How Long Does CBD Last: Everything You Need To Know

woman wearing a blue shirt checking her wristwatch

When it comes to cannabis consumption, the two most often-asked questions are, “How long does CBD last?” and, “How long does THC last?”

With THC, most people are asking how long a weed high lasts or how long the cannabinoid stays in your system.

But with CBD, the question means something entirely different.

In this article, the all-things-cannabis experts at Honest Marijuana reveal everything you need to know about CBD and how long its beneficial effects last.

Why The Question Is Crucial

Man on a street at night contemplating how long does CBD last

The question, “How long does CBD last?” is crucial because we’re not dealing with a recreational experience anymore. With CBD, we’re now concerned about relief from pain, mitigation of anxiety and depression, or even the growth of tumor cells.

So what we’re really wondering when we ask the duration question is how often we’re going to need to take a CBD product to maintain the level of relief we’re looking for.

That’s a completely different issue from those that surround THC (i.e., “How long will I be able to see sounds?” or, “How can I cleanse my body of THC?”).

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as simple as a definitive, “CBD lasts for X hours.” A lot depends on the way you consume your CBD, the quality, the potency, and even the strain used in the final product.

To help you understand this complex process, we’ve broken down the critical variables into two sections. First, we’ll explain how method of consumption affects CBD duration. Then we’ll clarify how quality, strain, your metabolism, and other factors affect how long CBD lasts.

When you put all of that information together, you’ll be able to get a pretty accurate answer to your question.

How Long Does CBD Last Based On Consumption Methods?

close-up of the cannabis plant


Though it lies more firmly in the recreational camp, smoking is still a common way to consume ganja. High-THC strains abound these days, but marijuana producers are now developing high-CBD strains for use in a variety of forms.

If smoking your CBD is something you’d like to try, consider one of the many forms, including:

  • Joints (straight or cross)
  • Blunts
  • Thai sticks
  • Vape pens
  • Vaporizers
  • Bongs
  • Dab rigs

Other methods are available, but it’s important to realize that any time you inhale smoke or vapor from a cannabis product, you’re smoking. That will affect how long the pain relief lasts.

How long does CBD last when you smoke it? 1-3 hours

The nice thing about smoking your CBD is that you’ll feel the effects almost immediately (or at least within a few minutes).

As you’ll see, though, that instantaneous onset does influence how long CBD lasts and usually results in a shortened experience.


There are so many ways to make CBD into edibles that you’re really only limited by your creativity. Our favorite edibles include:

  • Honey
  • Gummies
  • Candy
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Tea
  • Pills
  • Coffee
  • CBD water
  • Coconut oil

Yes, that’s right. Milk, tea, and even water are included on this list. Basically, anything that you put in your mouth and swallow is an edible. Super cool, huh?

How long does CBD last when you eat or drink it? 4-6 hours

Some medicinal users even report effects that last as long as 12 hours off an edible made with a high-quality, high-CBD strain, but those claims are questionable.

The vital variable to take into account with edibles is that they have to travel through your digestive system and your circulatory system before they get to your brain. That’s just the way your body works.

Because of that, you may have to wait anywhere from one to two hours before you feel the effects. But that might be a small price to pay for such long-lasting relief from your symptoms.

Topical Application

Hemp Theory pain relief cream

Topical application (on your skin) is becoming a popular method of consumption among those looking for medical benefits from their cannabis. There are even multiple means of applying topical CBD to your skin. They include:

  • Patches
  • Creams
  • Oils

Your skin absorbs cannabinoids very slowly, and the effects don’t travel much farther than the general area where you apply the cream.

How long does CBD last after topical application? 3-4 hours

You’ll have to wait up to an hour before you feel the effects from a cream, patch, or oil, but the trade-off for ease of application and the relatively long duration is well worth it.

Sublingual Administration

Sublingual is the fancy term (i.e., scientific jargon) for putting something under your tongue and letting it dissolve.

After a few minutes, that substance — in this case, some type of CBD product — is absorbed into your bloodstream through the arteries in your jaw, where it travels directly to your brain.

Sublingual consumption of CBD is one of the easiest, fastest, and most discreet methods available today. Products for sublingual consumption include:

  • Dissolvable strips
  • Tinctures
  • Oils
  • Isolates
  • Distillates

How long does CBD last when taken sublingually? 2-4 hours

For many, this method of consumption is the go-to choice. It’s easy to take. It acts fast. And you can even make some of the forms (i.e., tinctures and oils) on your own at home.

Other Factors That Affect How Long CBD Lasts

CBD in glass jars

1) Quality

Quality plays an important role in determining how long CBD will last once you’ve taken it.

High-quality, organic marijuana that’s rich in CBD, terpenes, and trichomes provides much more satisfying effects than low-quality mids or regs that are available today.

It’s worth the extra money for the chance to feel better longer.

2) Strain

The strain you choose can also have an impact on how long the CBD will last in your system.

Cannabis growers are breeding CBD-focused strains that allow for all the beneficial medicinal effects without the negative effects that come from consuming too much THC.

3) CBD Content

CBD content plays a large role in the quality of effects and the duration you can expect from your marijuana product. Breeders are growing bud that contains 25-percent CBD or more (with little to no THC).

CBD extracts are even pushing the coveted triple-digit percentage (that’s 100-percent CBD, boys and girls).

With these big-number products, your pain relief will last a lot longer.

4) Experience

Your experience taking CBD products also plays a major role in how long the effects will last. Think of this as your tolerance to CBD.

As with any drug, your body will eventually get used to processing the CBD and you’ll need more just to feel the same effects.

That can have a dramatic impact on how long CBD lasts. If you’re brand-new to the “CBD-as-medicine” game, a small amount will go a long way.

But if you’ve been taking CBD products for a long time, the small amount you started with that used to last for several hours may now only last for one.

5) Amount Consumed

close-up of part of the cannabis plant on a medical scale

The amount of CBD you consume has a direct impact on how long the effects last.

Think about it: the more CBD you consume, the more your body has to work with. And your metabolism can only go so fast.

So the more CBD you consume, the bigger the reserve and the longer the medicine lasts.

That doesn’t mean you should take huge amounts of CBD — that’s bad in itself. But, with a bit of trial-and-error, you will find a dosage amount that gives you the effects you’re looking for over the time period you need.

6) Your Metabolism

The speed with which your body processes food, drink, medications, and other “foreign” substances (your metabolism) also affects how long CBD lasts.

If you have a fast metabolism, your body processes outside materials very quickly. That means the CBD spends a shorter time in your brain and blood.

If you have a slow metabolism, your body processes outside materials slowly. That means the CBD will spend longer in your brain and blood.

7) Environment

man relaxing on a doc at the lake

When we talk about environment, we’re referring to whether your surroundings are relaxing and familiar or tense and strange.

If you’re at home in your favorite chair with a classic stoner movie on the tube, the CBD effects are going to last quite a long time.

But if you’re running a marathon or dealing with a stressful project at work, your nerves are going to decrease the CBD duration significantly.

Focus On The Effects

When you first start out using CBD as a medicine, the whole process can seem a bit overwhelming. Our best advice: don’t get discouraged. Our next best advice: focus on the effects, not the duration.

Try different forms of CBD (e.g., pills, creams, tinctures, etc.). Try different brands. Find the one that makes you feel the best.

Once you’ve found your new favorite method of CBD consumption, start varying the quality, the strain, the CBD content, and the amount you consume until you’ve dialed in your medication.

After you’ve settled on the form and effects that are right for you, you can start thinking about duration and create a schedule for best results.

For more information on all things cannabis and to check out our 100-percent all-natural marijuana products, visit HonestMarijuana.com today.

The post How Long Does CBD Last: Everything You Need To Know appeared first on Honest Marijuana.

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