Here's How Long It Takes to Feel the Effects of CBD

Plus the preferred method for feeling it fastest.

CBD oil is a top trendy ingredient on the market right now. It's so popular, in fact, that revenues from products made with CBD are projected to grow to $20 billion by 2024.

So what is CBD, exactly? Here's a quick refresher: CBD is a naturally occurring compound present in the flowers and leaves of cannabis plants. There's no THC in it, which means it can't get you high, no matter how much you take.

CBD is compelling for its laundry list of promising purported health benefits, from reduced muscle pain and anxiety to help with nausea, insomnia, and inflammation. CBD products are not approved by the FDA, though it "recognizes the potential opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds may offer and acknowledges the significant interest in these possibilities." Research on CBD's perks is ongoing, but in the meantime, many Americans are eager to test out the positive potential of this ingredient.

If you're wondering whether it's time to jump on the CBD bandwagon, you're not alone. But as with any new food, drink, or supplement, it's best to start slow—and smart.

A common question among those trying CBD for the first time: How long it will take to have an effect on your body? According to Boris Shcharansky, the chief operating officer at Papa & Barkley, the length of time depends largely on the dosing method. Here's a simple breakdown.

Topical Forms of CBD

CBD topical products, like balm, ointments, and lotions, should take effect almost immediately. Once you apply these products, you should start feeling relief within about 15 minutes.

Ingestible Forms of CBD

For ingestible products, like tinctures, capsules, and gummies, the results can vary. When kept under the tongue, tinctures are typically absorbed within 30 seconds, and the effects are felt within 15 minutes. When ingesting CBD (i.e., swallowing it or consuming a food that contains CBD), you can expect to feel the effects within about 45 minutes to two hours.

Dosing

You may have aches, inflammation, or other issues that you're hoping to soothe with CBD stat, but be wary of taking high doses early on. Instead, wait the appropriate period of time before increasing the dose. "Ingesting CBD is typically associated with more attentiveness, less anxiety, and less inflammatory-related pain," explains Shcharansky. "While higher doses—over 200 milligrams—have been associated with drowsiness." In other words, dosing should be determined systematically on an individual basis.

To feel the effects of CBD as quickly as possible, Shcharansky recommends taking a tincture sublingually: Drop it under your tongue, wait a few seconds, and swallow.

"But the benefits of CBD are less about immediate effects and more about cumulative benefits," he explains. "If you take CBD daily, you'll continuously reduce your inflammation, which over time, should reduce your pain and keeps flare-ups at bay."

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