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How Long Does CBD Take to Work?

There are so many clinically-proven 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.

Cannabidiol is the main substance in CBD oil. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which you’ll find in medical marijuana, CBD does not posses 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 doesn’t produce psychoactive effects, it has recently become legal in the US 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 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 then you would expect.

Related: What Does CBD Oil Do?

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 effects in about 3-10 minutes after vaping CBD.

Applying Sublingually With CBD Drops

CBD oil that is taken sublingually, or 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? 

CBD oil products, like supplement powders, can be added to food and beverages to create an edible product. You can also take soft gel tablets to ingest CBD directly.

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 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.

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 1-2 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, through 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. 



 Kai Pattison, M.S.
Nanocraft Sciences
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.



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