How Long do the Effects of CBD Last?
CBD is not a one-size-fits-all product. However, since it’s often well tolerated, finding the dose that fits your unique needs is not difficult. Once the CBD oil has begun to work and you're experiencing the benefits, you may wonder how long the effects will last.
It is difficult to determine the length of time you'll experience relief and how long the CBD will remain in your body. However, some factors can help you estimate how long you experience the benefits with each dose.
There are a variety of reasons people consider using CBD. These include improving sleep quality, balancing mood, and managing aches & pain. Additionally, researchers are hopeful that CBD could be used to help reduce the effects of drug dependence, which are at epidemic rates in the U.S.
CBD may also help to control feelings of anxiousness and sadness, and one study found that a single dose had a measurable effect on reducing blood pressure (though at this time, CBD is not medically proven to treat or cure high blood pressure). Because of its role in your endocannabinoid system, there are potentially long-term benefits for some conditions.
CBD oil is also used for occasional instances of anxiousness and panic or short-term pain management. Knowing how long the dose will affect you can help you determine when you might need your next dose and how much to take.
It’s All About Metabolism and Bioavailability
There is a direct relationship between how long the effects of CBD last and your body’s metabolism. Your body mass index and water content also influence how long the effects last and how long they stay in your system. Another significant factor is bioavailability.
This is a term that means how quickly and effectively CBD is available for your body to use. Several factors affect bioavailability, including the dosage, the way you take CBD, and how frequently you use it. There are several ways of taking CBD, which include:
- Topically (on the skin)
- Sublingually (under the tongue)
Each of these methods has a different level of bioavailability. For example, inhaling or smoking CBD raises the percentage of the compound immediately available to the bloodstream through the lung tissue.
However, as data has shown, inhaling hot substances increases the risk of damage to your lungs. Taking CBD sublingually, or under the tongue, is a second method of increasing the bioavailability of the compound.
CBD is absorbed directly through the mucous membranes and bypasses your digestive system. This method increases how quickly it works and the amount available to your body.
When swallowed, CBD first goes through the digestive system called the “first-pass effect,” which lowers the concentration of CBD available to your body. Before reaching your bloodstream, the CBD first passes through the liver, where metabolism begins. With lower-concentration CBD edible products, the length of time that you’ll feel the effects will likely be significantly shorter.
Other Factors That Can Affect How Long CBD Lasts
Although metabolism and bioavailability of the product are two of the main factors that affect how long CBD benefits last, there are others over which you may have greater control.
For example, the larger the dose of CBD, the longer it stays in your system. However, it is not recommended you begin using high doses if you are new to CBD. It's best to start with a lower recommended dose and increase from there as needed.
Frequency is another factor that affects how long the effects of CBD lasts. The compounds in CBD work by balancing your natural endocannabinoid system.
CBD is a fat-soluble molecule. This means your body stores CBD for short periods in fat cells. The greater the number of fat cells you have, the longer it takes for CBD to leave your body.
With daily use, CBD can build up in the fat cells, helping maintain a better balance of your natural endocannabinoid system. In other words, people who use it consistently may find that the effects last longer without building a tolerance to cannabinoid compounds.
Multiple Compounds Last Different Lengths of Time
The variety of cannabinoid compounds found in the hemp plant also influences how long the benefits last with each dose. The Cannabis sativa plant has over 100 cannabinoids.
CBD oil comes in three different forms: full spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD oil contains many of the other naturally occurring compounds extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant, including up to 0.3% of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC.
Broad-spectrum CBD contains several of the compounds, but without THC. The CBD isolate is the purest form that contains only CBD.
Several other cannabinoid compounds are in broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD oil, including cannabinols (CBN), cannabichromenes (CBC), cannabigerols (CBG), and cannabicyclols (CBL).
These compounds have unique benefits and are also affected by factors that influence how long CBD lasts in your body. It is nearly impossible to make a definitive statement about how long the effects last, but as a rule, it may last several hours.
How to Choose a Quality Product
CBD oil is extracted from hemp plants that legally contain only 0.3% or less THC by dry weight. It’s important to note that hemp is a phytoremediation crop. This means that the plants can extract heavy metals and other contaminants from the soil in which they are grown.
When purchasing CBD products, you have the choice of three options: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. Many CBD oil benefits come from the interaction between CBD and the other cannabinoid compounds found in full-spectrum products.
A third factor to consider is third-party laboratory testing that can show exactly what's in the product.