If you're considering taking cannabidiol (CBD) for your general wellbeing or to alleviate a particular problem, you probably want to know how quickly you'll experience results. So how soon does CBD start to work?
There's no definitive answer, as a variety of factors will impact how quickly you may feel any changes after consuming CBD. And as everyone is different, your experience will vary even from someone taking an identical product for the same reason.
It's why we always recommend trying CBD for a few weeks before deciding whether it's working for you. This gives time for your body to fully adapt and respond to the supplement.
The majority of our customers have told us they feel the full experience of CBD after taking it regularly for a month or so. But some people do feel an effect much more quickly, so how soon does CBD start to work?
What factors influence how long it takes CBD to work?
Everyone is slightly different biologically, and your physical condition and experiences may play a part in how soon CBD has an effect. Many of the potential benefits of taking supplemental CBD are due to the way it interacts with the endocannabinoid system in your body. This natural regulator in your nervous system can be affected by various things including genetics, disease or stress.
So, you may find your body is more or less primed to accept the effects of CBD in boosting the transmitters and receptors in the endocannabinoid system.
Beyond your individual makeup, there are some other common variables which influence how quickly you might feel an effect from CBD.
- How you're taking it: CBD needs to be absorbed into the bloodstream, so how you take it will affect how quickly it's taken into your body, and also how long the initial effect lasts. The fastest route will be through the lining of your mouth, using CBD oils under your tongue, for example.
- Dosage: If you take a high dose of CBD, you're likely to feel any impact much more quickly. But we'd still recommend starting low and working your way up to the right level for your individual circumstances.
- Purity and Quality: Different plant strains can have varying levels of potency when it comes to the CBD extracted. And the method of obtaining it can also have an impact. It's why we only carry the highest quality products from trusted suppliers, and carry out regular testing to ensure you get what you're paying for.
Metabolism: Another individual factor will be your metabolism. In addition to how fast your body breaks down the CBD, your weight will alter how quickly the supplement is absorbed, and how long it lasts for. A higher proportion of fat cells will mean your body can absorb and store more CBD, which will tend to prolong the effects.
You'll also absorb CBD more quickly on an empty stomach.
- Your expectations: CBD is sold as a food supplement, not a medicine. And even prescription drugs can take some time to have an effect. If you start taking CBD expecting it to immediately cure any issues, then you'll miss any small changes and benefits that may be starting to build up over time. This is why we always recommend starting CBD as part of general wellness and self-care, and potentially using it alongside existing medication (after checking with your doctor), rather than as a replacement.
How soon can you feel the effect of CBD?
With all of the varying factors in mind, some CBD users have claimed they could potentially feel an effect from taking CBD in as little as 15 minutes, after taking it sublingually (under the tongue). Typically CBD oils absorbed through your mouth might have any immediate effect around 60 minutes after taking it.
If you're taking CBD in an edible form, such as our capsules, the timescale will usually be around 1-2 hours for any initial effects to be felt. As a rough guide, you could experience some therapeutic effects from a single dose within 1-6 hours.
But it's important not to focus on the results of taking CBD just once. As a supplement metabolised by your body over time, the effects can build over days, weeks and months. So while you may notice an initial change shortly after starting to take CBD, it's important to allow enough time for long-term effects to happen.
Over the course of a few weeks, you may notice that CBD has had a noticeable effect on your general health and wellbeing, whether that's how you manage pain, stress, anxiety or other conditions. One way to see this more clearly is to keep a diary or journal to track any changes in your physical or mental state over time.
Based on our own experiences with CBD, and the feedback we've had from many of our customers, it's really important to look for changes over weeks and months rather than a single dose.
How long does CBD last in your body?
Any initial effects will be likely to fade after 2-6 hours, but CBD itself is retained for longer. Studies have looked at various doses and methods of consumption, and have suggested times as long as a few days.
This is why it's important to maintain a consistent routine, to allow your body to get used to the presence of CBD and potentially benefit. And having CBD in your bloodstream shouldn't have any effect on your ability to drive, for example. A small number of people can experience tiredness or feeling drowsy when they first start taking CBD, so you may want to be careful over the first couple of days.
Although all CBD products sold by reputable companies are legal to use in the UK (as we looked at in detail),some people may be concerned about trace amounts of THC being detectable in their system. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the compound in cannabis which products a high sensation and is a controlled substance, so only very tiny amounts can be found in legal full or broad spectrum CBD products. If this is a concern, we'd recommend using Zero THC Isolate CBD oil.
In summary: How soon does CBD start to work?
If you take CBD as a food supplement, it will start to work as soon as it has been absorbed into your bloodstream.
But this doesn't mean you'll necessarily feel any effect on your physical or mental state straight away. Although changes may be occurring in your endocannabinoid system, you may need to consistently use CBD as part of your wellbeing routine for a few weeks to see noticeable effects. As with any change to your diet, supplements or medical treatments, it can take time for your body to react.
And with any dose of CBD typically lasting for a few hours, it's important to make it part of your regular routine. This allows a consistent level to build up over time, and ensure any potential benefits stay with you throughout each day and night.