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August 16, 2020

How Long it Takes for CBD to Start Working

Estimated Read Time: 5 min

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By Valerie Orta on August 16, 2020

The time it takes for CBD benefits to kick-in depends on a number of factors. Want to know the fastest way to deliver CBD? Read this informative article to learn how it all works.

If you're new to CBD, you no doubt have questions about what to expect. One of the most common questions people have when first starting out is -- How long does it take for CBD to work? And how long do the effects of CBD last?

If you're wondering these questions, you're not alone. Yes, CBD products have popped up in stores everywhere you go, and many already experience the compound's positive physical and mental wellness outcomes for themselves. But if it's not yet a part of your health routine, you're rightfully going to wonder how long to expect to wait before CBD kicks in.

To add some complexity, there's no one exact answer. How long it takes for CBD to work depends on a handful of factors. This article will help to shed some light on the topic.

How long does it take for CBD to work?

When considering the time it takes for CBD to work, it's first important to point out that, as with many things surrounding the body, there’s no one answer that fits every user.

There are several variables to take into account; no two people experience CBD in quite the same way. However, by understanding factors that play into how CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, we can start to develop an idea of what to expect.

The wait time for the effects of CBD depends on variables such as:

Personal attributes:

  • Bodyweight: People who weigh more tend to have more fat cells, which means they can absorb and store more CBD.
  • Metabolic rate: A fast metabolism will break down CBD components faster, and slower metabolisms will break it down slower.


  • How often you’re using CBD: You might feel it more quickly if it’s your first time.

Method of absorption:

  • The type of product you’re using, and how it enters your system.

Method of consumption impacts how quickly CBD takes effect

The way you consume CBD will impact how quickly you feel its effects. Different consumption methods involve varying biological systems and how quickly CBD eventually reaches your bloodstream so that it can start having positive effects.

Keep in mind this is only meant to provide a rough idea. You may experience different absorption rates - trial and error and trying out different forms of CBD is the best tactic to figure out how it will affect you.


Inhalation is the fastest method, and includes CBD vape pens, and smokable hemp flower. When you inhale CBD, you may feel its calming benefits within minutes, or even faster. The lungs absorb CBD oil very quickly.

Sublingual (aka "Under the Tongue")

The sublingual method involves holding liquid-form CBD -- most commonly in the form of a CBD tincture -- under the tongue for 30-60 seconds is also a good way to absorb CBD quickly, but usually not quite as fast as inhalation.

Ingestion (Swallowing

Ingestion of CBD in the form of tinctures, CBD gummies, and capsules, is a slower process. Swallowing CBD may take up to 90 minutes for CBD to reach the bloodstream and start taking effect. These types of products are better for maintaining a baseline amount of CBD in the body with a daily CBD routine.


With topicals products, such as CBD balms and gels, you may start to notice skin nourishing and soothing benefits almost immediately. When addressing sores muscles or overworked joints, it might take up to 30-90 minutes before the muscles start to respond.

Fast isn't everything, consistency also matters

Keep in mind that using CBD on a regular basis can help balance your ongoing wellness - if you use it routinely, maintaining a consistent state of calm and balance is the goal, not feeling drastically different with each singular use.

Understanding your body and knowing how to use CBD is important - because using it to its full potential is when you’ll experience the most reliable and most enjoyable effects.

How long does CBD stay in your system?

This is yet another question that doesn’t come with a simple answer. It too depends on some factors: method of consumption, body type, and potency of the CBD products you’re using.

Research suggests that it takes roughly 2 to 5 days for CBD to completely metabolize in the body, but that doesn’t necessarily hold true for everyone. For someone with a higher fat concentration, it would take a longer amount of time. But generally, up to a week - give or take a day or two - is a good estimation of how long CBD remains in the body.

If you're worried about CBD and drug tests, you'll be happy to hear that CBD itself does not usually show up on a test. Most drug tests screen for past signs of THC.

We’re all unique.

Again, the big takeaway here is that CBD affects everyone and their bodies differently. No two people have the same way of processing food and drinks, and the same can be said for CBD.

Though they might experience them at different times, most people who use CBD will be able to enjoy its relaxing and positive effects on the mind and on the body. If you're just starting out with CBD, take a look at our guide for CBD for beginners. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Koi Customer service.

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