How long does it take for CBD to affect the body?

As more and more research is done into the healing properties of CBD, there are numerous products being offered on the market today. But how long does it take for CBD to affect the body?

When answering this question, there are several factors to take into consideration:

  1. How are you taking the CBD?
  2. How much are you taking?
  3. Your individual body type, metabolism and underlying factors

As we take a deeper look into these questions, keep in mind that the quality of CBD plays an important role as well. Purchasing 1500mg of low-cost gummies may not actually result in your body getting the amount of CBD you think it will.  Some products use hemp-based ingredients which can include the entire hemp plant, not just the buds. Also beware of additional ingredients that you don’t want, such as: sugar, preservatives, corn syrup, artificial colors and dyes.

Just one last reminder….it’s important to talk with your doctor before using CBD, especially if you have symptoms of a serious mental or physical health condition.  

How are you taking the CBD?

There are several ways to use CBD products: edibles/eating, inhaling, absorbing under your tongue, and applying to your skin. Each of these methods transports CBD into your body, however each method has a different absorption rate.  In addition, topically applied CBD, such as a lotion or cream, enters only local tissue and small blood vessels, not the bloodstream.

An important term to understand when understanding absorption is “bioavailability.” The bioavailability of any product refers to the amount of the active ingredient that will reach your bloodstream once you’ve consumed it. Once it's been absorbed into your blood, it can be transported around your body to be used in your cells and tissues.  

How much CBD are you taking?

The amount of CBD will vary between products.  Some come as low as 5mg per dose, and others advertise up to 100mg per dose or more. Dialing in to your specific needs can be a bit of trial and error, so if you are new to CBD, it’s best to start on the low end of 5mg per day working your way up to twice a day.  Consider using a helpful website such as www.mydosage.com to get another idea on your recommended dosage.  Simply enter some data about yourself and a report will generate, along with an opportunity to track your progress when taking CBD.

Your individual body type, metabolism and underlying factors

There are many different kinds of people, with various shapes, sizes and backgrounds that benefit from the healing power of CBD.  Every user has different needs, and the dosage per user can greatly differ.  Take for example a 72-year-old 135 lb woman who has trouble sleeping, and a 45-year-old 230 lb male who has pain from broken bones due to a car accident.  Each of these individuals are going to require different amounts at different times in order to be effective.  Other factors to consider, and discuss with your doctor, include: activity level, overall health, medications and metabolism.

Now that we have laid a foundation for understanding CBD – route, dose, and individual needs – let’s focus on how long it takes for CBD to take effect on the body.

Depending on the CBD products you are using: swallowing, inhaling, sublingually, or topically will determine the time it takes to feel the effects.

Inhaling

The fastest way to get CBD into your bloodstream is by vaping. The bioavailability of vaping is also the highest at up to 56%. The average time to take effect is 10 – 20 minutes.

Sublingual

Sublingually, or under the tongue, averages about 35% bioavailability and takes 15 – 25 minutes to take effect. If CBD oil is held under the tongue for 60 to 90 seconds before being swallowed, the mucus membranes in the mouth absorb the compounds. This sublingual method allows CBD to completely bypass the digestive system and liver metabolism, so the compounds can avoid being broken down by enzymes and reach the bloodstream more quickly.

Digesting

Swallowing CBD, such as gummies or chocolates, usually take 30 minutes – 2 hours to take effect and deliver the lowest bioavailability rate at 4 – 20%.  

Topically

Topically used, CBD does not reach the bloodstream, however up to 45% stays localized (enters local tissue and small blood vessels only). 

Method Used

Uptake Into Bloodstream

Time To Take Effect (minutes)

Swallowing

4 – 20%

30 minutes – 2 hours

Sublingually

35%

15 – 25 minutes

Vaping/Inhaling

Up to 56%

10 – 20 minutes


Knowing how long your CBD will take to feel is important when planning your day. For many consumers, taking a dose in the morning and another dose in the evening help to keep the CBD uptake steady for their endocannabinoid system. 

Experienced CBD users utilize products that are easy to incorporate into their lifestyle. For example, using an infused honey is easy to stir into a warm morning beverage and is a delicious spoonful before bedtime. Although vaping may seem to be an effective way to “get a quick fix” there are other concerns to take into consideration, such as damage to lungs and other chemicals and ingredients added to vape cartridges. As with any medication, it’s important to follow the “right medication, right dose to the right person” rule.

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