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How Long Does CBD Take To Work? Dosage, Results & Science
Categories: Guides

How Long Does CBD Take To Work? Dosage, Results & Science

Posted: June 01, 2020

There are many factors at play that can affect how long CBD takes to work in your body and, whilst it can be difficult to judge with lots to consider, our guide on how long it takes for CBD to work will help you understand it further. As CBD is the perfect supplement that we can tailor to our specific needs, it is important that we know what we need and how long it will take to work. Here, we take a look at the rate at which CBD works in our body, whilst considering personal factors that can impact it, as well as which methods of taking CBD work faster or slower and the science behind it.

How long does CBD take to work in the human body?

The time in which CBD products take to work in our body depends on a lot of variants. These can be variants on a personal level, for example; body weight, height, rate of metabolism, fitness level or amount of exercise we do and even our diet. Another factor that affects the amount of time CBD takes to work is the method through which we choose to take our dose of CBD. For example, CBD products are available as: Not only do we have to choose the product that suits our lifestyle best in terms of how we take it, but we need a CBD product with the right amount of CBD to give us the results we require. The products available in our store are available in different strengths, sizes and flavours and there is a product to suit everyone. Depending on what we are using CBD for, changes what kind of a product would best suit us on an individual level. For example, someone that requires a quick solution to treat a painful condition might be better suited to a high strength vape product for fast acting full effects. On the other hand, somebody looking for a feeling of mild relaxation for an evening would probably be better suited to a low strength edible or cosmetic product. Typically, the therapeutic effects of CBD can firstly be felt from anywhere between 5 minutes and 6 hours. However, if you try CBD, you should make a note of the effects and when they occur for you personally to better understand the time it takes for you.

What impacts how long CBD takes to work?

There are many things in our individual lives that can affect the amount of time in which CBD takes to work for us and there are many variants in the CBD products that we choose. It is important for us to know how long our chosen CBD product takes to work for us so that we can better tailor it to our needs. When choosing CBD it is important to think about when you will need it to work in order to pick a product that will fit into our routine to deliver at the right time. Consider that different ways of taking CBD can change the amount of time it takes until we can feel the effects, as can the condition of our body and our individual lifestyle. Essential factors to consider:

How CBD is consumed

CBD is one of the most diverse products on the market and can be consumed in an abundance of ways, ranging from oils or crystals to delicious edibles or lotions. How we choose to take or apply CBD is up to us and there is an ever-growing product line to choose from. Some products are inhaled or ingested and others are absorbed into our skin or dissolved into liquid. Be aware that each type of product, for different reasons, can take varying amounts of time to work.


Edible products have to be digested and metabolised and generally take 1 to 1 ½ hours until we can start to feel the effects. These are great products if, for example, we are able to anticipate in good time when we will need relief of painful symptoms or for planning ahead a relaxing evening.

Vape oils

Vape CBD products are inhaled and can usually be felt between 5 and 10 minutes after inhalation, sometimes even instantly. Perfect for those of us who require a quick and fast relief from unwanted symptoms.

Oral oils

Oral oil CBD can be sprayed into the mouth, dissolved under the tongue in drops, swallowed and even stirred into water or juice. How long it takes to feel the effects of these products can vary depending on factors such as strength, bioavailability and type of product. For example, water soluble oil can be felt faster than swallowed oil capsules, as it is more bioavailable and doesn't go through the same metabolising process.


Balms and lotions containing CBD are made for sport recovery, pain relief and cosmetic/dermatological uses. Generally, these products are applied directly to the skin and have to be absorbed. This can take longer than inhaling vape CBD for example, but could be more effective in relieving symptoms of arthritis or aches and pains as they are applied directly to the affected area.

Dosage and concentration

Most, if not all, CBD products come with a recommended dosage; always start with a low dose and top up until you reach your desired effects, within the recommended dosages stated by the manufacturer. It is advised to not exceed the recommended daily dose and always seek advice from your doctor or GP. especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking other medicines. Products range from low strength to very high strength and these vary in concentration. CBD products generally come as a % of purity and mg per ml or mg per piece. Typically higher strength and higher concentration products will produce stronger and fuller effects. When choosing the right strength and concentrations, your own experience and common sense become vital. It doesn’t have to be the strongest or most concentrated to get the effects and the best results you’re looking for.

Quality - is it lab certified?

Shopping for CBD should not be different to shopping for anything else. You don't want knock off or bootleg products that can be underwhelming. Buying a lab-certified CBD product gives peace of mind about the quality and purity of the CBD that has been used to produce it. Extracting CBD oil is a technical and lengthy process requiring specialist knowledge and expensive equipment, and third party testing is a great way to ensure the process has been done right and the concentrations are accurate. Using a CBD that is not lab tested or certified can be disappointing and leave you without the right results - in short you have no guarantee on its quality. If we are shopping for a CBD isolate, it is important that there are no THC, cannabinoids or terpenes within the product; therefore, quality, lab tested products are the only way to ensure that what we receive is pure.

Personal factors

Our unique human bodies and individual needs are what makes CBD a remarkable, tailorable product. Each individual can discover how much CBD they need and how they prefer to take it. Consider that if you have a slow metabolism, more body weight or height, then it can take a greater quantity of CBD and more time before effects can be felt. Cannabinoids like CBD are absorbed by fat so more body fat may require a larger dose for effects to be felt For those with a faster metabolism, you might start to feel the effects of CBD a bit faster. CBD is about adjusting dosage to suit your needs; always start with a low dosage and top up until you reach your desired effects within the recommended dosage. Remember that CBD does not produce a ‘high’ or alter our state of consciousness and no psychoactive effects can be felt.

How long can CBD stay in the body?

This again varies between each individual. The length of time that CBD stays in your system can range from 2-5 days and for some individuals up to a couple of weeks. The same variables that affect how long it takes to work remain factors:
  • Body mass
  • Frequency of use
  • Type of product used
  • Diet
  • Strength of products used
The effects of CBD can last up to six hours or more again depending on the above variables.

CBD with faster results

When shopping for CBD with fast results in mind you might be wondering what kinds of products are the quickest. Two of the stand out types here are vape liquids and water soluble oils. Vape liquids are very fast working as they are inhaled directly into the lungs and the CBD gets absorbed straight into the bloodstream. Water soluble oils are very bioavailable as they can be absorbed into the mucus membrane and don't have to go through the metabolism process regular oils go through in order to be absorbed. Here are a few products to look at: CBD EasyMix Food & Drink additive - Water Soluble These high quality sachets can be absorbed under the tongue, stirred into water-based drinks and mixed into your favourite food. An effortless and easy way to get CBD. Harmony E- Liquids 600 MG CBD Available in three incredible flavours, these powerful 600mg 6% CBD e-liquids are a sure way to get your CBD and fast. The flavours are taken directly from original strains using natural terpenes. Lavender, mango and lemon flavours, these 10ml bottles contain a tasty and powerful dose of CBD.

CBD with slower results

Products that tend to work slower are generally edibles like capsules, gummies and lotions or balms. These products take time to absorb or metabolise so we can expect to wait anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours to feel the effects. Edibles have been shown to have a ‘slow burn’ effect so can be better for those seeking long lasting relief. Lotions and balms are efficient as they can be applied directly to the affected area, although it may take some time to soak right in. Nirvana CBD Muscle Recovery Lotion 600mg This CBD packed product not only boasts the benefits of 600mg of CBD but also a wealth of essential oils and other natural ingredients. Applied directly to the skin (avoiding broken skin and the face), this is a great way to get relief from painful muscles. CBDfx Full Spectrum 750mg Soft Gels With 25 mg of CBD per capsule these powerful little gel capsules are easy to take at home or on the move. Full spectrum oil contains other cannabinoids and terpenes for an organically complete product. Take 1 or 2 capsules a day to get your desired results.

What to do if you don’t think CBD is working for you

If you are currently taking CBD and are not sure that is working for you, there are a few things to do. Firstly ensure that the product you are taking is from a reputable retailer and is of high quality, and where possible pick a lab tested product. Try different products, edibles, oils and whatever else appeals to you to see what works best. Over time, increase your dosage slowly and bear in mind your weight, height, diet and metabolism. Always stick to the guidelines of your product and do not exceed the recommended daily dose. If you feel you aren’t getting the results you’d expect, pick a CBD product with a higher percentage of purity and mg per dose. There is a chance that the product you are currently using does not contain enough CBD to give you the results you need.

Contact ICE Headshop

Our team is on hand to help advise on any of our products and to provide assistance wherever we can. Speak to us on the phone or email us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Email: [email protected] (24/7/365) Phone: Mon-Fri, 10am - 4.00pm Phone orders: 01626 903101 General enquiries: 01626 903102 Disclaimer: Please note that you must be 18 years or older to purchase CBD products. All claims and effects of CBD have been regulated by the MHRA since 2016 and distributors require a license from the MHRA to make any medical claims. Claims are opinion based and non-scientific, and while we may discuss the opinions people share, they are not our own. Our CBD is not intended to treat, cure or prevent disease. Although we can advocate its calming & healthy properties it is in no way intended for medicinal use.