CBD Effects: How long does it take for CBD to work?

Written By: Lane Giddings

How long does it take for CBD oil to work? We get this question often, and it’s probably because CBD oil is everyone’s new favorite health product. Don’t believe me? Check your social media feed. Everyone is posting about it. Whether you use it post-workout, put it in your coffee, or even put it in a cocktail, CBD oil is everywhere. CBD oil is used for everything from depression and anxiety to back pain. So generally speaking, it’s a good additive to nearly every lifestyle. 

However, it seems like some people immediately become one with nature and every working of their body after one dose. Then there are tons of people who feel nothing. It’s really frustrating watching CBD work so well for some and not at all for others. But, I have great news! Everyone digests CBD oil differently so it might be the method or dose that’s holding you back!

CBD Dosage: It Depends on You

Everybody processes everything slightly differently. For that reason, it’s impossible to say a specific dose will hit every person at the exact same time. Its biologically impossible for any product work the same across the board, and that's because no two humans are the same across the board.

It’s important to keep in mind that when starting your journey with CBD you personally will have to do a little experimentation. You’ll have to find the method and the dose that works best with your body, schedule, and specific ailments.

How Does CBD work?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid, which are simply products found in the cannabis plant. CBD works with the endocannabinoid system in your body. This system is previously set up inside of you to process cannabis-like compounds. 

The system runs throughout the body to do all sorts of diverse processes. CBD oil, and other cannabinoids, work with this system to treat both physical and neuropathic pain. Examples of these pains include, but are not limited to: mental disorders (insomnia, depression, anxiety, epilepsy, and MS) and physical disorders (pain relief).

Many people say CBD has a calming effect on the body as it treats both internal and external injuries. For more on what CBD feels like.

How to ingest CBD

CBD Oil Tinctures
Method: Sublingual
Time it takes to work: 15-20 minutes

Tinctures are a very direct method of getting CBD into the bloodstream. Tinctures are applied into the mouth through an applicator, then held under the tongue, until they are absorbed into the bloodstream. This process on average takes approximately 15-20 minutes. This number varies dependent on the person, how often they use CBD, how much CBD they use, and how their body processes CBD. Tinctures are fast acting, but have longer effects than other fast acting methods, such as vaping. Therefore, they are beneficial for those who have ailments that come on quickly, but last for a longer period (think social anxiety).

Method: Ingested
Time it takes to work: 1-2 hours

If tinctures are simply used orally, meaning put in mouth and swallowed, as opposed to sublingually, they must be passed through the digestive system and absorbed into the bloodstream that way. This is far less efficient and takes more time than the sublingual alternative. Many people use this method without realizing by adding CBD to recipes, post workout shakes, coffee, and cocktails. 


CBD Oil Capsules
Time it takes to work: 1-2 hours.

CBD capsules are a quick and easy method to take CBD oil. As a result of the dosage being set and very direct, capsules are considered a very effective method for CBD intake. Capsules are an easy addition to anyone’s day because they are so practical. Capsules are very convenient and more discreet than many other methods of CBD intake.


The capsules dissolve a lot faster than gummies so they absorb into the system faster. However, because the capsules are still passing through the digestive system, this is one of the longer methods to “kick in”. It can take one to two hours for the CBD oil to work. However, because the CBD is passing through the digestive system the effects last longer. Capsules work best for those who have ailments that continues throughout the day, such as ongoing pain, depression, or anxiety. 

CBD Gummies
Time it takes to work 1-2 hours. 

They are taken orally, similar to the tinctures, but are far more delicious. CBD hemp oil tends to have an earthy flavor due to the method in which it’s derived, but gummies mask this flavor and add a delightful candy flavor. The gummies are not only fun and colorful, they’re also great in taste and discreet in method. 


The body processes gummies similarly to the capsules. However, as a result of the body’s breakdown process of sugar, the gummies take more time to kick in. Gummies take one to two hours for the CBD oil to work. The benefit of this process is that because of the breakdown process, the gummies work and stay in your system longer. Gummies work best for those who have ailments that continues throughout the day, such as ongoing pain or anxiety. 

CBD Isolate Oil Tincture
Time it takes to work: 15-20 minutes.

CBD isolates are essentially CBD in its truest, most refined form. It’s odorless and flavorless. It’s “isolated” from the plant compounds, giving it the name, isolate. Most importantly, it has trace amounts of THC removed. Making it the most pure form of CBD. Which takes away all worries of not passing a drug test. Isolates are perfect for those who work in high stress or high energy environments that are also frequently drug tested. 


CBD isolates are currently offered here at Maku in tincture format so similarly to the normal tincture with THC, it should take approximately 15 to 20 minutes for absorption and the CBD to work. 


CBD Vape Pen
Time it takes to work: immediately.

CBD vape pens are a newer product here at Maku. Recently, there has been a lot of backlash against vape products. However, many of these harmful products are purchased from third parties, or made at home, and do not have actual research studies done to prove they will not harm your body.

That being said, Maku puts a lot of love into all of their products ensuring that they are well made and lab tested by a third party to be positive they are the best version of the product possible for you. We love our CBD friends and would never do anything to break their trust in us here at Maku! 


Vaping usually hits in minutes because of the quick and near instantaneous delivery method. Vape pens are one of the more effective methods of CBD consumption, as the oil is sent to your lungs, it’s immediately absorbed into your bloodstream. Unlike the gummies or the capsules, that circulate through your digestive system. Your bloodstream then disperses the CBD throughout your body, thus causing the effects to be near immediate. Since the method is so quick and efficient, more of the CBD oil is actually absorbed into your body than other intake methods. However, the effects don’t last as long as other delivery methods. Vape Pens work best for those whose ailments come on quickly and sporadically (think panic attacks), because of it’s quick delivery method.


CBD Lotion
Time it takes to work: 15-30 minutes.

Topical CBD oil is considered any CBD oil you apply directly to the skin. Topical CBD is anything from CBD lotions, balms, creams, and rubs, all the way to CBD rollers and oils. Typically, topical CBD is anything that you rub into your skin, specifically on whatever skin inflammation or troubled area you are experiencing.


Typically this product is used right on the problem area, therefore after absorption into the skin it gets to work relatively quickly. The products are specifically made to lather on the problem area and absorb quickly to fix the problem. Topical CBD works best on specific pain, such as back or neck pain, pain that can be targeted through the skin. Topical CBD lasts up to three hours.

More on Maku products.

The right CBD dose for you

The amount that works for you depends on your body, it’s personal qualities, and the quality of CBD oil you choose to use.


A classic case of metabolism envy. Typically those genetically blessed with a faster metabolism are also blessed with the ability to break down CBD faster and therefore get it into the bloodstream faster. So congrats metabolism kings and queens, CBD oil should work faster for you. 

Body Weight

Like most products, body weight affects the efficiency. The larger the body, the more product you need, similar to lotion or alcohol. The amount of fat cells in the body also affect how long the product will stay in the body. Similar to THC, CBD bonds with fat cells and can remain in the system longer if there is a higher presence of fat cells.

Frequency of Use

The quality of the product will have a lot to do with how often you should use CBD oil and how long the effects of CBD oil last. Luckily, the overall consensus is no you cannot build up a tolerance to CBD oil.

CBD products should come with some recommendations as to how often and how much CBD product you should use. Generally, these standards are the best to start by following. It’s still important to make sure your CBD source is reputable. 


So many factors go into how long it takes for CBD to work, so if it doesn’t work the first, second, or maybe even third time, there’s always a fourth. There are so many different ways to try CBD oil that it would be difficult to rule out an entire product just because one delivery method doesn’t work out. That’s essentially like ruling out ice cream because strawberry is okay. Remember there are so many more flavors to try! Make sure to sample all the types of CBD oil that could be effective for your specific ailment before giving up, simply because it’s a great and far more natural alternative medicine.

So in a world where there is an average body and a perfect specimen then, these would be the most accurate time estimates for CBD to be effective. 

No matter what you read, do your own research. I would love to live in a world where every article can be trusted, but sadly we are not there yet. So when cross comparing your references the theory is exactly what they taught you in elementary school.

Make sure your sources are credible
Check for third party testing!!!!!!!! This is so important. You would never eat something off the ground because this one guy you’ve never met said it was good. Or at least I really hope not, for your mother’s sake. 

Make sure your sources are credible
Louder for that one kid who is ignoring it and wikipedia-ing this right now.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is. 
The fastest hitting product will probably not be the best product for your body. The cheapest product might not be the safest or most effective. CBD oil has a lot of hype, so be careful what you listen to!


And don’t forget to read through as many reviews as possible!