How Long Does CBD Oil Take to Work?

To say people are¬†rushing to¬†buy CBD oil¬†at¬†the¬†moment is an understatement. It's everywhere right now ‚Äď people are adding it to cocktails, using it in their nightly baths and even putting it in their coffee. Scientists are continuing to research this substance, and are learning more about it every day. There is still much we don't know. That can be super-confusing for those who are new to the world of CBD.¬†

One of the biggest questions we get asked is how long it takes for CBD products to work. This is especially the case if you've seen CBD work for others but feel like it's not working for you. That can be frustrating, since you might feel like you're wasting your money. But don't worry! We're here to help you answer all the questions you have about how long it takes for CBD to kick in. 

Even though there haven't been any confirmed cases of CBD overdoses, the truth is that there really can be too much a good thing. Just think about the last time you ate one too many cookies when you knew you were full or had that extra slice of pizza when you knew you shouldn’t.

When you've overindulged in anything ‚Äď food or otherwise ‚Äď you might experience some unpleasant side effects. The same goes for CBD. But before you get too worried, let's look at what can affect your response time to CBD.¬†

Response times vary for everyone 

Since there's still so much to learn about CBD, we want to remind you that everything in this guide is a loose interpretation of what we've experienced, seen and discussed with our friends, family and customers. How CBD affects you and how long it takes to feel the effects will be entirely dependent on you and your body chemistry. With that in mind, some circumstances might affect your body's response to CBD. 

The delivery method ‚Äď that is,¬†the way you consume your CBD ¬†‚Äď seems to directly impact how quickly you feel the effects and how long those effects stick around. Your preferred delivery method might also have something to do with how long CBD can stay in your system, which we'll look at in a little bit.

Dosage, Concentration and Your Personal Biological Factors

Low and slow is the best thing to remember if you're new to CBD. But what does that mean? It means starting out with a very low dose and proceeding slowly. This will help you get a feel for the experience and for what CBD might do for you. 

Bio factors

Your gender, age, overall fitness level, height, weight and metabolism can all contribute to how quickly it takes for you to feel the effects of CBD.

These genetic markers vary from person to person, so what works for someone you know might not work for you. That's important to keep in mind as you continue to explore CBD. 

Method of consumption

Dosage and concentration levels can affect how dramatic an experience you have with CBD. Your method of consumption determines how long it takes before you feel anything.

This is where it's important for you to trust the process and trust yourself. Knowing what to expect will be beneficial, since it will help you determine if you need to take another dose or if you should be patient and wait a little longer. 


One of the most crucial factors in your CBD experience is the quality of your product. This is where the entire process starts to get a little tricky. There isn't a lot of regulation in the industry right now, making it feel like the whole CBD world is a little unruly.

What you think you're buying might not be what you're getting, and that's a big problem ‚Äď especially if you're exploring CBD and not noticing any differences.¬†

Let's take a look at how quality affects your CBD experience.

Is your CBD full-spectrum?

If you've read any of our other blog posts, you know we've talked a lot about the differences between isolate, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD products. But in case you haven't checked out those posts, here's a quick refresher.

Isolate CBD means that only the CBD has been isolated from the plant, and that's what you're buying. This is a good choice if you are concerned at all about the trace amounts of other cannabinoids that might be in your gummies or tinctures.

To produce isolate, producers use several different processes to extract all of the other compounds from the plant, so the only thing that's left is pure CBD in crystalline form. Then the crystals are usually ground into a powder to make it easier to consume. 

Full-spectrum CBD includes all the cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, as well as terpenes and other essential oils. All these compounds work together. Early research thought that isolate CBD was more effective than full-spectrum, but that study was debunked in 2005. 

Broad-spectrum is in between isolate and full-spectrum. This type of CBD has cannabidiol and all the other compounds that might be found in the plant (except for THC, of course). Broad-spectrum has all the compounds found in the plant, which means there might be other benefits that we're not yet aware of. So, think of broad-spectrum as a mix between isolate and full-spectrum. 

Why is this important?

Your product's quality will depend on the type of CBD you're enjoying and the methods used to extract it from the plant. That means that if you buy a lower-end product, you're probably going to get a lower-end experience. 

Other things to keep in mind: Since CBD works by interacting with different receptors in your brain, it can help direct your body to use more of the naturally occurring cannabinoids. It's even thought that CBD might have something to do with overall body balance.

The way you feel when taking CBD will be different from the way someone else feels. That's because everyone's body will use it differently. Here are some rough guidelines to help you prepare for your next experience with CBD.

First, remember to keep your journal handy so you can jot down notes about your experience as they happen.

Next, make sure you’re in a comfortable and safe space where you feel secure. Eating before taking a dose can be useful for some people, especially if you plan to take a tincture or oil. But if you’re interested in exploring an edible, it might be better to have an empty stomach.

Explore their benefits

Tinctures and oils are taken under the tongue. Products applied sublingually can be quickly absorbed by the body. It's recommended that you hold the tincture or oil under your tongue for up to one minute for the best absorption, and then swallow it. The reason sublingual administration works so well has to do with the number of blood vessels under the tongue.

The lingual artery supplies blood to the tongue and the floor of your mouth, and serves as a gateway to the rest of your body. So, when you take a CBD product sublingually, you're ensuring it's taking the fastest route to your bloodstream. 

Oils and tinctures can easily be added to many different foods and drinks, making this an excellent option for people who like to experiment with new meals. 

Capsules and edibles¬†are products that you swallow ‚Äď either by chewing them, taking a pill or adding CBD to a drink or food. Edibles have to move through your digestive tract, so they take a little bit longer to be processed by the body. Capsules also need to be broken down in the digestive tract, which means that they too will take a while to release the CBD they contain.

After you swallow a capsule, it's absorbed into your bloodstream through the stomach. Stomach acids break down the tablet and help release the CBD. Then it travels through the liver and enters the bloodstream. This administration route takes longer to reach your bloodstream, and means you might feel the effects of the CBD for longer periods. 

There are lots of factors at play that determine how long it takes for a capsule or edible to be fully digested. These include your bio factors (age, height, weight), along with your stomach contents and pH levels.

But finding the right dose for you is going to be challenging. There isn't a one-size-fits-all guide out there for you to follow, so it can make you feel like you're grasping at straws. Think of it like this: Everyone needs to eat a different number of calories to maintain their weight, but we all understand that there's a recommended daily number of calories we should aim for. CBD is a lot like that. 

Topical applications are products that contain CBD that you smooth into your skin. The skin is the largest human organ, making this administration route highly beneficial. When you use a topical CBD cream, it's only absorbed into the area where the product was applied. This means that topical creams and lotions are useful for pinpointing specific areas.

Many athletes are starting to explore the uses of CBD salves and topical applications to help them with their recovery after strenuous workouts. A growing number of people in the fitness community are exploring ways in which CBD might be beneficial for them.

Traditional approaches have treated these conditions with over-the-counter medications. But those pose a risk if taken long term, especially to the liver. The World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances in 2018 because of the growing interest in the ways CBD can help athletes.


It doesn't matter if you like tinctures or salves; the important thing to keep in mind is that your product's purity is what counts. Remember to read labels and check the manufacturer’s standards.

The next thing to remember is that everyone is going to react to CBD differently, so as you explore our line of products, it's a great idea to keep a journal. Keeping notes about different strengths and administration methods will help you get a clear picture of what works for you and what doesn't. 

Understanding how the hemp is grown is essential, as it will ensure the reliability of your CBD products. This is one of the reasons we're so committed to being transparent in our entire process. Even trace amounts of THC can significantly change the course of a person's life; our CBD products are well within the Farm Bill limits, making them safe to use. 

When you're ready to explore how CBD¬†can help you, Penguin CBD is here for you. If you're like us, you probably have lots of questions. That's okay ‚Äď we did too when we first discovered CBD.¬†Reach¬†out with any questions you have. We're always around.¬†