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How Long Does It Take for CBD Capsules to Take Effect?

One of the most commonly asked questions regarding premium CBD capsules is ‘how long do they take to work?’ Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer because the length of time depends on various factors. These can include the user’s body weight, metabolism, and the concentration of CBD in the capsule.

CBD capsules are an extremely popular method of consuming the cannabinoid, which is why more and more people are asking the title question. This article provides an outline of the factors that dictate how long it takes for CBD pills to affect. We also try to provide a ballpark figure. First, however, let’s briefly look at what CBD capsules are and why people use them.

What Are CBD Capsules?

They are typically softgels filled with hemp extract. Most brands sell full-spectrum CBD, which means the CBD pills also include other cannabinoids, as well as terpenes and flavonoids. In general, the casing is vegan-friendly, but it’s always important to check. 

Using CBD pills is really easy. Simply put one in your mouth and swallow with water. The product label should clearly outline how much CBD is in each capsule. The industry standard amount is 25mg, but brands like Premium Jane offer a higher concentration of up to 40mg of CBD per capsule.

When you use a CBD capsule, you are benefiting from oral consumption. The cannabinoids in the capsule make their way to the bloodstream through your digestive system. One downside is the low bioavailability. No more than 20% of the CBD in a capsule makes it to the bloodstream.

On the plus side, CBD pills are an extremely convenient method of using the cannabinoid. There is no mess, and it is easy to determine how much cannabidiol you have used.

How Do CBD Capsules Interact with My Body?

It is a complex process, as cannabidiol interacts with the brain and body via numerous mechanisms. We know that once you consume your CBD pill, its compounds begin interacting with various proteins in the central nervous system (CNS) and the body. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a major part of this process.

The interaction between cannabinoids and the ECS specifically involves cannabinoid receptors known as CB1 and CB2. CBD is thought to inhibit the absorption of anandamide, an endocannabinoid that regulates pain.

Cannabidiol also interacts with receptor proteins that are unrelated to the ECS. These include TRPV1 and 5-HT1A receptors. The activation of these receptors could be the reason for CBD’s possible pain-relieving properties.

A study published in 2020 found that CBD inhibits TRPV1 signaling via a dual mechanism. The first mechanism involves inhibiting the cAMP pathway (adenylyl cyclase), which is crucial for maintaining the sensitization of TRPV1. The second pathway seems to involve calcineurin-mediated TRPV1 inhibition.

How Long Does It Take for CBD Capsules to Have an Effect?

There is no single factor that dictates how long it takes for CBD pills to work. Instead, it all depends on an array of issues, which we’ll now look at in greater detail.

Consumption Method

You can purchase CBD in a variety of forms, and the one you choose influences onset time. Ingestion via CBD capsules, oil, or gummies, means the compounds go on a journey through the digestive tract and liver. Once there, the cannabinoids are broken down before they get to the bloodstream.

According to a study published in 2016, when the liver metabolizes CBD, it goes through the ‘first pass’ effect. This means the liver’s enzymes decrease the concentration of CBD. It is only then that the rest of the compounds go to the bloodstream and are distributed throughout the body.

The above is a lengthy journey, which means that CBD capsules could take up to two hours to affect.


Your body weight determines how quickly CBD makes it to the bloodstream. It is specifically related to the amount of body fat you have. CBD is stored in fat cells before being eliminated from the body via urine and feces. Cannabidiol doesn’t necessarily have to build up in your body to have an effect. However, it is stored in your fat cells and can stay in the body long after the cannabinoid’s effects cease.


Your metabolic rate also helps determine how long it takes for CBD capsules to affect. Your metabolism dictates how quickly the body breaks down and synthesizes compounds like CBD. This impacts the length of time taken for your body to process and metabolize cannabidiol.

CBD Concentration & Product Quality

The more CBD you use, the more likely it is that you’ll feel an effect. Remember, only about 20% of the CBD you consume makes it to the bloodstream. Even in this best-case scenario, only 5mg of CBD from a 25mg capsule will get where it needs to. You might find that the 5mg you get isn’t enough and need 10mg. This means you would have to consume two x 25mg capsules.

The above also relates directly to the quality of products. A substantial number of CBD products don’t contain the amount of cannabidiol advertised on the label. This is mainly because the industry remains relatively poorly regulated. You should only invest in brands like Premium Jane that provide full third-party lab reports with every batch of CBD capsules. That way, you can trust that you’re really getting 25mg of CBD per pill.

How Long Will CBD Stay in My System?

Once again, a lot depends on the factors we have outlined above. For instance, it is possible to detect CBD from smoked hemp flower up to 72 hours after use. Other research involved giving volunteers soft gelatin capsules with a combination of THC and CBD. The study found that CBD was only detectable for up to six hours after consuming the capsules.

However, there is a suggestion that the half-life of CBD is 2.5 days. Individuals who use CBD regularly might find that it can take over a week for it to leave the body completely. This is because CBD builds up in the bloodstream if you continually use it. Whether this improves efficacy is another matter.

Final Thoughts on How Long a CBD Capsule Takes to Have an Effect

Ultimately, there is no conclusive answer. Approximately 1-2 hours is the ballpark range. However, this can change depending on body weight, metabolism, CBD concentration, and other factors. The best thing for you to do is use CBD capsules and monitor how you feel.

Record the time and the amount of CBD you use, and write down if and when you feel an effect. If nothing noticeable happens, increase the dose until you feel something.

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