As legal restrictions over cannabis-based products relax, the popularity of CBD continues to rise. As more people are introduced to CBD, many of them are wanting to learn as much as they can about the compound, as well as how they can maximize its effectiveness by knowing exactly how to use it.
One big question that is often asked by those new to CBD is: how long does it take until the CBD starts to work?
There are a number of aspects that are linked with the mechanisms behind how long it takes for CBD to work. Let’s take a look at exactly what these mechanisms are, and how long you can expect it to be between taking CBD and feeling it start to work.
What Is CBD?
Before we dive into the details behind CBD, it’s important that we know exactly what CBD is.
CBD – or cannabidiol – is a chemical compound that is extracted from the cannabis Sativa plant. It has become popular in recent years in the health and wellness markets, mainly due to a combination of the ease of use, coupled with the relaxing of legal restrictions surrounding cannabis in many states.
It is often extracted and separated from another main compound found in cannabis – THC. THC – or tetrahydrocannabinol – is the main psychoactive element of marijuana. It is responsible for the “high”, or feeling of intoxication that marijuana is famous for.
It is important to understand the difference between these compounds, due to the fact that THC is still strictly regulated by law, while CBD is not. While the two compounds are closely connected, CBD will not intoxicate its users.
How Does CBD Work?
To understand the mechanism behind how CBD works within the human body – and therefore understanding how long it can take to feel its effects – it’s important to know a bit more about the endocannabinoid system.
The ECS – or endocannabinoid system – is part of the nervous system, and is present in every human body.
Cannabinoids that are produced naturally within the human body all travel through the ECS to every part of the human body. By connecting to different receptors they then influence the wellbeing and various function within the body.
CBD is very similar to these cannabinoids that are found within the human body. This similarity means that the CBD can travel through the ECS and make use of the same systems in order to influence health and wellness.
How You Take It Makes a Difference
CBD can be taken in many different ways. As you might expect, how you take the compound can have a massive impact on how long it takes to feel its effects.
Each different method of taking CBD means that before it can affect the body, it must first pass through different biological systems. Some of these systems can impact just how much of an effect CBD can have on a person. This is known as the CBD’s bioavailability. This means how much of the CBD is available to impact that body, once it has passed through these different systems.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and common ways of taking CBD, and how these can affect the bioavailability of the chemical.
Vaping as a whole has boomed in popularity in recent years. This has coincided with the rise of CBD in the mainstream marketplace. Naturally, this means that there are an increasing amount of CBD vaping products available to consumers.
Vaping is responsible for particularly high bioavailability. This is because the vapor – containing the CBD – is inhaled directly into the lungs. The lungs, in turn, have a lot of capillaries and blood vessels, all of which mean that the CBD can travel immediately into the bloodstream.
Due to this, you can expect to feel the effects of CBD incredibly quickly, even as quickly as two or three minutes. The effects will also be more potent than other methods.
While ingestion might not be the most efficient method of taking CBD, it can be useful if you are looking for a gentler, more steady experience that lasts longer.
As the CBD has to pass through the digestive system before reaching the bloodstream, there are more chances for it to degrade. This can happen especially in the gut, as the various digestive chemicals work to degrade the compound before it has a chance to interact with the body’s ECS.
This means that the effects of ingesting CBD can take anywhere between one and a half to four hours to be felt.
Another common method of taking CBD is sublingually – or below the tongue.
While on the face of things this method of taking CBD may seem the same as ingesting it, it actually has very different results.
Just as there are in the lungs, there are also a great number of blood vessels that are close to the surface below the tongue. This means that the CBD – typically in an oil medium – can be dropped beneath the tongue and absorbed directly into the bloodstream. It is still not as quick as vaping, however. It usually takes a couple of hours before any effects of the CBD can be felt.
This kind of application is slightly different from the others we have talked about. Topical CBD application is when a product is applied directly to an area of the body – for example, CBD lotion is massaged into the skin.
This is a bad way to feel general CBD effects, as it is very difficult to absorb enough CBD into your bloodstream to feel these effects. It is, however, effective to help in localized areas of the body. For example, rubbing CBD lotion into your arm may mean you feel some effects in that spot fairly soon after application.
When taking any kind of CBD product, it’s vitally important to remember that the dosage you take matters.
It may seem obvious, but the more CBD you take in one go, then the stronger the effects you experience will be. What does not change, however, is how long it will take to feel them.
For example, even if you ingest a large dose of CBD, it still must travel through your digestive system, losing its bioavailability as it goes. This means that it will still take a few hours before you feel anything. But when you do, the effects will probably be more intense.
So – How Long Until You Feel The Effects of CBD?
As we have seen, there are several things to keep in mind when figuring out exactly how long you can expect to wait between taking CBD and feeling its effects. But really, all you need to remember is a simple rule of thumb.
How you take your CBD is the main deciding factor. More direct methods, such as vaping or dropping CBD oil beneath your tongue will lead to a much quicker response. Whereas less direct methods such as ingesting CBD food supplements or using topical products will lead to a much longer wait.
So, make sure you know how quickly you want to feel the effects of CBD when you are taking it, and adjust your methods to fit your needs. Thankfully, there is more information on CBD and its related products than ever before, so making the decision that is right for you has never been easier!