CBD reacts differently depending on the person who takes it, so it's difficult to answer the question 'how long does CBD last'.
To simply say that “CBD lasts for X hours” would therefore be misleading. As the effects of CBD are determined by a lot of variables, asking how long does CBD last can be a tricky question to answer.
In this article we’ll talk about the method of consumption, personal conditions and the many other factors that contribute to how long you might feel the effects of a dose of CBD.
Understanding all of these factors will give you a clearer idea of precisely what to expect from your CBD experience and help you to find that perfect dose.
How Long Does CBD Last: Method
One of the biggest elements of figuring out how long CBD lasts is the method of consumption. Depending on how you prefer to take your CBD it could take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours before you can feel anything.
The form you take your CBD in will also determine how long it will stay in your system.
Generally speaking the quicker a CBD product kicks in the faster its effects fade, however this is not a universal truth. Here are some of the most popular ways in which you can take CBD.
How Long Does CBD Oil Last?
CBD oils are usually sold with a dropper or spray built into the lid of their bottles. These applicators are what you use to administer a few drops of the CBD oil under the tongue, a process known as sublingual application.
You should hold the CBD in your mouth for at least thirty seconds to give it enough time to absorb through the tissues underneath your tongue.
Since sublingual application of CBD oil bypasses the conventional digestive process, it can take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes to start feeling its effects.
Some people spit out the remaining CBD oil, but you can also swallow it to allow a smaller dose of the remaining CBD to be absorbed slowly through your digestive system.
The effects of a CBD oil can last anywhere from 4 to 12 hours, depending on the amount you take and your own natural tolerance. Your own natural tolerance and the experience you want to get will determine how high your dose is and therefore how long the effects will last.
Be sure not to exceed the FSA’s recommended limit of 70mg of CBD in a single day.
How Long Do CBD Edibles Last?
An edible refers to CBD-infused food stuffs like cakes, brownies, gummies and capsules. In general edible CBD takes longer to come into effect because it passes directly through the digestive system first.
This gives it a low bioavailability, which also means that the overall impact of the CBD is less intense.
As the name suggests, you take CBD gummies and CBD edibles by mouth and either swallow them or chew and then swallow, depending on the product you choose. Just like normal food, they must be fully digested before the CBD contents get into your bloodstream.
You might have to wait for an hour or two to feel any notable effect. Though their activation period is rather long, this is compensated for by how long this method of CBD lasts, remaining in your system anywhere between 12 to 24 hours. The effects themselves will often be felt for 2 to 4 hours.
These delicious products may seem like conventional sweets or cookies, but CBD is still a substance that needs to be carefully portioned.
Whatever edible you choose, always make sure to keep your dosage in mind and give the CBD enough time to kick-in before taking any additional doses.
How Long Do CBD Topicals Last?
The term CBD topicals covers creams, rubs, ointments, and any other CBD-infused products that are applied to the skin or scalp. It should be noted that, although not specifically designed for it, most sublingual CBD oil can also be applied topically.
CBD topicals affect a specific area of the body, delivering what is referred to as a targeted application. This also means that CBD topicals are one of the few ways to dose CBD that does not heavily involve the bloodstream or any internal organs.
Topical CBD enters the body through hair follicles in the skin, carrying its effects to surface and below-surface endocannabinoid receptors.
All you need to do is to rub the CBD topical over the desired area, giving it enough time to soak in before wiping off any excess. Alternatively a CBD bath bomb soaks into the skin through pure exposure, working its way in without the need for rubbing.
It takes around 5 to 20 minutes to feel the effects of CBD topicals, depending largely on how you apply it. This relatively quick effect is balanced by a fast loss of impact, with the effects usually lasting around 1-2 hours.
How Long Do CBD Vapes Last?
If you want to feel the effects of CBD nice and fast, vaping is without a doubt the quickest method out there. This is because the vapor travels directly to your lungs where it immediately enters the bloodstream, taking a faster route than even sublingual oils.
Our CBD vape juices are compatible with most vaping devices on the market, whilst our concentrated Vape Shot lets you add a CBD kick to your favourite conventional e-liquid. Vaped CBD can be felt almost immediately, with effectiveness usually measured in the minutes if not seconds.
This is balanced by its relatively short effects however, as it does tend to only stay in your system for 1 to 3 hours.
How Long Does CBD Last: Other Factors
Although the particular method of dosing has a significant impact on how long a CBD dose will last, your own bodily conditions will also have a big effect. These can range from individual bodily factors and metabolism all the way to lifestyle and diet, among others.
Here are the additional critical factors that determine how long CBD will last in your system.
There is no one-size-fits-all for CBD. Individual requirements will vary wildly between users, with different people experiencing vastly different effects.
Weight, for instance, is a key determinant of how long CBD will last in your system. Those with a lot of body fat tend to store CBD for many hours, experiencing a less intense and extended release of CBD.
Likewise, a low metabolism will extend both the initial release and gradual elimination of CBD throughout your body.
This means that if you have fewer body fats you will quickly process CBD, but it may not last as long as you want.
On the other hand, people with high body fat may have to wait longer to feel CBD effects but, once it does kick in, they tend to enjoy it for longer periods.
Your lifestyle also determines how long CBD lasts in your system. Leading an active lifestyle with lots of exercise will enhance your metabolism, which allows CBD to be processed faster.
Subsequently, these effects will have a quicker uptake but last for a shorter period. A more sedentary lifestyle will reduce the initial impact and uptake of CBD but extend its effects accordingly.
How long CBD lasts in your body also depends on the amount of CBD you take. Dosage is a crucial factor here, but the presence of other compounds also has an impact.
A CBD edible that is heavy in sugars will generally take a little longer to be felt than an oil capsule, which is little more than CBD, carrier oil and flavourings.
This is why the concentration of CBD in particular is a good thing to pay attention to. This lets you know not just the exact dose of CBD you are taking, but its ratio compared to other ingredients.
The higher the dosage, the longer CBD is going to last in your body. However, this does not mean you should take more than the recommended dosage.
When experimenting with CBD, make sure you start with small amounts and increase the dose gradually.
Taking a CBD edible on an empty stomach will generally result in a faster uptake, as the edible will be the only thing in your stomach to be digested. As such you’re likely to feel the impact of the CBD more quickly, but the effects won't last quite as long.
On the other hand, consuming CBD on a full stomach slows CBD metabolism, causing the impact to last longer but slowing the uptake considerably.
Frequency Of Use
Some studies indicate that how often you use CBD can affect how long it stays in your system. CBD itself is non-toxic so it is unlikely that you would build up a resistance to it.
However, when used regularly CBD tends to build up in your body causing its effects to last longer. With time, you may find that a small dose will achieve the same results you used to experience from taking a larger dose.
How Long Does CBD Last: Summary
It is a bit difficult to determine exactly how long CBD lasts because, as we have said, everyone’s reaction is unique. This is the reason why you should adjust your CBD intake to the point at which it is most effective for you.
Most CBD users will go through a period of experimentation, trying different CBD products and different dosing routines to find that perfect fit. Using CBD is a process, so we’d advise you not to hope for a mind-blowing experience on your first try, CBD just doesn’t work that way.
But if you buy only quality CBD products and put in the effort to find out how to use them in the best possible way, your CBD experience will quickly become something truly great.