How Long Does It Take for CBD to Work? The Complete Guide

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One in seven Americans use CBD products, and many more are curious. If you’re one of them, you may have a CBD product you’re itching to try. You might also be wondering which CBD product is the best.

Another common question people have is, “How long does it take for CBD to work?” The answer is often “it depends.”

This guide will go over how long CBD takes to work and the factors that affect the CBD timeline.

How Long Does It Take for CBD to Work?

As stated, the answer to this common question is often “it depends.” You’ll need to consider the following factors:

  • The method of taking CBD
  • How much CBD was taken
  • Bioavailability of CBD
  • Personal factors, like weight and gender

Even whether you ate a meal before taking CBD and the type of food you ate can affect how long it takes for CBD to kick in.

The Method of Taking CBD

The first and usually most obvious factor is what kind of CBD product you’re using. If you’re vaping or smoking, then CBD will work faster than if you take an edible.

The reason is that each method has a different timeline for when CBD enters the bloodstream.

Inhaling CBD is usually the fastest method. CBD goes directly through the lungs into the bloodstream, so it can start acting right away.

Generally, you should feel the effects of CBD this way within a few minutes. The effects peak around 10 minutes later. They’ve usually worn off within a couple of hours.

By contrast, if you take CBD orally, it has to move through the digestive system before getting into the bloodstream. If you take an edible, drink something infused with CBD, or even swallow CBD capsules, you’ll need to wait a little longer.

So, how long for CBD to kick in if you take it this way? Most people feel the effects of CBD within an hour or so. Effects peak around two to three hours, and they wear off between four and six hours later.

What about topical products, like balms and salves? These products can offer almost immediate effects. They’re often less effective at getting CBD into the bloodstream, though, so you may not notice the effects at all.

Dose and Bioavailability

That brings most people to the next factors in determining how long for CBD to work. How much CBD you take can also affect the CBD timeline.

Taking more CBD doesn’t necessarily mean it takes any less time to kick in. It does change how much you’ll notice the effects though.

Everyone has an optimal dose, or “sweet spot” for CBD. That means you may need to take much more CBD than your best friend to notice the same effects.

A good rule of thumb is between 1 to 6mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight. Of course, you may need to increase or lower the dose, depending on your needs.

The dose and the method of taking CBD also affect what’s known as bioavailability. This basically refers to how much CBD is available for your body to use. Generally speaking, there’s less CBD bioavailable than you take in your dose.

This is especially true when you take CBD orally. As CBD moves through the digestive system, it gets broken down. That means there’s less of it to move into the bloodstream, which means there’s less for the body to use.

So, if you take a very lose dose of CBD orally, you may not even notice the effects.

One way to increase the amount of bioavailable CBD is to increase the dose. Scientists estimate that only about 20 percent of CBD taken orally is bioavailable. If you take 100mg of CBD, 20mg will be available for your body to use.

If you only take 5mg of CBD, then only 1mg will be bioavailable. That may not be enough for you to feel the effects. Increasing the dose to 10mg may mean you notice the effects more.

Switching Methods

Changing the method you’re using to take CBD can also impact bioavailability. Vaping and similar methods bypass the digestive tract. That means CBD doesn’t get broken down as much before it enters the bloodstream.

As a result, more of the CBD in each dose is bioavailable. That may be one reason that vaping may seem to have better results for people. In addition to it working faster, you’re also getting more CBD into the bloodstream.

Other Factors That Impact the CBD Timeline

As mentioned, there are other factors that can impact on how soon you notice the effects of CBD. Some of those are personal factors, such as your weight and your biological sex.

Male and female bodies process cannabinoids like CBD differently. That means men usually experience the effects sooner, while women may need to wait a little longer.

Weight has a significant impact on your optimal dose. As noted above, a good rule of thumb is to measure 1 to 6mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight. Someone who weighs 120 pounds will likely need less CBD than someone who weighs 220 pounds.

Bioavailability can also be impacted by several factors. One is the entourage effect. CBD seems to work better in the presence of terpenes. These compounds seem to improve the bioavailability of CBD, while also enhancing its effects.

Even what you eat when you take CBD can have an effect. Some researchers found that eating fatty foods with CBD increased its bioavailability.

That’s likely because cannabinoids like CBD are fat-soluble. That means the presence of additional fat helps the body absorb more CBD.

How Long Will It Take to See Benefits?

While you may notice some of CBD’s effects soon after using it, others may take more time to see.

Potential effects on mood, energy levels, and appetite are usually immediate. That is, you should notice them soon after you take your dose. If you vape, you’ll feel these effects sooner than if you take an edible.

Other effects, like clearer skin and the reduction of wrinkles, can take longer to see. Pain relief should be relatively immediate, but you may see longer-term effects if you take a small dose of CBD every day.

How to Tell CBD Is Working

As noted, some effects of CBD are relatively noticeable and usually immediate. If you take CBD and don’t notice the desired effects, though, you may want to try increasing your dose.

The best way to do this is with trial and error. Start with a low dose and wait for the appropriate time. If you don’t notice the desired effects, you can take some more CBD.

Repeat this process until you achieve the effects you want. It’s almost impossible to overdose on CBD, and taking “too much” usually has very mild side effects.

What about more subtle effects, like clearer skin? It can be more difficult to detect these changes. That leads many people to wonder, “How fast does CBD work?”

If you’ve taken a couple of doses, but you’re still having acne flare-ups or you don’t feel less overall pain, then you may need to adjust your dose.

If you’ve been using your CBD product for longer than that, it may mean you don’t have the right product for you. It could also mean you don’t have a high-quality CBD product.

Some CBD products are more potent than others. A CBD tincture, for example, is highly concentrated. You may see more effects with a tincture than other CBD products.

Some manufacturers offer lower quality CBD products. These are often less expensive, because they may be cut with more fillers and less CBD.

If you want to learn more about how to spot high-quality CBD products, visit this site. Remember that researching CBD products and producers is always a good idea.

What If You Don’t See Results?

Some people don’t see results with CBD, and they assume that means their CBD isn’t working. In most cases, changing the product or increasing the dose will help.

Some people do better with full-spectrum CBD products. Others prefer purer CBD products.

Keep in mind that many of CBD’s longer-term effects are subtle. You may think your CBD isn’t working.

A good way to tell is to keep a journal. Keep track of pain, acne flare-ups, or whatever symptom you’re hoping to see results with. You may be able to see patterns that you didn’t notice on a day-to-day basis.

The Right Advice for a Better You

If you asked, “how long does it take for CBD to work?”, you should have a good idea about when you can expect results. Some of CBD’s effects are immediate, while others accumulate over time.

Looking for more advice about CBD or other health tips? You’re in the right place. Check in with us often for all the latest news, tips, and trends.

With the right advice, you’ll be back to feeling like your old self in no time.