How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Work?

CBD oil, capsules, and hemp seeds on a wooden background reflect a variety of CBD products as we discussed how long it takes for CBD oil to work.

The effects and potential therapeutic properties of CBD are widely debated. While some say CBD works this way, others share different experiences. The fact is CBD works differently across consumers.

The Different Consumption Methods Determine How Long It Takes for CBD Oil to Work

How you consume CBD widely determines how long it takes to feel the effects. Common CBD consumption methods include:


Ingestion involves directly administering CBD drops into the mouth with a dropper or infusing the oil in your foods and beverages. With this method, CBD is swallowed, goes through the typical digestion process, and is further broken down by the liver before entering the bloodstream for circulation across the body. That can be a long wait before the effects show up.

The same digestion process applies to all oral applications. This process not only delays CBD’s effects; it reduces the total CBD amount that goes into the bloodstream.

Ingested CBD may take up to an hour or two before the desired effects set in.

Sublingual Doses

Dosing CBD sublingually entails dropping CBD drops beneath the tongue, from where the sublingual glands absorb it into the bloodstream.  This method bypasses the typical digestive tract and liver, releasing a faster-acting effect.  Effects from sublingual doses can set in within a minute or sooner.

The effect may peak in about 30 minutes and stay an hour or two.


Whether puffing heated CBD concentrates from vape devices or smoking CBD-rich hemp strains, inhalation is one of the fastest ways for CBD to reach your bloodstream. This is widely so because of its rapid absorption into the body.

During inhalation, the cannabinoids are drawn directly into the lungs, where a large part is absorbed into the bloodstream for further circulation across the body.

Effects from inhalation strike almost instantly and reach a peak in about three minutes. The results may stay an hour or a bit longer – depending on individual tolerance level and experience.


Transdermal consumption involves using CBD patches to diffuse CBD through skin cells straight into your bloodstream. These options are most ideal for muscle pain and localized skin concerns. CBD patches are a discreet way to deliver CBD into your bloodstream in steady bits over a long period.

Depending on the patch’s formulation, the effects may begin in an hour and last several hours.


Topical CBD application entails using CBD directly on your skin from where it’s absorbed into the bloodstream. This method is commonly recommended for chronic pain in target spots.

Topical applications’ effect may begin in about 20 minutes and peak about 90 minutes after dosage.

Other Factors That Determine How Long It Takes for CBD Oil to Work

Graphic of a woman reflecting metabolism and body weight. Descriptive image to reflect other factors that may determine how long it takes for CBD oil to work.

Besides the different consumption methods, some other individual factors that determine how long it takes for CBD to work includes:

Body Weight

The bigger your body mass, the more CBD concentration is needed to create the desired effect.


We all have different metabolisms. This will affect the speed at which the body processes CBD.


How much CBD you consume, the product’s quality, and CBD concentration, tells a great deal about the effect you get and how long it takes to feel it.

Take Away

How long it takes for CBD oil to work depends on different factors, including whether you consume by inhalation, ingestion, topically, or sublingually.

Other factors such as body weight, metabolism, and dosage are also determinants. 

Regardless of how you choose to use your CBD product, generally, it’s advised to start with low doses and work your way up. A little trial and error, over time, will help you find a tailored dosage.

Feel free to contact us for more information on using CBD or check out our selection of top-quality CBD products.

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