How Long Does CBD Last? | Consumption Method Guide

Posted by CBD LION on on Sep/Fri/2021

How long does CBD last

How long does CBD last? How long does CBD take to work? How do I know when it's working? These are all common questions that we often hear, and with a bit of research, you will be able to find the answers. How long does CBD last is not a straightforward answer because it varies depending on your consumption method. There are so many ways to take it. One of the ways we recommend when choosing a product is to focus on the onset time and duration it will last.

Typically, if you consume CBD oil orally (with food), the onset can take up to 2 hours, but the duration of effects could range from 4-6 hours. If you inhale or vape CBD oil, the onset should happen in just minutes, with effects lasting 1-2 hours after inhalation and 10 - 15 minutes after vaping. The best way to tell if your CBD is working is by consistent use and experimentation. This article focuses on CBD derived from hemp.

What is CBD?

CBD is short for the scientific name cannabidiol. It's a molecule consisting of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. It was made legal in the 2018 United States Farm Bill. Many products started to market when hemp was legalized under pilot programs in the 2014 farm bill.

It is popular because it has the natural benefits of the cannabis plant without the psychoactive effect found in THC. You can take it at any time and not worry about being intoxicated! It is most commonly found as a CBD oil. It's also available in many places, making it easy to buy in person or online.

Where CBD comes from?

CBD is most commonly associated with hemp but can be extracted from marijuana plants as well. The difference that separates the two is the THC content.

Hemp must be 0.3% or less THC, and Marijuana is anything above 0.3% THC. Any hemp that tests above 0.3% outside of the Marijuana program is deemed hot and must be destroyed.

Hemp CBD is the most available form and is shipped to all 50 states. Marijuana based CBD usually has a CBD: THC ratio over the 0.3% threshold and is found in dispensaries. This article focuses on hemp-derived CBD>

How CBD is Extracted

There are two main methods for extracting CBD from the flower. One is C02 based, and the other is solvent-based. The C02 method is more costly and results in a more expensive product.

Solvent-based is the most common and when done correctly, is the most cost-effective method. Both produce high-quality products.

Factors you should take into account if you are a new use or CBD

If you are a first-time user, you are in the right place! When you are new to CBD, taking it for the first time can be a bit intimidating. There is no way to know the exact amount you'll need.

You'll have to start at a lower dosage and consistently experiment until you get the desired results. We go into a lot of detail with our dosage article here.

Three Types of CBD

There are three main CBD types products are made with. All have CBD, but some contain additional cannabinoids and even small amounts of THC. All products will provide the endocannabinoid system the CBD it needs.


The most common type of CBD is isolate. This is a 99% CBD powder that is THC free. The CBD molecules are pulled from the distillate oil, making it pure. It is the most abundant form and also the most reasonable.

Broad Spectrum

Broad spectrum CBD is a distillate oil with the THC pulled out. THC has a lower boiling point than CBD, allowing it to be removed in the extraction process. Broad spectrum contains additional cannabinoids and terpenes that are not found in the isolate and can aid by enabling an entourage effect.

Full Spectrum

Full spectrum CBD is an unaltered distillate oil. It is the pure oil pulled from extraction and has all terpenes and cannabinoids intact, including THC. It is considered the most potent CBD product. These products do tend to have a more earthy taste compared to the isolate.

CBD Duration Factors

Many factors will affect how long the CBD will last. They come down to the product itself and your body. We'll dive deep into the body in this section.


Bodyweight has a considerable impact on the effects of CBD oil. It will affect how much you will need and how it is processed. Larger bodies do require more CBD.


The next factor in duration is age. A younger person has a faster metabolism and with push the CBD through the system quicker. An older person will have a slower onset, and the CBD will take time traveling through the system.

Body Composition

Body fat percentage also plays a critical role in how fast the CBD oil is absorbed and takes effect. A higher body fat percentage individual will store more CBD in their fat cells before it's used. They will need a higher dosage to achieve a faster onset and more prolonged effect.

Amount consumed

The more you consume, the longer it will last. Luckily it's pretty much impossible to overdose on CBD. There is no toxic or fatal dosage of CBD. Most people need to increase the dose as their body gets used to taking it for consistent relief and effects.

If you are looking for a long-lasting effect from your CBD, start with a low amount, wait about 30 minutes before consuming more to see how it works.


Lifestyle plays a role in how fast your heart rate is. A more stressed lifestyle with someone's heart beating faster will push CBD through the system more quickly, resulting in a shorter duration. A calmer lifestyle will result in a more even, longer-lasting period.


With CBD, there is mounting evidence that you can develop a tolerance. This means the same amount will lead to a weaker and quicker effect. The best way to counteract the tolerance is to either increase CBD oil dosage or suspend use for a couple of weeks.

Time of Day

When you choose to take CBD can affect the duration as well. Taking CBD in between meals on an empty stomach will result in a faster onset and shorter time.

Taking it right after a meal will result in a more prolonged onset and duration.

Typical onset time by type of CBD

There are so many different CBD products, but we can break them down into four main categories.

The main types are sublingual, ingestion, topical, and inhalation.

Each one has a different onset time. It takes for you to feel the effects. So how long does it take for the CBD to take effect? Read below as we break down each type of CBD product.


CBD oil, also known as CBD tinctures, is one of the most common products you'll find. These are taken by placing drops of CBD under your tongue. The CBD is taken directly into the bloodstream and does not rely on any other organs to move it. The longer you hold the CBD under your tongue, the more will be absorbed. When you eventually swallow, the rest will be absorbed by the digestive system.

The typical onset time for CBD oil tinctures is 20 minutes to 1 hour.


CBD Edibles are food products with CBD oil infused in them. They are eaten and let the digestive system do the rest. Eating edibles on a full stomach versus an empty stomach can affect the onset time.

The most common edible you'll find is CBD gummies. CBD capsules are another popular choice.

Onset times can be up to 90 minutes, depending on how full your stomach is.


Topical products are a popular choice for many that want to target areas in need. They are simple and get CBD directly to the endocannabinoid system for that specific spot.

Topicals rely on the skin to be absorbed into the body. Applying CBD topicals directly after a shower is recommended because the pores are opened up and can absorb more.

The typical onset time seen for topical products is 20-40 minutes.

Hemp Flower/Inhalation

The original form of ingesting CBD is inhaling smoke from the hemp flower. This allows the CBD to be absorbed by blood vessels, and the user will feel the effects almost instantly. Vaping CBD oil is another form of inhalation.

The onset time seen in CBD inhalation products is 30 seconds to 5 minutes.

How long CBD effects last?

To effectively use CBD for relief, you need to know how long the effects of CBD last. This will allow you to calculate how much you need and when. Remember, there are a ton of variables at play.

All of them can affect onset and duration for shorter and longer periods. The times given below are a rough guide, and we recommend consistent experimentation.

Remember CBD will stay in your system for a different length of time than anyone else.


CBD tinctures typically last for 2-4 hours. You'll want to start with a small amount initially and work your way up. You can even take more within 30 minutes. Each CBD oil dropper has a way to measure and calculate how much you have taken.

Gummies and Edibles

CBD capsules, gummies, edibles, and tinctures spread on food are all absorbed through ingestion. The effects of ingested CBD products are typically 4-6 hours. The digestive system timing has an impact on how long you'll feel the effects. A full stomach will have a longer, weaker duration. An empty stomach has a quicker, stronger duration.

Lotion, Roll-on, sports tape, bath bombs

CBD infused lotions, roll-ons, and bath bombs are expected to have effects last 4-8 hours.

The CBD Sports tape and patch have a time-release formula. Users can expect to feel the effects for up to 48 hours.

Hemp Flower, Pre-rolls

Inhaling CBD through hemp flower or by vaping CBD oil is the shortest duration. Users can expect to experience the benefits of CBD for about 1-4 hours. The amount of CBD in the flower or vape oil has a significant impact on how long it will last.

CBD and medication

CBD and medication can interact with each other. Consult with your doctor before starting CBD if you take prescription medications.

If your doctor approves CBD usage, be aware that drugs can increase or decrease how long the effects last.

Other variables that can influence onset and effects period

In addition to your body, there is another main set of variables that affect the effects of CBD. These are habit and personal choice-based variables.

Amount taken

The amount of CBD oil consumed has a significant impact on the duration. It's straightforward; the more CBD consumed, the longer it lasts. Please do not go too far with this, as it is a quick way to build tolerance.

How often you use CBD

Frequency of use has a significant effect on the CBD effects. CBD once a week versus daily can have an impact on how long the CBD lasts. CBD works by supplementing the endocannabinoid system.

If you are taking it frequently, chances are high your body has enough cannabinoids to bring balance. This will result in a longer duration of effects. Taking more often also gives more opportunity for the CBD to work.

If you use CBD frequently, you also risk building a tolerance. When you create a tolerance, taking CBD at the same amount will diminish the effects of CBD oil.

Alcohol consumption

Consuming alcohol and CBD oil at the same time may amplify the effects of each substance. We do not recommend mixing the two.

Daytime vs. Nighttime

The time of day CBD products are consumed affects duration.

The body is more active when awake and will process the CBD quicker, leading to shorter onset.

When you are sleeping, the body is at rest and can expect the benefits of CBD to last longer.

How much CBD should you take?

The dosage you should take depends on which CBD products you choose to take, your body, and your habits.

We recommend you start slow when you take CBD and gradually work your way up.

How much CBD you need can not be answered in a few paragraphs, and recommend checking our in-depth guide here.

How long CBD stays in your system

The effects of CBD last hours but will stay in your system longer. How long CBD lasts in your body is highly dependent on your body type and the amount consumed.

Do I need to be concerned about a drug test?

Suppose you are subject to a Cannabis drug test panel. In that case, we recommend suspending the use of all CBD products at least 30 days beforehand. Drug testing technology has flagged many CBD users with false positives regardless of THC content.

We encourage all CBD users to have an open relationship with their employers. Suppose you are in a zero-tolerance situation with drug testing for THC. In that case, we recommend avoiding all hemp-derived CBD products.

Find the right CBD products for you

The right CBD is dependent on your preferences. Some people like the ease of CBD tinctures. Others want to take CBD as a treat like gummies or chocolate.

Tinctures are great if you want something cost-effective, have multiple strengths, and are easy to take.

Topicals are the perfect product for targeting areas in need. Our lotion has a non-greasy formula and rubs in easily. Roll-ons are great if you want the relief of the lotion, clean hands, and a cooling sensation. Sports tape is the choice if you want the longest-lasting topical application.

Gummies and chocolate are a great way to reward yourself. The gummies are available in lemon, raspberry, slumberberry, strawberry, and variety. The chocolate is available in milk or dark varieties. It's also a full spectrum product for maximum relief.

Hemp flower is perfect if you want to take CBD in the oldest, most natural form. It's loaded with terpenes and additional cannabinoids for potent relief. It is a more restricted product, so it does not ship to all 50 states.

We developed a 3 question quiz that will help steer you in the right direction. You can access the quiz here.

In conclusion

How long does CBD last? It's highly dependent on the product, your body, and your environment. There are typical times for onset and duration for CBD to work, but those are a starting point.

It requires consistent usage and experimentation to get a concrete idea of how long the effects will last. Access to legal cannabis is relatively new, and studies are only beginning to show the true potential of this incredible plant. As more and more studies come out, dosage amount and duration of effects will be a more straightforward thing to provide information. Until then, we have to experiment and use trial and error to determine how it can effectively help us.