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How long does it take for CBD oil to take effect?

CBD, or Cannabidiol, is considered to be a substance 100% natural that has the potential to bring many benefits to our mental and physical well-being. and best of all can be used in different waysThe CBD is used internally (CBD oils) as well as externally (creams, serums, balms).

Depending on the format in which you decide to use CBD, the time it takes to work as well as its potency may vary.

In this new post of our CBD blog you will learn the differences between the different formats of using CBD and you can choose which route of administration may be most suitable for your circumstance and find out which products are available on our website.

What is the speed of absorption and the mechanisms of action of each product containing CBD oil?

In the world of cannabis there is one great truth, and that is that depending on the product you use, the speed of absorption is greater or lesser. So, if you have asked yourself: Is there really that much difference between putting a few drops of oil under your tongue or adding it to a cup of coffee? Well, yes! There is a marked difference and there are other factors as well.

If in your case you have many doubts about how long the effect of CBD oil takes and the route of administration and its effects, is completely normal, even more so for a virtually "new" element. Now, no matter what product you use, CBD is always going to end up in the bloodstream, no matter where it touches the body.

The CBD oil can be used internally, e.g. by vaporising or smoking, via the pulmonary route, but can also be absorbed by sublingual use or ingestion, giving a generalised and homogeneous effect throughout the body. 

On the other hand, through the external route (creams, balms or serums) the effect is concentrated in the area of application, i.e. it acts in a localised manner. and generally never enters the bloodstream in this way.

How long does it take for sublingual CBD oil to take effect?

Sublingual administration is those drops that are placed under the tongue. This method of administration is used in medicine to quickly introduce a drug into the bloodstream. It also bypasses the digestive tract, improving the bioavailability of a substance.

When placed under the tongue, the CBD comes into contact with the thinnest layer of the lining of the oral floor of our mouth. This membrane is highly permeable and leads to rapid absorption into the bloodstream through the capillaries.

However, if you ask yourself How long does the effect of CBD oil take? We tell you that it would take about 15 minutes to take effect. Such is the effect, that it has a half-life ranging from 1 to 6 hours, depending on the doses. This usually occurs when the oils range from a percentage of 5% to 20%, as appropriate.

CBD inhalation

CBD via the inhalation route, makes its effect is pronounced almost immediatelyThe maximum mechanism of action is reached within a few minutes after inhalation or vaporisation, and the effects last for 3-4 hours.

Due to its rapidity of action, could be the best option to obtain the effect as quickly as possible.However, it does not ensure a long duration compared to the oral use of CBD. In the therapeutic field, inhalation is used as a way to alleviate very intense pain, such as cancer pain, because CBD can be administered at the right time and in the right amounts for each situation, without major complications.

Opting for vaporisation increases bioavailability (i.e. absorption capacity) to 50%, compared to 30% in the smoked form, which also entails the introduction of carcinogenic substances and pollutants such as CO2 into our lungs.

CBD externally or topically

All external applications, be they oils, creamsThe use of cannabidiol or CBD-based salves, balms, serums, and/or ointments takes a little longer to take effect compared to the sublingual route. This is because the CBD to reach the bloodstream it must pass through all seven layers of cells in the epidermis before entering the bloodstream, which allows only topical absorption of the compound, i.e. blood levels of CBD when used topically are non-existent.

However, depending on the level of wateriness of the product, it is absorbed more or less easily. It is said that the effect of the CBD oil between 25 and 45 minutes. Therefore, the athletes or people who use these products use them before training, so that after a while they can feel the effects.

The CBD products for topical use, have no less than 5 hours of effectiveness. For this reason it is recommended for people suffering from psoriasis, eczema, and/or atopic dermatitis to use more than 3 times a day.

CBD cream

How long does it take for CBD oil to work against joint pain?

In case of joint pain or arthorsis, it is possible to act on acute symptoms immediately, mainly through sublingual and topical use.. It is advisable (in countries where this is allowed) to perform a more continuous combination for a few weeks integrating the sublingual and topical routes in order to achieve more stable positive results that can continue to be appreciated even if the effect of CBD diminishes.

How long does it take for CBD oil to work?

Each person is unique, so depending on the personal circumstances of each person and the reasons that have led them to have sleep disorders or insomnia, different options can be chosen:

  • People who have difficulty falling asleep will have the best effect using the sublingual or oral route.The dosage can be adjusted according to need and the CBD oil should be used at least twice a day to improve its bioavailability.
  • For people who have insomnia problems, dream light and nocturnal awakeningsthe best option is to use the sublingual route combined with the topical route. The calming effects of CBD can be seen already in the first few days of using this combination, in addition to the terpenes also have relaxing and anxiolytic effects, which also contribute to CBD's effects on sleep.

Before we finish, let's talk about on the legality of CBD in Spain. Currently, only CBD products can be produced if the purpose is to be for cosmetic use : i.e. if it is to be used topically (e.g. on the skin) rather than ingested internally. And it will have to be registered with the CPNP, as well as having the relevant EU certificates required for the manufacture and marketing of cosmetic products.

The use of CBD internally, i.e. smoked or ingested, is totally prohibited in Spain, although there is a legal loophole, as there is no mention of CBD in the list of foods that can be marketed.


CBD is known as cannabidiol. and is the main component of cannabis, as it is present in the flower. It is therefore a natural compound that does not have psychotropic effects and has beneficial therapeutic effects for the organism.

In fact, there is a study of their possible therapeutic effects and below we will share with you the most popular ones:

  • Natural analgesic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anxiolytic
  • Anticonvulsant
  • Antipsychotic

These are the most outstanding effects of CBD, which can be of great help in the treatment of different pathologies in our organism, such as, for example, the chronic pain, diseases such as arthritis, stress, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia and so on.

Thanks to the progress of studies and the creation of different CBD products, such as CBD creams, balms, oils and even CBD capsules, the end user has endless options and formats to enjoy the effects of CBD, some of which are quicker to act, but less long-lasting, such as vaping CBD or those that can take about 15 minutes to take effect, although they are also effective after up to 8 hours of use.


Eagleston, L., Kalani, N. K., Patel, R. R., Flaten, H. K., Dunnick, C. A., & Dellavalle, R. P. (2018). Cannabinoids in dermatology: a scoping review. Dermatology online journal24(6), 13030/qt7pn8c0saswan, S. M., Klosner, A. E., Glynn, K., Rajgopal, A., Malik, K., Yim, S., & Stern, N. (2020). Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Skin Health and Disorders. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology13, 927-942

Chayasirisobhon S. Mechanisms of Action and Pharmacokinetics of Cannabis. Perm J. 2020 Dec;25:1-3. doi: 10.7812/TPP/19.200. PMID: 33635755; PMCID: PMC8803256.

Lindgren JE, Ohlsson A, Agurell S, et al.. Clinical effects and plasma levels of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 9-THC) in heavy and light users of cannabis. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 1981;74(3):208-12. DOI: 10.1007/BF00427095, PMID:6267648 

Huestis MA. Pharmacokinetics and metabolism of the plant cannabinoids, delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and cannabinol. Handb Exp Pharmacol 2005;168:657-90. DOI: 10.1007/3-540-26573-2_23, PMID:16596792

Goullé JP, Saussereau E, Lacroix C. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol pharmacokinetics. Ann Pharm Fr 2008 Aug;66(4):232-44. DOI: 10.1016/j.pharma.2008.07.006, PMID:18847571

Written by:
Carlos Vera

Carlos Vera

CEO & Founder

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