How Long Does CBD Last? Different Ways CBD Works in the Body - Public Goods Blog

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How Long Does CBD Last? Different Ways CBD Works in the Body

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring and non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis plants.

bottle of CBD oil, dropper filled with CBD oil

CBD became popular and widely-available after the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 legalized CBD products derived from hemp. The trendy ingredient is renowned for alleviating symptoms of physical ailments and mental illnesses. While more research is needed to understand the full benefits, CBD is known to make you feel relaxed and calm.

Unlike THC, which is the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis that makes you feel intoxicated or stoned, CBD does not create these effects. While most hemp-derived CBD products can technically have some THC in it, the Farm Bill necessitates that these products contain less than 0.3% THC to be considered legal.

When trying hemp-derived CBD products, you will feel calm, focused and clear-headed after consumption.

For anyone new to CBD oil and other types of CBD products, we want to help you learn about proper storage methods and its shelf life. We also have you covered if you’re asking yourself, “How long does CBD last?”

How Long Does It Take CBD to Work?

The effects of CBD can be noticed immediately, several hours later or after several weeks of daily use. It is highly dependent on the route of administration, dosage and the medical condition you’re treating.

We asked Kristina Risola, Cannabis Health Coach and Mental Health Counselor, exactly how long it takes for CBD to work. Risola said that for physical health issues, it can take four to six weeks of regular use before noticing the long-lasting benefits. You may notice minor improvements on the first day, but consistency is crucial if you want to reap all of the benefits.

Most chronic pain conditions have underlying issues of inflammation. CBD oil cannot remove inflammation overnight. Four to six weeks allows your endocannabinoid system enough time to level out and reduce pain.

CBD treats symptoms of mental health issues rather rapidly. Whether you’re dosing daily or as needed, it can ease panic attacks, PTSD flashbacks or generalized anxiety within two minutes to several hours. Remember, everyone reacts differently to CBD oil and other CBD products.

You may be asking yourself, “How long do CBD effects last?” Well, the answer will vary based on what symptoms you’re addressing and the method of consumption. Cannabis, in general, is not an in-your-face experience. This subtle impact can make it difficult to observe the onset.

Before indulging in CBD oil, take note of how you‘re feeling. Are you anxious, nauseous, itchy, stressed or maybe battling insomnia? When CBD kicks in, you should see signs of improvement from the affliction you’re suffering from.

Risola suggested actively tracking the symptoms you’re medicating in a journal. She advised, ”If you feel like you aren’t experiencing any relief, discontinue the use of CBD for seven days. Within a week or so, you’ll know if CBD had been aiding you in symptom management all along.”

How Long Do The Effects of CBD Last?

When asking yourself, “How long do the effects of CBD last?,” it’s important to keep the form you’re using in mind. CBD effects can last for as little as two hours or up to eight hours. It is very much so dependent on factors such as metabolism, exercise, what you eat, dosage and frequency of use. While it is individualized to an extent, we wanted to illustrate the average timespan for you.

CBD Flower and Vaporizers

piece of dried CBD flower on table coaster

CBD flower and vaporizers provide the most rapid onset. The smoke or vapor reaches your lungs immediately. This quick effect is also why it wears off faster than other forms of cannabidiol.

Risola told us that inhaling CBD, either vaping or smoking flower, provides an onset of 1-5 minutes. The relief can last anywhere from 1-4 hours. Tolerance and body chemistry alter how long the effects of CBD last.

CBD Oil and Tinctures

woman putting CBD oil in dropper from bottle

CBD oil and tincture are different, although the words are often used interchangeably. Tinctures are alcohol-based and oils are oil-based.

Risola told us that when CBD oil is swallowed, it’s not much different from an edible. Anytime you consume cannabis orally, you swallow it and the CBD moves through your digestive system, where it’s broken down and metabolized in the liver before going into the bloodstream. CBD oil can last for 4-8 hours when swallowed.

Tincture, by definition, is a product made from alcohol. Compared to CBD oil, they have a really rapid onset: 15-30 minutes. The CBD-rich tincture is absorbed through the mucus membranes in your mouth and beneath your tongue. The effects will likely wear off in 3-6 hours.

You can take CBD oil sublingually, too. Sublingual use is done by placing the CBD oil under your tongue for several minutes and waiting until it’s completely dissolved.

“When you use CBD oil sublingually, your mucus membranes will absorb some of the medication, however, the majority of it will mix with your saliva and be swallowed,” Risola added.


hand reaching for ring-shaped CBD gummies

Edibles come in a variety of forms, with gummies being one of the more popular subtypes. Depending on your palate, you can choose sweet, savory or somewhere in between.

If you have a sweet tooth, you will love homemade or store-bought CBD-infused cupcakes, brownies, and chocolates.

For people who aren’t so fond of desserts, you can consume other foods and toppings that are rich in CBD. Some examples are bread, barbecue sauce, and even pizza.

Homemade edibles are often made with CBD ‘cannabutter’ or ‘cannaoil.’ The recipes usually include marijuana, but you can substitute that with the same quantity of CBD flower.

Once you’re finished, you’ll be able to cook any food that lists butter or oil as an ingredient. Depending on how strong you want your edibles, you can mix your cannabutter or cannaoil with butter or vegetable oil — this will reduce the potency.

The process of making cannabis-infused butter or oil includes CBD flower, vegetable oil and heat. If you’re interested in making your own, there are tons of recipes you can find online.

So, “How long do gummies last?” Gummies, just like all edibles, are an oral form of CBD. Edibles provide the longest-lasting relief, anywhere from 6-8 hours.

But it can take 30 minutes to three hours before any signs of improvement are noticed. If you’re in need of immediate relief, edibles might not be the right form of CBD for you.

Risola said, “When it comes to CBD, especially edibles, most people feel relaxed and calm. You’re not going to experience any impairment or intense psychoactivity. You’re just going to feel better and ‘normal.’ Most users describe it as feeling stable again — something they craved for a long time.”


fingers scooping cbd topical out of jar

Topicals are the one form of CBD that differs vastly from the rest. You won’t feel relief all over your mind and body, like with other forms. Topicals, including lotions and balms, are made to treat localized areas of pain.

After applying a topical to an area of your body, you will feel the effects within five minutes to an hour and it should last for 4-6 hours.

Transdermal patches can last longer than traditional topicals. Depending on the product, they offer pain relief for up to 72 hours.

Keep in mind, you will only experience pain reduction in the area where the topical or transdermal was applied.

All of the other forms of CBD provide relief for a wide array of medical conditions. You may be vaping CBD for chronic pain and discover that it also helps with stress management.

Your Body Influences How Long CBD Works, Too

There are several biological factors that will influence how long the effects of CBD last. You’ll have to account for the frequency of use, dosage, exercise and your metabolism and digestive system.

When you’re thinking to yourself, “How long does CBD last?,” you might believe that body weight has an influence. But a 350-pound man may require a mere 5 mg, while a 110-pound woman might need 30 mg to feel better.

We asked Risola about the different factors. She said that CBD effects vary based on your endocannabinoid system. When you’re orally dosing, exercise, metabolism and tolerance affect the impact and onset.

If you have a fast metabolism, there’s a high probability CBD will kick in quicker and last longer for you. Your metabolism will also influence how long CBD stays in your system, as it will be cleared out of the body much faster.

You may be wondering, “How long does CBD oil take to work?” For you, it could take effect in 20-30 minutes. People with slow GI systems could take the same exact oral dose, and it might be a good four hours before they experience any relief whatsoever.

Exercise is renowned for speeding up our metabolism. If you exercise on a regular basis, you’re going to experience better results from CBD. When we don’t exercise, our digestive system becomes sluggish, which is why medication may not last as long as we’d like.

Frequency of use will influence how long CBD lasts because it is a matter of tolerance. CBD is not addictive like opioids, but tolerance can still be developed. Regular users often find that they need higher doses to achieve the same effects. Again, the frequency of use will also play a role in how long CBD stays in your body after consumption.

Now that you know tolerance does occur, you may be wondering about failing a drug test. CBD must contain less than 0.3% THC to be considered legal, but could that minimal amount of THC still show up on a drug test? The answer is: it’s highly unlikely.

If you are concerned about failing a drug test, you can use a CBD isolate, which is a type of CBD product that features this non-intoxicating cannabinoid all on its own.

What About Drug Tests?

Even though THC is known to cling to fat cells, the chances of it showing up on a drug test are slim to none if you used CBD isolate or broad-spectrum oil. Both of these undergo a process where the THC is extracted.

CBD, however, can be tested for at the lab.

Generally speaking, the only places that test for CBD are drug and alcohol outpatient facilities and hospitals. You don’t have to be concerned with at-home drug test kits because they never test for CBD.

How to Store Your CBD

Ryan Andoos, co-owner of Route 27 Hempyard informed us all that the best place to store CBD is in a dark, cool, dry place. If you expose your products to heat, light or air, the cannabinoids can mutate. CBD can also break down, losing potency.

CBD flower can be stored in airtight glass jars. You don’t want your supply to get moldy or develop any type of pathogens.

Tinctures and oils will be safe in a dark glass jar, ideally dark blue or gray, similar to beer bottles. Cannabidiol itself is very stable as long as it’s stored properly.

On average, CBD flower has a 6-month to 2-year shelf life. CBD tinctures and oil, however, won’t begin degrading for 1-2 years.

Risola stores her flower in ‘Boveda packs’ inside of her glass jars. Boveda packs maintain the proper moisture level of CBD buds. For people willing to go the extra mile, the internet has many online stores selling this product. While they aren’t necessary, you may find comfort in treating your CBD with a little extra TLC.

When you have eggs or dairy in your CBD-infused edibles, they will go bad after the expiration date on the ingredients used. This limitation is why many users prefer long-lasting edibles.

How long do gummies last, you ask? Well, you can save your gummies or lollipops through an apocalypse and they wouldn’t hurt you.

There is no need to worry if your stash is beyond its shelf life, assuming you stored it properly. When CBD is past its prime, it won’t make you sick. You will, however, require a larger dose due to the reduced potency.

How Much CBD Should You Take?

When you are starting to use CBD for medical conditions, you’ll likely want to know how much you should take. You don’t want to overindulge or take too small of a dose.

The method isn’t important here. You can be vaping or using CBD tinctures. It doesn’t matter. The best way to gauge your first dose is following the rule of thumb: start off in small increments.

Your digestive system plays a role in how much you need to feel better. But you don’t want to overdo it at first. Try taking 1-5 mg your first time. Then you can assess how you feel once the CBD kicks in.

If you don’t experience improvement, increase your dose in increments of 5 mg until you’ve found what works best for you. A side note, CBD experts suggest dosing one hour after meals.

Many users consume more than 50 mg of CBD every day with no negative side-effects. It is a very individualized supplement, and you want to find the dose and form that allows for the most enjoyable experience. After all, CBD is made for your personal betterment.

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