How Long Does CBD take to Work?

Cannabidiol use has increased dramatically in recent years. Public opinion surrounding products harvested from cannabis plants has shifted in many places toward acceptance, or at least tolerance, of its use. Many people see it as a plant with healing properties and very few side effects, and interest even within the medical community has grown in recent years.

Anecdotal evidence claims that CBD oil effects last from two to six hours after use, depending on absorption.

How You Take CBD Matters - See Below

The amount of time users report feeling the effects of CBD oil consumption depends a lot on the method of consumption used. Since CBD oil is available in several forms, a little knowledge in this area might be of benefit.

Sublingual - Under the tongue

The most effective way of taking CBD through the mouth is to place the drop under the tongue, where the mucous membranes can absorb it, skipping the digestive system and the liver. This means a quicker, more concentrated absorption of CBD oil into the bloodstream.


The most common way of taking CBD oil is for a couple of drops to be placed directly into the mouth. The substance is held in the mouth, allowing it to soak into the body and into the bloodstream. Swallowing it will result in it going through the digestive system and then to the liver, where it will be broken down, and only then make it into the bloodstream.

Ingesting gummies and similar edibles (such as adding CBD oil to a standard food recipe) will also result in the CBD taking the longer route through the body before entering the bloodstream. The final effect of this will be a reduced concentration of CBD in the bloodstream as compared to allowing it to soak in through the mouth.

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CBD oil can also be rubbed directly into the skin. The skin has a low cannabinoid absorption rate, but for reaching localized cannabinoid receptors, this may still be the best way to take it. Topicals should be applied liberally to encourage highest absorption rates. When CBD is applied in this way, the effect seems to peak around an hour and a half after application. Most people taking CBD oil in this manner are trying to treat specific areas of chronic pain.

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How long do the effects of CBD last?

Answering this question isn’t straightforward, as it depends on several factors. Some experts say that CBD oil can take three to four days to exit the body, so it is possible that edibles and gummies may have effects that last about that long. On average though, research tends to put the measurable/noticeable effects somewhere in the area of two to six hours.

CBD is also fat-soluble, which means that some of what is used will be stored in the fat cells. When the user exercises and burns fat from those cells, the CBD will metabolize faster and that may mean a shorter time of efficacy.

Another possible factor is the frequency of use. The more often one uses it, the more likely it is to build up in the system and remain present for longer after a given use.

Dosage is also a factor. Larger doses are likely to remain in the system for a longer period of time. A higher strength of your dose may also last longer in your system and may have a more profound impact.

How does CBD compare to Hemp? Read more here

It has been suggested that repeated use, sustained over time, could increase the time the CBD compound remains in the body, perhaps up to ten or even fifteen days after consumption.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that regular consumption of large doses of CDB oil can result in the compound being detectable in the body up to three weeks or even a month after a final dose.

Finally, cannabidiol can be affected by some pharmaceutical medications – and some medications can be affected by cannabidiol too – so it is important to consult with a doctor before adding CBD oil usage to any other medications you are taking, even if they are over-the-counter versions and not prescribed.

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Dosage & Individual Factors

CBDs possible effects on the body seem to vary a great deal from individual to individual. For this reason, you should always consult a doctor before using CBD oil. If your doctor does not want to talk to you about it, you should seek an opinion from a doctor who will do so. Positive or negative, get a doctor’s opinion for your individual case.

Base Dosage

Hemp-derived CBD products are not designed to give a high to the user, so this should not be an expectation or consideration when using hemp-derived CDB products. Still, finding the right dosage for you is an important process.

The best method is to start with a modest dose and see if you experience the beneficial effects you are hoping for. If not, increase the dose until you do, or until you reach a dosage that should produce effects. If you reach a high dosage, and don’t reap the expected relief, then it might not be the product for you. Discuss it with your doctor and try something else.

Remember that the highest dose is not necessarily the best dose. Adjust up and down until you reach the effect you want for your specific case.

Don't know how much CBD to take? Learn more about dosage here

There are some factors that likely affect the dosage needs of individuals:


The amount of body fat and overall mass a person has will alter the amount of CBD oil a person needs to take. A larger body mass will be less effected by a given amount than a smaller body mass. A larger, muscled person will have a faster metabolism, which means CBD will be burned away faster too. More body fat may mean it stays in the system longer, stored away in the fat cells until that fat is burned and they are released.

Metabolic Rate

It’s not just the big, muscled people who can have a fast metabolism. Often it is the leaner, skinnier type of person who has a fast metabolism. If this describes you, then the CBD may not remain in your system as long as it will some others.

If your metabolism is slower – i.e., you gain weight easily in the form of fat – then it may stay in your system longer, stored in those fat cells, but may not be giving you any benefits while stored there. It will be released as you burn fat over time.

Daily/Regular Usage

The frequency of use is a bit factor, as frequent use may allow the CBD oil to build up in the system. Higher quality CBD oil, and higher doses, will increase this effect too.

Most reputable manufacturers will provide some guidelines on recommended doses, when to take them, and for how long, but it is important to pay attention to your body and adjust to your personal needs and reactions to it.

How long does CBD oil take for pain and anxiety?

Research still needs to be done on the health benefits of CBD oil, and some is underway. There is, however, a lot of anecdotal evidence that CBD oil might help with a variety of physical and mental ailments. Some who suffer with anxiety and depression have reported an easing of their symptoms through CBD oil use, and some who suffer from chronic pain and some other conditions including Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and cancer have reported an easing of pain. Always follow the directions on the label.

It is important to know that these reports have not yet been backed up by research, and any medical treatment should be done in consultation or under the supervision of a doctor.

How long does CBD oil take for muscle pain?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD oil is an effective way to relieve the pain and discomfort of many chronic aches and pains and may even reduce inflammation and soreness in muscles and joints. For many athletes who experience regular pain and inflammation, CBD oil may be a solution to their suffering. Some athletes have reported that CBD oil capsules have helped relieve their pain and decrease recovery time between games or workouts.

Always consult with your doctor before trying CBD.

How long does CBD oil take for stress and anxiety?

The degree of impact CBD may have will vary from person to person, but if you want an easy way to take it, that will take effect soon, try a capsule, tincture or oil.

Many users report that the tincture drops are best for anxiety, and they reported quick relief of their symptoms.

If you try the oil, just apply a few drops under your tongue and leave them there for up to 90 seconds.

Higher anxiety and heavier weight may require larger doses to work. Always follow directions and consult with a doctor when deciding on a dose amount and schedule.

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