How Long Does CBD Take to Work?

How long does it take for CBD oil to work?

There’s no denying that CBD oil or cannabidiol from hemp is one of nature’s most powerful compounds. An impressive body of evidence shows that CBD can quell inflammation, ease joint discomfort, melt away stress, improve sleep, and defy aging by fighting free radicals.

Many first-time users of CBD oil are excited to experience these benefits, but question how long it takes for CBD oil to work.

While you may not like to hear it, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Top grade CBD oil may take between 15-30 minutes to have an effect. But this number can vary significantly depending on a number of factors.

For instance, if you take a cheap CBD oil that’s not designed for maximum absorption, it could take considerably longer to feel an effect (if any at all).

High-quality CBD oil supplements, on the other hand, are designed to quickly and efficiently absorb into your body. This results in a faster-acting CBD oil with effects that you can easily feel.

The time that CBD oil takes to work also depends on several other factors such as what method the CBD is taken, how it was processed, the strength of your supplement, whether or not you have an empty stomach and so on.

It can get confusing. So, this guide will explain the different factors that affect how long it takes for CBD to work, so you can achieve the results you want.

Different CBD Oil Consumption Methods

Different Methods of Taking CBD Oil

The time it takes for CBD oil to have an effect largely depends on how you choose to take it. While there are a wide variety of ways to reap the benefits of CBD oil, the most popular include…

Sublingual Oil (Tincture):

This is by far the most popular method to supplement CBD. It involves placing several drops of a CBD oil or tincture under the tongue. From here the tiny blood vessels found under the tongue and on the inside of your cheeks rapidly absorb the CBD without having to pass through your digestive system or liver. This method can take between 15-25 minutes to feel the full effects.

Topical Balms:

Another common method is to rub CBD oil directly onto areas that are giving you trouble (such as sore muscles or stiff joints). When applied to the skin, CBD diffuses through lipids and has direct access to the cells in the area. While this method can take longer to take effect (around 20-45 minutes), it’s beneficial for targeted relief to specific areas that are bothering you.

Edibles & Capsules:

With the CBD oil market boom, there are now a variety of ways to consume CBD. This includes CBD gummies, drinks, capsules, and even CBD chocolates. While this method may be the most convenient, it is far from the best option when looking for fast relief. Because the CBD has to pass the digestive system and get processed in the liver, it can take over 30 minutes to feel any effect. The biggest downside of this method is that CBD has to pass through your liver, which can lessen the effects by the time it reaches your bloodstream.


This method provides the fastest results because when you vape CBD, it rapidly enters the bloodstream through the lungs. With vaping, you can expect to feel the results within 5-10 minutes. But vaping CBD comes with a huge downside: in addition to the CBD, you are inhaling other toxic chemical compounds that could cause harm to your lungs (1).  

CBD Quality Matters for Results

The Quality of CBD Oil Affects Your Results

The quality of your CBD supplement can also affect how long it takes to experience results. Low-quality CBD supplements are weak and poorly processed. This impedes how well your body can absorb the CBD, resulting in a delayed effect—sometimes there’s no effect at all!

If you want to truly take advantage of CBD’s long list of benefits, make sure you’re using a high-quality product. This will also allow you to experience consistent results with every serving.

But what makes a high-quality CBD supplement?

Without going into too much detail, high-quality CBD supplements are nano-infused (for improved absorption), organic, contain at least 20+ mg of CBD per serving, and are lab-tested for impurities.

[Learn more about how to choose a quality CBD oil.]

Your Health Goals Make a Difference

Depending on what you want to get out of CBD, the time it takes to work in your body can vary. Some results are seen faster than others.

If you take high doses of CBD oil to improve your sleep, it’s possible to get results within the average 15 to 30-minute window. With the right CBD oil, you should sleep like a baby in no time at all.

But if you’re taking CBD because you want to ease the effects of stress and inflammation, it may take a bit longer to notice any results. While the CBD may technically take effect 15-30 minutes after a dose, it can take a week or two to notice significant results.

The more your body is out of balance, the longer it typically takes to reach a threshold where you notice results—even if you are slowly getting better from day one.

CBD Results Based on Biochemical Individuality

Factors that determine your results with CBD Oil

Biochemical individuality is a fancy way of saying, everyone is different. Every person has a unique genetic profile, body composition, and daily routine.

As a result, everyone is affected by CBD differently. If two people took the same exact dosage and type of CBD, it could impact them in completely different ways. The CBD could also take differing amounts of time to take effect for different people.

That being said, here are some of the most common characteristics that can affect how long it takes for CBD to work:


Like any drug or supplement, your weight can impact how much CBD affects you and how quickly. Generally speaking, higher body weights require larger doses and vice versa. So, if you’re not feeling any results after consistently trying CBD, consider changing up the serving size.


Some people are completely attuned to their body. They notice even the subtlest of changes in how they feel. These people tend to feel results from CBD almost instantly. But very few people have this skill because today’s fast-paced society keeps your mind distracted and disconnected from your body.

So, you may want to enhance your self-awareness to notice subtle changes. The best way is to rate how you feel on a daily basis while taking CBD. Then look back after a week or two to see if you made any progress with your health goals. Not only does this train you to pay attention to your body, but it also gives you a more reliable way to evaluate your progress.

Metabolic Rate:

Metabolism isn’t just how quickly you burn calories while sitting on the sofa. It controls how quickly you break down compounds like CBD. Depending on a person’s health status and genetic profile, their metabolism can function at different speeds. Which means some people will inherently feel the results quickly, whereas others will take more time to experience results.

The Bottom Line

Most first-time users of CBD oil anxiously wait to feel results. They wonder, “how long does it take to feel the effects?”

On average, CBD oil takes anywhere between 15-30 minutes to access the bloodstream and exert its beneficial effects. But this is by no means the same for everyone.

The time it takes for CBD to work in the body can vary significantly depending on a number of factors. This includes the method of consumption, the quality of your CBD supplement, your health goals, and your body composition.

If you’ve already taken CBD and didn’t notice much of an effect, it’s important to take these factors into consideration. In certain cases, it can take some time before you begin to notice the results. Be patient and stick with it, because there is a mountain of evidence that proves CBD is effective. It just takes more time for some people to have an effect.

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