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July 16, 2021
 min read

How long do CBD gummies take to start working?

how long do cbd gummies take to start working
 Anthony Clement
Written by  
Anthony Clement
July 12, 2021

table of Contents

Patients are unsure how long do CBD gummies take to start working. These substances are really slow, which makes it hard to predict when they will start providing benefits to your body.

How long do CBD gummies take to start working?

Every medical hemp item has a specific consumption method, and with that, it takes a certain amount of time for it to work. Oral CBD products, in particular, are renowned for their slow acting mechanism. Cannabis edibles have to go through the digestive tract making their delivery to the bloodstream much longer.

While edibles take more time to act, they also provide a longer lasting effect. Consuming cannabis is much better for chronic ailments such as chronic pain relief. However, CBD gummies and CBD capsules are worse for serious acute issues. Vaping CBD or taking CBD oil is much better in such cases.

In this article, we will analyze how long do CBD gummies take to start working and what can you expect from them.

How are CBD gummies made?

CBD brands create edibles by infusing gummies with CBD tinctures. Because of that, gummies will provide the same effects as the underlying hemp extract.

Companies can use several types of hemp derived CBD oil for their gummies. This includes broad spectrum CBD oil, full spectrum oil, and CBD isolate. They work relatively similarly, although they have different chemical compositions. The main difference between them is that the full spectrum has trace amounts of THC, while the other two products do not.

The impact of edible gummies will vary based on CBD oil effects. According to experts, the substance is meant to stimulate cannabinoid receptors that are a part of the endocannabinoid system. This system regulates numerous things such as stress, pain, mood, sleep, etc. In theory, the chemical can regulate and improve all these processes.

What are the benefits of gummies compared to other products?

While most CBD products are relatively similar in terms of their wellness impact, they can have very different features.

Gummies are very popular for their flexibility. They are extremely inconspicuous, and you can even take them while at work without anyone noticing. CBD gummies are practically the same as the regular ones, and it is really hard to differentiate between the two even when you taste them.

Speaking of taste, gummies are a great solution for all those who want to avoid the nasty, earthy flavor of CBD oil. Furthermore, they can be much cleaner than some other products. Tinctures and topicals can cause all sorts of mess running your clothes in the process. CBD flower takes time to prepare unless you're buying pre rolls.

All gummies come in a specific concentration. This can be both positive and negative. If you already know your ideal dosage, gummies are ideal products. But, if you have to adjust the dose during the treatment or take very small quantities of CBD, it can be hard to predict the exact cannabidiol content when you split a gummy into two pieces.

Perhaps the main issue with gummies is that they have various unnecessary ingredients. They are full of sugar, which some users will not appreciate.

Why do people use CBD gummies?

Whether you’re using CBD topicals, CBD flower or CBD infused gummies, you can expect a lot of different improvements. According to limited data, here are some of the potential benefits you might experience:

  • Reduction of stress
  • Improvement of focus, memory, and alertness
  • Reduction of inflammation and improvement of surface and joint pain
  • Increase in appetite
  • Improvement of mood
  • Better, longer sleep
  • Better skin
  • Overall improvement of internal processes

These effects might vary based on several factors. CBD dosage and CBD concentration are the big ones.

Cannabidiol products might also have a variable impact depending on the condition or symptoms you wish to treat. In some cases, the substance can provide quick relief. However, if you wish to improve the overall state of the body by stimulating the endocannabinoid system, you will need to use the substance for a while.

The great thing about these products is that they're completely natural. This gives them a major advantage over prescription drugs. Furthermore, some of these medicines are notorious for their side effects. And while hemp extracts also have drawbacks of their own, they are not nearly as volatile. In fact, if you take the substance in a moderate dose, according to your body weight, you are less likely to experience them.

How long does it take for CBD products to work?

The sooner CBD reaches your bloodstream, the sooner you will feel the effects. In that sense, CBD oil tinctures and CBD vape substances are ideal, as they will go almost directly into your blood. Gummies are very slow as they have to go through the stomach. This also reduces their CBD bioavailability.

Here is how different substances affect your body and how much it takes them to work:

CBD Edibles

Edibles are a broad category that includes pills, gummies, capsules, and so on. These products are introduced into your body immediately by swallowing them and sending them to the stomach.

It takes about 30 to 60 minutes for edibles to work. In some cases, it might take up to 90 minutes. However, the slow metabolizing works in both directions: it also means that that product will last longer. Gummies can provide effects for up to 6, and sometimes, for up to 8 hours.


CBD oil is the best example of a sublingual hemp product. Other items from this group are lollipops and gums.

When you take a sublingual product, it will interact with the sublingual gland in your mouth. For this to work, you need to keep a substance in your mouth for a while. In other words, you cannot swallow it, but instead, you need to suck on it or swirl it around.

These items are great for acute problems. They start working in 10 to 15 minutes. However, they usually last for up to 2 hours, which might force you to reuse them several times a day.

CBD Topicals

Some of the most popular topicals include creams, ointments, and balms. The main difference between them is in texture and consistency. They often have various essential oils and other substances that add to their potency.

It takes about an hour or so for the tissue to fully absorb them. But, you might feel effects much faster than that.  They are great for skin and fine muscle tissue. If you use higher quantities, you might prolong its effect as it will need more time for the cream to be fully absorbed.

CBD Vaped products

Smokable CBD and vapes penetrate your bloodstream faster than any other method. That will get into your lungs immediately, and from there, they will have direct access to the bloodstream.

Vapes and smokes will start providing benefits in just a few minutes. They will peak at around the 20, 30-minute mark, and they can stay in your body for up to 2 hours.

Why are CBD gummies so slow?

The main reason why gummies and edibles are so slow is that they have a much longer way to the bloodstream. Whether you're using medical marijuana or hemp, these products will need to be digested by the stomach acids before they can reach their goal.

In that sense, digesting CBD is very similar to any other food. It is much better to consume CBD products on an empty stomach. If there is food within, it will take more time for the body to digest the substance.

According to studies, cannabinoids will be metabolized by the liver. When this happens, they go through the "first pass effect." Enzymes will reduce the concentration of CBD. So, when the substance is finally sent to the bloodstream, it will be much less potent. 

A CBD Edible has a bioavailability from 4% to 20%, which cannot compare to other items that can have from 15% to 30%.

On top of these factors, there are some other organism specific things you need to consider. We cannot neglect the impact of metabolic factors as well as tolerance. They can have a major impact on our ability to metabolize and utilize the substance.

When will CBD gummies kick in?

If you wish to predict the impact of these chemicals, you should give them at least 60 minutes to work. They might provide effects a bit quicker after 30 minutes, but you shouldn't count on this.

Here are some factors that might prolong or hasten metabolizing speed:

Using CBD on an empty stomach

If you want the quickest results possible, you should take CBD gummies on an empty stomach. If you took a normal dose, your body would have to properly digest and absorb all the gummies. In other words, you probably won't feel the impact until everything is metabolized.

If there is already food in your stomach, the body will take time to break down all these substances. As such, it will take much longer for cannabidiol to be processed.

Speed of metabolism

Metabolic factors are important for CBD as they are for any other type of substance or food. Simply put, some bodies are much faster at processing chemicals. Keep in mind that bodies with a faster metabolism will also have a shorter duration of effect.

Body weight and composition

This can somewhat relate to metabolism. Heavier people will have to take increased quantities of the substance to get the same effects as lighter people. Having more CBD in their body, it will take longer for it to be processed.

We also need to consider the impact of enzymes. They are crucial for metabolizing not only cannabinoids but all other substances that enter our bodies. If they are working subpar, it will be harder to process cannabidiol. Enzymes might work slower due to excessive stress or some other metabolic misbalance. 

Use of drugs and other substances

First off, drugs will burden your stomach, making the digestion process slower. But, there is another major problem with them.

Some of these drugs have chemicals that might affect metabolizing. CBD will remain in your stomach for a longer time, and it will be harder for the body to break it down. Among others, cannabidiol and drugs might prolong each other’s effect, which might also increase the odds of side effects.

How long will CBD gummies stay in your body?

The same factors that affect the start of the benefits will also affect their ending. In other words, if you have a slow metabolism, the duration of effects will also last longer.

Sometimes, there might be a discrepancy between the two. For example, it might take a lot of time for you to feel the effects, but the substance will stop acting rather quickly. This might happen because you were able to flush out the substance before it was able to reach its maximum duration.

Here are some of the factors that might impact how long CBD will remain in your body:


Cannabidiol is fat soluble. That means that a part of it is stored within fat cells. Among others, this is why we use essential oils to deliver it in our bodies. If you have a high percentage of fat, it will become harder to flush out the substance. So, lower fat deposits and fat burning processes can expedite the process.

Food in stomach

Having food in the stomach is important for both feeling the effects and flushing out the substance. As your metabolism gets burdened, it will be harder for it to perform metabolic processes.

So, eating a lot of food as CBD starts working will prolong its stay within the body.

Metabolic factors

Metabolism will have the biggest impact on flushing out the substance. If you have a really fast metabolism, the benefits will be felt sooner, but the substance will also leave your body sooner. The opposite goes for slower metabolisms.

Strength of a gummy

We also need to mention the concentration of CBD within a gummy. While you might not need longer to feel the effects, it will definitely need more time to flush it out.

In the next section, we will talk about how CBD concentration affects its duration.

How does CBD concentration affect duration?

An interesting thing about CBD is that even when you stop feeling the benefits, the substance will still remain in your body. This is precisely why you might test positive on THC when using medical marijuana gummies.

Like all other drugs, cannabidiol has half life. This shows us how much it takes for the body to eliminate half of its concentration.

Although we have some initial data regarding CBD’s half life, experts are still not certain how long the substance sticks in our bodies. The general estimates are somewhere around 18 to 32 hours. Keep in mind that this period can be even longer if you’re using the substance every day. So, these approximations should only be considered if you’re a one time user.

If we presume that the average cannabidiol half life is 24 hours, here is how much it would take our bodies to process 100mg of the substance:

  • After 24 hours, we will have 50 milligrams of CBD in the body
  • After 48 hours, we will have 25 milligrams of CBD in the body
  • After 72 hours, we will have 12.5 milligrams of CBD in the body

The concentration will go progressively down until the chemical is completely absorbed.

When is the best time to take CBD gummies?

If you wish to administer CBD gummies, first you need to ask yourself why you are taking them.

Most people take cannabidiol to balance their natural processes. They might not necessarily suffer from a medical issue, but instead, they want to improve bodily functions. If this is your case, you can take gummies at any time. The substance will slowly start improving internal processes after prolonged use.

Here is the ideal time for administering CBD based on the desired effects:

Improving sleep and reducing stress

Medical hemp is probably the best natural substance to reduce stress and improve sleep. In fact, by reducing stress levels and relaxing the muscles, you will also boost your sleep. Keep in mind that CBD will not necessarily put you to sleep, it will only make it easier to go to bed.

Needless to say, if you’re using cannabidiol to address this issue, it is much better to take it in the evening. Many people like to take a CBD gummy as soon as they come back from work. This would give them enough time for the substance to start working and to relax prior to going to bed.

Improving alertness, energy, and focus

Although CBD is great for relaxation, it is also amazing for alertness and energy. Taking a few gummies as soon as you wake up will get you ready for the upcoming day. The substance works by improving internal processes. It will clear your head and boost all the functions associated with it.

Pain relief

Medical hemp products are not sanctioned for inflammations or pain. Still, many people use them in such a manner.

If you're suffering from chronic pain or if you had a recent medical procedure, taking small quantities of gummies throughout the day will definitely help. If you're dealing with an acute problem, you might as well go with one, larger dose.

The substance might also provide some relief for athletes as well as people who are suffering from joint pain.

Regardless of the reason why you’re taking gummies, make sure to take them well in advance. Otherwise, you might experience the benefits at an inopportune time, or you might not even need them by the time substance starts working.

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