dosage should no longer be increased once your medical symptoms are alleviated (The sweet spot). It should be noted, however, that very high doses of CBD oil can induce feelings of sedation and fatigue and may cause an individual to feel groggy. Although lower doses of CBD oil can actually help you feel more alert, the opposite effect may be felt if the dosage gets too high, overwhelming the endocannabinoid system. However, toxicology reports have not found dangerous levels of reasonable ingestion, so no cause for alarm!
The effects of CBD oil tend to last for a few hours, so there's no need to worry about taking a large amount to ensure that your symptoms don't return too quickly. By the same token, it's helpful to time your doses right, though this will require some trial and error to figure out. You might need to test this out for a few days in order to find a dosage schedule that works best for you. Especially if you are currently taking other medications. In the end, the idea is to completely saturate your body with cannabinoids over time, reaping the benefits in the long run rather than the short! A true testimonial to improving life long health and wellness.
It should not take long for you to feel the effects of CBD oil after taking it, though the method of ingestion certainly plays a role in this. That said, no matter how you consume CBD oil, you should be able to enjoy its effects long after you've taken it with a peace of mind knowing the safety and efficacy of the product.
Athlete Relations x Physiologist
Kai Pattison was born and raised on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Kai graduated with a Master’s degree in clinical physiology from Point Loma Nazarene University. He is very passionate about human physiology and the applications in sport performance, recovery and clinical diagnostics. Kai has specialized in cardiopulmonary diagnostics, exercise induced energy expenditure and metabolism. Kai has also gained extensive research experience at UCSD on Parkinson’s disease. He enjoys educating and informing people on the importance of exercise to reduce risk of multiple inflammatory diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. His passion for alternative medicine enables him to strive when promoting health and wellness.