How much time does it take for cannabidiol (CBD) oil to take effect? Well, the answer isn’t so fast and easy. There are a lot of variables at play—how much you consume, your size and weight, the sun, and the moon. Well, maybe not the last two, but you get the idea, right? It’s not going to be “take this, and you feel it exactly 10 minutes.”
But the one thing that plays a critical part in the time from hit to kick is the route of administration (ROA for short). The ROA is how a drug or compound finds its way inside your body. CBD comes in many forms. It can be smoked, eaten, placed on the skin, or put under the tongue.
Each method of consumption determines the time it takes to work and how long the effects last. Let’s go ahead and take a look at the different ways you can get CBD in your system, how long it takes, and how long it lasts.
Time For CBD Oil to Take Effect
|Inhalation (Smoking and Vaping)||Immediately|
|Sublingual (Tincture and Oil Drops)||5 to 15 Minutes|
|Topical (Creams, Lotions , Patches, etc.)||15 to 30 Minutes|
|Ingestion (Edibles, Capsules)||30 to 90 minutes|
Inhalation (Smoking and Vaping) – Immediately
Smoking or vaping CBD oil has the fastest onset but the shortest duration. Inhalation works by taking the substance through the lungs (the same as oxygen). It then binds to blood cells and goes through the bloodstream and straight to the brain. That makes the time for CBD oil to take effect to be immediate.
However, the duration will only last 1 – 2 hours.
You’d have to add the oil to flower to smoke it, so vaping is the preferred method of inhalation. CBD oil comes in the standard liquid oil form or as wax or shatter. You can use a dab rig or vape pen to smoke it then. Also, some pens take cartridges that can be refilled for multiple uses.
Just make sure you don’t get a pen made for nicotine. Those are entirely different and will ruin your oil since they usually burn much hotter than one made specifically for oil and wax.
Remember, smoking anything comes with health risks, but for quick relief, vaping is the way to go.
Sublingual (Tincture and Oil Drops) – 5 to 15 Minutes
The next (and healthier) method is taking CBD oil sublingually or under the tongue. Its onset time is around 5 – 10 minutes and has a duration of nearly 8 hours. Sublingual works the same way as inhalation—the substance is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, allowing for the effects to happen faster.
While not specifically an oil, tinctures are made with an alcohol solvent and put in little dropper containers. A few droplets under the tongue and, voila, the magic happens near instantaneously. There are also droppers with oils that work the same way. You can also find tablets and sprays and even lozenges that come in a variety of flavors.
If you require something quick and that lasts long, sublingual droppers or lozenges are a great choice of ROA.
Topical (Creams, Lotions, Patches, etc.) – 15 to 30 Minutes
With topical methods, one can apply the CBD oil directly to the skin to help in the problem areas. Think of creams, patches, lotions, and infused oils that you can rub or place on the body. Heck, there’s even CBD-medicated lip balm.
The pores in the skin absorb the CBD. It takes a little longer than the previous two methods, but it’s great for dealing with back or neck pain. The time for CBD oil to take effect ranges between 4 to 6 hours.
Topicals release the dosage slowly over time in a localized area, which makes it beneficial for chronic pain or sore joints. Patches will have a dedicated amount of CBD in them (measured in milligrams), while creams and oils take some time to find the right amount.
Ingestion (Edibles, Capsules) – 30 to 90 minutes
The second most common way to consume CBD oil (and cannabis in general) is through ingestion. The famous “special” or “magic” brownies from the ‘70s should come to mind here. Nowadays, you can get CBD edibles in brownies, cakes, gummy bears, chocolates, hard candies, and the list goes on. Check out these CBD infused gummies to try out at home.
It’s a little hard to control the dose if homemade, but the time it takes to start to work can vary from person to person for a plethora of reasons.
Effects can start within 30 minutes or take up to 2 to 3 hours for some people. It’s important not to overeat edibles as the onset can take so long. However, the duration is also very long. One of these medicated treats can last all day long.
Ingestion is another good one for chronic pain or anxiety since the CBD works its magic for so long. A bonus to edibles is you get to eat something delicious! What’s not to love about that?
The best practice is to choose a method you’re most comfortable with and start slow. You can always take more if needed, but there’s no turning back once it is consumed.
Then there’s genetics, amount of time using, body fat content, fitness level, age, and a host of other factors that determine how CBD will be absorbed into the body. Because of that, there is no way to tell exactly when the effects will begin-everybody is different.
Thanks for reading! Let us know in the comments below which method you prefer to use when it comes to consuming your CBD products.