We all take CBD for our own unique purpose. Some of us find its blissful properties soothing after a long day. Others find that applying a topical after a workout helps their muscles feel more soothing And some just like the idea of taking cannabinoids on a daily basis to maintain the function of their endocannabinoid system, which helps the body sustain homeostasis for maximum wellness.
Depending on why you’re taking CBD, you might be looking for a type of product that works as quickly as possible. You likely have a general idea by now that some methods act faster than others, and if you’re in the market for something that will give you quick relief, we’re here to help.
Why Some Methods Work at an Accelerated Rate Than Others
Before we get into which methods work faster than others, we need to explain why each method has its own onset time. The delivery method of a cannabidiol product refers to how it’s “delivered” into the body. For instance, tinctures deliver CBD into the system through the sublingual tissue which is beneath the tongue. Edibles deliver CBD into the system through the digestive process, in which cannabidiol travels through the digestive tract before getting released into the bloodstream through the liver.
The manner in which CBD is delivered into the body largely determines how quickly you may feel its effects. This is because each type of tissue into which CBD can absorb has its own absorbency. Some tissue absorbs compounds more quickly than others due to various factors, as you’ll see below.
First, let’s get into the methods that you will likely want to avoid if fast effects are your ultimate goal.
#1: CBD Edibles
CBD edibles tend to take the longest to deliver effects – usually within the 90 to 120-minute range. This is because before the CBD can take effect, it must travel through the digestive tract, and this can be a slow and tedious process. Therefore, you might want to skip the gummies.
#2: CBD Capsules
CBD capsules work much like CBD edibles in that they must first go through the digestive tract before taking effect. They tend to work a little more quickly because of the fact that they dissolve more easily than edibles, and thus the CBD is “released” sooner. Still, it could take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes for the cannabinoids to peak in the body.
These methods are faster than the ones listed above, but they are still not the fastest methods that are on the market today.
Tinctures are applied under the tongue, where they absorb through the sublingual tissue. Typically, tinctures take 20 to 45 minutes to peak in the body, and provide effects for up to a couple of hours.
CBD shots are small, concentrated beverages that you “shoot back.” The exact length of time it takes for the CBD to peak with this delivery method depends largely on whether or not the CBD in the formula is water-soluble. Solubility is something that we will get into more later on.
These are the ones to try if you’re looking for CBD that can work as quickly as possible.
Vapes remain an extremely popular option, largely due to how quickly they take effect. Vapor absorbs into the lung tissue very quickly, and many report effects within 10 minutes. Vapes come in various forms, including pre-filled CBD vape pens and bottled vape oil that’s poured into the tank of a vaping system.
#2: CBD Flower
CBD flower may act even more quickly than a CBD vape, and this is because it’s believed that CBD flower, being raw as opposed to CBD vape oil, is naturally more bioavailable, meaning that it absorbs more efficiently into the body. CBD can be smoked in a pipe or rolled up in a paper.
CBD dabs are perhaps faster-acting than both flower and vapes, because dabs are simply hemp that’s been concentrated to a very high level to be super potent. Dabs may peak within just a couple of minutes. They come in many forms, including wax, resin, rosin, shatter and crumble, as well as hash, which has been around for centuries.
If you’re looking for localized, targeted relief, topicals may be your best bet. Rather than taking CBD internally, topicals allow you to apply a dose specifically to an area that is bothering you. Most report that topicals take effect in 10 to 15 minutes or so.
CBD inhalers are a relatively new type of product that allow you to inhale the CBD into the lungs without any vapor or smoke. They tend to be effective within just a few minutes.
Finally, we have CBD snuff, which is also known as smokeless CBD. This is still a very new product that’s a bit hard to find. It works like standard snuff, in that you take a pinch of the product and place it between the gum and the cheek. While it sits there, it absorbs into the mouth tissue quickly, peaking fast and being very potent.
Other Factors That Affect the Absorption Rate
It’s important to note that there are other factors relating to a particular CBD formula that play a role in how quickly the cannabidiol can take effect. Here are the main ones.
Factor #1: Quantity
As is the case with basically anything that we could take, the quantity of CBD you consume matters. Higher doses, or higher strengths, seem to act more quickly, as can be seen with dabs, which are extremely concentrated. Therefore, you might want to try going for a higher dose of CBD.
Factor #2: Quality
The quality also makes a huge difference, believe it or not. CBD that has been extracted using superior methods like the CO2 method, and have not been degraded due to improper manufacturing techniques, is more chemically stable, and therefore more effective and more fast-acting. Always look for a brand that uses the CO2 extraction method and has their CBD tested by a third-party lab to ensure quality.
Factor #3: Solubility
Finally, the solubility makes a pretty significant difference. Most hemp extracts used in products these days are fat-soluble, as extracted CBD is naturally in oil form. Fat-soluble CBD absorbs well, but not as well as water-soluble CBD, and this is because of the way in which the cells of the body absorb compounds. More and more companies are producing water-soluble CBD by using advanced nanotechnology, and enthusiasts say that water-soluble CBD formulas act more quickly than fat-soluble options.
Choose the Method that Works Best for Your Needs and Preferences
If you wanna have the fastest-acting CBD experience that’s possible, your best options are either vaping or smoking CBD, or opting for an inhaler or snuff. Vapes, flower and concentrates are the most widely available choices, so you’ll have no trouble finding a product that suits your needs.