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CBD FAQs: What Is It and How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Work?

You want to start using CBD but you have questions like how long does it take for CBD oil to work?" and "is it safe?". Read on and get your questions answered.
Jason L is a 1st time father to a bouncing baby boy, and long time cannabis enthusiast.

Written By Jason L

On March 20, 2019

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There is something about Harvard Health speaking about the benefits of CBD that really catches the public’s attention.

With the positive effects of CBD entering the mainstream, there is a lot of knowledge gaps on how to use CBD oil and other CBD-based products, and how long does it take for CBD oil to work.

So if you want to learn all about CBD oil and its timeline of effects, keep on reading.

What Is CBD?

Let’s start with the basics, shall we?

CBD hemp oil is a cannabinoid that is becoming increasingly popular as time goes by, and for good reasons.

It has been linked to alleviating (if not outright treating) symptoms of illnesses like Parkinson’s disease to helping with chronic pain management, high blood pressure, heart disease, and even cancer.

It has been used to help with anxiety and other mental concerns as well.

Now you might be wondering if taking CBD will lead to a constant state of being high, and we’d like to assure you that this won’t be the case.

Cannabidiol is the main substance in CBD oil, which doesn’t have any psychoactive effects, unlike the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) contained in medical marijuana.

The fact that CBD is not psychoactive helped in its quick spread across the US and the ease of its legalization.

How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Work?

Now that you have a basic understanding of what CBD oil is about, that brings us to the main course of the article.

How long does it actually take for the CBD to start affecting you?

There isn’t a short and cute answer to this question, as there are multiple factors that would determine the answer.

These factors are the usage method, the type and quality of your CBD, and last but certainly not least, you.

By you, we mean your body weight, your metabolism, and other science-y things. So buckle in, because we’ll be going through these factors one at a time.

So What Are You Using?

Unfortunately, no matter how much we all wish we can have the CBD enter our bodies by simply wishing it (believe us, we tried), that’s not the way that works.

You’ll need to actually consume it, and there is a variety of ways you can do this.

Every consumption method can deliver the CBD to your bloodstream, but the trick here is that while each method filters and breaks down the CBD, it does that at different speeds.

And usually, the more time is given for the CBD to marinate in your digestive system, the less potent it gets when it hits you.

Here are the different ways you can consume CBD oil, and their usual effect timelines.


If you’ve ever gotten a topical cream and was able to use it without landing in the hospital, you’re good to go here.

By using CBD lotions, oils, or patches, you allow the CBD to permeate through your skin and glands until it makes it to your bloodstream, and that takes around 25 to 45 minutes.


You can swallow CBD capsules or chew through CBD edibles, and the CBD will take a nice trip through your digestive system from the salivary glands to your stomach and pancreas and make a couple of pitstops at your liver.

That merry ride will take 20 to 30 minutes until the CBD starts affecting you.


That’s a fancy word for saying that you’ll place a couple of CBD oil drops (or whatever number of drops according to your CBD’s instructions) under your tongue.

The trick here is that while the CBD starts with your salivary glands, it takes a shortcut through the varicose veins under your tongue, to achieve a quick 15 to 25 minutes access to your bloodstream.


Okay, so you want the CBD to start working in 20 minutes or less? Getting some CBD vape oil and inhaling it is the way to go.

It’ll take between 10 to 20 minutes for it to get to your bloodstream.


Looking for immediate effects? Injecting CBD directly into your bloodstream is a no fuss no muss way of getting down to business.

CBD Quality

If you go for cheap quality, you’ll get cheap effects. Or no effects at all.

Low-quality CBD products are going to cause problems with the nice trek from your usage method to your bloodstream.

The benign effects will be gaining no effects from your CBD, while the worse can ramp up any potential side effects.

You’re Special! Yes, Literally

Everyone’s body is different, from the way your body functions naturally, to your ingrained habits and behaviors.

So if you and your buddy decide to take the same type of CBD with the same method, it will probably affect both of you differently and on different timelines.

But it’s not the wild west out here, and there are some common factors that come into play.

Body Weight and Mass

It’s the same idea with alcohol. Larger and heavier bodies will need a higher dose to feel its effects, and that’ll make the timeline for feeling those effects longer.

Your Metabolism

If you’re one of those folks who can eat whatever they want and burn through the calories like a wildfire; first, how dare you?

Second, that means that you have a fast metabolic rate, which will cause the CBD to hit you faster, but your body will burn through it much quicker.

And the reverse is true for those with slower metabolic rates.

Body Composition

Simply put, if there is something out of the norm going on with your body it’ll affect the way your body decides to deal with CBD.

For example, if you’re on specific medication, that can alter how fast your body processes CBD.

Or if your boss if making your life a living hell, and as a result, your belly is not happy with you; that’ll change the way your stomach enzymes process CBD.

Okay, Are You Ready?

Now that you have a good idea on what CBD is and how long does it take for CBD oil to work and its many ways of usage, you’re in a good place to start experimenting slowly and with small dosages.

And if you want to learn more about CBD, cannabinoids, and other canna-based topics (see what we did there?), make sure to check out the rest of our FAQs!

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