With a wide range of benefits, CBD is popping up everywhere. You can use CBD in different forms to support healthy sleep, moisturize skin, relieve feelings of tension and stress, and more.
But how long does the relief last? Can a single dab of CBD lead to better-hydrated skin? And how much CBD is needed before you’re off to Snoozeville?
If you’re looking for answers to any of these questions, you’ve come to the right place! Let evo hemp guide you through the ins and outs of CBD usage and its effects.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of product. This is great because it means that CBD can adapt to what is going on internally and help support the individual needs of you and your body.
But it also means that determining the exact timeline CBD works on is difficult, as it varies from person to person.
So how does CBD respond differently depending on the person? To better understand that, we have to understand the endocannabinoid system.
What Is the Endocannabinoid System?
Once CBD enters the body, it is absorbed into the bloodstream where it can join forces with the endocannabinoid system (also known as the ECS).
The ECS is an internal networking system that helps regulate homeostasis using endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors (CB receptors), and enzymes.
If anything in the body moves outside a normal range of function–such as the release of higher-than-usual levels of stress hormones due to nervousness or a harmed muscle following an injury–the ECS is alerted. Molecular chemicals called endocannabinoids are produced by our bodies and sent out through the bloodstream to bind and interact with CB receptors.
For instance, if you are experiencing high levels of stress, endocannabinoids may bind with CB receptors in the brain to help regulate neurotransmitter function and stress hormone levels. Or if you pull a muscle during exercise, endocannabinoids can bind with the CB receptors in that specific muscle to help reduce swelling and bring soothing relief.
Endocannabinoids do not last long, as enzymes are easily able to break them back down into their original form.
How Does CBD Affect the Endocannabinoid System?
As a phytocannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, CBD is chemically similar to our own endocannabinoids, allowing them to interact with the ECS to support various body functions.
Because CBD is used within the body to support the ECS in whatever it is already doing naturally, different people will feel the effects of CBD differently based on what they specifically need to maintain their own homeostasis.
As everyone’s body is unique, we also won’t all respond to the same amounts and forms of CBD the same way.
While you’ll likely need to engage in some trial and error to see what works best for you, we’ve compiled the basics to help you get started.
How Long Does CBD Last in the Body?
After taking CBD, the effects typically last anywhere between four and eight hours. That said, it is possible to extend the effects of your CBD — in some cases, CBD can stay active in your system for up to two to five days at a time.
What Can Affect How Long CBD Lasts in the Body?
Consider the following variables to help you get the most out of your CBD usage!
The more consistently you take CBD, the longer it can stay active in your system in terms of delivering benefits. If you only take CBD once in a while, your body will clear it out quicker. But because CBD builds up in your body over time, you’ll get the most out of your CBD regimen if you take it daily.
If taken consistently, CBD may be able to build up in fat-storing cells, where it can last for several days and be released to support the endocannabinoid system as needed.
The amount of CBD you take per day can play a part in determining how long the effects last. While you’ll need to use enough CBD to start with to feel the effects, more CBD does not always lead to longer effects.
Studies have found that a higher dose of full-spectrum CBD (a form of CBD that includes all compounds of the cannabis plant, including up to the legal limit of THC) can correlate with heightened and longer-lasting effects. This is likely due to the entourage effect, in which the different plant parts work together synergistically for maximum overall effect.
In contrast to full-spectrum substances, studies find that when it comes to CBD isolate (a pure form of extracted CBD that does not include any of the plant’s other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids), once you find a dosage threshold that allows you to feel the effects, increasing the dose does not lead to increased effects.
Your CBD sweet spot will likely fall somewhere between 5 mg and 100 mg per day. When you hit that sweet spot with CBD isolate, taking more will not increase how long the benefits last. Even with full-spectrum products, most people do not need more than 100 or so milligrams in a day.
Bioavailability refers to how much of a substance your body is able to absorb. For a substance to become active within your system, your body needs to absorb enough of it (versus just metabolizing it on out).
CBD has naturally low bioavailability, meaning that if you ingested or inhaled CBD extract, your body would not be able to absorb much of it, and you wouldn’t experience much–if any–of the effects.
Luckily, CBD is fat-soluble, so you can increase the amount of CBD your body absorbs by mixing it with fatty acids such as coconut oil or hemp oil. This is one of the reasons that CBD oils are such a popular way to enjoy CBD, and other consumable forms of CBD such as gummies typically include some fat content.
If you want to help CBD last longer in your system, make sure your product has a high-fat content, or mix it into a fatty drink or meal of your own, such as milk or nut-butter.
That said, there is an exception: water-soluble CBD. This is a very unique and rare form of CBD — it takes a few extra steps in the extraction/processing phase, but it’s basically a form of CBD that is roughly 10x more bioavailable than “regular” CBD. And we carry it right here at evo hemp. You can find our water-soluble CBD isolate powder here!
What You Eat
Similarly, what and when you eat when taking CBD can impact its effectiveness.
Along with taking CBD with a fatty meal, you can also help increase the length of the effects by taking CBD on a full stomach. This helps slow the digestion of CBD, whereas taking it on an empty stomach can lead the body to metabolize and destroy it more quickly.
(Again, a bit of an exception with our CBD isolate powder — there’s a reason we’re so obsessed with it!)
The amount of time CBD stays in your body depends on a number of internal factors, including your water content, metabolism, and weight.
This is one of the reasons it’s a good idea to start with a low dose of CBD (usually five to ten mg) per day and work your way up until you feel the desired effects–you’ll need to find your own unique groove based on your own unique body!
The way you introduce CBD into your body and the form you take it in all have slightly different results in terms of when effects kick in and how long they last.
Read on to learn what you can expect from varying popular forms of CBD.
How Long Do Different Forms of CBD Last?
- Consumables – Consumable or “edible” forms of CBD such as gummies and crystals can take an hour or two to kick in because they need to move through the digestive tract before they are absorbed. While slow to kick in, the effects of CBD consumables typically last longer than other forms of CBD. Consumables can stay active in your body from eight hours to a few days (of course depending on many of the factors covered above).
- Oils or Tinctures – These popular and easy-to-use forms of CBD can be taken sublingually or mixed in with food. It often takes 15 minutes to an hour for the effects to kick in. Pro tip: Taking under the tongue (i.e. sublingually) will work the quickest! Effects typically last for four to eight hours, although that can increase if taken consistently.
- Powders — Okay, we’re plugging this in just one more time, but mainly to highlight that it’s a much better form than oils (though we obviously love our oils, too) in most cases, especially if you’re looking to mix it in with food or drink. Our CBD powder is water-soluble, so while you can’t quite add a few drops of CBD oil to your nutrition shake or morning latte and expect it to blend, you absolutely can with our CBD isolate powder, and you get way more bioavailability!
- Capsules or Softgels – Like edibles, CBD capsules or softgels move through the digestive tract, and so it will typically take 45 minutes to an hour before effects kick in. Capsules and softgels often last for six to eight hours.
- Topicals – Because the CBD from topicals like balms or roll-ons isn’t digested and doesn’t enter the bloodstream, the effects kick in quickly, and you can reapply as needed throughout the day. If using a topical to moisturize dry and irritated skin or soothe localized discomfort, you’ll likely feel the effects within just a few minutes, and they’ll typically last for a few hours at a time. If you are using CBD skincare products to help reduce visible signs of scarring or acne, you’ll need to use them consistently for a few weeks before you’ll start to see results.
Regardless of what you want to get out of your CBD usage, consistency is key.
While you can often feel the short-term benefits associated with CBD within an hour or two of use, CBD can become even more effective when it is built up over time. This is why it’s recommended to take CBD for at least a month to promote meaningful holistic changes like healthy sleeping habits or a calmer mind, and multiple weeks at a time to brighten and rejuvenate skin.
Knowing how long different forms of CBD last in the body and different actions you can take to prolong the effects of CBD can help you become a more confident CBD shopper and user, while getting the most out of whichever CBD product you choose.
Ready to start incorporating CBD into your day? Find the right type of CBD for you at evo hemp’s shop!