How long does it take for CBD to take effect? There are several important factors that come into play which have to be considered in order to answer the question. Some of the variables are related to CBD, and others are pertaining to the human body and how it reacts to CBD.
Numerous research studies have shown that CBD has therapeutic benefits. But there is still much more research to be done. In the meantime, innumerable patients are reporting that CBD oil provides them with side-effect-free relief from certain ailments.
In fact, many U.S. states and Canada permit doctors to recommend CBD oil for a number of conditions such as epilepsy, pain, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. [1,2,3]
How Long Does It Take for CBD to Take Effect?
In order to answer to the question, “how long CBD does it take for CBD to take effect,” there are a number of variables involved which need to be considered.
Because we all have unique genetics, no two people react to CBD oil in the same way. Also, your age, whether you are healthy or sick, your weight, and even aspects such as your circulation and metabolism can all affect how you respond to CBD oil.
One of the factors that is influenced by all of the above is the number of cannabinoid receptors in your body, how they are expressed, and your ability to produce endocannabinoids. An individual who expresses more receptors or produces fewer endocannabinoids may be more sensitive to CBD, and vice versa. (Learn more about the endocannabinoid system here.)
The symptoms or conditions you are trying to treat also play a role in onset time. Some conditions may require ongoing use while others might be reduced almost instantly.
There are also numerous factors involved which are related to the type of product being used, how it’s being used, and how much is being used. Edibles typically take longer to take effect than tinctures, for example.
The particular CBD oil products and the method of administering affect the time needed for the effects to be felt. In addition, the conditions or symptoms being treated with CBD my warrant one method over another.
Let’s take a look at some of these products and methods and get a general idea of how long it takes for CBD to take effect.
Keep in mind that no matter which method and product you use, it does take time for the CBD to circulate to all areas of your body. So, even a fast-acting method may take more time to affect certain parts of the body.
CBD Oil Tinctures
CBD can be taken in the form of a tincture. Tinctures are generally taken sublingually (meaning under the tongue) for greatest and fastest effect. The CBD oil is held under the tongue long enough for CBD to be absorbed through the capillaries in the mouth—about a minute or so. Administering CBD via sublingual drops is a fast acting method because the compound doesn’t have to pass through the digestive system. Effects are generally felt within minutes but can increase over time as the CBD works its way through your system.
CBD Oil Softgels
CBD softgels are taken orally. They take longer to take effect than tinctures—anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. The reason for this is that the CBD has to pass through the digestive system in order to make its way into the bloodstream. This method is more convenient than tinctures and is well suited for administering higher doses of CBD. Depending on their contents, softgels may have a higher bioavailability than tinctures. For instance, Curative Biosciences softgels use a nanoencapsulated, powdered CBD that has a higher bioavailability than regular CBD oil. Regular CBD oil can be absorbed into the fatty tissues of the digestive system, cutting down on its bioavailability.
CBD edibles—foods that are infused with CBD—are another option for administering CBD. As with softgels, this method requires that CBD pass through the digestive system before it is distributed into the bloodstream, and can take anywhere from a half hour to an hour or more to take effect. The effects of edibles, however, typically last longer than other methods as the CBD tends to enter the system over the course of a few hours. Edibles are often used by people with ailments of the digestive tract.
CBD-infused topicals can be applied directly to the skin. With topical application, CBD is absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. It is also absorbed directly into skin cells and other cells that it comes in contact with. Topical application may take anywhere from 15 minutes to half an hour to begin acting, but relief can be long-lasting. CBD topicals are often used to treat skin issues, muscle tension or spasms, muscle pains, and achy joints. Some areas of the skin may absorb topicals faster than others.
The method of CBD administration that has the fastest onset time is inhalation through vaporizing an oil base infused with CBD. When vaporized, CBD is absorbed through the lungs, and directly enters the bloodstream. There are still questions as to whether or not the ingredients used in vape oils are safe. A common base used in vape oils is polyethylene glycol—the same chemical used in your car’s cooling system. Some studies have shown that, when vaporized, PEG, as it’s called, becomes unsafe for human consumption. 
Curative Biosciences recommends against using this method of CBD supplementation.
How long it takes for CBD to take effect depends on each person’s unique genetics and traits. The dosage, potency, and method of administration of CBD products will help to predict how long it may take for CBD to begin working.
Creative Biosciences’ CBD products all undergo lab analysis to confirm the amount of CBD in each product.
You can learn more about CBD and the many conditions it may be used to treat in the Research Reports section of our website.
Sources for “How Long Does It Take For CBD To Take Effect”:
- Cannabidiol in medicine: a review of its therapeutic potential in CNS disorders. Scuderi C. Phytother Res. 2009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18844286
- Cannabidiol: Pharmacology and potential therapeutic role in epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Orrin Devinsky. Epilepsia. 2014. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/epi.12631
- Multiple mechanisms involved in the large-scale therapeutic potential of cannabidiol in psychiatric disorders. Alline Cristina Campos. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B. 2012. http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/367/1607/3364/
- Project CBD – How safe is your vape pen? https://www.projectcbd.org/about/safety-and-quality-control/how-safe-your-vape-pen