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How Long Does CBD Oil Take to Work?

CBD oil is taken by people in all walks of life for many different reasons. Some hope to optimise their general health but others are looking for more specific effects. Whatever the reason you chose to take CBD oil, you will likely be wondering how long it will take to work and when you will notice the first results.

This article will comprehensively answer these questions, look into the science of CBD oil and get specific about how the CBD type you choose se can affect its impact on your health.

How Long Does CBD Oil Take to Work - The Short Answer

The time it takes for CBD oil to work varies depending on factors like CBD concentration, body composition, and dosage. The purpose for use and the state of your endocannabinoid system can also affect when effects are felt. While in some cases, CBD oil drops can take between 15 minutes and 2 hours to start working, for endocannabinoid-deficient individuals, it may require up to two weeks of regular use before you experience any noticeable effects.

Understanding CBD Oil and Its Effects

CBD oil has gained significant attention in recent years due to its potential therapeutic properties. This non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant is believed to offer a range of health benefits, from pain relief to anxiety reduction. However, as with any supplement, it's essential to understand what CBD oil is, its potential side effects, before incorporating it into your wellness routine.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD is a natural cannabinoid extracted from the hemp plant, a variety of cannabis that contains low levels of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. To make CBD oil, the extracted CBD is mixed with a carrier substance such as hemp seed oil, MCT oil or olive oil.

Unlike THC, CBD does not produce mind-altering effects, making it a popular choice for those seeking the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the intoxicating effects.

CBD oil is rich in cannabinoids, naturally occurring compounds that interact with the body's endocannabinoid system, a complex network of receptors involved in regulating various physiological processes, including mood, sleep, pain, and immune response. By influencing these receptors, CBD oil may help maintain balance in the body and promote overall well-being.

Potential Side Effects of CBD Oil

While CBD oil is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, some individuals may experience side effects. These can include dry mouth, drowsiness, reduced appetite, and diarrhoea. Most of these side effects are mild and tend to subside once the body adjusts to the CBD oil.

It's also worth noting that the quality and purity of CBD oil can vary significantly between products, which can influence its effects and potential side effects. Therefore, it's crucial to choose high-quality CBD oil from reputable sources and start with a low dose, gradually increasing until you find the amount that works best for you.

Interaction of CBD Oil with Other Medications

CBD oil can interact with certain medications, potentially altering their effects. This is because CBD is metabolised by the same enzymes in the liver that process many common drugs. As a result, taking CBD oil alongside these medications can either enhance or inhibit their effects, potentially leading to unwanted side effects or reducing their effectiveness.

If you're currently taking any medication, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before starting CBD oil. The UK Food Standards Agency states, "As a precaution, we do not recommend CBD for [...] people taking any medication [...] unless under medical direction."


The Science Behind CBD Oil's Effectiveness

As we delve deeper into the science behind CBD oil's effectiveness, it's important to understand that this natural compound interacts with our body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS plays a crucial role in maintaining homeostasis, regulating various physiological processes such as mood, sleep, pain, and immune response. CBD oil, rich in cannabinoids, influences these receptors, potentially offering a range of health benefits.

CBD Oil's Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Properties

CBD oil is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These characteristics make it a potential therapeutic agent for various health conditions. As an antioxidant, CBD oil can neutralise harmful free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress and preventing cellular damage.

In terms of inflammation, studies indicate that CBD oil may help reduce the body's inflammatory responseby interacting with CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the immune system. This interaction can lead to a decrease in cytokine production, proteins responsible for signalling inflammation.

Neuroprotective Benefits of CBD Oil

Beyond its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, CBD oil also exhibits neuroprotective benefits. Research suggests that CBD oil may protect neurons from degeneration, which is particularly relevant for anyone experiencing an illness with neurodegenerative symptoms. CBD oil achieves this by reducing inflammation in the brain and promoting the growth and development of new neurons.

Moreover, CBD oil may also help manage symptoms associated with mental health disorders. For instance, it has been found to reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality in individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Take Effect?

Understanding how long it takes for CBD oil to produce its effects is a complex process influenced by various factors:

1. Individual Variations in CBD Oil Onset Times

The timeline for experiencing the effects of CBD oil can vary significantly from person to person. This variation is primarily influenced by the individual's unique physiological factors and the activity level of their endocannabinoid system, which plays a pivotal role in regulating various bodily functions.

These individual factors include:

Endocannabinoid Activity - Endocannabinoid Activity plays a crucial role in determining the speed at which CBD oil takes effect. The endocannabinoid system (ECS), consisting of receptors and neurotransmitters, maintains bodily homeostasis and regulates functions like mood, pain perception, and immunity. The rate at which you feel the effects of CBD largely depends on the activity level of your ECS. If your ECS is already active and functioning optimally, a single dose of CBD oil can produce noticeable effects quickly. However, if your ECS is less active, it may require several weeks of taking CBD consistently to raise its activity levels, a process known as "building an active ECS," which helps restore balance and improve its efficiency.

Body Weight and Composition - Research suggeststhat individuals with a higher body fat percentage may experience a slightly delayed onset of effects compared to those with lower body fat. This is because CBD is fat-soluble and may accumulate in fatty tissues, leading to a gradual release into the bloodstream.

Metabolism - Metabolic rate also plays a crucial role. People with faster metabolisms may experience a quicker onset of CBD effects, as their bodies process and absorb the compound more rapidly.

2. Delivery Methods for CBD Oil

The method of consumption is another significant factor in determining how long it takes for CBD oil to take effect. Two common delivery methods for CBD oil are sublingual (under the tongue) administration and oral ingestion. Other methods such as topical application, vaping or smoking CBD are generally only used for other product types and not oils.

Sublingual Administration - When CBD oil is administered sublingually, it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes under the tongue. This method typically results in a relatively fast onset of effects, often within 15-30 minutes.

Oral Ingestion - On the other hand, oral ingestion involves swallowing CBD oil, where it passes through the digestive system before entering the bloodstream. This method can take longer to produce effects, ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

It's essential to recognise that while these general timelines can provide guidance, individual responses can vary widely. Factors like the presence of food in the stomach and the specific CBD product used can also influence onset times.


ent showed that 79.2% of all patients experienced an improvement in anxiety.

How Quickly Does CBD Work for Anxiety?

When taken sublingually, CBD oil used for anxiety is likely to show effects relatively quickly, often within 20 to 40 minutes. This is because its anti-anxiety effects are achieved through a range of non-cannabinoid receptors rather than solely relying on the endocannabinoid system.

This means that individuals might experience relief from symptoms more swiftly when using CBD oil for anxiety because it doesn't depend as much on the endocannabinoid system's existing state of health.

CBD Oil for Pain Relief: Time Frame and Efficiency

When it comes to managing pain, the timeline for CBD oil's effectiveness can differ based on several elements, such as the specific kind of pain you're dealing with and your individual physiology. However, the general consensus is that CBD oil can offer a natural alternative for pain relief, particularly for those looking to steer clear of traditional pain medications.

Using CBD Oil for Pain Management

Studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that CBD oil can alleviate various types of pain, ranging from chronic to neuropathic and even arthritis-related pain. The mechanism of action centers around its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays an instrumental role in modulating pain and inflammation.

It's worth mentioning that the type of CBD product can influence its effectiveness in pain relief. In the UK, where CBD oil must be free of all controlled cannabinoids including THC to be legal, broad-spectrum CBD oil emerges as the most effective available option. This form of CBD includes a range of cannabinoids, except for THC, offering a balanced approach for pain management.

The Science Behind CBD and Pain Relief

CBD primarily exerts its pain-relieving effects by modulating the body's endocannabinoid system, influencing the activity of its receptors and altering the perception of pain.

When the body's endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2AG, bind with endocannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, they interfere with and adapt the transmissions of nerve cells called nociceptors, which are responsible for transmitting pain signals to the brain. This interaction doesn't stop the transmission of pain signals but instead regulates and adjusts them, reducing the intensity of the signal and affecting the emotional components of the pain.

In the context of chronic pain, stimulation of the endocannabinoid system has shown promise as an effective way to manage it. When anandamide binds with CB1 receptors on nerve cells, it activates channels that alter the electrical and chemical activity of the neuron. Similarly, when endocannabinoids activate CB2 receptors found in tissues, organs, and immune cells, they inhibit the release of several chemical signaling molecules, including cytokines, which are linked to many chronic pain conditions.

Furthermore, in cases of neuropathic pain, caused by damaged or malfunctioning nerves, the behavior of the endocannabinoid system has been the focus of several scientific studies. Higher levels of CB1 and CB2 receptors are produced along the pain processing pathways from damaged nerves. If there are enough endocannabinoids present, they will bind with these extra receptors to produce an antinociceptive effect that reduces the intensity of the pain.

Because the effect of CBD oil on pain management is so dependent on the existing state of the endocannabinoid system, this can significantly effect how long it may take to notice pain relieving effects.

How Long Does CBD Oil Take to Alleviate Pain?

When taken for pain, CBD oi could produce results in as little as 15 minutes or as much as several weeks. Because CBD's pain relieving effects i are closely tied to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), its state has a significant effect on how quickly you notice any results.

People with an active endocannabinoid system may notice results after the first dose . This could be between 15 to 45 minutes for CBD oil taken sublingually while CBD edibles and topical CBD products may take up to two hours. This quick action is because your body already has enough endocannabinoids and receptors to regulate the systems involved with pain.

However, if you are endocannabinoid deficient or have a low endocannabinoid tone, you will likely need to consume CBD oil regularly for two or more weeks before you notice any results. Regularly taking an optimal CBD dosage for your body type will improve your health in general and prepare your body to respond to pain and other illness or imbalance.


The Importance of Quality and Dosage in CBD Products

If you choose to take hemp-derived CBD products for a specific health-related reason, it's important to understand that as well as the other previously mentioned factors, quality and dosage can also have also a significant impact on the effects you experience:

The Issue of Unreliability in CBD Product Quality and Dosage

The CBD market is currently flooded with a wide array of products, making it challenging for consumers to discern between high-quality and substandard offerings. Studies have shown that a significant percentage of CBD products sold in the UK contain inconsistent CBD concentrations, either exceeding or falling short of the amounts stated on the labels. This discrepancy doesn't just compromise the product's efficacy but also makes it difficult for consumers to determine an accurate dose for their specific needs.

Further complicating matters is the absence of consistently applied standardised quality control within the industry. Some products have been found to contain harmful contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, and mould, posing additional health risks. Given these challenges, it's crucial for consumers to exercise caution and conduct thorough research before making a purchase. Opting for reputable brands that offer third-party lab-tested certificates can go a long way in ensuring both purity and accurate CBD concentration.

Tips for Choosing High-Quality CBD Products

When it comes to selecting high-quality CBD products, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, it is advisable to opt for products from reputable brands that offer transparency about their manufacturing processes and testing methods. These companies should provide third-party lab reports verifying the potency and purity of their products.

Secondly, the best CBD oils are typically derived from high-quality, well-reviewed online brands that have a proven history in the industry. Brands like Bud & Tender offer oils that have been properly filtered to remove impurities, ensuring their safety and effectiveness.

Finally, it's important to note that UK law now requires that CBD oils be free from all controlled cannabinoids, including THC. Broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate (occasionally known as pure CBD oil) are completely free from THC, making them legal under UK law.

Consequently, given this requirement, broad-spectrum CBD oil emerges as the most effective and compliant option in the UK. Unlike full-spectrum CBD, which contains a range of cannabinoids including trace amounts of THC, broad-spectrum CBD includes a variety of cannabinoids but is entirely free from any controlled substances, aligning it with UK regulations.


In conclusion, the time it takes for CBD oil to produce effects is influenced by a variety of factors, including individual physiology, the endocannabinoid system's activity, how much CBD per dose, body weight, metabolic rate, and the method of consumption. Additionally, the purpose for which CBD oil is used—be it for anxiety, pain relief, or other conditions—also plays a significant role in its efficacy and onset time. In terms of anxiety and pain relief, CBD has shown promise in both clinical trials and anecdotal reports, although individual results may vary.

Quality and dosage are critical considerations for those interested in trying CBD. Given the inconsistencies in product quality within the largely unregulated CBD market, consumers are advised to opt for reputable brands that offer third-party lab reports and comply with local regulations. In the UK, broad-spectrum CBD oil stands out as the most effective and legally compliant option. By taking these factors into account, users can make an informed decision on how best to integrate CBD into their wellness routine.