How Long Do The Effects of CBD Last?

By December 21, 2018 No Comments

How long do the effects of CBD last is another frequently asked question about the cannabinoid. CBD affects each person differently. Much of the answer to this question depends on you and your body. Depending on the dose and type of CBD you use, the effects can last between 2 and 8 hours – we’ll explain the differences below.

Allow your Body Time to Adjust

New CBD users often expect to notice a different right away. For some, this is true. Others may need to give their bodies some time to adjust.

Some things that are factors in how long the effects of CBD will last for you include:

  • Dosage size
  • Metabolism
  • Severity of symptoms
  • Type of CBD taken

The delivery method that you choose does make a difference.

Delivery Method Matters

The CBD industry has advanced, making several different types of products available. CBD oil products are popular as they typically work faster. The oil is absorbed sublingually as it sits under your tongue. This allows the cannabinoid to start entering your body a little faster.

CBD flower is usable in dry herb vaporizers. It is also ideal for use in a pipe, bong, joint or blunt. CBD flower contains more THC than a CBD oil product that is derived from hemp. Make sure that you research the CBD flower’s strain information to see the full cannabinoid profile.

Common CBD Delivery Methods:

  • Tincture
  • Topical
  • Capsule
  • Edibles
  • Beverages
  • Vape

Vaping and tinctures are two of the most common delivery methods.


CBD oil vape is one of the quickest delivery methods. There are tiny air sacs in your lungs called alveoli. Alveoli are responsible for allowing fast gaseous exchanges, meaning that they absorb the CBD you’re inhaling quickly. This allows the CBD to enter the bloodstream a little faster for distribution throughout your body.

While there aren’t any actual “effects” felt since CBD is non-intoxicating, what’s meant by effects is a reduction in symptom severity. The reduction in symptom severity can be noticed almost instantaneously. The effects of CBD vape often last between 2 and 3 hours.


Applying CBD directly to the skin offer localized relief to a specific area of the body . Topicals are classified as lotions, salves, rubs, creams, transdermal patches and balms. Your skin begins absorbing the CBD almost immediately. Those using topicals experience near instant relief.

You may have heard about cannabinoids needing the endocannabinoid system to communicate with in order for CBD and other cannabinoids to work. The endocannabinoid system, according to research, is also present in several types of cells of the skin. Its presence is noted in hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are responsible for producing oil, called sebum.

CBD topicals may also include essential oils. Some essential oils include terpenes that aid in alleviating symptoms. Common essential oils in CBD topicals include eucalyptus oil, lemongrass, camphor and clove oil. Clove oil is often suggested for dental pain for its anesthetic-like properties.

Some topicals may take up to 20 minutes to begin working. The effects can last as long as 6 hours.

This delivery method is one of the longer lasting CBD options.

Edibles and Beverages

When CBD is consumed in edible form, it must be digested before it makes its way through the body. The liver must breakdown the edible after it’s been through the digestive tract. On a full stomach, it may take longer for a CBD edible to take effect.

On average, the digestive process is 45 minutes to 1 hour. When a CBD-infused beverage is consumed, some of the CBD is absorbed sublingually. This is also the case with hard candies and suckers. When a sublingual ingestion method is used, it starts working a little faster.

The effects of CBD via edibles and beverages lasts an average of 4-6 hours depending on the dosage.

CBD Capsules

Just like edibles, capsules need time to digest. There are two types of CBD capsules – those that are gel capsules filled with CBD oil and those that are a hard capsule made from dried CBD oil. Liquid gel capsules may breakdown faster. Solid capsules may take the same amount of time as an edible – 45 minutes to an hour.

During the digestive process, the CBD molecules are metabolized by multiple enzymes. Through this process, the actual concentration of CBD that passes to the bloodstream decreases.

The effects of capsules often last between 6 and 8 hours depending on the dose.

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CBD Tinctures

Tinctures are another fast-acting delivery method for CBD. To use a tincture, empty the dropper under your tongue and hold it for 1 full minute. Swallow all of the liquid.

There are mucus membranes under your tongue that start absorbing the CBD, allowing it to travel right to your bloodstream. Expect to notice effects in as little as 3 – 5 minutes.

The full effects of CBD tinctures take 20 to 30 minutes to kick in. You can expect to feel its effects for 4 to 6 hours.

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CBD Inhalers

CBD inhalers are not available in all medical cannabis markets. When available, the inhalers are popular for their ease of use and quick delivery of CBD. A CBD inhaler works exactly the same way as an asthma inhaler.

A CBD inhaler also provides a measured dose.

When pressing on the canister, it may feel like a dry mist is entering your mouth. Inhale and hold the mist before exhaling. The alveoli in your lungs will allow the CBD to pass into the bloodstream for distribution.

The effects of CBD inhalers can last up to 3 hours.

How Much CBD Should Be Taken?

Everyone has an individual ideal dose. It is best to start low and go slow. You can always increase your dose as needed. Knowing how long the effects of each CBD delivery method lasts is a helpful tool in determining your ideal dose too.

Start by using small doses, also called microdosing, of 5 mg to 10 mg. The frequency of dosages will depend on your body and how long the type of CBD you’ve used lasts. For some, one capsule in the morning and one in the evening may be enough. Others may need to use fast-acting options several times a day. Those with severe symptoms may need as much as 200 mg of CBD daily.

Maintain the small doses for a week. If you are not experiencing enough relief, slowly increase your dose. Continue to use the increased dose for a few days before increasing again.

It is a process to find your ideal dose. Increase in small increments, such as 1mg or 2 mg increments until you’ve found a dose that provides the ideal amount of relief.

The dose of CBD also depends on the reason for its use. For example, those with inflammation or pain disorders use doses as small as 2.5 mg to larger doses of 120 mg.

Closing Thoughts

The answer to how long do the effects of CBD last is – it varies. The length of the effects are felt is different for each person. The dosage and delivery method are factored into the length of the effects as is your body’s individual metabolism and digestive system. Adjust your CBD dose when necessary — especially in situations where the symptoms you experience increase with or without warning.

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