How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Work?

How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Work?

CBD oil affects everyone differently, but there are factors that can determine how long it takes for CBD oil to work in the body. Learn more about those factors here.

People choose to take CBD oil for many different reasons. Some may find it helps them to relax and fall asleep more easily, while others use it to ease stressed nerves or anxiousness. And then, there are people living an active lifestyle who use CBD as an aid to exercise recovery.

Having heard all that, maybe you’ve tried it once or twice – only to find out it does nothing for you. Or for every dozen or so testimonials you read, there’s always that one claiming there were no results.

It’s possible you were sold some fake CBD oil, but there could be a more innocent explanation: you just need to give the CBD enough time to work through your system.

But what does that mean exactly? And how long does it take for CBD oil to work?

CBD isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and there’s no single answer to that question for everyone. But you can still make a personal estimate based on how CBD interacts with the body, the type of CBD product you’re using, and your unique physiology. Let’s dive into those factors in more detail.

A diagram of the body showing the position of different bodily functions tied to the endocannabinoid system

How Does CBD Work With The Body?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an organic phytocannabinoid that works with our endocannabinoid system (ECS). And our ECS contains two essential components – CB1 and CB2 receptors. Our CB2 receptors attach to our peripheral nervous system, which is an extensive network of nerve fibers that connect to several organs, including the skin, muscles, and limbs.

The Endocannabinoid System and CBD

CBD itself is a nonintoxicating cannabinoid that produces no euphoric effects or a “high” feeling. And it typically bonds with the CB2 connectors. The receptors send signals to various body parts after coming in contact with CBD, which affects their functions.

CBD and the Blood-Brain Barrier

To reach the ECS, CBD and any other cannabinoid typically must get into the bloodstream by passing through our blood-brain barrier – a protective, biological material between the blood vessels in our brain and the cells and other elements comprising our brain tissue, according to the Queensland Brain Institute.

Traveling through the body and crossing into the blood-brain barrier affects how long it takes for CBD oil to work with you – depending on how you mainly use CBD oil.

A clear dropper drips a clear liquid over a collection of amber colored softgel capsules

How To Use CBD Oil

CBD oil comes in many different forms, such as CBD oil tinctures, gummies, capsules, bath bombs, etc. But there are only a few ways you can get CBD into your system: sublingually, by inhalation, by ingestion, and topically. Each method has its advantages based on personal needs and an educated estimate of how long it will take for CBD oil to work.

Sublingual (CBD Oil Under Tongue)

With CBD oil tinctures, you can place a dropperful or two of CBD oil underneath your tongue, hold it for 30 to 60 seconds, and then swallow. This method allows CBD to become absorbed through the capillaries under the tongue and directly into the bloodstream.

Sublingually taking CBD oil is one of the quickest and most straightforward means of getting CBD into your system. Usually, it takes up to 30 minutes for the CBD oil to work. And you should feel it for a few hours.

Inhaled CBD

With CBD oil vapes or other means of smokable CBD, you can inhale CBD into your lungs. The CBD passes through the lungs and directly into your bloodstream. This method is, by far, the most powerful and fastest absorption of CBD. However, its impact is brief – lasting only an hour or two.

Edible CBD

With CBD capsules, gummies, or other edibles, you can consume or swallow CBD. In contrast to other methods, ingestion is generally the slowest because the CBD has to be broken down through first-pass metabolism before it enters the bloodstream.

Going through the digestive system could take up to 90 minutes. But this estimate could vary depending on whether you’re taking CBD alongside a large meal or on an empty stomach.

Topical CBD

With CBD creams, lotions, or bath bombs, you can absorb CBD through the skin. Earlier, it was mentioned that CBD and other cannabinoids typically need to get inside the bloodstream to make a difference. However, that isn’t the case with CBD topicals.

They work on contact with the CB2 receptors associated with the skin, so it’s possible to feel it soon after use. And no matter how much you massage into your skin, the CBD never permeates through into the bloodstream.

Even though these methods have general estimates for how long it takes CBD oil to work, it doesn’t mean that everyone using CBD oil will have similar experiences. Our bodies are uniquely different from one another.

And how each of us processes CBD, along with other factors, will affect how long it takes CBD oil to work individually.

An athletic woman in white measures her bare mid-drift with a yellow tape measure

What Factors Affect How Long It Takes for CBD Oil to Work

Because of how different our body structures are, several factors can affect how CBD oil operates throughout the body and how long it takes for CBD oil to work in the body. These factors include:

  • Metabolism
  • Body Weight
  • User Frequency
  • Dosage

CBD and Your Metabolism

Our metabolism works to break down and combine compounds. Processing and metabolizing cannabinoids, such as CBD, can become affected by an individual’s metabolic rate. It could also play a role in how long CBD remains in the body. Our metabolisms gradually change as our bodies continue to develop and mature – whether that’s an advantage or disadvantage also depends on the individual.

CBD and Your Body Weight

Body fat will typically affect how long it takes for anything to circulate throughout the body and can alter how much CBD oil you need to get the results you want. If you have a much larger body mass, you may need to take multiple servings or higher amounts of CBD oil – and allow more time for it to get through your body. Conversely, someone smaller may not need as much or require much time.

How Often You Take CBD

Sometimes, the “Suggested Use” printed on the label isn’t enough based on an individual’s body type. And how often you use CBD-based products will affect how long it takes CBD oil to work with your system; maybe a serving in the morning and again at night isn’t enough for you.

The best thing about CBD oil is that you can freely adjust how often you take it. But consistency is crucial, and you should continue regular usage for at least 30 days to know how well CBD interacts with your body.

CBD Serving Size

\There’s no universal amount of CBD that can work with everyone. And similar to frequency, you may need to take more CBD oil per serving or less depending on your body type. Fortunately, there’s no recorded history of anyone ever overdosing on CBD oil, so you can be generous with how much you take.

However, experts recommend starting with a small amount of CBD oil and gradually increasing it per serving until you achieve your desired results – and then continue 30 days with that same amount. Or you can speak with your doctor first before using CBD oil – and through a typical examination, find out how much CBD oil is right for you.

Other factors that can affect how long it takes for CBD oil to work include the way you choose to use CBD. Ingestion was mentioned earlier, but another observational example is CBD topicals. The time it takes to work is relative to how broad your body’s damaged area is and how strong or weak your discomfort level is.

These attributes can also influence how long your body retains CBD.

A bottle of 3000 mg cbdMD CBD Oil Capsules sits on a table next to an old alarm clock

How Long Does CBD Oil Last?

Similar to how long does it take for CBD oil to work, several factors will determine how long CBD will last in your system – and vary with each person. So, there’s no predetermined amount of time that CBD will typically stay in your body.

Some studies found that CBD is detectable in the body for up to three days after inhaling or smoking it. Another researched case discovered CBD lasting in the bloodstream for only six hours after being ingested – how you take CBD oil could also affect how long it lasts.

It’s understandable to want to know how long CBD stays in your system exactly – especially if random drug tests are part of your work culture. But usually, CBD won’t appear with these tests because they’re designed to detect THC. However, there could be a chance of a false test reading depending on the type of CBD oil you are using.

How Much THC Is In CBD Oil?

According to federal law, legalized CBD oil derives from industrial hemp, which can’t contain any more than 0.3 percent THC. There isn’t much THC inside CBD oil to begin with, but those trace amounts could accumulate with more massive amounts of CBD oil.

But there are also CBD manufacturers that work even harder to produce CBD oil that is virtually THC-free. If you’re deciding against all the wholesome benefits of CBD oil over the fear of a positive drug test reading, then it all comes down to which type of CBD oil you should choose.

A bottle of 750 mg cbdMD CBD Gummies sits on a wooden table among assorted fruit

What Are The Different Types of CBD Oil?

There are three general types of CBD oil legally available for consumption:

CBD isolate

This pure version of CBD oil contains no other types of cannabinoids, flavors, or terpenes. It uses only CBD isolates extracted from industrial hemp and infused into a carrier oil for safe absorption.

Broad spectrum CBD

This type of CBD oil typically has no detectable amount of THC. It does include CBD isolates infused in a carrier oil, but it also incorporates other beneficial cannabinoids like CBG and CBN, terpenes, and flavorings.

Full spectrum CBD

This type of CBD oil contains everything that you’ll find from broad spectrum CBD oil; however, it will also have trace amounts of THC, which could be detected if taken often enough or with high concentrations.

High-quality CBD oils will have a certificate of analysis with their manufacturer; it’s a document containing lab results from a third-party testing lab that shows precisely what ingredients are inside your CBD oil and how much of each.

You should review the lab results before choosing a CBD oil to use and make sure there’s no THC involved. Reputable and trustworthy CBD manufacturers will have this document readily available on their website or by request.

The Best Way to Take CBD Oil for You

Several different factors can affect how well CBD oil works with you. From the way you use CBD oil to how your body is uniquely constructed, one person’s experience with CBD won’t be the same as the next.

CBD oil works through many methods to get CBD compounds to our endocannabinoid system, and numerous aspects, including how much you weigh, how often you use CBD, and how much you take, can influence the amount of time it takes for CBD oil to work.

But you are free to adjust how much CBD to use, when to take it, and even what type of CBD oil to use – remember to maintain consistent use, and you’ll discover how best CBD oil can work for you.