How long does CBD take to work?


And what factors impact how soon users might feel the impact of a CBD product?

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Communication throughout your body relies on a complex network of messengers and receptors called the endocannabinoid system. This regulatory system helps to regulate essential functions, including your moods and emotions, pain perception, and digestive processes. The messengers of this system are called cannabinoids.

The cannabinoids made by your body are called endocannabinoids; the prefix endo means “within.” Under the influences of injury, illness, or stress, your body could need more endocannabinoids than it produces. Without enough messengers to interact with key receptors, communication lags.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a plant-based cannabinoid shown to mimic the effects of your endocannabinoids and influence endocannabinoid receptors. By influencing endocannabinoid receptors, CBD can help restore balance to this essential system.


How Long Does CBD Take to Work?

Our biochemical makeup affects the way substances metabolize throughout our system. Since no two individuals have the exact biochemical makeup, there is no one-size-fits-all answer as to how to maintain prime functioning of the endocannabinoid system. As previously mentioned, the human body naturally produces endocannabinoids, and factors like diet, stress, and overall lifestyle influence endocannabinoid levels.

Individuals may experience different rates of onset of when a CBD supplement begins affecting the body. Baseline endocannabinoid status can play a role. How long a supplemented product remains in your body depends on some of the same factors that affect how long it could take for products to work, including your weight, age, metabolism, and lifestyle choices. Other factors also play a role.


Delivery Method

There are numerous ways for your body to absorb CBD. CBD is remarkably versatile, as it can be conveniently swallowed, inhaled, or included in your favorite recipe. While there are significant advantages to each type of supplement, it’s always best to select the CBD delivery method best suited to your needs and your lifestyle.

Oral administration-swallowing or eating your CBD supplements-gives CBD access to your bloodstream through your digestive processes. The effects of ingesting CBD can typically take up to an hour or two. After entering your stomach, the plant compounds enter your hepatic portal system, the passageway that carries blood from your stomach to your liver. Your liver is responsible for what is commonly referred to as the first-pass effect. The enzymes in your liver reduce the concentration of CBD before the remaining components are passed through to your bloodstream.

CBD tinctures are a great way to prevent loss of bioavailability. CBD tinctures are administered by holding the CBD tincture under your tongue for 30 to 90 seconds before swallowing. This gives the cannabinoids time to absorb into the capillaries under your tongue and into your bloodstream before the oil is broken down by your liver. Utilizing this delivery method makes the best use of your CBD tincture, as less of the product passes through your body unutilized.

There are numerous ways to experience the many potential health and wellness benefits of hemp CBD. The delivery method you select will influence the rate and degree of product absorption.

CBD Quality and Type

The quality of your CBD product has a direct impact on the user’s experience. Crop-growing conditions, extraction methods, and manufacturing processes all affect CBD quality. Poor-quality CBD products may contain significantly less CBD content than manufacturers claim. That’s why it’s essential to purchase high-quality CBD from companies that verify the purity and potency of their products with third-party test results.

The type of product you select-for instance, full-spectrum extract versus an isolate-could also influence your experience. Many CBD users believe the additional cannabinoids and plant terpenes in full-spectrum products contribute to its “entourage effect” and hence its effectiveness.


Body Composition

Your body composition and metabolism influence the rate of product absorption and the amount of CBD that affects you. Since CBD is attracted to and absorbed by fat, only a percentage of the dose you take will end up circulating in your bloodstream. If your metabolism is slower, it might take longer to notice CBD’s effects. Many people find they need to adjust their dosage to compensate for fat absorption or metabolic rate.

First-time CBD users are commonly advised to start with a low dose and increase doses in small increments until they achieve their desired results. Some increase their dosage with the next dose, while others choose to give the current dosage time to work before increasing. It could take anywhere from a day to a few weeks to determine the best dosage for your needs.


Where to Find High-Quality CBD

If your CBD product is of poor quality, or if the product is not as pure and potent as the manufacturer claims, the product will not likely produce the results you are looking for. Since the quality of a CBD product has a direct impact on the user’s experience, it’s important to be able to differentiate the good from the bad. Third-party certifiers can help make the distinction. For instance, the U.S. Hemp Authority seal means that a company has met the hemp group’s stringent regulatory standards.

Make sure your CBD product is:

  • Sourced from plants cultivated from non-GMO hemp seeds

  • Created from plants grown using natural farming methods

  • Crafted from hemp oil extracted using safe extraction techniques

  • Third-party tested to ensure potency and purity

  • U.S. Hemp Authority Certified


Chase Terwilliger is CEO of Balanced Health Botanicals and its family of hemp-derived CBD brands. Through vertical integration, Balanced Health Botanicals is uniquely positioned to control the entire process from seed-to-self.

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