How Long Does it Take for CBD Oil to Work?


Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has exploded in popularity in Canada in recent years. With cannabis legalization, more Canadians are trying this non-intoxicating cannabinoid for its touted wellness benefits. But new CBD consumers often wonder – how long does it take for CBD oil to actually have an effect?

Understanding CBD’s timing and onset is important for managing expectations around the supplement. This guide examines the key factors influencing how long CBD oil takes to kick in and work through your system.

Why CBD Oil Doesn’t Immediately Take Effect

Eager first time CBD users are often dismayed when oil tinctures or capsules don’t provide instant effects. Unlike smoking or vaping which elicit faster responses, CBD can take 30 minutes to over an hour when ingested orally before noticeable changes.

There are explanations why orally-consumed CBD like oils/tinctures, edibles and capsules don’t immediately work:

Absorption Rates Vary

CBD’s bioavailability, or the amount actually absorbed into bloodstream, varies drastically by consumption method. CBD vaping enjoys rapid absorption with a 56% bioavailability rate. However, orally-ingested CBD hovers down around 20% bioavailability making effects much subtler.

Effects Build Over Time

Unlike addictive substances, CBD’s therapeutic effects accrue gradually improving with consistent use. Many daily users report it took anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks before CBD positively impacted pain, anxiety, sleep or other issues. Don’t expect instantly cured conditions from the first dose.

Genetic & Biological Differences

Responses can vary substantially from person to person based on key distinctions like body chemistry and prior cannabis experience influencing tolerance thresholds. These individual differences make standardizing general CBD onset timelines near impossible.

While some feel positive effects in 30 minutes, for many Canadians it can take over an hour before therapeutic benefits materialize from orally-ingested CBD products like oils and edibles.

Tips for Getting Faster CBD Relief

While onset times are highly variable, there are still methods Canadians can try to potentially achieve relief faster from CBD:

Try Alternative Consumption Routes

Vaping and sublingual tinctures hold advantages over traditional ingestion methods for faster absorption into blood vessels and sublingual glands underneath the tongue. Just don’t hold in vape hits too long risking damage to lung tissue.

Take on an Empty Stomach

Consuming CBD oil with high fat meals can greatly reinforce bioavailability and eventual effects. But avoid food for 30-60 minutes before intake to quicken absorption rates. An empty stomach means faster transit into the bloodstream.

Stick to Higher Doses Initially

Dosage matters when judging CBD onset times with higher levels eliciting more rapid responses. While they should not replace official medical guidance, basic dosage calculators provide ballpark estimates on decent starting potencies.

Be warned though that higher doses also elevate the risk of mild side effects like drowsiness, nausea and diarrhea for some. Expert advice remains ideal for tailoring doses to your needs.

While CBD oil does not provide instant effects like vaping or smoking, there are tactics Canadians can implement to potentially improve absorption rates. But adherence and patience over at least a week of use is key for allowing CBD’s effects to compound.



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