If you have an interest in your health, then you have probably heard about CBD by now. It’s the cannabis-derived compound that’s taking the wellness world by storm.
But it can be somewhat confusing when you first learn about CBD. There are so many types of products, from oils to edibles. So how do you know which product is best for you? Well, knowing how long CBD takes to work depending on the method of consumption is vital.
If you know this, you can make a well-informed decision when choosing what CBD product is right for you. In this article, you’ll learn all you need to know about each method of CBD and how long until you can expect to feel the effects.
What’s the fuss about CBD?
CBD is earning quite the reputation. It is being called a miracle cure by some. A healthy addition to one’s diet by others. But why? What is the fuss about?
Well, there are a number of reasons why scientists, doctors and health-conscious people alike are getting excited about CBD. Recent scientific research is showing the non-intoxicating cannabis compound to offer many health benefits.
CBD has been found to be a potent anti-inflammatory, anti-depressantm and analgesic (pain reliever). It has also generated much attention for its ability to reduce seizures in those suffering from epilepsy.
Types of CBD products
As the popularity of CBD has exploded, the number of CBD products that have become available has soared. This is a good thing. No matter what your preference or needs, their will a CBD-containing product to suit you. Let’s take a look a some of them.
- CBD oil
Oils are probably the most common CBD products on the market. They come in a variety of mixtures and concentrations. They can be applied under the tongue (sublingually), through the skin (topically), or mixed with food or drink.
- CBD vape juice
Just like the nicotine e-juices that are very popular, CBD e-juices can are also widely available in a variety of strengths. They are convenient, discreet and fast acting.
- CBD isolate
This is a concentrated form of CBD, usually sold as powder or crystals. CBD isolate is very versatile and can be consumed in a number of ways.
- CBD edibles
That’s right, CBD can be enjoyed as part of your favorite snack. Common CBD edibles include gummy bears, baked goods, and drinks.
- CBD balms and salves
Balms and salves are popular CBD products for their ability to target specific areas through the skin. Again, different blends and strengths are available.
- CBD capsules
Usually containing a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil and CBD, capsules are a discreet and convenient way to consume CBD.
Methods of consumption
Despite all these flashy products, there are only a few main methods of consuming CBD. We’re going to explain each one and discuss its pros and cons.
- Vaporization or smoking
When CBD is smoked or vaporized, it is inhaled into the lungs and quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. Smoking or vaping CBD a popular choice for those suffering from pain or other uncomfortable conditions.
CBD oils are usually consumed by putting a few drops under the tongue. This part of the mouth readily absorbs CBD straight into your bloodstream, allowing it to get to work quickly.
CBD balms, salves and oils can be applied directly to the skin to be absorbed into the blood. These topical products are useful for targeting specific areas, such as sore or inflamed joints, cuts and abrasions, or tired muscles.
- When eaten
Taking CBD along with food or drink, or simply swallowing CBD oil, is not always the most efficient method of administering CBD. Not all of the CBD makes it into the bloodstream, and it can also take a while to take effect.
- Via a suppository
Perhaps not the most desirable method of administering CBD, suppositories are pretty efficient, however. They offer fast and effective absorption and are not as uncomfortable as you would imagine.
How does CBD work?
CBD works by interacting with a number of different biological pathways to a wide range of effects. The details of these interactions are still being researched and worked out by scientists, but we do have a solid understanding of the basic mechanisms at play.
First of all, let us clear up a common misconception; that CBD binds to cannabinoid receptors in our body. While we do have what’s known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS), CBD does not bind to either of the two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). This is unlike THC, the most well-known cannabinoid, which binds to the CB1 receptor to cause euphoria, or a ‘high’.
CBD, on the other hand, activates several non-cannabinoid receptors and ion channels. One of the most important receptors that CBD interacts with is the 5-HT1A (hydroxytryptamine) serotonin receptor. Activation of this receptor results in anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects.
It is also worth noting that CBD directly interacts with various ion channels, such as TRPV1 receptors. TRPV1 is known to regulate pain perception, inflammation and body temperature. Additionally, CBD activates the adenosine receptor, which can promote bone and heart health
So, how long does CBD take to work?
This is not a question that a sweeping statement can answer. Along with the method of consumption, a number of factors come into play discussing how long CBD takes to work.
These factors can include dose, diet, time of last meal, body fat percentage, mood, current health status, and more.
We can generalize, however, how long each method of consumption is likely to take and how long the effects will last. So let’s break it down...
As previously mentioned, when CBD is vaporized or smoked, it almost immediately is absorbed into the blood via the lungs. This makes it very fast acting and the CBD can get to receptors in the brain and body quickly. The effects of CBD consumed in this way may not last much longer than 1-3 hours, however. For many conditions, this means constant ‘topping up’ is required throughout the day.
This is also a relatively speedy way of getting CBD into your bloodstream. It is absorbed directly under the tongue and should take effect with 5-20 minutes. Effects can last for up to 3-4 hours, depending on the dose. This is perhaps the most popular way to consume CBD.
Usually used to treat pains and skin problem, topical CBD is generally not very fast acting. Effects can take up to an hour or more to be felt. However, they do last for up to five hours or more.
CBD capsules, edibles and oils can all be consumed orally. This method is certainly not the quickest way of getting the effects of CBD, however. As the edible has to go through the digestive system and be absorbed via the gut lining, it can take anywhere between 20 minutes to two hours for the effects to take hold. Of course, this depends largely on how much you have had to eat and how recently. On an empty stomach, effects can take as little as 20 minutes.
As mentioned previously, CBD suppositories are remarkably efficient. They have a high absorption rate and effects generally take around 10-20 minutes to be noticed. Effects are also pretty long lasting. Perhaps up to five hours or more, depending on the dose.
Is it working?
So you’ve chosen the CBD product that is best for you, you’ve got home and you’re ready to try it. But how will you know if it’s working or not? Well, there are some things to look out for.
Firstly, many people report a sense of calm and even warmth come over their body. Some will notice that they feel a little cheerier or ‘lighter’. If you have ongoing pain, you may well feel it start to subside. And general mind chatter may also slow down.
Of course, there are a lot of variables at play here. If you are using CBD to treat a certain condition, this may well affect the how CBD works in your body. Also, the dose has a huge influence on noticeable effects. Higher doses work for some, while others need only a small amount in order to achieve their desired results.
For some people, they may not feel anything even after a high dose. Often with these people, it will take a day or two of consistent dosing for the CBD to take effect. About three-quarters of people notice results within the first three days. The other quarter may need longer - up to a week - before considering the fact that CBD might just not work for them.
When it comes to CBD, essentially, every person will react in their own unique way. For some, the effects will come on thick and fast, while for others it may take a little longer to notice.
There are many things to consider when estimating how long your CBD product will take to work. The most important of these is the method of application and the size of the dose.
Some methods are more fast-acting than others, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is, therefore, advisable for you to experiment in order to find out which works best for you.
At the end of the day, consistent regular use of a high-quality product is the most important thing. Stick to this and it’s likely you’ll soon notice an array of benefits. These may even increase over time as your body's immune and central nervous system are brought into balance.