How long does it take for cbd to work featured image.

Key Takeaways

  • Cannabinoids interact with the body by stimulating the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

  • CBD can only weakly bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors; instead, its effects result from interaction with other non-cannabinoid receptor pathways.

  • The CBD consumption method determines how quickly you will feel the effects and how strong they will be.

  • All CBD edibles take around 30 to 90 minutes to kick in, leaving you with the effects for five to six hours on average.

  • Effects kick in faster for sublingual CBD edibles like gums, lollipops, and lozenges than chewable CBD edibles like cookies and gummies.

  • When taking CBD as a pain treatment, vaping and other inhalation methods will cause the quickest pain relief, whereas edibles will be the slowest but long-lasting.

  • The administration method you choose to give CBD to your dog also determines the time it will take to show effects – for example, you can expect to see results within 20 to 60 minutes if you choose the sublingual administration.

  • Cats have fewer cannabinoid receptors than dogs and, therefore, require a much higher dose to see the same effects.

CBD products are becoming increasingly popular because of the wide range of benefits they may offer.

It may effectively treat acne, seizures, anxiety, and inflammation and relieve acute pain from conditions like cancer and arthritis.

However, it is not some sort of magic pill that has instantaneous effects. Just like any other medication or vitamin, its effect may kick in within minutes, a few hours and sometimes weeks depending on a couple of factors.

If you’re wondering how soon should you, your dog, or your cat should feel the effects of a particular CBD product, then this article is for you.

Before proceeding with the topic, I think it’s important to understand how CBD and other chemicals from hemp plants interact with the body.

How Do Cannabinoids Interact With the Body?

Cannabinoid refers to the extensive range of chemicals found in the Cannabis plant. These chemicals interact with our body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

Among other biological structures, ECS comprises cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) located all over our bodies. Cannabinoids interact with these receptors to stimulate them, resulting in different outcomes.

The effects you may feel depend on the cannabinoid you have taken since different cannabinoids stimulate different receptors.

How Does CBD Interact With the Body?

One of the cannabinoids found in the Cannabis Sativa family of plants is Cannabidiol or CBD. It is that one substance that can provide many health benefits without giving some psychoactive side effects.

CBD interacts with your body differently than other cannabinoids. Although CBD can interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors, it can only weakly bind to them. This weak bind means that cannabinoid receptors aren’t how CBD produces its effects.

Instead, effects are a result of interaction with other non-cannabinoid receptor pathways.

So, for example, CBD’s interaction with a serotonin receptor will result in lower anxiety. Similarly, binding to a glycine receptor will reduce inflammation.  

Does the Method of Consumption Matter?

Absolutely! How you choose to consume CBD determines how quickly you will feel the effects as well as the strength of CBD.

It all comes down to how quickly and how much CBD reaches your bloodstream, also known as Bioavailability.

The bioavailability lies somewhere between 25% and 40% for CBD oils. Whereas vaping has a high bioavailability of 50%–60% and, in some cases, 80%. 

For example, you will feel the effects of vaping CBD approximately five minutes after use since it will directly enter your bloodstream.

On the other hand, CBD oil will take a slightly longer time.

As for the strength of CBD, the greater the bioavailability, the stronger the effects of CBD in your body. 

How Long Does It Take for CBD Edibles to Kick In?

Man mixing cbd oil to his tea.

If you’re willing to wait for your CBD effects, then ingestion might be right for you.

Because food has to go through several stages before it reaches your bloodstream, CBD takes a while to kick in when ingested. 

The liver first metabolizes CBD and then releases it into the bloodstream.

Your CBD dose will peak approximately 1.5 to 4 hours after you’ve taken it. Although the initial wait is long, the effects of ingesting CBD last longer than any other method.

Your gut will release CBD slowly in the bloodstream, which means you’ll feel the effects for five to six hours on average. However, in some extreme cases, the effects can last up to 12 hours.

One drawback of taking edibles is the low bioavailability of CBD, around 6 to 20%. The digestion process degrades most CBD, releasing only a small amount into your bloodstream.

You should keep in mind that how quickly edibles kick in is different for everyone. Because the gut breaks down CDB, the speed of the process depends on the user’s metabolic rate.

People with faster metabolic rates may feel the effects 30 minutes after ingestion, whereas others may wait for up to two hours.

Chewable Vs. Sublingual Edibles

Generally speaking, all edibles take around 30 to 90 minutes to kick in. However, the type of CBD edible determines its onset.

Effects kick in faster for sublingual CBD edibles like gums, lollipops, and lozenges. This is because, in sublingual absorption, the liver does not metabolize CBD, and it, therefore, reaches the bloodstream faster.

The onset of chewable edibles like cookies and gummies occurs later; the digestive tract absorbs CBD, and the liver metabolizes it. After this, CBD reaches the bloodstream. 

How Long Does It Take for Pain Relief to Work?

Picture of a woman applying cbd pain relief cream to a sore spot in her ankles.

You may use CBD to treat pain caused by chronic and acute conditions. It can regulate pain by stimulating the uptake of adenosine.

According to research, adenosine may be an effective pain treatment. And since CBD aids in increasing adenosine levels in the brain, it may alleviate it.

Other studies have reported that CBD has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. However, these effects may vary depending on the dose and route of administration. 

Like all other effects, how fast you experience pain relief depends on the bioavailability of CBD. If you take CBD sublingually, effects may kick in within 15 to 45 minutes, according to the American Arthritis Foundation.

Vaping or other inhalation methods will cause the quickest pain relief, whereas edibles will be the slowest but long-lasting.

Of course, other factors also come into play; the dose of CBD you are taking, your weight, and your body chemistry.

How Long Does It Take for CBD to Work on Dogs?

Dog taking cbd oil.

Like humans, bioavailability determines how fast you will see CBD effects in dogs. If you choose to administer CBD to your dog sublingually, then you can expect to see results within 20 to 60 minutes.

Whereas if you give your dog CBD via a treat or food, the gut will absorb CBD and slowly release it into the bloodstream. Therefore, you will see results 45 to 90 minutes after use.  

When you see optimum CBD effects also depend on the condition you are trying to treat. CBD oil can calm your pet down within 30 to 60 minutes if your dog has anxiety.

On the other hand, for problems like chronic and joint pain, you will have to wait two to four weeks to see maximum results.

As for how long the results will last, depending on the route of administration, effects will last anywhere from four to eight hours for single use.

However, keep in mind that each dog is different, and the strength and duration of the effects depend on the size, age, breed, and activity level of your dog.

If you’re thinking of starting your dog on CBD, start slowly with small doses and then gradually build it up until you see results.

How Long Does It Take for CBD to Work on Cats?

Cat drinking on a bowl mixed with cbd.

For immediate effects, sublingually, you can expect the effects to appear 20 to 60 minutes after use. Whereas if you give your cats edibles, allow 45 to 90 minutes for the effects to kick in.

Cats have fewer cannabinoid receptors than dogs and therefore need to be given a much higher dose to see the same effects.

You should start with a dose of 2 to 4 mg per ten pounds.

If you want CBD for seizures, start your cat off with a dose of 4 to 6 mg per 10 pounds. 

For long-term effects, how quickly you will see results depends on the condition you’re trying to treat. For example, you will see results after several uses for relief from pain and inflammation.

If you want to treat your cat for chronic diseases, you will usually see results after two to four weeks of constant use.

It is important to remember that effects differ from one cat to another, and your fur baby may respond differently to CBD.


There are several ways to consume CBD; ingestion (including sublingual), inhalation, topical and transdermal.

Each method provides a different CBD experience regarding how fast it takes to work and how long you can feel the effects.

It all comes down to what you prefer and the kind of experience you are looking for.

Remember though, CBD and other cannabinoids are still undergoing research, and therefore there are no specific clinical guidelines on how to use the products and what dose is suitable.

Therefore, try to do as much research before purchasing a CBD product.

When figuring out the dosage of CBD, start with a low dose, then work your way up.

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