When you’re taking CBD products, it’s important to understand what you’re taking and how they affect you.
While they don’t contain significant quantities of THC, they do act on your body and brain, and knowing how long they take is just as important as knowing how cold and flumedications take, for example.
One of the key words here is ‘bioavailability’. This is a technical term referring to how much of a given substance your body can absorb. You can change how ‘bioavailable’ CBD oil is depending on how you take it, and therefore how much and quickly it’s absorbed into your body to get to work.
CBD Oil Tinctures
One of the most common ways to take CBD is in the form of a tincture of CBD oil with a dropper. You can choose how many drops you take as well as the strength of the tincture you buy, so you have a fine control over your dosage.
Many people take CBD oil sublingually – that is, by dropping their dose under their tongue. This allows it to be absorbed quickly into the blood stream and start to work. Similarly, if you’re using a CBD vape device, it enters the blood stream very directly, absorbed through the lungs.
Most research indicates that CBD taken like this can get work within ten minutes at its fastest.
There are lots of different ways to take CBD, aimed at either incorporating it into your lifestyle differently (like a CBD tea) or disguising the flavour (edibles). You could even take your CBD oil and drop it into food and drink. These all complicate how it is absorbed, and how quickly it hits your blood stream.
Putting CBD oil in food means it’s absorbed different. While it can be absorbed directly into the blood sublingually, swallowing it means it needs to pass through the digestive system and be absorbed and broken down by the liver before it enters your bloodstream. If you’re mixing it with other substances your body needs to digest it’s slowed down further: fibre, for example, slows it down significantly as it takes a long time to be digested. One of the most important things you can do is be consistent: use the same product at the same time and in the same way so you can learn how quickly it starts to work in the specific way you use it. A good ballpark figure is that CBD you’ve swallowed can take between one and two hours to start working.
Cannabinoids like cannabidiol are made of molecules called lipids, which are themselves made of fats. This means CBD isn’t soluble in water. It’s not a problem if you’re using an oil because the CBD comes dissolved in that already but if you’re making a CBD infused drink, you need to make sure you’re adding a fat to it to dissolve that key compound and help your body absorb it faster! It doesn’t have to be cow’s milk – anything that fills that function in a hot drink will help to dissolve CBD so your body can absorb it, whether it’s an animal product or made of almonds!