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How Long Does CBD Last and How Long Does CBD Take to Work

Catherine DeMuro
May 30, 2019

If you have been investigating the health and wellness potential of CBD, you have likely found numerous resources listing a significant number of reasons to try hemp-derived CBD products. You may have also noticed that very few articles give any indication of how long it would take to notice the effects or how long you might expect those effects to last.

The reason you may have difficulty finding the answers to these important questions is that the answers depend on several factors. Knowing those variables could help lead you to the best product to suit your needs.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a product made with naturally occurring CBD that may help support the communication system regulating many functions in your body.

Where Does CBD Come From?

The product we commonly call CBD oil is extracted from the Cannabis sativa L. plant. It’s the plant extract that contains the CBD (cannabidiol). There are two potential plant sources of CBD, marijuana and hemp. Most of the products available to the average consumer are sourced from non-intoxicating industrial hemp. 

The Effects of CBD on the Body 

Communication throughout your body relies on a complex network of messengers and receptors called the endocannabinoid system. This regulatory system helps to regulate essential functions including your moods and emotions, pain perception, and digestive processes.  Researchers named the endocannabinoid system after the plant that lead investigators to its discovery, cannabis.2

The messengers of this system are called cannabinoids. The cannabinoids made by your body are called endocannabinoids; the prefix endo means “within.” Under the influences of injury, illness, or stress, your body could need more endocannabinoids than it produces. Without enough messengers to interact with key receptors, communication lags.

CBD is a plant-based cannabinoid shown to mimic the effects of your endocannabinoids and influence endocannabinoid receptors. By influencing endocannabinoid receptors, CBD can help restore balance to this essential system.3

How Long Does it Take for CBD to Work? 

Because everyone is different, your CBD experience may not be the same as someone else’s. Some people find CBD works almost immediately; others achieve the results they are looking for after using CBD for a week or two. There are several factors that could influence your experience, including:

  • Delivery Method 

    The way you choose to use CBD has a direct impact on how long it takes to notice effects. Edible products take the longest because CBD must pass through your digestive tract first. It could take nearly two hours to experience the full effects. The effects of oral dosing are typically much faster than edibles. Effects from ingestible CBD products and vaping can often be felt within minutes. Topical CBD products also have a quick delivery time with the potential effects being felt approximately 5-10 minutes after application.

  • CBD Quality and Type

    The quality of your CBD has a direct impact on your experience. Crop growing conditions, extraction methods, and manufacturing processes all affect CBD quality. Poor quality CBD often has significantly lower cannabidiol (CBD) content than manufacturers claim. That’s why it’s essential to purchase high quality CBD from companies that verify the purity and potency of their products with third-party test results. The type of product you select, full spectrum or isolate, could also influence your experience. Many CBD users believe the additional cannabinoids and plant terpenes in full spectrum products contribute to its effectiveness.

  • Body Composition

    Your body composition and metabolism influence the rate of product absorption and the amount of CBD that affects you. Since CBD is attracted to and absorbed by fat, only a percentage of the dose you take will end up circulating in your bloodstream. If your metabolism is slower, it might take longer to notice CBD’s effects. While there are no studies investigating fat cell absorption rates at this time, this hypothesis is based on the properties of the cannabinoids. Many people find they need to adjust their dosage to compensate for fat absorption or metabolism.

First-time CBD users are commonly advised to start with a low dose and increase in small increments until achieving their desired results. Some increase with the next dose, while others choose to give the current dosage time to work before increasing. It could take anywhere from a day to a few weeks to determine the best dosage for your needs. 

How Long Do the Effects of CBD Oil Last? 

The duration of CBD’s effects depends on how long the cannabinoid stays in your system. How long the product remains in your body depends on some of the same factors that affect how long it could take for products to work, including your weight, age, metabolism, and lifestyle choices. How long your effects last will also depend on:

  • Dosage or Quantity Consumed

    A larger dose of CBD may take longer to leave your system than a smaller dose. A smaller dose may need to be repeated more often or can be supplemented with a vape or topical product between doses.

  • Delivery Method or Form of Ingestion

    Your product type also determines how long the effects last. While edibles or capsules take longer to enter your bloodstream, the effects could last 6-8 hours. The effects of vaping can commonly be felt within minutes, but do not last nearly as long as consumable products.

How Long Does CBD Remain in Your System? 

Since investigations of the effects of CBD are still in their infancy, there is no clear answer for how long CBD stays in your system. Preliminary research suggests that in most cases, CBD clears the body quickly, but this depends on a variety of factors.4

CBD Half-Life 

While the effects of CBD are typically apparent for an average of 4-6 hours for ingestible products, it takes quite a bit longer for CBD to clear your system. A small-scale study found that the half-life of a single dose of CBD was 27-35 hours.5 For those who use CBD frequently, the half-life of CBD, the time it takes to metabolize half of any substance, could be 3-7 days or more. 

Where to Find High Quality CBD 

If your CBD is of poor quality, or if the product is not as pure and potent as the manufacturer claims, your product will not likely produce the results you are looking for. Since the quality of your CBD has a direct impact on your experience, it’s important to be able to differentiate the good from the bad.

For high quality CBD, you can trust CBDistillery™. A prominent leader in the hemp industry, the standards we set for ourselves are now included as part of the criteria for achieving certification from the U.S. Hemp Authority™.  The U.S. Hemp Authority seal means that CBDistillery™ has met the hemp industry’s stringent regulatory standards. When you purchase CBDistillery™ products, your CBD is:

  • Sourced from plants cultivated from non-GMO hemp seeds
  • Created from plants grown using natural farming methods
  • Crafted from hemp oil extracted using safe extraction techniques
  • Third-party tested to ensure potency and purity

Of course, any company can claim their products are third-party tested. That’s why CBDistillery™ ensures you can verify the purity and potency of our products. You can view test results within the product images or scan the QR code on product labels to be directed to batch testing information.

The Many Variables Affecting Your CBD Experience

There are numerous variables that influence how long it could take to feel the health and wellness potential of CBD and how long those effects last. Your experience is influenced by product type, product potency, and several personal variables, including your age, body composition, and metabolism. Since everyone is different, each experience is unique. Your unique experience is also influenced by the quality of the products you select.

For high-quality, fairly priced CBD, visit CBDistillery™. With a large assortment of high-quality products, including CBD tinctures, topicals, edibles, and CBD vape pens, it’s easy to find the ideal products to suit your needs and your lifestyle.

 Additional Sources:

  1. Physiology.org. A Lingresti et al. (2016 September 14) From Phytocannabinoids to Cannabinoid Receptors and Endocannabinoids: Pleiotropic Physiological and Pathological Role Through Complex Pharmacology.
  2. Project CBD. (2019) The Endocannabinoid System.
  3. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. E Russo (2016 July 01) Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes.
  4. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. K Iffland, F Grotenhermen (2017 June 01) An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies.
  5. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. I Ujvary, L Hanus (2016 March 01) Human Metabolites of Cannabidiol: A Review on Their Formation, Biological Activity, and Relevance in Therapy
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