Cannabidiol (CBD) has become incredibly popular over the last few years due to its many touted health benefits. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, CBD does not produce a high feeling. Instead, CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to help regulate various functions like pain, mood, sleep, and more.
But how long do the effects of CBD last? This depends on several factors. By understanding how different methods, dosages, and other variables influence CBD, you can tailor your experience and maximize its duration.
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Factors That Influence How Long CBD Lasts
There are several key factors that determine the length of time CBD remains active in your system.
Method of Ingestion
The most significant influence on how long CBD works is the method of ingestion. Generally, inhaled CBD has the shortest duration while oral methods lead to longer effects.
When CBD is inhaled through vaping or smoking, it enters the bloodstream through the lungs quickly. This leads to nearly immediate effects that last 1-3 hours.
Typically provides effects for 1-2 hours.
Lasts up to 3 hours. More efficient than smoking.
When taken orally, CBD must pass through the digestive system and liver. This delays the onset of effects to around 30-90 minutes. In turn, the effects tend to last longer – generally 4-6 hours.
CBD oil tinctures placed under the tongue have effects that can last 4-6 hours.
Gummies, capsules, and other edibles have to be digested so they take longer to set in. But effects can linger for 4-6 hours.
Also have to be processed by the digestive system. Effects last 4-6 hours.
Higher doses of CBD tend to have longer-lasting effects compared to lower doses. However, dosages that are too high can increase the risk of side effects. Finding the optimal dose for your needs is important.
Frequency of Use
For new CBD users, the compound will remain active in your system for longer. With sustained use, your body can develop a tolerance, shortening the duration of effects.
Your natural metabolism plays a significant role in how quickly CBD is processed in your body. Those with faster metabolisms may notice shorter CBD effects.
General Duration of CBD
While individual experiences can vary, here is an overview of the typical duration of effects based on method of taking CBD:
- Inhalation (vaping/smoking) – 1-3 hours
- Oral (tinctures, edibles, capsules) – 4-6 hours
- Topicals (creams, lotions) – 2-4 hours
The fastest way to feel CBD’s effects is through inhalation, while oral application leads to the longest durations.
How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?
While the perceivable effects of CBD generally last 1-6 hours, CBD itself can remain in your body for much longer.
CBD has a relatively long half-life compared to other cannabinoids. One study found that the estimated half-life of CBD was 2-5 days for regular users. This means it takes 2-5 days for the amount of CBD in your system to reduce by 50%.
Traces of CBD can be detected in your blood, urine, and hair for several weeks after last use. But detection time also depends on how frequently you use CBD. With one-time use, CBD may only be detectable for 3-4 days.
So while the effects of CBD wear off rapidly, CBD itself can stay in your body for an extended period. This allows for positive long-term effects on health and wellness.
Maximizing the Effects of CBD
There are several steps you can take to help extend the time CBD remains active:
- Take CBD oil on an empty stomach – this helps increase absorption
- Stagger your doses throughout the day rather than a single dose
- Use full spectrum CBD products – they are more potent than CBD isolate
- Avoid medications that accelerate metabolism if possible
Additionally, finding your optimal dosage and sticking with it will produce the best long-term results. Gradually increasing your dosage may help prolong the effects.
Does CBD Have Long-Term Effects?
While a single dose of CBD may wear off within a few hours, there is evidence that CBD has beneficial long-term effects when used consistently.
CBD is known to have an regulatory impact on the endocannabinoid system with sustained use. This could help restore balance to essential functions like mood, sleep, appetite, hormone regulation, and pain response.
However, more research is still needed to fully understand the lasting effects of CBD usage. Most studies have looked at short-term impacts rather than prolonged use. But the potential long-term benefits make further exploration promising.
Final Thoughts on How Long CBD Lasts
How long CBD lasts really depends on your specific situation – the method of ingestion, dosage, frequency, metabolism and other factors all play a role. General guidelines suggest CBD effects last 1-3 hours when inhaled and 4-6 hours when taken orally. Maximize its duration by taking it correctly and finding your optimal dosage. While single doses may be short-lived, CBD could provide lasting wellness advantages with regular usage over time. Consult a doctor to see if CBD may be right for you.
Does CBD have any long-term side effects?
Most research indicates CBD has a favorable safety profile, especially compared to pharmaceuticals. Still, potential long-term risks, like impacts on hormones, require more study. Talk to your doctor about any concerns.
How long does it take to feel the effects of CBD?
Inhalation through vaping or smoking provides the fastest effects – within 5-15 minutes. Oral CBD takes longer, anywhere from 20 minutes to over an hour depending on the product.
Can I build up a tolerance to CBD?
Yes, with regular usage you can develop a tolerance and need to increase your dosage to feel the same effects. Take occasional breaks from CBD to prevent tolerance.
What is the best way to take CBD?
There is no universally “best” form of CBD. Each method has pros and cons. Vaping and tinctures allow easy dosage control but edibles last longer. Try different types to see what works for you.
Should I take CBD with food or on an empty stomach?
Taking CBD oil with food can help minimize side effects, but creates slower, weaker effects. For faster, stronger effects take CBD on an empty stomach.