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  • by Nicola Boulton August 10, 2022 5 min read


    The cannabis plant is complex, and so is its relationship with your body. As a result, it may not be easy to gauge exactly how long it will take for CBD oil to work for each individual. Every person is different and has unique body chemistry affecting how quickly CBD oil works.

    CBD oil is becoming a top trendy ingredient in the market right. You’ll find it in your coffee, blend it into your cocktail or smoothie, and rub it on the skin for some pain relief. Although research about CBD is still ongoing, there's still a lot about it yet to be discovered. Therefore, if you’re a newcomer to CBD, you might have some questions about what to expect. The most important question is how long it takes CBD oil to work. If you're a cannabis fan, you've probably experienced situations where one person takes CBD and immediately is cured of their anxiety while still waiting for something to take your morning anxiety away.

    CBD oil or cannabidiol is a chemical compound or cannabinoid extracted from industrial hemp, as Corroon & Kight (2018) explained. The cannabis plant comprises industrial hemp and marijuana. CBD is one of over a hundred chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. It's closely related to tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. After THC, CBD oil is the second most abundant chemical component of cannabis. These chemical compounds are collectively called cannabinoids. THC is associated with marijuana and has psychoactive properties, thus giving you a high feeling. On the contrary, CBD doesn't have THC, meaning it won't get you high no matter how much you consume it. Shannon & Opila-Lehman (2016) stated that CBD appeals to its consumers due to astounding purported health benefits such as joint and muscle pain alleviation, anxiety relief, correcting sleep disorders, and anti-inflammatory effects.


    CBD’s Interaction with the Body

    Pellati & Borgonetti's (2018) showed that CBD interacts with the body slightly differently from most cannabinoids affecting different receptor types. Usually, cannabinoids apply their effects on the body by binding to cannabinoid receptors like CB1 and CB2. However, CBD can only weakly bind to CB1 and CB2, meaning that cannabinoid receptors aren't an effective means of action. Rather, CBD's effects occur by the cannabinoid binding to non-cannabinoid receptors and acting on other receptor pathways.

    The receptor that CBD binds to will determine the effects you experience. For instance, if CBD binds to a serotonin receptor, you might experience reduced anxiety. In contrast, if it binds to a glycine receptor, you might experience reduced inflammation. Note that there isn't a one size fits all CBD dosage. According to Brooke Alpert, the founder of a CBD powder company, several factors such as the dosage, the method of administration, goals, and expectations, and the source of your CBD can all affect how long your CBD takes to work. Also, how long CBD oil takes to work depends on your goals and expectations. For example, mild anxiety will be much quicker and easier to address than a more serious condition. Let’s look at various variables that may determine the length of time taken by CBD to work.

    Method of Administration

    There are several ways of consuming CBD, such as oils and tinctures, pills and capsules, edibles, and vaping. Each of these ways impacts the quantity of CBD and how fast the CBD gets absorbed into your bloodstream. This phenomenon is called bioavailability. Its knowledge helps you determine how much CBD you'll need to take to feel its effects and how long it will take for your CBD to work. For example, if you're putting your CBD product in tea with milk or sugar, your CBD will kick in more slowly than if you put a few drops under your tongue. Also, when you vape, CBD enters your lungs, takes effect, and leaves the body quickly.

    Dosage and Potency

    The amount of CBD you take will determine how quickly you feel the effects. CBD builds up in your body over time if you use it regularly. On the contrary, if you use it occasionally, it'll exit your system faster. Moreover, the higher the dose, the longer CBD will last in your system.

    We recommend you use CBD regularly to see significant results. However, you are highly advised to consult a doctor before using any CBD product. A doctor will advise you on the frequency of usage and dosage depending on your condition and avoid any side effects.

    Unique Body Composition

    While you can count on certain effects to take place, it’s almost impossible for two people to respond the same to CBD regardless of taking the same consumption, similar delivery method, and the same body composition. An individual can feel their CBD tinctures in 10 minutes, yet someone else can take the same dose and feel it in an hour. Several key variables fall under this category, and they all affect the amount of time it'll take to feel CBD's effects. They include body mass index, water content, and metabolism.

    CBD Quality

    The market is largely unregulated, and very few brands care about quality. Some brands may incorporate ingredients with impurities that can significantly affect your product's safety. Therefore, we advise that you always look for third-party lab test results to know that you're getting a high-quality CBD product.

    Also, we recommend a full-spectrum CBD product that contains other cannabinoids other than CBD. They will not get you high, but they have a synergetic effect that enhances your body's response through the entourage effect. One of those cannabinoids is THC. A full-spectrum CBD product contains trace THC levels of no more than 0.3%.


    When it comes to CBD, the method of consumption you use will have the most significant effect on how long it'll take to work. Some methods will keep you waiting a few hours before you can experience the optimum effects of the cannabinoid, while others might deliver you results in minutes.

    The effects of CBD oil may take from 1 minute- to 2 hours to work. If you don't mind a slight delay but are looking for longer-lasting effects, you can consider taking CBD capsules or edibles. For the fastest relief, vaporize CBD. Topical products are the most preferred for localized problems and skin nourishment. Regardless of the method you choose, consult your doctor, start at the low end, and work your way up to note the effects.


    Brooke Alpert, RD, the founder of Daily Habit, a line of CBD powder.

    Pellati, F., Borgonetti, V., Brighenti, V., Biagi, M., Benvenuti, S., & Corsi, L. (2018). Cannabis sativa L. and nonpsychoactive cannabinoids: their chemistry and role against oxidative stress, inflammation, and cancer. BioMed research international, 2018.

    Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2016). Effectiveness of cannabidiol oil for pediatric anxiety and insomnia as part of posttraumatic stress disorder: a case report. The Permanente Journal, 20(4).

    Corroon, J., & Kight, R. (2018). Regulatory status of cannabidiol in the United States: a perspective. Cannabis and cannabinoid research3(1), 190-194.


    Dr Amalia Annaradnam, MBBS BSc MRCGP DRCOG DFSRH, Grace Belgravia

    Dr Drashnika Patel, MBCHB, Grace Belgravia

    JULIA T. HUNTER, MD, Grace Belgravia


    Lorna Driver-Davies, BA (hons), HD, DHNP, mNNA, CHNC registered, Grace Belgravia

    MAY SIMPKIN, BA HONS, HD, DHNP, MNNA, CHNC REGISTERED, Nutritional Therapist, Grace Belgravia



    DR SHIDEH POURIA, MB BS BSC MRCP UK PHD CMT, Physician with Special Interest in Environmental and Nutritional Medicine, Grace Belgravia

    Sonja Shah-Williams, BSc ( Hons) APA assoc., Grace Belgravia

    KASSANDRA DARILI, BSC, MSC, DIP Psych, Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist, Grace Belgravia

    ANA ISABEL, BA (HONS) DIP HYP HTI, Analytical Hypnotherapist & Astrologer, Grace Belgravia

    PADMA SHANKAR CORAM, Lifestyle and Wellness, Grace Belgravia

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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