A 2018 review of existing CBD studies found that the estimated half-life of CBD was two to five days for those who took a daily oral dose. Other delivery methods delivered varied half-lives. Since you may feel the effects of CBD immediately after inhalation, this method is appealing for those seeking immediate, potential pain relief. The same study found that the half-life of smoked CBD was 31 hours.
Bottom line: Smoking CBD flower or vaping CBD oil is one of the fastest ways to experience the effects of CBD. Any effects you feel will set in almost immediately and last roughly an hour or slightly longer.
We’ve covered the factors that determine how long it takes for CBD to work, but what about how long it takes to get CBD out of your system? Again, it depends on many of the aforementioned factors that determine the effectiveness of the cannabinoid itself.
Frequently asked questions
When cannabidiol is introduced to the endocannabinoid system, it inhibits the absorption of anandamide, a natural cannabinoid molecule that regulates pain. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Bottom line: The relationship between CBD and the human body is complicated. The method of consumption, the quality of the CBD product, and individual body chemistry all determine how this cannabinoid moves through your body and how long it takes to leave your system.
The method of consumption plays a critical role in how long it will take to feel the effects of CBD. CBD is available in many different forms, and each has an influence on the onset time, among other factors.
That depends on the person, the quality of the CBD oil, and the consumption method. If you’ve used a CBD product in the past and it did nothing, check whether it came from a licensed brand or retailer that performs third-party lab tests. If this is the case, the dosage might be at play. Unlike THC and most other cannabis products, CBD is non-intoxicating and you can experiment with large increases in your dose with little risk. If you take any prescription medication, be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before trying CBD in any form.
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.
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.
If you’ve got aches, inflammation, or other issues that you’re hoping to soothe with CBD stat, be very careful not to overdose without waiting the appropriate period of time. “Ingesting CBD is typically associated with more attentiveness, less anxiety, and less inflammatory-related pain,” explains Shcharansky. “While higher doses—over 200 milligrams—have been associated with drowsiness.”
Ingestible forms of CBD
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 case you’re wondering what is CBD, exactly?, here’s a quick refresher: CBD is a naturally occurring compound present in the flowers and leaves of cannabis plants. There's no THC in it, which means it can’t get you high, no matter how much you take.
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.
For those who are hoping to feel the effects of CBD as quickly as possible, Shcharansky recommends taking a tincture sublingually, meaning dropping it under your tongue, waiting a few seconds, and then swallowing.
Sublingual CBD consumption is a fancy way of classifying CBD products that are absorbed under your tongue. CBD tinctures, sprays, lozenges, and more can be held and absorbed in your mouth, and work more effectively by bypassing the digestive system. This allows CBD to enter your bloodstream without being metabolized. The effects of sublingual CBD ingestion can be felt faster than edible products, so choose this route if you’re looking for quicker results.
Finding the ideal CBD dosage is an important part of the consumption process and will directly impact how long it takes for CBD to work as well as how long it will stay in your system. High-quality CBD derived from the hemp plant is not intended to produce a high, so you don’t need to be conservative with your dosing. That being said, it’s best to start with a lower dose and gradually increase it over time until you’ve found the ideal effects. Taking a higher dosage will also change how long CBD remains in your system, as will the concentration of the CBD oil you’re using.
From CBD oil products to CBD lotions and tinctures, often the CBD we consume is extracted from the hemp plant. The 2018 Farm Bill ensures that any CBD product derived from the hemp plant won’t contain more than 0.3% THC.
If CBD doesn’t seem to be working for you, be sure to check both the dosage and quality, particularly that you’re using full spectrum CBD oil.
Topicals made with CBD include lotions, balms, rubs and creams. Your skin absorbs topical products upon application and CBD begins interacting with cannabis receptors. Because our skin can’t absorb CBD as easily, it’s best to either increase the amount of CBD topical you use or instead find a topical that contains a higher concentration of CBD. The effects of CBD topicals will often peak within 90 minutes of application.
Let’s begin by taking a closer look at CBD and the many factors that will influence how long it takes for CBD oil to work. Then we’ll explore how long the effects of CBD may last.
Though the relationship between CBD and our body is complicated, it’s easier to understand which factors will influence how long it takes for CBD to work and how long the effects of CBD will last.