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How Long Does It Take CBD Oil to Work?

How long does it take CBD oil to work? We’ve all been there. You’ve just purchased a non-intoxicating CBD oil or hemp oil product, settled on a method of ingestion, and taken your first dose. You want to feel the effects of wellness as soon as possible. But when do they really kick in?

The answer to this question depends on two closely intertwined factors—ingestion method and form. Why are they intertwined? Because the form in which you buy your CBD oil often informs the method by which you ingest it. So if you buy an edible? You’re probably going to be consuming it orally. If you buy a tincture? You might consume it orally, or you might choose to consume it sublingually (under the tongue). If you’re using a topical, you’re going to be applying the CBD to your skin.

Let’s take a look at how long it takes CBD oil to work in several different scenarios.

How long does it take CBD oil to work if I vaporize It?  

Using a vape pen is one of the most common and effective methods by which you might choose to take CBD oil. When you vape CBD, the CBD oil is heated just enough to turn into vapor, at which point you inhale it. Vaping is, flat out, one of the fastest ways to feel relief, as the act of directly inhaling the CBD into your lungs allows it to reach your bloodstream 30 to 60 minutes faster.

The speediness here is mostly due to a phenomenon known as bioavailability. Depending upon the method by which you consume CBD, only a certain percentage of that CBD will enter your bloodstream. When you vape CBD, because the vapor travels directly to your lungs, up to 50 to 60 percent of the CBD enters your bloodstream.

If you’re looking for fast-acting relief from pain, nausea, anxiety, or another ailment, vaping CBD is one of the more effective ways to get it.

How long does it take CBD oil to work in edible form?

If you’re baking CBD oil into a sugary confection, or even just infusing your dinner with it, you should expect it to take a little bit longer for the effects to kick in. This is because when you eat a CBD edible, your CBD takes on the digestive properties of the food it is in. So if takes your body longer to digest that cookie, it will take it longer to digest your CBD.

When consuming an edible infused with CBD oil, effects can take 30 minutes to two hours to kick in. The bioavailability of the CBD is also going to be lower—around 15%—because it has to pass through the liver before being dispersed into the bloodstream. Still, edibles are known to produce longer-lasting effects, than, say, vape pens, so if you’re looking for longevity over fast relief, they are not a bad option.

If you’re looking to speed up the process, try putting some CBD oil in your coffee in the morning, or washing down a couple CBD capsules with a healthy amount of water.

How long does it take CBD oil to work if I apply it?

CBD lotions and topicals have been shown to reduce joint inflammation and make muscle pain more bearable, but how long does it take for effects to set in? CBD lotions typically do not kick in for over an hour; but like edibles, the effects are longer-lasting—sometimes up to 5 hours.

If you’re a long-standing sufferer of arthritis or some other physical pain, keep in mind that CBD lotions will not cure years worth of pain, and the feeling of relief won’t be dramatic. The effects are more subtle, and the idea is to make your pain more bearable and manageable with each usage.

How long does it take CBD oil to work in tincture form?

CBD tinctures are produced by steeping cannabis flowers or isolates in a high-proof grain alcohol, then applying low heat for a significant span of time. As a result, CBD oil in tincture form is more potent, and you should adjust your dosage accordingly.

A common way to consume CBD tincture is by mixing it with liquids—with your coffee or your tea—but perhaps even more common is under the tongue (sublingually). Most tinctures come with pinpoint droppers that allow you to succinctly and discreetly place a drop or two under your tongue. Wait time for sublingual ingestion is typically around 15 to 30 minutes.

Considering your wellness goal

Odds are, you are probably using CBD products with a specific outcome in mind—not just “wellness,” but a specific flavor of wellness. For instance: how long does it take CBD to work for anxiety? How long does it take CBD to work for pain? And that’s fine—but those questions start delving into more subjective territory (the length and nature of your pain or anxiety, your tolerance to CBD, etc.).

While these factors are certainly determinant in how long it will take you to feel the effects of your CBD, the most important thing to take into consideration is how you’re ingesting or administering your product. Don’t just double or triple your dosage out of impatience—consider the form and the method by which you’re ingesting your CBD, and take the time to let the effects take hold as intended.

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