How Long Does it Take for CBD Oil to Work?

If you’re new to CBD, you probably have questions
11 October, 2021 by
How Long Does it Take for CBD Oil to Work?
Alina Hryn

Questions such as how long CBD oil takes to work, or how long other CBD products take to really ‘kick-in.’

If that’s you, keep reading. We’ll be diving deep into how long CBD oil takes to work here.

How long does it take for CBD to work? The basics

How long does it take for CBD oil take to work — to really kick in and start benefiting your system? Let’s start with the basics.  

 CBD oil usually kicks in within 20-30 minutes...sometimes even faster. This slight delay between CBD consumption of oil and when it actually kicks in is referred to as onset time

 Various factors can affect CBD oil’s onset time. Some potential factors include:

  • How much CBD oil you took

  • What type of CBD oil you took (full spectrum, broad spectrum, etc)

  • Your body’s sensitivity to CBD oil

  • Your body’s familiarity with CBD oil

  • Whether or not you took CBD with other substances

One more thing to keep in mind here: for the rest of this article you can safely assume that we’re talking about broad-spectrum CBD, not other varieties. But don’t worry about that — studies show that the terpenes contained in broad-spectrum CBD make it surprisingly powerful. [1

How long does it take for CBD oil to work? Factor 1

The first factor involved in determining CBD oil’s onset time is its quality. 

Why quality is everything for CBD oil

Premium CBD oils do two things right: 

  •  They contain a wide variety of cannabinoids and terpenes

  • They contain an absorption-boosting CBD oil

 Let’s take a look at these two metrics one by one. 

The very most important thing about CBD oil is its cannabinoid and terpene content. Terpenes and terpenes actually help ‘open up’ endocannabinoid receptors and help CBD saturate them more fully. Terpenes may also help CBD kick in faster. Premium CBD oils are so rich in terpenes that they’re practically aromatherapy in a bottle! 

The second factor here is your CBD oil’s carrier oil. Studies show that MCT is the best carrier oil for CBD. That’s because this oil is extraordinarily shelf-stable and is known to boost metabolism. [2]

How long does cannabidiol stay in your system? Factor 2

The type of CBD oil you’re taking also plays a large role in how quickly it kicks in. 

Why the type of CBD oil you’re taking matters

Why’s the type of CBD oil you’re taking so important?

As we said earlier, terpenes may reduce CBD’s onset time. But higher-quality products can kick in faster than lower-quality products in other ways, too. Not all CBD oil is created equal: CBD oil with additives, synthetic ingredients, of residual solvents won’t kick in as fast because your body perceives these substances as ‘invaders that it then tries to repel.

Pure CBD, on the other hand, kicks in fast because your body recognizes it as the beneficial collection of compounds that it is! (Different types of CBD products also kick in faster than others, but that’s a topic for another time.) [3

How long does CBD oil take to work? Factor 3

Another important factor in CBD oil’s onset time? How much CBD oil you’re taking. 

Why your CBD oil dose matters

In general, larger doses of  consuming CBD oil will kick in faster than microdoses. They’ll also stay in your system for longer; the more CBD oil you take, the longer it’ll stay active within your body. 

Research shows that CBD megadoses of 100 milligrams or more may stay active within your endocannabinoid system for days — or even weeks. Taking more CBD than your endocannabinoid system can handle results in a shorter onset time, though it can also result in unwanted side effects. [4]

How long does CBD take to work? Factor 4 

Your CBD dosage frequency also plays a role in its onset time. If you take CBD dosage of oil more consistently, it’ll probably kick in faster, too. 

More frequent CBD oil use = faster onset time

Some research hints that your body grows accustomed to CBD tinctures use over time. Taking CBD frequently may cause a buildup of endocannabinoids and other mood-boosting compounds within your system. 

When this happens, even small amounts of CBD oil may kick in quickly and efficiently. 

Using CBD oil less frequently, on the other hand, means that CBD may be broken down by certain liver enzymes before it gets a chance to really kick in. [5]

How long does CBD oil take to work for anxiety? Factor 5

CBD oil also kicks in differently depending on what you’re taking it for. 

CBD consumption for sleep, for example, and you’ll probably want to take it several hours before bedtime. 

Thankfully CBD’s onset time when it comes to your mood and mindset is far quicker. Many people find that they feel calmer and less anxious just a few minutes after taking CBD oil. (Pro-tip: hold your CBD oil under your tongue, like a sublingual, for the very quickest onset times.)

CBD onset time by delivery method/product type

Next let’s zoom out a little bit and look at how CBD’s onset time varies by delivery method. 

  • CBD oils onset time

  • capsules onset time

  • CBD edibles onset time

  • CBD balms onset time

  • CBD vapes onset time

  • Other products onset times

CBD oil onset time: 20-40 minutes

The best way to take CBD oil is as a sublingual. Hold your CBD oil in your mouth for 1-2 minutes before fully ingesting — this allows CBD to saturate. The longer you hold the oil under your tongue, the faster it kicks in. Paradoxical...but true! 

CBD oil duration: 18-36 hours

Once CBD kicks in, it can stay in your system for roughly 18-36 hours. During this time, expect to experience an uplifted mood, more energy, and all sorts of other side benefits as the CBD oil begins to kick into your endocannabinoid system! 

CBD capsules onset time: 1-2 hours

CBD capsules take much longer to kick in than CBD oils do. Their contents must travel through your digestive system and be released through the liver before being released into your bloodstream. Consuming CBD capsules are ideal for when you don’t need CBD right away — when you want to experience more sustained effects throughout your day.  It’s basically a timed-released effect. 

CBD capsules duration: 12-36 hours

Studies show that CBD capsules can stay in your circulation for up to 36 hours at a time. 

CBD edibles onset time: 1-3 hours

CBD edibles are one of the most enjoyable ways to take CBD. Unfortunately, they also kick in pretty slowly. Research shows that the onset time of CBD edibles is anywhere from 1-3 hours. CBD edibles undergo hepatic metabolism before being absorbed into the bloodstream. [6]

CBD edibles duration: 2-5 days

Once CBD edibles do get into your system, good things happen! Both CBD and its primary metabolites begin to work their magic within your body’s endocannabinoid system. The bioavailability of these compounds is estimated at 5-20%. [7

CBD topicals onset time: minutes

CBD topicals kick in faster than virtually any other type of CBD product. Many users experience relief within just a few minutes. Dr. Ethan Russo’s research explains why: topical CBD can bind to special receptors located throughout most layers of the skin. [8

CBD topicals duration: several hours

Studies show that CBD topicals can remain active for several hours after application. The terpenes and cannabinoids present in CBD topicals mean they may exert therapeutic effects for longer than you’d think. The very best CBD topicals combine CBD with extra botanicals for an added boost. 

CBD vapes onset time: 2-15 minutes

CBD vapes are second only to topicals when it comes to onset time. Vapes kick in fast and strong — research indicates that their bioavailability may reach 40%. Inhale correctly and absorption rates might climb even higher. Many people feel the calming, gentle effects almost immediately after they inhale. [9] Peak serum CBD levels peak just 3-5 minutes after inhaling.

CBD vapes duration: 6-24 hours

Vaping’s duration may also change depending on how you vape — common options include vape pens, bongs, and ‘volcano’-style vaporizers. Studies show that vaping CBD allows the compound to stay in your system for up to 24 hours...or even up to 31 hours in some cases. [10

Other products onset times

Let’s now look a the onset times of less common CBD products. 

Intranasal spray onset time: 5-10 minutes

Intranasal CBD sprays deliver CBD straight to blood vessels via the nose. That means they kick in fat! The bioavailability of CBD sprays is also high, clocking in at roughly 30-40%. [11]

Intranasal spray duration: likely under 24 hours

More research is needed to fully understand how long intranasal sprays say in your system for. That being said, CBD sprays likely stay in circulation for under 24 hours. 

How long does it take for CBD oil to work? Will it depend on how much CBD I take? What the experts say!

As great as the above info is, what you’ve read so far can be considered general guidelines. The matter of CBD oi’s onset time varies wildly from person to person. How soon does CBD oil work?

Dr. Than Russo, a board-certified neurologist, explains the reason for such variability: 

“There are more cannabinoid receptors in the brain than there are for ALL the neurotransmitters put together. The significance of cannabinoids for the body is undeniably important — and the ECS has the potential to have a powerful impact on the body. It’s a significant part of the makeup of every human being, and can have a substantial impact on our health.“ [12]

In other words, the human endocannabinoid system is so complex that researchers haven’t yet figured out all the factors involved in CBD oil’s onset time. 

Some of these potential factors include:

  • Whether you infuse CBD oil into smoothies (this may slow absorption)

  • Whether you infuse CBD oil into coffee (this may speed absorption)

  • Whether you take CBD oil with extra fat (may speed absorption)

According to chemist Jesse Kater, CBD oil’s onset time is less than certain for additional reasons.

“Most of the literature supports the notion that CBD products has better bioavailability when consumed sublingually versus orally,”

 - she explains. 

Hemp/CBD pioneer Jesse Stanley adds that some experimentation may be needed when it comes to determining CBD oil’s onset time.

“You might need to try a few strengths until you find what works for you,” he affirms. “Everyday consistency is key...Rome wasn’t built in a day.” 

“We are all unique in our needs and bodily systems,” Jesse continues. “Some people experience rapid and very noticeable benefits while others notice benefits over time and daily use, which is common for many dietary supplements.”

Other experts credit the following three factors as being of utmost importance: 

  • The hemp in question

  • The CBD oil’s terpene content 

  • Third-party lab testing

Factor #1: The hemp in question

Hemp is a phytoremediator, which means that its roots bind and chelate whatever is contained in the soil. 

That can be a good thing...or a bad thing. But it’s definitely a bad thing if a product’s CBD comes from hemp grown in poor soil. CBD product produced from such hemp probably kicks in slower and with less intensity. 

Factor #2: The CBD oil’s terpene content

Terpenes heighten the impact of CBD — by a lot.  Broad spectrum CBD oil likely kicks in much faster than CBD isolate, which lacks power since it’s devoid of terpenes. 

Factor #3: Transparency

Some CBD oil brands make all sorts of promises and marketing claims. That’s where the value of third-party lab testing comes in. 

“All CBD is not created equally,” one expert says. “[So] it’s really important that whatever you’re buying actually has what it needs to have in order for it to be effective.” Reputable companies shouldn’t hide or obscure that info in any way.” Products with third-party lab testing can guarantee that their CBD oils should kick in as strongly as they should. 

How to get CBD to kick in even faster

Now that we’ve established what you can expect of CBD oil’s onset time, let’s look at a few ways you might be able to speed things up! 

Taking CBD alongside other pro-metabolic substances, like coffee or tea, may reduce its onset time slightly. That’s because these substances speed up nearly every aspect of one’s metabolism, including the enzymatic reactions needed to process CBD oil Products. 

The MCT oil we mentioned earlier may also speed up CBD’s absorption rates. That’s because this substance — just like caffeine — can speed up one’s overall metabolic rate. 

Summing things up

Reakiro CBD oil is a great product that’s helped millions of people worldwide. 

Yet some aspects of CBD’s inner workings aren’t yet set in stone. CBD oil’s onset time is one of them! So keep the above factors in mind as you discover how CBD oil works for you. 

And, if all else fails, take Reakiro’s premium CBD oils alongside other absorption-related substances to help it kick in faster: substances like botanicals, essential oils, MCT oil, or a cup of joe.