How Long Does It Take for CBD to Work? The Top 5 Types of Consumption and Their Absorption Rates

CBD has quickly become a hot topic, having created quite the buzz in the health and wellness space in recent years. CBD is the non-psychoactive chemical compound extracted from the hemp plant that positively interacts with the human body and boosts the function of the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a system of neurotransmitters throughout the internal and peripheral nervous systems that send messages to each other that help to keep our internal systems running smoothly.

Learning about the different types of CBD products and their methods of consumption can be a valuable starting point for those looking to educate themselves on CBD options and the types of CBD products and applications that may be most complimentary for them.

How Long Does It Take for CBD to Work?

As we will continue to outline throughout this summary, CBD products are available to consume in many different forms. Each form has its own method of application and absorption, and bioavailability is a common term associated with CBD use. Bioavailability refers to the speed at which CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream and begins to take effect on the human body. Every person is unique, and we all have our own individual body weight, eating patterns, and cellular makeup. Each one of these factors has an effect on the absorption rate of any substance.

A standard recommendation when beginning a CBD regimen is to decide why you want to use CBD. Is it to help you sleep better? Provide relief? These are very pertinent questions that directly determine the optimal choice of CBD product to use. From there, individuals should start out by taking the lowest recommended dose and gradually increasing that dose (if needed) to achieve their desired results. Journaling your daily CBD use, including the time of day, the amount used, and the result achieved is invaluable in attaining your desired objective. 

The Top 5 Types of CBD and Their Absorption Rates


Tinctures are a form of CBD made by dissolving cannabis in alcohol and transforming it into a concentrated liquid form for easy ingestion. Pleasant oil-based flavors can often be combined with the CBD to enhance palatability. Tinctures typically are stored in a dark glass bottle with a dropper used to place the oil directly under the tongue, or perhaps discreetly in a beverage.

This form of consumption is a favorite of those new to taking CBD because it is easy to measure and apply an exact dose. Tinctures and sublingual oils are applied directly under the tongue, where they are absorbed into the mucus membrane of the mouth within 60-90 seconds and begin to produce a physical effect in approximately 20 minutes.


Edibles are another popular way to take CBD. The market for edible CBD products has grown exponentially in recent years. Everything from cookies and candies to soft chewable gummies or Softgels have flooded the market and provided users with a vast selection. Once consumed, edibles must pass through the digestive system and its process, which means this application method can take anywhere from 1-6 hours to take full effect. Edibles are popular because of the pleasant taste; they can be consumed in public without drawing attention and staying longer in the body.


Topical balms and creams infused with CBD, essential oils, and soothing aroma are a favorite of many; from professional athletes recovering from a workout to seniors looking for relief or even recent surgery patients who are simply looking to achieve a better night’s sleep. Applying a balm or muscle relaxant cream to a sore area of the body can immediately provide relief and also desensitize receptors in the area that are causing discomfort.

Oral Sprays

As the name suggests, CBD oral sprays are liquid sprays that contain CBD as the active ingredient. When consuming CBD in spray form, the active ingredients go directly into your system through the mucous membranes in the mouth, making sprays faster than many other application methods. Being that sprays enter the bloodstream quickly, users typically begin to feel their effects within 5-10 minutes.

Transdermal Patches

Transdermal patches may be relatively new in the world of CBD, but the technology has actually existed for decades. So what are CBD patches? They’re topical patches that contain a measured dose of CBD, which is typically infused into a solution, oil, or gel. These patches and their high-concentration of CBD combine with your skin’s low concentration of CBD to help move the cannabinoids from out of the patch into your body. At their core, CBD patches work in a very similar fashion to nicotine or birth control patches. But they have been meticulously designed and tested to effectively deliver CBD to your bloodstream in a safe, long-lasting fashion.

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