In the past few years, three little letters have taken the health and wellness world by storm: CBD!
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is one of more than 110 identified cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Though it’s often confused with another cannabinoid, THC, this substance does not possess the same psychoactive properties. Thus, it cannot get you “high” if taken correctly.
However, it can deliver a soothing and calming sensation that can help treat everything from anxiety to acne. If you’re new to it, you might be wondering, “How fast does CBD work?”
Can you feel the effects instantly or does it take a while to kick in? Read on to discover the answers you need.
Understanding CBD Bioavailability
The answer to this question lies primarily in the way CBD enters your body.
Regardless of the way you take CBD, it will travel first to your gut, liver, and other digestive organs. If it’s able to be absorbed through your intestinal lining, it will then enter your bloodstream and finally, to your endocannabinoid system (ECS).
However, not all CBD will make it all the way to your ECS. In fact, many are stop at the first stage and cannot move past your intestines. The degree to which CBD does enter your bloodstream and become available to your ECS is known as its bioavailability.
Knowing this, let’s take a look at a few factors that can affect the bioavailability of various CBD products.
Method of Consumption
There are myriad ways that you can administer CBD. Of course, consuming it intravenously is the most direct and effective way to ensure it goes directly into your bloodstream. In this case, the CBD bypasses your intestines altogether. However, that’s not the most common, comfortable, or recommended route to take.
Most people take CBD orally, swallowing it via a variety of means, including:
Taken orally, CBD will take the longest to travel to your ECS. Yet, once it’s there, it will be active for the longest time. This makes it the most preferred method for those looking for long-term pain management.
In addition, you can smoke or vape CBD. You can also apply it topically via creams, lotions, and salves.
The weight of the individual user will also impact the time it takes for CBD to take hold. Those with heavier body weights and higher fat cell counts can hold CBD for longer periods of time.
Product Potency and User Dosage
Naturally, a more potent CBD product is going to be absorbed in a quicker and more effective rate than a lower-potency one. The more CBD that a product contains, the higher its bioavailability becomes. For instance, you’ll feel more effects by vaping CBD oil or eating a few CBD gummies than by applying a topical cream that only contains trace amounts of CBD, along with other additives and carrier oils.
How Fast Does CBD Work? Factors to Consider
Naturally, you want to feel the benefits of CBD as soon as possible. However, there are a few factors that can affect that timeline. These include:
- The quality and potency of the CBD product
- Your method of consumption
- The CBD dose you take
- Your personal health factors (weight, other medications, recent diet)
In general, most people begin to feel the effects of CBD within one to six hours of consumption. However, the most important factor in this list is your method of consumption. Depending on how you take CBD, you could feel it much quicker or much later than that.
For example, when you vape CBD, you can feel its soothing effects within five to 10 minutes. This is because the vaporized CBD oil is able to bypass both your liver and digestive tract and enter your bloodstream almost immediately. Conversely, when you ingest CBD orally, it can take the entire six hours to kick in, as it has to travel through your intestines first.
How Long Will It Last?
Once you begin to feel the effects of CBD, you might want the feeling to last forever! Unfortunately, it has to end sometime, but it helps to know what to expect.
The short answer is that the amount of fat you’re storing will have a direct impact on the duration of your CBD sensation.
As CBD isn’t soluble in water (or blood), any excess is stored in your fat cells. From there, the reserve is released gradually into your bloodstream, where it travels to your ECS and other parts of your body.
Thus, the more fat cells you have in your body, the longer your system can store, release, and distribute CBD. As mentioned, while this is one of the factors that affect bioavailability, it isn’t the only one. Your personal health factors, method of consumption, and exact dosage will also play a role. For instance, a higher dose of CBD (between 150 mg and 1500 mg) will be present in your system for longer than a small dose.
Taking all of this into account, it usually takes around one week for your body to completely metabolize a normal dose of CBD.
Enjoying CBD While It Lasts
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the common question, “How fast does CBD work?” The answer will depend on a range of factors that are both personal and practical.
Regardless of the exact way you choose to administer CBD, you can rest assured that as long as you took the recommended dose for your body weight and treatment, you’ll feel the effects!
If you’re seeking relief from physical aches and pains, you might want to skip less-potent applications such as topical lotions and allow more time when you’re taking edibles. In those cases, a more direct form of ingestion, such as IV therapy or vaping, can deliver the quick support you need.
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