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How Long Does It Take For CBD To Work?

Updated: Apr 4, 2022

CBD usually kicks in within 20-30 minutes...sometimes even faster. This slight delay between CBD consumption and when it actually kicks in is referred to as onset time. Various factors can affect CBD's onset time. Some potential factors include:

  • How much CBD you took

  • What type of CBD you took (full spectrum, broad spectrum, etc)

  • Your body’s sensitivity to CBD

  • Your body’s familiarity with CBD

  • Whether or not you took CBD with other substances

The first factor involved in determining CBD’s onset time is its quality.

One of the most important factors about CBD is its cannabinoid and terpene content. Terpenes actually help ‘open up’ endocannabinoid receptors and help CBD saturate them more fully. Terpenes may also help CBD kick in faster. Premium CBD is very rich in terpenes!

The type of CBD, (full spectrum, broad spectrum etc), you’re taking also plays a large role in how quickly it kicks in. As we said earlier, terpenes may reduce CBD’s onset time. But higher-quality products can kick in faster than lower-quality products in other ways, too. Not all CBD is created equal: CBD products with synthetic ingredients won’t kick in as fast because your body perceives these substances as ‘invaders' that it then tries to repel.

Pure CBD, on the other hand, kicks in fast because your body recognizes it as the beneficial collection of compounds that it is!

Another important factor in CBD’s onset time is how much CBD you’re taking. In general, larger doses of CBD will kick in faster than microdoses. They’ll also stay in your system for longer; the more CBD you take, the longer it’ll stay active within your body.

Research shows that CBD megadoses of 100 milligrams or more may stay active within your endocannabinoid system for days — or even weeks.

Your CBD dosage frequency also plays a role in its onset time. If you take CBD more consistently, it’ll probably kick in faster, too. In other words more frequent CBD use = faster onset time. CBD also kicks in differently depending on what you’re taking it for. CBD consumption for sleep, for example, and you’ll probably want to take it several hours before bedtime. However, CBD’s onset time when it comes to your mood and mindset is far quicker. Many people find that they feel calmer and less anxious just a few minutes after taking CBD.

CBD onset time by product type:

CBD oil:

Onset time: 20-40 minutes The best way to take CBD oil is as a sublingual. Hold your CBD oil in your mouth for 1-2 minutes before fully ingesting — this allows CBD to saturate. The longer you hold the oil under your tongue, the faster it kicks in. Paradoxical...but true! CBD oil duration: 18-36 hours Once CBD kicks in, it can stay in your system for roughly 18-36 hours. During this time, expect to experience an uplifted mood, more energy, and all sorts of other side benefits as the CBD oil begins to kick into your endocannabinoid system!

CBD capsules:

Onset time: 1-2 hours CBD capsules take much longer to kick in than CBD oils do. Their contents must travel through your digestive system and be released through the liver before being released into your bloodstream. Consuming CBD capsules are ideal for when you don’t need CBD right away — when you want to experience more sustained effects throughout your day. It’s basically a timed-released effect. CBD capsules duration: 12-36 hours Studies show that CBD capsules can stay in your circulation for up to 36 hours at a time.

CBD topicals:

Onset time: minutes CBD topicals kick in faster than virtually any other type of CBD product. Many users experience relief within just a few minutes. Research explains why: topical CBD can bind to special receptors located throughout most layers of the skin. CBD topicals duration: several hours Studies show that CBD topicals can remain active for several hours after application. The terpenes and cannabinoids present in CBD topicals mean they may exert therapeutic effects for longer than you’d think. The very best CBD topicals combine CBD with extra botanicals for an added boost.


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