Though CBD and THC are both products of the cannabis plant, CBD supplements do not impart the same “high” that marijuana products do. For CBD enthusiasts who take these supplements for health reasons, this is a plus. There is one downside, though. If you don’t feel high, how do you know when it starts to work? How do you know when you’ve had enough?
Unfortunately, there is no single answer that applies to everyone. How soon you feel the effect of CBD depends primarily on your symptoms, how you ingest it, and your dosage. These factors also influence how long the effects last. Fortunately, CBD is so safe that you can experiment without fear until you find the perfect dose for you.
CBD Ingestion Methods
Probably the greatest determinant of how long it takes to feel the effects of your CBD dose is the method you use to consume it.
- Vaping is the fastest option, with CBD vape juice taking effect almost immediately. If you need immediate relief of acute symptoms, inhalation is by far the best method. Effects last for around two hours.
- The second fastest option is sublingual ingestion (under the tongue) using either oral syringes or sprays and tinctures. You feel the effects within a few minutes and they last for two to three hours on average.
- Topical applications are commonly used for joint and muscle pain, but also to treat a variety of skin conditions. As these products are absorbed through the skin, it takes longer to feel the effects. However, once you do, said effects are more uniform and last longer than either vaping or sublingual ingestion, typically three to four hours.
- Edibles are a popular choice, whether you buy ready-made options or choose to purchase CBD oil separately to create your own edibles. It’s harder to gauge how long before an edible takes effect, especially if you create your own, as CBD concentrations vary. In addition, if you’ve eaten recently, that also slows absorption. Expect it to take anywhere between 20 and 60 minutes to experience the effects. For greater efficiency, eat your CBD edible on an empty stomach. Once you do feel the effects, they tend to be milder but last longer than other ingestion methods, usually around four hours.
- Capsules are similar to edibles as far as the time needed to become effective (up to an hour) and how long those effects last (around four hours).
Many people prefer to start with edibles or capsules, as they allow them to work their way up to the amount of CBD they need to manage their symptoms. They also make it easy to know exactly how much of the product you’re using, including the concentration and dosage. If you’re new to CBD supplements and aren’t sure where to begin, edibles and capsules are popular choices.
How Much CBD Do I Need?
Dosage requirements vary dramatically, since everyone’s body responds differently. It also depends on the type of symptoms you have. Often, CBD products include a recommended dosage. Most experts, though, recommend starting with a lower dose and working up from there. This offers two benefits. First, most people require far less than the recommended dosage to feel the effects of CBD. Second, regular CBD use creates a bank of sorts, so that you require less of it over time.
Where to start, though? If using tinctures, inhalants, or oils, start with between 2 and 3 mg, increasing the dose as needed. When your symptoms disappear, stop increasing. If your symptoms worsen, decrease the dose (though you may also need to discontinue usage). With edibles and capsules, start with a single serving.
Things to Remember
Do not forget that ingestion method, dosage, and individual symptoms, as well as personal chemistry, dictate how quickly CBD oil produces its effect and for how long. Luckily, experimentation is both easy and safe, since you cannot overdose. There is no record of any fatal CBD dosage, and people managing extreme conditions take 1,000 mg per day or more.
Remember also that everyone is different. Even if you know someone with the exact symptoms you have, that doesn’t mean you’ll require the same dosage to manage those symptoms. It’s always best to start with a low dosage and increase it slowly until you find the ideal level to manage your condition.
Finally, don’t forget to talk to your doctor before beginning a CBD supplement, especially if he or she helps you manage a chronic condition. This is especially important if you take prescription medications. Remember, CBD is legal, even in states without medical or recreational marijuana laws. Letting your doctor know you take a CBD supplement does not jeopardize you in any way.