How Long Does it Take CBD to Work?

CBD is a great product that is finding a tremendous amount of use in our modern society. From high-performance athletes to those with chronic health issues, you don’t have to look far to find someone who relies on Cannabidiol (CBD) to help them get through their day in a bit more comfort. However, with the growing popularity of CBD, there comes an ever-growing number of questions from those wondering how to use it, what to use it for, and how long it takes to work. In this piece, we are going to cover the necessary information to handle that third question.

While it seems like a straightforward question, knowing exactly how quickly CBD will react with your system isn’t always a simple thing. Much of it depends on you, your size, metabolism, and the format you have taken CBD in. We will go over these factors and how they may affect the time in which it takes CBD to activate.

What is Cannabidiol?

Before we dive too deeply into how taking CBD can affect you, we should first cover a few basics of the compound. Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is a chemical found in the Cannabis plant. CBD is one of over a hundred cannabinoids, including Delta-9 (common THC) as well as Delta-8. Unlike the other popular active compounds found in Cannabis, CBD is not psychoactive, which means it does not get you “high” like other marijuana products. 

The fact that CBD is not psychoactive was also a big factor in it being legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, which allows any hemp-derived product (which most CBD is) that contains less than .03% THC to be sold legally.

Today there are tons of CBD products, from the classic smokable flower to vape pens and topical creams. The way in which you utilize CBD will dictate the effect it has on your body and the speed at which it works.

How Long Does it Take Cannabidiol to Work?

The speed at which CBD works comes down to a number of factors we will get into shortly. Suffice to say, the effects of CBD when smoked will be the quickest and should start to take effect within 15 minutes of usage. Edibles and other topical products will take longer, somewhere between one or two hours, to kick in fully.

To help you understand the many factors that will affect the speed of CBD, we have put together this quick list. Keep in mind these may not be the only factors but will be the most significant.

Factor 1: The Way in Which You Consume it

The way in which you take CBD will affect how it affects your body. These are the most common methods of consuming CBD:

  • Smoking/Vaping

Smoking flower rich in CBD Oil, or a specially crafted CBD Vape pen, will provide you with the fastest results. Inhaling CBD will allow it to reach your bloodstream faster than any other method. You may be able to feel the effects of CBD in as few as 5 minutes when inhaled.

  • Eating

Taking a capsule or eating a CBD edible is another very common method of taking CBD and is usually preferred by those who do not enjoy smoking. When eaten, CBD will need to work its way through your ingestion system and eventually to your liver before it makes it to the bloodstream. Ingesting CBD will cause it to lose some of its potency and take longer to go into effect, but it will often last and work longer in your system. Ingesting CBD will typically take around two hours before you will start to feel the effects. 

  • Topically

Another method of utilizing CBD that has become very popular is to use it topically by rubbing lotions or oils onto your skin. Applying CBD directly to an area, such as where you have a sore muscle, has been shown to be a great way to get focused CBD relief. When used in a cream, you can expect to feel the effects of CBD fairly quickly, though the most potent relief may take roughly 90 minutes. Transdermal patches are another way of using CBD and having it absorbed through the skin. The patches will take a little less than an hour to start working but are made to keep providing relief for multiple days.

  • Sublingual 

Sublingual refers to the act of holding an oil or tincture under the tongue and allowing it to enter the bloodstream without first going through the digestive tract. The sublingual method is excellent for those who do not wish to smoke or vape but still require fast-acting relief. The sublingual process can take as little as fifteen or twenty minutes to begin working.

Factor 2: Your Body Type

The amount of time it takes for CBD to start working will depend on how you consume it and your general body type, weight, and overall metabolism speed. 

  • The heavier you are, the more CBD you will need to consume in order to feel the same effects.  
  • Your metabolism will decide how quickly CBD in your digestive system gets broken down and put into your bloodstream.
  • The amount you consume and the frequency in which you take CBD will dictate how fast your body will react to the product. While your tolerance to CBD may get more robust, some scientists believe that regular CBD use will in turn, increase the ability of your cannabinoid receptors to process CBD. How your body uniquely adapts to CBD will dictate how quickly you react to it. 

It is Time to Try CBD for Yourself

The only way to know how CBD will affect you will be to try it for yourself and see. CBD is safe, effective, and easy to obtain!

At, we will continue to report on the latest CBD news as well as keeping you up to date with the most current information on all of the most popular CBD products. We also have a ton of articles just like this one to keep you well informed on CBD, its uses, and reviews for the best CBD products currently on the market. 

Check back often for the latest updates on CBD, the science behind it, and the products it is featured in.


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