How Long Does CBD Oil Take to Work?

<div class="art__box">                 <img width="180" src="">                 <span>Dr Efe Opone</span>             </div>

Dr Efe Opone

MBBS / BSc Sports and Exercise Medicine

clear glass with red sand grainer
clear glass with red sand grainer

As interest in CBD oil continues to grow, one of the most common questions people ask is, “How long does CBD oil take to work?” Understanding the onset time and the factors influencing it can help users set realistic expectations and optimise their CBD experience. In this blog, we’ll explore the various factors that affect how quickly CBD oil takes effect and provide some tips for maximising its benefits.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive compound found in the hemp plant. It has gained popularity for its potential health benefits, including pain relief, anxiety reduction, and improved sleep. These benefits have made CBD oil a sought-after cannabis product for those looking to enhance their well-being naturally.

CBD oil is typically extracted from hemp, a variety of the cannabis sativa plant known for its high CBD and low THC content. Once extracted, the CBD is diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil. This process helps create a product that is easy to consume and allows the CBD to be absorbed into the body more effectively. There are various forms of CBD oil available, including full spectrum CBD oil, broad spectrum CBD oil, and CBD isolate. Each type offers different benefits and cannabinoid profiles.

Whether you’re interested in using CBD oil for its potential benefits or as a food supplement, understanding its composition and how it’s made can help you make more informed choices about the CBD products you select.

Factors Influencing CBD Oil Onset Time

The time it takes for CBD oil to work can vary significantly based on several factors:

Method of Consumption

The way you consume CBD oil plays a crucial role in how quickly you feel its effects.

Sublingual (Under the Tongue):

Placing CBD oil drops under your tongue and holding it there for 30-60 seconds allows it to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes. This method typically takes 15-45 minutes to take effect.


When you swallow CBD oil or consume it in edible form, it passes through the digestive system and liver before entering the bloodstream. This process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. CBD edibles are a popular choice for this method.


Vaping or smoking CBD allows it to enter the bloodstream through the lungs almost immediately. Effects can be felt within minutes. This is one of the fastest methods to feel the effects of CBD.

Topical Application:

Applying CBD oil directly to the skin can target localised pain or inflammation. This method includes using topical CBD products like creams and topical rubs, but the onset time can vary and may take up to an hour to feel the effects.


The amount of CBD you take can impact how quickly and how strongly you feel its effects. Higher doses generally produce faster and more noticeable effects, but it’s important to start with a lower dose and gradually increase it to find the optimal amount for your body. Determining the correct CBD dosage is crucial for achieving the desired effects without taking too much CBD.

Body Composition

Individual differences in body weight, metabolism, and overall health can influence how quickly CBD takes effect. Those with faster metabolisms may feel the effects sooner, while those with higher body fat percentages might experience a slower onset. Factors such as body mass and how your body processes the cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system play a role in the efficacy of CBD.

Empty vs. Full Stomach

Taking CBD oil on an empty stomach can result in quicker absorption and faster effects. Conversely, if you’ve eaten a large meal, it might take longer for the CBD to be absorbed and for you to feel its effects. The presence of food in your stomach can slow down the digestive process, thus delaying the onset of CBD effects.

Quality of the CBD Oil

Not all CBD oils are created equal. High-quality CBD oil from reputable sources is more likely to be effective and work faster than lower-quality products. Look for CBD oil that is third-party tested, organic, and free from harmful additives. Choosing a high quality CBD product ensures you get the most benefit from your CBD experience. Full spectrum CBD oil, broad spectrum CBD oil, and pure CBD oil each offer different levels of potency and efficacy, with full spectrum CBD containing a wider range of cannabis compounds from the cannabis plant.

Expected Onset Times for Different Methods

To summarise, here are the typical onset times for various methods of consuming CBD oil:

  • Sublingual: 15-45 minutes
  • Ingestion: 30 minutes to 2 hours
  • Inhalation: 2-5 minutes
  • Topical: 15 minutes to 1 hour

Tips for Maximising CBD Oil Effectiveness

To get the most out of your CBD oil, consider the following tips:

Choose the Right Product

Select a high-quality CBD oil from a reputable brand. Look for CBD products that provide third-party lab testing results to ensure purity and potency. Opting for full spectrum CBD oil, broad spectrum CBD products, or pure CBD oil can enhance the overall effectiveness due to the presence of multiple cannabis compounds that work synergistically.

Start with a Low Dose

Begin with a low dose and gradually increase it until you find the amount that works best for you. This approach can help you avoid taking too much CBD too soon and experiencing any unwanted side effects. Understanding how much CBD your body needs is key to maximising its benefits.

Be Consistent

Taking CBD oil regularly can help maintain steady levels of CBD in your system, potentially leading to more consistent and noticeable effects. Consistency is crucial in achieving and maintaining the desired benefits of CBD.

Monitor Your Body’s Response

Keep track of how your body responds to different dosages and methods of consumption. This can help you fine-tune your CBD regimen for optimal results. Whether you are using CBD capsules, CBD tinctures, or CBD supplements, understanding how your body interacts with CBD can lead to a more effective experience.

Consult with a Healthcare Professional

If you’re new to CBD or have any underlying health conditions, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a CBD regimen. They can provide personalised advice and ensure that CBD will not interfere with any prescription medications you may be taking.

By following these tips, you can enhance the effectiveness of your CBD oil and fully experience its potential benefits for your health and well-being.

Make CBD Oil Work Best for You

The time it takes for CBD oil to work can vary widely depending on several factors, including the method of consumption, dosage, body composition, and more. By understanding these factors and following the tips provided, you can optimise your CBD experience and enjoy its potential benefits more effectively.

The way CBD works is influenced by individual differences and the specific CBD products used. For instance, full spectrum CBD oil and broad spectrum CBD might have different onset times and effects compared to CBD isolate due to the presence of multiple cannabis compounds from the cannabis plants.

Knowing how long CBD stays in your system can also help in managing its usage and avoiding any potential interactions with prescription medications. Typically, CBD can stay in your system for a few days to over a week, depending on various factors such as dosage and frequency of use.

Whether you’re using CBD oil for pain relief, anxiety, or overall wellness, patience and experimentation are key to finding what works best for you. If you are considering using CBD as part of your health regimen, especially in conjunction with medical marijuana, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure it’s safe and effective for your specific needs.

Start exploring the world of CBD oil today and discover how it can enhance your well-being naturally. With the right approach and knowledge, you can make the most out of your CBD experience and potentially improve your quality of life.

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