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How long does CBD take to work?

Posted by Lewis Olden on
How long does CBD take to work?

*Scroll down to the bottom of the article to find your discount code for ALL Cannacares CBD Products

With there now being numerous CBD brands and products available for purchase in the UK it can be difficult to assess which strength of CBD to use and what delivery method to choose. Variations in CBD how different CBD products administer CBD can affect how quickly the CBD works and how long it lasts for.

Those using CBD for the first time can often be eager to feel the benefits instantly and are unsure what exact feeling they can expect from their first-time using CBD.

Variations Between CBD Products

Like any medicine or supplement it takes time for CBD to start working and to take effect. For CBD to begin working it has to be absorbed into the bloodstream, once it is in the bloodstream it can then be distributed throughout the endocannabinoid system where the cannabinoid receptors within CBD can bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body. The interactions between these receptors is the catalyst for most of the positive effects of CBD.

So, how long does this absorption process take? 

The answer is very much dependent on which way you use CBD. The various delivery options are;

  • Sublingual (Tincture Oils, Sprays, Wafers)
  • Oral (Capsules, Tables, Gummies, Drinks)
  • Topical (Cosmetics, Creams, Balms, Lotions)
  • Transdermal (Patches)
  • Inhalation (Vapes, Inhalers)

Sublingual CBD Products

Examples of CBD sublingual delivery methods are CBD Oil in tincture form, where you drop the CBD oil underneath your tongue, oral CBD sprays where you spray the CBD oil under your tongue and innovative technology like sublingual wafers.

When utilising sublingual delivery methods, the CBD is absorbed via the salivary glands to varicose veins underneath the tongue. 

When using a high-quality CBD sublingual product, you should expect to begin to feel the effect of the CBD after 15-30 minutes. With the CBD being absorbed by the veins underneath your tongue it is important to hold the CBD under your tongue rather than swallowing it. The effect of using a CBD oil or CBD spray will be limited if you swallow the oil instead of holding it under your tongue.

Oral CBD Products

CBD capsules are another example of a slow release CBD oral delivery method. You simply take a capsule in the morning and at night with water, like you would with any other capsule. Additionally, CBD Capsules are incredibly easy to work in to your daily routine, unlike many other CBD products.

CBD gummies are increasing in popularity and are a fun way of consuming CBD. They are digested in the same manner as any other sweet and the CBD enters the bloodstream via the digestive system. 

Top of the range CBD oral products should take effect after 20 – 30 minutes. It takes slightly longer than some other methods as the CBD has to be digested and pass through the liver before the CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream.

Topical CBD Products

Topical CBD skin care products, such as CBD balm and CBD moisturiser, are the typical instance of topical CBD delivery. This occurs through the skin absorbing the CBD. The CBD is diffused through lipids, cell to cell permeation and through hair follicles.

Topicals do typically take longer to be absorbed into the bloodstream, with it taking up to an hour for the effects to begin to materialise. This does not make topicals ideal for instant relief, but they are great over an extended period of time and many CBD creams can help with dry skin conditions.

Transdermal CBD Patches

The most prevalent example of CBD transdermal delivery is CBD patches. CBD patches are similar in size to a typical plaster and are placed on a venous part of the body. The CBD patch has a reservoir of CBD contained within the patch and is released over a longer period of time. Most CBD patches deliver the CBD directly into the bloodstream over a 24-hour period. This slow release ensures that the CBD is gradually absorbed into the bloodstream over an extended amount of time and the majority of the CBD actually enters the bloodstream rather than being diluted by the liver or digestion process.

Transdermal CBD patches often work over an extended period of time and while the effects are not instantaneous the CBD works for a much longer period of time and provides relief that means you only need to use one patch per day rather than several doses of oils or capsules.

Inhalation CBD Products

Smoking is the delivery most associated with cannabis. Smoking is fast acting and has an almost instantaneous effect, but it wears off quite quickly unless the dose is substantial. 

Vaping is quickly becoming one of the most common methods of using CBD and there are many vaping products now on the market with various CBD potencies. There still needs to be more research carried out into how safe vaping is with there being several instances of people getting injured form vaping in the United States of America. 

CBD Inhalers are not widely available in the UK CBD market at this time but there are several instances of brands launching a CBD inhaler. CBD inhalers are fast acting and less CBD needs to be administered to ensure that the desired effect is achieved, and the CBD has a positive impact.

The Quality of the CBD 

Ultimately the efficacy of a CBD product that you use will come down to the quality of the CBD used within the product that you elect to use. Transparent supply chains are imperative when selecting your CBD product.

As of the 31st of March 2021, in the UK all ingestible products will have to be manufactured using CBD Isolate due the incoming Novel Food legislation surrounding CBD. This will mean that Full-Spectrum ingestible CBD products will no longer be able to be sold in the UK. This means that CBD oils and CBD capsules sold in the UK will no longer provide the user with the entourage effect. This might mean that CBD topicals and CBD patches become more prominent as they will still be able to utilise Full-Spectrum CBD.

Individual Differences in CBD Requirements

Every individual different and what works for one person may not have the same effect on someone else. There are a few factors that can determine how much CBD you may need to consume to feel the full benefits.

A person’s body weight and body mass have a profound impact on how their body consumes any substance and CBD is no different. Someone with a larger a body mass will inevitably have to consume more of a substance to feel the same effect as someone with a lower body mass. The time taken for the substance to be processed the body may also take longer.

Metabolic rate is how efficient your metabolism is. This is the process of breaking down and synthesising compounds to achieve the crucial functions of the body. There are numerous factors which can influence your metabolic rate, and this effects how quickly your body processes CBD. 

Your body’s natural composition will also affect how quickly CBD affects you and the impact different doses have on your system.


Reverting back to the title of the article, how long does CBD take to work, is really dependent on your body’s constitution and the CBD product you choose to use. The delivery method that is used and the quality of the CBD will both play an integral part in how effective the CBD proves to be.

We hope you enjoyed this article! Please use code BLOG15 at checkout to claim 15% off your order. If you would like to speak with a member of staff please do drop us a message via our live chat which can be round on the left hand side of your screen. 

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