Body fat influences the amount of CBD you need to feel an effect. The larger the body mass, the more CBD required to feel potential effects. Bodyweight and mass also affect how long CBD will remain in your system. Like THC, CBD is stored in fat cells and gradually eliminated from the body through urine and feces.
In recent years, cannabidiol (CBD) oil has skyrocketed in popularity. Knowledge about how it works in the human body, however, has accelerated at a snail’s pace. If you’ve ever wondered, “How long does it take for CBD oil to work?” or “How long will the effects of CBD oil last?” you’re not alone.
Inhalation is often seen as an effective method of delivery for CBD because of how quickly it’s absorbed in the body. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The most common method for CBD consumption involves administering a couple of drops directly into the mouth. Swallowing the oil will prevent the CBD from immediately entering your bloodstream, sending it instead through the digestive tract and eventually on to the liver, where it is broken down before finally reaching the bloodstream.
If you’re brand new to CBD, start with a few puffs of a smokeable product, 1 milliliter of oil or tincture, or 10 milligrams of CBD if you’re consuming an edible product. Wait to see how you respond before consuming more.
Studies show that when CBD compounds are metabolized by the liver, it undergoes what is called the “first pass effect,” where enzymes in the liver reduce CBD concentration before the remainder is finally sent to the bloodstream and circulated throughout the body.
CBD also interacts with other receptor proteins not directly related to the ECS, such as the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A and vanilloid receptor TRPV1. Any potential anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties of CBD could stem from the activation of these additional biological pathways.
Your consumption method not only affects how much CBD reaches the bloodstream, it affects how quickly the CBD will get there. Less digestive functions to go through means less time that it’ll take to reach the bloodstream.
If you’re new to CBD or need a good reference, start with the estimates the “Effect Time” row (shown in the “Consumption Methods Compared” table). Next, compare it to your own times and use the insights from “The Quality and Type of CBD Matters” and “Each Person is Unique” paragraphs to identify what could be impacting the rate at which your body processes CBD.
Consumption Methods Compared
Each person is unique, with different circumstances that affect how their body processes CBD.
Your Body’s Composition – Your body’s composition includes the composition of various parts of the body, each of which will have an impact on how quickly your body will process CBD. For example
Start by determining the CBD dosage that delivers noticeable effects, then estimate the time it takes to notice those effects. From there, tweak what you can based on the insights in this article to improve your body’s ability to process CBD.
The reason CBD is so compelling to consumers is due to a laundry list of promising purported health benefits, from reduced muscle pain and anxiety to help with nausea, insomnia, and inflammation. We're still waiting for clearance from the FDA (and more robust research on the proven perks of the ingredient), but in the meantime, many Americans are eager to test out the positive potential of CBD.
If you’re wondering whether it’s time to jump on the CBD bandwagon, you’re not alone. But as with any new food, drink, or supplement that promises health benefits, it’s best to start slow—and smart.
Topical forms of CBD
CBD topical products, like balm, ointments, and lotions, should take effect pretty immediately. Once you apply these products to your body, you should start feeling relief within about 15 minutes.
CBD oil is the top trendy ingredient on the market right now. It's so popular, in fact, that revenue from products made with CBD are projected to grow to $20 billion by 2024.
In other words, dosing should be determined on an individual basis, and consumers should be wary of high doses early on. If you’re curious what the right dosage of CBD is for you, read our guide here.