CBD oil

How Long Does CBD Take to Work?

This question is the very definition of ‘how long is a piece of string?’ In simple terms, it is impossible to determine how long it will take CBD to work for you, the reader because there are so many things to consider. First and foremost, you have to determine the strength of the CBD. Then there is the small matter of how you consume the CBD and why you are taking this outstanding medicinal application in the first place.

What we will do in this article is give you a general outline of how long it may take for CBD to work depending on the method of consumption. We will also discuss how you may feel when the effects start to take hold.

What Are The Different Ways to Consume CBD?


This is a fancy term for the practice of consuming CBD oil and holding it beneath your tongue before swallowing. Sublingual consumption is the second fastest method of finding relief and is arguably the most popular. You can consume CBD oil in drop form or via sprays. You should feel the effects within 20-30 minutes, and they last for 4-6 hours on average.


This is the fastest acting CBD consumption method as you’ll feel a positive impact within a few minutes. As is the case with sublingual consumption, vaping allows the active ingredients to reach the bloodstream directly. You will need to purchase a vape kit and CBD oil to take advantage of this form of CBD consumption. The effects last for a couple of hours.

Edibles & Capsules

While you can create your own edibles, there are various readymade forms including gummy bears and mints. It is important to remember that edibles and capsules work best on an empty stomach. If you’ve eaten just before consuming the CBD, the absorption process is slowed.

Also, edibles work faster if you have a healthy digestive system and fast metabolism. If you meet the right criteria, edibles could work in as little as 20 minutes. Otherwise, expect them to take an hour. Capsules also take around an hour to work. Both methods should provide you with at least four hours worth of relief.

Topical Applications

These come in the form of balms and creams, and you are supposed to rub them on the skin. They work well when treating chronic pain if you rub the topical on the affected area. As well as helping with pain, topical CBD applications can protect your skin from the free radical damage that results in signs of aging such as wrinkles. CBD cream or balm is also effective against skin conditions such as acne or eczema.

Topical applications are the slowest to work and normally take over an hour. However, you should experience five or more hours of relief.

How Much CBD Do I Need?

Again, there is no simple, all-encompassing answer to this question. As well as considering the symptoms you’re looking to treat, it’s important to remember that everyone’s body will react differently. The recommended dosage you read on a CBD product’s label is nothing more than a guideline and companies tend to err on the side of caution. As a result, you should begin with a low dose, analyze the effects, and work your way up or down as necessary. CBD products are expensive so don’t take more than is necessary!

In truth, the majority of people require less than the recommended dosage, and when you use CBD regularly, you tend to need less of it over time. Of course, there is the matter of symptoms. Someone using CBD for anxiety will need less than an individual using it for chronic pain for example.

We recommend using as little as 2-3mg per dose, to begin with. Monitor your symptoms and up the dose until the stage where your symptoms have disappeared. This could be when you take 50mg a day or 500mg; there is no sure way to know until you test the theory.

At the time of writing, there has yet to be a fatality from a CBD overdose, but this doesn’t mean you can go wild and take as much as possible. Research suggests that you could safely consume up to 1,000mg of CBD a day; but since it typically costs $50+ for 1,000mg of CBD, you would need deep pockets!

There is also a possibility that the CBD will make you feel sedated so don’t take it before driving or working if it has this kind of effect on you. There is no need to consume more than one dose every few hours.

How Do I Know When The CBD Is Working?

Guess what? This is another question that is difficult to answer! If you’ve never taken CBD before, you’ll have no idea what to expect. Since there is no ‘high,’ you may not realize when the dosage is effective. It tends to provide a subtle feeling. If you take CBD for pain, you may eventually realize that the pain has gone, but it might take time for you to understand what has happened.

Likewise, if you take CBD for anxiety, it is hard to pinpoint the exact moment when you went from anxious to calm. All you know is that you now feel ‘better.’ Unless you have severe symptoms, you may even feel disappointed at the lack of ‘sea change’ in how you feel.

CBD oils that work

Final Thoughts & Where to Find High-Quality CBD Products

CBD is a natural way to alleviate the symptoms of a variety of conditions including anxiety, depression, chronic pain, PTSD, Alzheimer’s and many more. It is legal in most U.S. states because unlike THC; it doesn’t provide you with a psychoactive high.

We pride ourselves on informing our readers about the best CBD suppliers in the industry. We recommend choosing reputable firms with an established reputation that invest in independent third-party testing, use supercritical CO2 extraction and take their CBD from premium quality industrial hemp. Our reviews are independent and unbiased, so readers know the real story about CBD suppliers.

If you want to know who ranked the #1 CBD for 2018, continue to the section on our site where we compare CBD oil brands.

Customer Reviews Based on 23 reviews

  • Simon Ball

    Could have done with reading this some time ago – not quite the same but I didn’t know edibles took longer, and smoked too much pot thinking I was invincible to it. Until it all hit… thee types of articles are gold dust in this community.

  • Taylor Smith
    Interesting read

    My local cafe sells CBD coffee – when i have one of those the stuff hits me in what feels like minutes!!!

  • Gordan Parsons
    I love this article!

    I have been using CBD for 3 years, it has been an absolute god send for me, and i am happy to say it always work within 30 mins of me taking it (I use CBD capsules). I imagine everyone is different but for me it is fast to work and lasts a long time

  • John Bull
    Vaping for me

    I used to take CBD capsuled for IBD/IBS but found that sometimes the relief wasn’t effective enough. Now I vape CBD and it hits hard, fast and lasts for ages.

  • Trevor
    Vape the best

    I used to take CBD capsules, but when I quit smoking and got a vape I decided to try vaporizing CBD and I love it! The effects take hold very fast, which is great for me because I have very severe migraines that can come on from nowhere and get bad very quickly. I would suggest that those looking to quit a bad habit try CBD and vaping!

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