how long for cbd oil to work for pain

How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Work? [The ANSWER!]

CBD, or cannabidiol, affects everyone differently. Independent variables such as dosage, body weight, and metabolism can influence your experience with the compound. Then there is the matter of how you consume CBD. The fastest method is intravenously, but since using a needle every day is not practical, inhalation via a vaporizer is the next best way. However, the full answer to the title question is much more complicated to explain.

Over the last few years, CBD has become the world’s trendiest health supplement. It is linked with improved mood, alleviation of pain, and reductions in the seizures associated with epilepsy. It is an exciting compound because it has an increasing body of scientific evidence to back up claims regarding its benefits.

However, you should not assume that a few milligrams of CBD will eliminate pain in a matter of minutes. Several factors influence the efficacy of the non-intoxicating cannabinoid; we analyze them below.

How Does CBD Work?

CBD must be absorbed into the bloodstream before being distributed through our endocannabinoid system (ECS). It is here that the cannabinoid interacts with the body’s receptors. This interaction is the driving force behind many of CBD’s perceived benefits.

This means that how CBD is absorbed is VERY important. Effective forms of CBD consumption not only get to the bloodstream faster, but they maintain substantial levels of the compound throughout the body. In other words, they offer high bioavailability. Additionally, the best ways to consume CBD involve bypassing the digestive system and metabolic process in the liver.

Factors That Impact CBD Absorption

The CBD form you use plays a huge role in how quickly it absorbs into your system. We look into consumption methods in greater detail a little later on. However, first, let’s look at four other important factors influencing how quickly CBD gets to work.

CBD Quality

Not all CBD products are created equally. We see sellers championing cannabidiol extracted from organic hemp, which is the bare minimum one would expect! Low-grade cannabidiol not only contains a smaller amount of CBD but also may include ingredients that reduce bioavailability.

Low-grade cannabidiol not only contains a smaller amount of CBD but also may include ingredients that reduce bioavailability.

The biggest issue to consider when judging the absorption time for CBD is the size of the particle in which it’s delivered. High-quality CBD sellers may invest in manufacturing processes such as microencapsulation, which breaks CBD into tiny particles. The result is faster absorption and higher efficacy.

The Individual

The human body is remarkable, and our physiology can differ from person to person. This uniqueness comes into play when using CBD. If two individuals take the same CBD type, dose, and quality simultaneously, it may impact each person differently.

Also, if these two people tried the same experiment three months later, not only would the results differ between the two people again, they could also differ from their past results! Consequently, using CBD can sometimes require trial and error.

Body Weight

Currently, the only CBD-based medication approved by the FDA is the anti-epileptic, Epidiolex, which is prescribed to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy, namely Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. While there are official guidelines relating to the appropriate dosage for Epidiolex, no other CBD-based products are FDA-approved. Consequently, there are no official guidelines related to their dosage. If you are unsure about what dose to begin with, speak with your doctor. They will be able to recommend an appropriate dose for you by taking factors such as your body weight into account.

Exploring the truth…


The rate of your body’s metabolism, known as the metabolic rate, involves breaking down and synthesizing compounds to help the body function properly. If you have a fast metabolism, it helps the body absorb CBD quicker.

However, if you metabolize any drug too quickly, you might not benefit from the prescribed dose. Therefore, you’ll need more CBD to have a similar effect as someone with a slower metabolism. You’ll also find that the effects of the cannabinoid wear off relatively quickly.

Things that impact our metabolism include age, genetics, digestive system health, and lifestyle.

Liver Function

Individuals with certain medical conditions may not process substances as well as healthier people. This is particularly the case when it comes to liver function. The liver is crucial in removing CBD from circulation and ensuring it is ready for export from the body. As a result, having impaired liver function dictates CBD’s effectiveness and how long it stays in the system.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in 2019 analyzed the effect of cannabidiol on people with moderate to severe liver impairment. The researchers found that such individuals had greater blood CBD concentrations and lengthier clearance times after using 200mg of the cannabinoid compared to healthy control volunteers.

According to this study, CBD reaches the general circulation and remains there longer in people with liver impairment than without.

There is a reason why CBD companies make sure they use a carrier such as MCT oil in their products. Fatty foods significantly impact cannabidiol absorption.

A study published in Epilepsia in 2019 gave adults who had been prescribed CBD for seizures a dose of 99% pure cannabidiol capsules on two occasions. The first saw the volunteers take the compound on an empty stomach. The second involved using CBD after consuming a high-fat breakfast containing 840-860 calories, approximately 600 of which came from fat.

As CBD is fat-soluble, including a healthy fat source in your meal, such as fish high in omega-3 or avocado, can help absorption.

The researchers found that the maximum level of CBD in the blood was 14 times higher when consumed with the fatty breakfast than without. Overall, using CBD with food increased the amount of the cannabinoid in the body fourfold compared to using it in a fasted state.

As CBD is fat-soluble, including a healthy fat source in your meal, such as fish high in omega-3 or avocado, can further help absorption.


You can increase the absorption rate of CBD and reduce the time taken to feel an effect by boosting the dosage. In general, the more you consume, the faster you’ll feel it. A study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology in 2018 found that increasing the CBD dose in an oral spray from 10mg to 20mg tripled absorption.

Yet, the researchers also found that the effects seem to have a ceiling in doses between 400mg and 800mg. This may be because tissues become saturated and can’t absorb any more CBD.

The revealing truth about CBD…

Method of CBD Consumption

The length of time it takes for CBD to work depends mostly on how you consume it. The cannabinoid only works when your body absorbs it. As a result, the CBD must make its way from the entry point into the bloodstream, where it can interact with cannabinoid receptors.

The method of consumption dictates the speed and level of absorption into your bloodstream. In general, the faster it gets to the bloodstream, the higher the bioavailability level.


This involves injecting CBD directly into the veins. Most people won’t have access to this method. Additionally, it is not a desirable method because not many people want to stab themselves with a needle every day. Sadly, it is unavoidable for patients with certain conditions. When you inject CBD, its bioavailability rate is 100%, and it works almost immediately.

Vaping & Smoking

Both methods involve inhaling CBD vapor directly into the lungs. The market is flooded with vaporizers that can heat CBD oil in seconds. Once you inhale the vapor, CBD and other cannabinoids reach your bloodstream via the alveoli in the lungs.

Overall, the vaporized CBD is absorbed into your bloodstream within a minute or so, although it could be a few minutes before you experience the full effects. As well as being the fastest non-intravenous method, inhalation also offers the highest level of bioavailability.

Vaping is a rapid method because the CBD can reach the bloodstream within a minute or so.

A 2009 study by Huestis, published in Chemistry & Biodiversity, found that vaping cannabinoids has a bioavailability rate of 56%. Other data places it between 34% and 46%.

Although not as popular as its THC equivalent, CBD flower is also available. You can purchase dozens of special marijuana strains high in CBD and low in THC. There are also hemp flower options too. A study published in Pharmaceuticals in 2020 found that smoking CBD resulted in peak plasma levels occurring within three minutes of inhalation.

However, combusting plant material can result in the release of carcinogenic substances. While a 2005 study suggested that cannabis smoke wasn’t causally linked to tobacco-related cancers, it was implicated in respiratory dysfunction.


If you don’t want to vape your CBD, sublingual consumption is the next best option. It involves placing drops of CBD oil beneath the tongue. Generally, it’s recommended to hold the oil there for up to 60 seconds for the best absorption.

The mucous membranes have a porous layer covering minuscule blood vessels, allowing the oil to absorb into your bloodstream faster. It can work in five minutes, although most users report experiencing effects in 15-25 minutes.

Several factors influence the absorption rate, which is why a 2012 study by Schoedel and Harrison, published in Current Pharmaceutical Design, placed the bioavailability rate anywhere between 12% and 35%.


As the name suggests, this involves consuming CBD through the mouth in a capsule, edible, or a CBD beverage. This method has a longer path to the bloodstream. It involves the salivary glands and the full stomach digestive process, which requires a journey through the liver, pancreas, and stomach.

It is relatively slow and can take up to 30 minutes to take effect. This taxing journey results in the loss of a lot of CBD. Huestis’ aforementioned 2009 study found that the bioavailability rate of orally consumed cannabinoids was between 4% and 20%.

Final Thoughts on Answering “How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Work?”

As you have discovered, there isn’t one answer that tells you how long CBD takes to work. How well CBD affects you depends on the product’s quality, not to mention your body composition, physical size, and physical condition.

Next, you have to look at the form of consumption. Aside from taking CBD intravenously, vaping the cannabinoid is the next fastest option and is also the best in terms of bioavailability.

How Long Does It Take For CBD Oil To Work?

How long does it take for CBD oil to work? If you’re new to the world of CBD, this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask. Naturally, you are going to want to know if there are certain things you should be looking out for. Taking CBD oil doesn’t have to feel like a step into the unknown. We want to give you the knowledge you need to have a great experience with this compound.

Every week, new customers are trying our CBD oil for the first time. To help our customers unlock as much therapeutic potential from this cannabis-derived compound as possible, we are committed to delivering a range of educational content , including blog content, to support our customers on their wellness journeys.

In this article, we are going to be focusing on the following question: How long does it take for CBD oil to work? When you try a new food supplement for the first time, there’s always going to be a slight air of mystery. You’re not quite sure what to expect and this can generate feelings of either excitement or anxiousness.

We are on a mission to educate people on how they can bring CBD into their daily wellness routine with ease. With an abundance of CBD products on the market to choose from, there has never been a better time to start consuming this compound. We hope our blog content will help you to learn more about how you can make CBD work for you.

In conjunction with the main question, to offer a well-rounded piece of educational content for CBD beginners, this article will be also be exploring the following questions:

  • Does CBD oil actually do anything?
  • How does CBD oil make you feel?
  • How long does it take for CBD oil to work for joint pain?
  • What happens if CBD doesn’t work?
  • Can CBD oil make you sleepy?
  • What is the best CBD for fibromyalgia?

How long does it take for CBD oil to work?

Scientific researchers are learning more about CBD every day. There’s still a tremendous amount we do not know about this compound. We do know each consumer is going to have a slightly different experience with CBD because no human body is identical. With this in mind, it would be reasonable to suggest that the length of time it takes for CBD to work will vary.

It’s actually less about the human body and more about how you take CBD. Certain products on the market are going to be more fast-acting than others. If you want to get the most out of CBD, you are going to need to put some thought into how you take it. Many consumers are randomly purchasing CBD products without considering their effectiveness.

The truth is, there are CBD products on the market that won’t live up to your expectations. Even if you were to take these products for several weeks in a row, you would only receive very subtle therapeutic benefits. This isn’t about how the CBD products are being produced. It all comes down to how they are being taken and the level of bioavailability they offer.

Let’s take CBD gummies as an example. Like all CBD edibles, CBD gummies are to be orally administered. These can be taken just like any other sweet. The problem is, CBD products are only effective when they can quickly get the compound to your bloodstream. Through this method of taking CBD, much of the compound ends up lost in the body before it reaches the bloodstream. In other words, a significant portion of the CBD you consume is going to waste.

People want to know how long it takes for CBD to work but they often don’t understand where CBD must go in your body to be put to good use. Bioavailability plays a crucial role in determining the therapeutic value of a CBD product. If you’re consuming products with poor bioavailability, you’re missing out on the therapeutic potential of the CBD you’re taking.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, bioavailability , this is the proportion of a substance that enters the circulation when introduced into the body. CBD can only be effective when it is circulating around the bloodstream . For this reason, you need to be taking CBD products with good bioavailability and these can be found by looking at particular types of administration.

CBD oil is regarded as having exceptionally high bioavailability because of how it is designed to be taken. CBD oil should be taken sublingually . This involves placing a few drops of the oil under the tongue and waiting up to 30 seconds for the oil to diffuse through the tissues in your tongue and enter the bloodstream.

You need to think of CBD products as vehicles carrying a precious compound to a certain location in your body: the bloodstream. The longer the route to the bloodstream, the more chance you will lose some of this precious compound along the way. Using sublingual administration, CBD oil is the perfect vehicle for the fast and effective delivery of CBD to the bloodstream.

The quicker CBD enters the bloodstream, the faster you will be able to experience the therapeutic effects associated with this compound. CBD oil is likely to be more fast-acting than CBD gummies because it offers a quicker route to the bloodstream. This is worth considering if you are looking for a fast-acting CBD product.

Sublingual administration could potentially provide relief in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. This will most likely be the case for those who already have CBD in their system. When you already have CBD in your system, the build-up effect of the compound could make the therapeutic effects more profound. We encourage our customers to use our CBD oil for several weeks before expecting to see profound therapeutic results.

If you are new to the world of CBD and have never consumed CBD oil before, you are going to need to have some patience with the compound. You cannot expect instant therapeutic results. When people ask about how long it takes for CBD oil to work, it’s important to understand their expectations of this compound.

They want CBD oil to work, but to what extent? Are they looking for dramatic therapeutic results overnight? Do they only intend on using the product on an occasional basis? There are so many factors that come into play. This doesn’t even include things like weight, age, dosage, and the strength of the endocannabinoid system .

Does CBD oil actually do anything?

Scientific and anecdotal evidence has been incredibly supportive of CBD oil’s potential to boost your overall wellbeing. The compound can create a sense of calm , giving you clarity of thought and feelings of relaxation . As we navigate the hecticness of modern life, CBD can bring balance to your body and ensure everything is working optimally to face the day’s challenges.

The relationship between CBD and the endocannabinoid system is rather interesting. We all have our own endocannabinoid system, consisting of cannabinoid receptors located throughout our bodies. These are responsible for regulating the core functions of the human body, making sure everything works in harmony by triggering cascades of homeostasis to targeted areas.

There is still much we do not know about the endocannabinoid system, particularly when it comes to how the system works with CBD to promote homeostasis. Most cannabinoids bind directly to either CB1 or CB2 receptors in the body to trigger homeostasis. CBD, however, does not bind directly to either of these cannabinoid receptors. From our current understanding, CBD is able to influence and enhance cannabinoid receptors without directly binding to them.

In terms of the therapeutic effects, CBD might do one thing for you and something completely different for your friends. Sometimes, it will depend on the quality and type of product you are taking. In other cases, it will simply come down to the strength of your endocannabinoid system and its ability to promote homeostasis in the body.

It’s tricky to measure the strength of your endocannabinoid system before taking CBD. However, if you have an effective immune system, it’s possible that you also have a strong endocannabinoid system. Regardless of how effective your endocannabinoid system currently is, once you start taking CBD products, this will potentially boost the effectiveness of the ECS.

How does CBD oil make you feel?

As we say time and time again, CBD oil will do different things for different people. Based on anecdotal evidence, some people have reported feelings of calm and relaxation in the evening. While others have experienced slow-releasing energy after taking the products in the morning. The time of day you take CBD oil could play a big role in how it makes you feel.

If we circle back to our main question of how long it takes for CBD oil to work, you might not experience the full therapeutic benefits of the compound until some time after taking the oil. We also encourage our customers to experiment with dosages, along with the time of day you are taking the oil. This will help you to understand how your body interacts with the compound.

It’s important to note that dosage experimentation should only be done within the confines of the product-specific dosage guidelines. It’s not possible to overdose on CBD. However, if you take too much CBD, you might end up with some mild side effects, such as fatigue and drowsiness. Different products include varying strengths of CBD. Avoid taking a blanket approach to dosing and always refer to product-specific guidance.

How long does it take for CBD oil to work for joint pain?

There is some anecdotal and scientific evidence to suggest that CBD, particularly in the form of topical products, could provide some sense of therapeutic relief to those suffering from joint pain. Products like CBD oil should not be used with the sole aim of treating specific ailments. CBD oil is marketed and sold as a food supplement for general wellness.

Medical professionals are showing a great deal of interest in CBD oil, but it is rarely being prescribed for the treatment of specific ailments. As we start to learn more about the therapeutic potential of this compound, we expect to see more medical professionals consider CBD oil to treat specific ailments, if there is substantial evidence of it being beneficial.

Those who are suffering from joint pain should book an appointment with their doctor. They will be able to offer professional medical advice and potential treatment options for your joint pain. Unless there is a specific medical reason why you cannot take CBD oil, you could consider taking CBD oil for general wellbeing as you explore joint pain treatment options.

What happens if CBD doesn’t work?

Not getting the results you hoped for? It’s time to switch things up. When you’re not getting the therapeutic results you hoped for, you can go down several different paths. We would not recommend giving up on the compound altogether. Many people give up on CBD far too quickly without exploring other administration methods or CBD products on the market.

The first thing you should do is look at the amount of CBD you are taking. Could you increase the dosage while staying within the product-specific dosage guidelines? Increasing the dosage over several days will give you the chance to see whether it heightens the therapeutic benefits. Any negative side effects are a clear indication that you should immediately stop increasing the dosage.

After experimenting with the dosage, if there is little to no change in the therapeutic benefits, you should consider exploring other CBD products on the market. As an example, if you have been taking CBD gummies and are experiencing no real therapeutic benefits, now might be the time to start looking at CBD tinctures .

These changes to how you are taking CBD could make a big difference to the overall therapeutic benefits. We want consumers to feel confident about switching between different CBD products and experiencing different forms of administration. You cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach to CBD. Choosing the right food supplements is an incredibly personal decision. What might work for someone else may not be best for you.

Can CBD oil make you sleepy?

When people ask whether CBD oil can make you sleepy, we often feel the question has been incorrectly framed. CBD oil makes many people feel calm and relaxed . If the oil is taken on an evening, feelings of calm and relaxation are inevitably going to make it easier for someone to fall asleep. On a morning or afternoon, these feelings of calm and relaxation would help you to keep any anxiety you may be suffering from at bay, rather than make you sleepy.

In other words, CBD isn’t directly going to make you feel sleepy. Although, it may create feelings of calm and relaxation that could support sleep. We are yet to see clinical evidence of CBD oil being successfully used as a sleeping aid. You could certainly try taking CBD oil on an evening for relaxation purposes and this may or may not result in you feeling sleepy.

CBD oil could make some people feel slightly sleepy at times when they don’t want to. In a case like this, you might be able to explore taking the oil at a different time of day and seeing whether it makes a difference. You could also consider lowering the dosage or switching to another type of CBD product. There are lots of different paths to consider.

What is the best CBD for fibromyalgia?

If you have a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, you are likely to be in a considerable amount of pain regularly. Upon consulting with your doctor, they should be able to help you craft a suitable chronic pain management plan . If they believe CBD oil could potentially help you to manage your chronic pain, this is certainly something to explore further.

CBD oil is a food supplement for general wellness. It is not designed to be used to treat specific ailments like chronic pain. Those who are suffering from chronic pain should speak to a qualified medical professional who can suggest potential pain management strategies.

How Long Does It Take For CBD Oil To Work? Final Thoughts

We hope this article has helped you understand the many different variables that determine how quickly CBD oil will start to work in your body. Usually, you can expect to see some therapeutic effects after 15 minutes of taking CBD oil. Although, as we discussed, you may need to let the compound build up in your system across several days.