Updated May 2019
This guide looks at how long the effects of CBD last, how long it takes to feel the effects, how long you can expect a CBD oil product to last for and how to store CBD oil products correctly.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis. Even though it’s from the cannabis plant, it does not get you high. The feeling of being high is caused by the (Tetrahydrocannabinol) THC chemical in the plant.
CBD is the key ingredient in medicinal marijuana and while CBD clinical studies are still in their infancy, it’s strongly believed that CBD has significant therapeutic potential. CBD oil is widely available in North America and across Europe as a food supplement.
How long do the effects of CBD last?
Usually the effects of CBD are felt for approximately 4-6 hours. However, this does depend on the strength of the dose, with stronger doses lasting longer.
To accommodate this duration period, it’s common to see people in CBD communities choose to take a morning and evening dose daily, particularly for ongoing issues, such as anxiety or chronic pain.
How the CBD was administered impacts the duration of its effects as well. Ingesting CBD, either with edibles or capsules, takes longer to take effect, but also lasts for longer compared to other methods of taking CBD. When CBD products are ingested, they must first be digested and processed by the liver before making it to the bloodstream, which is when their effects can first be felt in the body.
In comparison, when administering CBD using a tincture product sublingually (using a dropper under the tongue), by vaping or smoking, CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream much more rapidly and the effects of the CBD are felt much faster.
Different methods of taking CBD oil suit different users better, depending on why they’re taking it. Anecdotally, people seeking a more swift treatment, will often take it sublingually or by vaping it. However, if you’re looking for a more convenient solution, that’s easier to measure, taking CBD capsules or other edible forms of CBD may suit you better.
What does CBD feel like?
CBD produces a calming, relaxed feeling, with many of its potential benefits being realised after consistent use. Those using CBD to treat pain from inflammation can feel effects within 30 minutes, depending on dosage.
When first trying CBD many users aren’t sure what to expect, and many overlook its more subtle effects. Unlike the other well known cannabinoid THC, which is the chemical responsible for the famous marijuana ‘high’, CBD doesn’t produce such a distinct reaction.
The effects of CBD will differ from user to user, especially depending on the user’s reasons for taking it. Those who are taking CBD oil to treat pain, particularly pain caused by inflammation, have been reported to feel noticeable effects quickly if enough CBD oil is taken. Its effect on other ailments, such as anxiety, can be more difficult to measure, with many describing the feeling as being calming, and ‘taking the edge off’.
Dosage amounts well below an ‘optimum’ level for an individual can result in no effect being felt at all. Finding the correct dose of CBD for your individual use can be tricky. When starting, it’s widely recommended to start ‘low and slow’ with respect to dosage amounts.
Taking this sound advice, it’s recommended that you continue to experiment sensibly with different dosage levels before giving up if you don’t feel any effect from the first few times taking a low dose. Try changing your dosages incrementally, rather than suddenly, and keeping note of any changes you notice.
Read our guide on how to take CBD oil for a deeper look into dosing and different methods of administration.
What is the correct CBD oil dose? This article explores how to take CBD oil and unpacks the different types of CBD oil products on the market, their advantages, disadvantages and how to get the most out of them.
Read this article
how long does it take for cbd oil to work?
CBD usually takes effect within 30 minutes depending on how it was taken. Vaping, smoking or taking CBD oils sublingually (under the tongue) bypass the digestion process allowing the effects to be felt faster
When vaping or smoking CBD, it is passed through the lungs and absorbed into the bloodstream. When taking it sublingually the CBD is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream via tissues under the tongue or through the gums.
It will take longer to feel the effects of CBD when you are ingesting it, up to an hour if taken with a meal, which is recommended as it assists with CBD absorption.
Unfortunately we’ve seen some suppliers and informational sites recommend you take CBD on an empty stomach. This does result in the effects being felt more quickly, however, due to how CBD is metabolised by the digestive system, less will end up in your bloodstream if taken without food, so this is not the best way to take the product.
How long does CBD stay in your system?
It’s believed that the half life (the time it takes for half of a substance’s concentration to decrease) of CBD in the human system is 2-5 days. This is supported by the results of a clinical study that was conducted at the College of Pharmacy, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center.
In this study 14 Huntington’s disease patients were administered a high dosage of CBD, 10mg / kg (averaging 700mg / patient) daily for 6 weeks. One week after the conclusion of the study, blood plasma levels of CBD in the patients were “virtually undetectable” even after such a high dosage.
Another interesting finding of the study was the absence of THC when the patients were tested:
“no plasma delta-1-THC, the major psychoactive cannabinoid of marijuana, was detected in any subject.”
– College of Pharmacy, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson.
How long does a bottle of CBD oil last?
This depends on how many mg (milligrams) of CBD oil a person is taking each day and the strength and concentration of the product someone is using.
If you are taking a 10mg daily dose (which is the minimum amount normally found in capsules and CBD edibles), then a 200 mg tincture of CBD will last approximately 20 days, and a 500 mg tincture will last for around 50 days, depending on how accurately you’re able to dose.
How long a product lasts = total CBD mg / daily mg use
How to properly store CBD oil
Cannabinoids like CBD degrade and break down when exposed to heat, light or oxygen. To prevent damage from light, CBD oil tinctures (droppers) are commonly sold in dark brown or colored containers. Storing CBD oil in a cool dark place, ideally the refrigerator, ensures that there is no loss of potency.
If properly stored, most CBD oil products can last up to a year with some suppliers claiming it can last even longer. However, not all CBD oil products are designed for a long shelf life. Some CBD oils contain other additives that don’t last as long, be sure to check ‘best before’ dates on purchased products.
If you’re looking into picking up some CBD oil, read our in depth guide how to identify high quality CBD oil to ensure you’re getting a quality product.