According to a Gallup poll from last year, 1 in 7 or 14% of American adults report that they have used a CBD product before. The numbers go up for 18-29 year olds, 20% of whom said that they have used a CBD product at least once. They are followed by 16% of 30-49 year olds and 11% of 50-64 year olds. Once you get to 65 years old and older, only about half of respondents were even familiar with CBD. With that said, however, 8% of that oldest age group still reported using the products at least once.
With all these people using or trying CBD products for a wide variety of different health ailments, many have questions about how soon they will start to experience its benefits after they start consuming it. In other words, how long does it take CBD to start working in your body?
When Does CBD Start to Work?
Generally speaking, CBD is absorbed into the user’s bloodstream within about 20 minutes to 2 hours. Variables that affect how long it takes to reach your blood include the following:
- The type of product/delivery method
- CBD dosage
- Whether the CBD is isolate or full spectrum
- The quality of the CBD
- How consistent you consume CBD
Here’s the thing, though, just because the CBD enters your blood does not necessarily mean that you are going start experiencing its positive effects right away. It takes time to build up in your system, by some estimates up to four to six weeks of consuming it consistently.
How CBD Works
CBD affects the body by working through our endocannabinoid system (ECS), a biochemical communication highway made up of receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes. Essentially, this system helps maintain balance in our bodies by initiating changes throughout the nervous system and other bodily systems. Once absorbed in the body, CBD triggers the cannabinoid receptors in this system which them help regulate certain body functions.
An effective endocannabinoid system promotes homeostasis (balance) by controlling functions like appetite, sleep, mood, pain response, and immune response. Studies suggest that these balancing effects could be beneficial for treating conditions like epilepsy, anxiety, chronic pain, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease.
What CBD and other cannabinoids are able to do is tap into this vast communication network. Just like your body’s endocannabinoids, CBD can bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, instead of fully triggering them, it temporarily modifies what other endocannabinoids are able to bind with the receptors. This is why CBD is thought to modify bodily responses like inflammation, stress, arthritis and other conditions.
CBD Needs to Build Up in Your System
The thing is, the benefits that may result from CBD’s interaction with the ECS will not all happen overnight. As CBD builds up in your body, it can stimulate an increase in cannabinoid receptors found throughout the endocannabinoid system. With more receptors, the ECS becomes more active and more sensitive to further triggering by cannabinoids (like CBD).
By consistently consuming CBD every day, you can maintain a sustained level of the cannabinoids in your body, leading to a more effective endocannabinoid system and improved homeostasis.
CBD Is Not an Intoxicant or a Miracle Drug
The key thing to remember is that CBD does not have an intoxicating effect like its cousin cannabinoid, THC. Many people have the false perception that as soon as they drop some CBD under their tongue, they are going feel relief akin to taking a powerful opioid pain pill, or have a sensation similar to when they inhale or consume marijuana. This is not the case. You will not experience a state of euphoria and will probably not experience instant relief the first time you take it.
It takes time.
Factors that Affect How Soon You Feel the Benefits of CBD
The fact of the matter is that the amount of time it takes for an individual to notice the benefits of CBD will vary from person to person. As we already mentioned, how quickly you feel CBD depends on a variety factors that can change from person to person. We go more in depth into those below:
Mode of Consumption – Everybody’s body is different, and that means that different people respond differently to certain modes of consumption. CBD products can be ingested orally, inhaled, or applied to the skin in the form of creams or lotions. Inhaling CBD through vaping is often recognized as the fastest way to get feel the effects because inhalation bypasses the digestive tract. Oral consumption of CBD, on the other hand, is typically thought of as the slowest delivery method, because it must pass through your digestive tract and be filtered by the liver.
CBD Dosage – Aside from the mode of consumption, the dosage of CBD that you take also plays a large role in how quickly you will experience its positive effects. You can pay attention to recommended dosages on CBD products, but it really comes down to your own particular body. Therefore, it is necessary to experiment with dosage, start with a low dose and slowly increase it over time until you find your “sweet spot.”
Body Type – As with the majority of drugs or medications or substances you consume, your body type, weight, and metabolism all play a role in how and how quickly you feel the effects of CBD. For this reason, even if two people consume the same dosage of CBD at the same exact time, it’s likely that they will experience the effects differently and at a different rate. If someone has a larger body mass, then they will likely need a larger dosage. Your metabolic rate will determine how quickly the CBD enters your bloodstream if you are consuming it orally. Additionally, other factors like your level of stress or other unique health conditions will affect how and how fast CBD can impact your health.
Amount of Time Consuming CBD – Like we mentioned, many CBD users find that taking a daily dose allows them to sustain a level of CBD in their body, stimulating their endocannabinoid system and causing it to react more to external cannabinoids like CBD. Think of consuming CBD like a commitment—people typically report that they need to ingest it for several weeks or even several months before they see a difference with whatever health issue they are trying to improve.
Should I Start Taking CBD?
With daily and consistent use, many people are experiencing huge benefits in a wide variety of ailments and health issues. By helping your ECS maintain balance, CBD may help give your body a chance to repair and start making you feel better. But it takes time to bring your body back into balance. The primary potential benefit of consuming CBD is that it better arms your body for future health issues and gives you fighting chance of overcoming them.
But Rome wasn’t built in a day.