When starting a CBD wellness regimen, it’s only natural to wonder how long it will take to experience results. The unsatisfying, yet accurate, answer is that it can vary.
FEELING THE EFFECTS
CBD affects the body the same day it is ingested. However, the onset differs depending on how it is taken. Estimates vary but generally fall into this range:
- Sublingual: 15 to 60 minutes; moderate absorption with systemic effects lasting under 6 hours.
- Oral: 60 to 90 minutes; low absorption with systemic effects lasting 4-12 hours.
- Topical: 20 to 40 minutes; low-moderate absorption with localized effects lasting under 4 hours.
- Transdermal: 20 to 40 minutes; moderate-high absorption with localized and systemic effects lasting under 6 hours.
- Liposomal: liposomes accelerate effects and maximize absorption.
Individuals respond to CBD uniquely. We all have different metabolism and endocannabinoid tone. Endocannabinoid tone refers to our sensitivity to CBD; it is affected by genetics and lifestyle factors that include diet and sleep. This means that the same sublingual dose may not work for two people. Sublingual administration may not even be ideal for everyone.
CBD is not a psychoactive substance. It will not create a ‘high,’ in fact, effects are subtle. It can take several days on a regimen to notice significant shifts in subjective feeling. Some individuals may not notice changes for several weeks. The consumer should stay with a regimen for 5-7 before titrating dose, and allow several weeks before switching methods.
For example, after a week or two of daily CBD, an individual suffering knee pain notices the pain is less intense and more manageable. It’s also possible for this to happen the very first time they take CBD.
Someone treating a skin-related issue with topical CBD may notice diminishment in several days, but it can take weeks to dissipate completely. An individual using CBD for low-level anxiety may not perceive improvements until a friend notices they are demonstrating more confident behavior. Then they realize, yes, I do feel more at ease.
Maintaining CBD and phytocannabinoid levels may ripple to long-term wellness over the course of months and years. CBD clears from the body fairly quickly (total clearance is usually estimated at several days to a week) [1-2]. Routine dosing is necessary to keep physiological concentrations consistent.
Most research on CBD centers on the short-term treatment of ailment or illness. Relief of conditions such as chronic back pain prompts most users to continue without a second thought.
A consistent wellness regimen may improve sleep, which cascades into all health variables. Neuroprotective, antioxidant, and immune benefits may work under the radar and boost health without consumer perception. In theory, enhancing and upregulating the endocannabinoid system has the potential to effect changes well beyond the treatment of pain or a symptom of illness.
In this broader paradigm, a CBD wellness regimen is lifelong, and benefits integrate into optimal overall health.
- Devinsky, O. et al. (2014). Cannabidiol: Pharmacology and Potential Therapeutic Role in Epilepsy and Other Neuropsychiatric Disorders. Epilepsia,55(6), 791-802. doi:10.1111/epi.12631
- Millar, S. A., et al. (2018). A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans. Frontiers in Pharmacology,9. doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.01365