How Long Should CBD Take To Kick In? We Asked An Expert

mindbodygreen Editorial Assistant By Sarah Regan
mindbodygreen Editorial Assistant

Sarah Regan is a writer, registered yoga instructor, and Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

An illustration of the components of CBD oil

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CBD has found its place in medicine cabinets worldwide, with people taking it for everything from chronic pain to anxiousness. The cannabinoid can help create 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 kicking in. So, we asked an expert to find out how long it should take before you start to feel its effects.

How long does CBD take to kick in?

As you might imagine, there are a lot of variables that can influence how long it takes to start feeling the effects of CBD. According to Bonni Goldstein, M.D., medical director of Canna-Centers and author of Cannabis Is Medicine, some of those variables include the dose you're taking, the form you're taking, and your metabolism.

"There is a very wide therapeutic range of dosing," she explains, "from low doses (~20 mg) up to high doses (300 mg or more per day for certain conditions)."

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 adds, noting, "again depending on the dose and a person's metabolism."

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She adds that it can take few weeks of consistently taking a CBD product before you'll know how your body reacts to it. "Since CBD itself is not intoxicating or impairing, the effects might not be felt by someone who is not having acute symptoms," Goldstein explains. "In my clinical experience, those who are seeing anti-inflammatory effects often will feel the benefits of CBD only after weeks of daily use. It takes time for it to work.*"

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What if you still don't feel anything after a few weeks?

According to Goldstein, it's not uncommon for people who are "self-medicating" with CBD to under-dose. "If you are taking CBD and not feeling any benefits after a few weeks of daily use," she says, "you are likely not taking enough." (Here are some more signs that your dose might be too low.)

If you think you may need to up your dose, she advises talking with your doctor to come up with a game plan, "as there are many factors to take into account, such as the condition one is trying to treat, as well as potential for serious drug-drug interactions," she notes (like with seizure medications or blood thinners).

The bottom line.

CBD doesn't have a one-size-fits-all dose, and it may take a little experimenting to figure out how much you should be taking, and how you want to take it.

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