How Long Does It Take CBD to Work for Me?

How Long Does It Take CBD to Work for Me?

And how do different types of CBD products differ?

8 August 2022 | Hannah Rubery

How Long Does It Take CBD to Work for Me? (image)

It's a common question for many of those new to CBD, after all if you don’t notice any effects, you might be inclined to stop using CBD. And that can cause a problem because CBD often works better after your body has built up the amount of CBD in your body.

Now it’s vital to understand that CBD doesn’t work the same for everyone. It’s the same with how long it can take to effect people; it differs between most people. This is one of the reasons why its proven so difficult for substantial medical research to be completed, and why it’s not pushed medically as we are unable to quantify the correct dosage yet for people. But let’s look at what can impact on the time it takes for effects, so you can make an informed choice.

What is bioavailability?

You’ve possibly heard this word being thrown around when anyone mentions CBD and its effects. Bioavailability is the proportion of a drug or substance which enters the blood stream when introduced into the body and is able to have an active effect. It might surprise you but often when you take a substance, your body doesn’t make use of all of it because only a certain amount is likely to make it to your blood stream. This is usually down to the method of usage.

For example, using a digestible method for CBD is likely to have a lower bioavailability than CBD oil. This is because when digesting edible CBD treats, the CBD substance must work its way through your digestive system before it can even enter the bloodstream.

The bioavailability for some of the common CBD product types are:
• Topical CBD – Up to 45% (but effects are localised)
• Vaping – Up to 56%
• CBD Oil Drops – 35%
• CBD Edibles – 4-20%
• CBD Bath Bombs – <1%

How you take CBD can impact the speed of effects

Now bioavailability and the speed of effects are two different things. Although vaping CBD has a 30% bioavailability (which means quite a bit of CBD doesn’t even make it into your system), it’s also one of the fastest methods of using CBD.
Cali Greens CBD products (image)
It’s universally noted that inhalation of CBD via vaping is one of the most bioavailable ways to take CBD. The human lungs have such a large surface area that they absorb much more CBD quickly into your blood. It then travels onto your heart and around your body before it passes through the liver where it will be broken down.

Your next best absorption method is CBD oral drops, in particular, those that are taken sublingually (under the tongue). This is because the thin membrane of skin under your tongue allows it to be absorbed directly into the blood vessels. As it isn’t broken down through the digestive system there’s significantly more CBD left available for your body to use.

CBD topicals also offer a high bioavailability but for a different reason. Rather than needing to travel the blood stream to create an effect, CBD topicals interact with the cannabinoid receptors we naturally have in our skin. This therefore means you don’t get the whole body’s benefit of CBD, but it does work for targeting select areas. It’s often used for joints and muscles.

Edibles offer some of the lowest bioavailability for reasons already discussed. Because they have to travel the digestive system most of the CBD ends up being lost in the process, and never makes it into the blood stream. You can improve the amount of CBD you get from these by chewing them for longer. Especially in the case of capsules or liquid, holding it in your mouth and under your tongue for a short time before swallowing, can help to some extent.

Dosage and strength of CBD

Of course, if you take a stronger CBD strength, you’re more likely to get a stronger effect but not necessarily any quicker. For example, if you are using a CBD vape with 150mg three times a day, and a 1000mg CBD vape three times a day, the time it takes to affect you won’t differ, but the strength of those effects will. Likewise, if you take CBD regularly, you’re more likely to experience the effects more than those who use it from time to time.

Understanding your perfect dosage and strength is key to getting the most out of CBD. We advise to start low and slow. By using a low strength CBD product for a week and gradually increasing until you find the ideal strength/dosage is key. It can take a few weeks for the effects to become noticeable so just take your time. You can even keep track of your dosages/strengths and any effects you may notice to give you a better understanding.

Cali Greens wellness (image)

How our bodies can impact on CBD effects

It speaks for itself that our bodies are unique so what works for one may not necessarily work for you. As CBD works with our biology, things like our metabolism, weight, digestive health and even DNA can impact on CBD usage. Someone with a higher metabolism is likely to process CBD faster which means the CBD becomes readily available for your body quicker. This could also mean that you burn through the CBD quicker due to your metabolism especially at lower dosages/strengths.

Unfortunately, at the moment there is no definitive guidance for this aspect due to the true versatility of CBD and our bodies. It really is a case of trial and error to discover what works best for you!

Read our article on 8 things you need to know before trying CBD, to clear up some more questions.

Have you found your optimum CBD method, strength and dosage? Let us know in the comments below and they may help others find their perfect way to take CBD.