The use of CBD has reported benefits for over 20 different conditions, from anxiety to Alzheimer’s. With new research taking place every day, it’s tempting to see what all the talk is about.

If you’ve thought about trying CBD, you probably have a few questions. For example, how does CBD work? Also, how long does it take CBD to work?

While it’s relatively simple to explain the former, the latter is a little more complex.

As it turns out, there’s no single answer to the question, “how long does it take CBD to work?” Instead, there are multiple answers that depend on different factors, such as the method of consumption as well as the amount you take.

If you’re considering taking a CBD supplement, it helps to know when you can expect to feel its effects. To get a better idea, we’ve outlined some situation-specific looks at how long it takes CBD to go into effect within the body.

Read on for our guide on how long CBD takes to work

How Does CBD Work in the Body?

CBD, or “cannabidiol,” is a compound found in plants belonging to the cannabis family. Unlike its commonly-known sister compound THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD won’t give you the psychoactive “high” that is typically associated with cannabis plants. However, CBD offers a multitude of other reported mood-boosting and medical benefits that make it worthy of a second look.

If you’re wondering “how does CBD work in the body?”, the answer lies within a deeper look at our biology.

The human body has a complex system, known as the endocannabinoid system, that impacts processes such as sleep, appetite, mood, memory, and more that are yet to be discovered. With all its moving parts, this system works to maintain proper internal functions within the body.

While we certainly don’t know everything about the endocannabinoid system, we do know that it is composed of three parts: enzymes, receptors, and endocannabinoids. Whether you’ve taken CBD or not, these parts are always functioning.

The enzymes within the system work first by breaking down any cannabinoids present (such as CBD). Once this happens, the endocannabinoids seek to bind with receptors, activating them in the process. As the receptors are activated, this is when the reported effects and health benefits take place.

While research has suggested that CBD does not directly attach to the receptors, it’s still said to affect them in one way or another. The answer to the question “how long does it take CBD to work?” depends on how long it takes the endocannabinoid system to start being activated by the presence of the cannabinoid here (CBD).

How Long Does It Take CBD to Work?

Now that we’ve gone over the functions of the body’s endocannabinoid system in relation to the effects of CBD, let’s move on to how different forms of CBD are absorbed at different rates. In other words, how long does it take CBD to work in the body?

Considering that there’s no current “official” recommended intake of CBD, everyone’s answer will vary based on dosage. Products containing higher concentrations of CBD will have the greatest effect, but the method of consumption will have an impact on how long they take to come into effect.

This comes down to CBD bioavailability, which is the rate that CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream in relation to the concentration of ready-to-absorb CBD in a CBD supplement. Every supplement will be broken down into “usable” CBD, with other substances as well as some additional CBD being processed as waste.

To put it simply: not all of the CBD you consume will end up being processed by the endocannabinoid system. However, if CBD cannot be used, it is often stored in the body’s fat cells to be released at a slower rate, potentially providing effects for days afterward.

With all that considered, the answer to the question “how long does it take for CBD to work” will vary based on several factors: your consumption method, your body makeup, and the quality/potency of the CBD supplement.

Consumption Method

Your method of consumption has a significant impact on how long it takes for the CBD to work. Biologically speaking, injecting CBD would be the most surefire and direct way to go, but this is not a very common way to take it.

Instead, taking CBD orally is usually the preferred and most popular option. This can be done in a number of ways, such as pills, edibles, and tinctures. The best CBD pills and oils will have high concentrations of CBD with high levels of CBD bioavailability.

While taking CBD orally is a popular and effective method, it can take the longest amount of time for the CBD to reach maximum effectiveness (usually somewhere between 1-6 hours). However, the rate of absorption will be slower, leading to a longer-lasting period for CBD’s therapeutic effects.

Quicker methods of consuming CBD involve more directly administering it into the bloodstream. These include tinctures taken sublingually or oils that are either smoked or vaped. Topical creams and balms are also effective, but more so for targeted pain relief.

Body Makeup

Like other substances, CBD’s effect will vary based on the user’s weight and overall body makeup. Factors such as metabolism and general health will also affect the rate at which CBD is processed by the endocannabinoid system.

Individuals with a higher body weight will generally have to wait longer for CBD to go into effect. However, they are more likely to experience prolonged effects, as they typically have more fat cells in which to store excess CBD for later release. On the other hand, an individual who weighs less will likely feel the effect of the CBD sooner, but may have a reduced time period to feel the effects.

Quality/Potency of the CBD

When considering the question, “how long does it take CBD to work?”, the most important factor is the quality and potency of the CBD supplement. As you might have guessed, the higher the quality and the more potent the CBD supplement is, the greater its effects will be. It will also go into effect sooner as well.

Choosing the Best CBD Supplement

If you’re considering trying a CBD supplement for yourself, the highest quality and potency will deliver the quickest results. Now that you have an answer to “how long does CBD take to work?”, start considering the best supplement for you today.

For more CBD topics, check out our other blog entries.

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