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How Long Does Hemp-Derived CBD Actually Take To Kick In? 

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May 21, 2022
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Hemp-derived CBD is a popular tool for easing something lots of us feel on a daily basis: stress and anxiousness. The phytocannabinoid can help kick-start a steady sense of calm in the body and mind—without psychoactive side effects.* But since its effects can be relatively subtle, it can be difficult to discern when it's really kicking in. So, we asked an expert to find out how long it should take before you start to feel it even out your mood and stress levels.*

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How long does hemp-derived CBD take to kick in?

As you might imagine, there are a lot of variables that can influence how long it takes to feel the effects of a hemp product. According to Bonni Goldstein, M.D., medical director of Canna-Centers and author of Cannabis Is Medicine, some of those variables include the amount you're taking, the form you're taking, and your metabolism. The quality of the product will also affect its results. (You can find mbg's list of the best hemp-derived CBD options on the market here.)

"There is a very wide range of dosing," she explains. Although there is no clinical consensus on what's high- versus low-CBD content, in the hemp industry, a hemp oil or extract delivering around 10 milligrams is considered mild, while 20 to 40 milligrams of CBD is a midrange potency. Above that is high potency.

Generally, she says that "Ingestion delivers about 4 to 20% of the total dose taken, with the onset of action from one to three hours and duration of effects up to eight to 12 hours," she notes. "Again, depending on the dose and a person's metabolism."

Goldstein adds that it can take two to three weeks of consistently taking a CBD product before you'll know its true impact. In her experience, its benefits tend to shine through after a few weeks of daily use.* "It takes time for it to work," she reiterates.

So, what if you still don't feel anything after a few weeks? "If you are taking CBD and not feeling any benefits after a few weeks of daily use," Goldstein says, "you are likely not taking enough." (Here are some more signs that you might want to rethink your dose.)

Two other things to consider are the quality of hemp oil you're taking (i.e., look for full-spectrum and organic whenever possible) and then complementary botanicals. In other words, you might want to leverage a hemp CBD supplement that delivers synergistic botanicals to stress less and relax, like lavender oil and the adaptogenic herb ashwagandha.*

Of course, always consult with your doctor if you are considering increasing your intake of the cannabinoid—as higher doses will not be suitable for everyone.

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The takeaway.

Everyone will have a slightly different experience with hemp-derived CBD, but generally speaking, a high-quality product will help you feel calmer within a matter of one to three hours.* And after a few weeks, you can expect to find yourself approaching every day from a more relaxed baseline.*