Hemp is, without a doubt, a wonderful plant. And like most plants, it brings with it a wide range of potential therapeutic benefits thanks to the medicinal power of its natural compounds. This is why both hemp and THC-rich cannabis are so popular these days.

Due to its popularity, there are more and more methods of consuming this miraculous plant and among all cannabis products, hemp oil stands out from the crowd. Ever since researchers discovered the full therapeutic potential and possible medical benefits that hemp and its natural compounds bring, it has only increased the demand for products derived from these compounds. Such is the case with CBD oil, also called hemp oil.

CBD is a cannabinoid with a medical potential that you have undoubtedly heard of. It is the second most popular cannabinoid after the still controversial THC. Unlike THC, CBD does not produce intoxicating effects but, instead, brings a wide range of effects that can translate into potential therapeutic benefits for treating some conditions. But how long does it take for hemp oil to work on the human body? And how much and in what way should you take hemp oil to get the benefits you want? These are two common questions that medical cannabis enthusiasts have. 

If you are looking to shed light on this subject, you’ve come to the right place. This article will explain how long it takes for hemp oil to work, its action mechanism, and how you should consume CBD to obtain the benefits you are looking for.


What Ways to Use Hemp Oil?

There may be a bit of confusion between hemp seed oil and hemp oil. Although both products come from hemp, they are different products, cause different effects, and have different methods of consumption. 

On the one hand, hemp seed oil is one of the most complete oils in nature, since it contains omega 3, omega 6, and all the essential amino acids for the human body. Hemp seed oil, as the name implies, comes from a process that extracts the oil from hemp seeds, which do not contain cannabinoids or terpenes. 

On the other hand, to obtain CBD oils, manufacturers apply a process to CBD-rich buds or even the entire hemp plant, including leaves, stems, and stacks from which they extract an oil filled with the whole hemp plant’s natural compounds. The result is an oil full of CBD and other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.

In addition to this, hemp oil or CBD oil has three variants depending on the content of the natural compound that it carries. Hemp oil that contains all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids from the hemp plant is called full-spectrum hemp oil. 

Broad-spectrum hemp oil is different as it contains terpenes, flavonoids, and CBD, but it goes through a process that removes THC traces from the hemp oil. 

Finally, CBD isolate, as the name implies, is CBD in its purest form and isolated from the rest of the natural components of the hemp plant. 

All of these variants are still hemp oil or CBD oil, and they are capable of generating a series of potentially beneficial effects on people’s health. However, depending on what type of hemp oil it is, the effects, their time of onset, and the mechanism of consumption/application can vary slightly.

Some of the methods of consuming hemp oil rich in CBD are:



Vaping has been around for some time now. However, hemp seed oil does not fit vaping in any of its forms; people mostly use hemp seed oil as a dietary supplement. On the other hand, hemp oil or CBD oil vaping is wholly possible and quite popular. One of the main reasons hemp oil vaping is so popular is the robust CBD effects associated with the marked sense of calm and pain relief that it can generate.



CBD-rich hemp oil has been so popular lately that you can find it as an ingredient in a wide variety of different products. Skincare products fall into this category as CBD can penetrate the skin and exert its effects, though it might take a bit longer to work because it takes more time for CBD to reach the bloodstream. Still, hemp oil may generate some anti-inflammatory and soothing effects that could benefit the skin. For this reason, there are some revolutionary hemp-derived skincare products, such as balms, hemp lip balms, face creams, among others, which include CBD-rich hemp oil in their formulas.



If you are curious about CBD or hemp oil and want to take it orally, there are several ways to do it. Capsules, pills, and edibles are the most common methods of oral consumption for hemp oil. If you are exclusively interested in the medicinal part of hemp, perhaps hemp capsules or pills are suitable options for you. But, if you want to enjoy your CBD in a more fun way, you can try one of the many edible options currently available on the market. When we talk about hemp edibles, there are many products. You can find hemp gummies, truffles, chocolate, candies, mints, baked hemp goods, and many more options. Furthermore, you can research how to add hemp oil to any of your favourite recipes and thus add a medical touch to your favourite meals. 

When you take hemp oil orally, it usually takes a little longer to take effect since your body must digest it to process the hemp oil to reach the bloodstream and generate its effects. Additionally, by eating CBD, you expose it to the “first-pass effect” in which your liver and digestive tract break down the CBD, causing it to take up to two hours to make you feel its effects, and you only absorb 20% to 30% of the content of CBD in the product.



If you want to try pure hemp oil, sublingual consumption is actually the right way to go. Holding the hemp oil under the tongue before swallowing bypass digestion and absorb the CBD quickly and directly into the bloodstream. To do this, just pour the number of drops of hemp oil you want under your tongue and keep it there for at least 60 seconds while the saliva dilutes the hemp oil. Then, swallow slowly. There are also hemp oil tinctures and CBD isolates for sublingual consumption and full and broad-spectrum hemp oil.



You can heat the hemp oil until it reaches its boiling point and transforms into smoke, or rather vapour, which you can inhale easily. Inhalation is currently one of the most popular hemp oil consumption methods, the most common and used being hemp oil or CBD oil vaping.

Nonetheless, inhalation is also common for other products rich in hemp oil and CBD, such as live CBD resins, CBD Rosin, and CBD Shatter. For this type of cannabis concentrates rich in hemp oil, the dab is the most common form of consumption, although some vaping pens and dab pens allow consuming this type of hemp concentrates more practically and discreetly.



People often confuse topical products with transdermal ones. But the truth is that there are noticeable differences in the effects and how these products work. Transdermal products use skin penetration enhancers to push CBD, terpenes and flavonoids to pass the first layer of the skin and more quickly reach the second layer, where the blood vessels are. In this way, the bioavailability of hemp oil increases. Therefore, the absorption rate is higher. 

If you want to get more out of your CBD when applying it to the skin, you can try some transdermal CBD cream for a more profound and targeted relief. Currently, there are not many options for transdermal hemp oil products. As knowledge expands regarding hemp oil and its benefits, both researchers and manufacturers continue to advance to develop new products that meet the needs of consumers.


Hemp Oil Dosage considerations

Today, there is a wide variety of products that contain hemp oil. Gummies, capsules, tinctures, oils, vapes, etc. But determining an appropriate, safe, and effective hemp oil dosage for you can depend on several factors such as:


The bioavailability of the chosen product: Depending on the type of hemp product and the way of consumption you choose, the bioavailability can vary a little, which can influence how strong and how long the effects take to work. For example, hemp edibles take longer to work than if you vape hemp oil, and in turn, oils and tinctures taken sublingually also vary in the onset time of the effects. To get an idea of ​​the percentage of bioavailability of each category of hemp products, let’s consider the following:

  • Hemp topicals <1%
  • Hemp capsules and edibles 5-15%
  • Sublingual hemp oil 20-30%
  • Hemp vapes ~ 56%


The potency of the product: Not all products that contain hemp oil contain the same amount of hemp oil. Of course, this can vary the intensity of the effects and, therefore, the product’s effectiveness in treating certain conditions. This is why it is essential to look at the amount of hemp oil your product contains to determine the appropriate dose better.


Your unique metabolism and biochemistry: Knowing how long it takes for hemp oil to work will significantly depend on your own body. Each body has particular biochemistry and different metabolism. Although some general characteristics may apply to everyone, each body responds differently to external substances and stimuli. Therefore, it is essential to listen to your body and analyse how you feel as hemp oil exerts its effects.


Weight and height: To determine optimal hemp oil doses for each person, size matters. It is an elementary logic because if you are taller or weigh a little more, consequently, it is likely that you will need a bit more hemp oil to experience the desired effects.


Tolerance: This most of all applies to users with previous experiences with hemp oil. With the frequent use of hemp oil, people generate a certain tolerance to CBD and other natural compounds that hemp oil contains. Therefore, it is likely that a user with a history of previous experiences with hemp oil may need a somewhat higher dose to experience the same effects as a hemp oil enthusiast.


The severity of the condition to treat: Even for the same condition, there may be different recommended doses depending on how serious it is. Pain, anxiety, insomnia, poor appetite, and other medical conditions have different severity levels. It is essential to consider this since, of course, depending on how severe the condition is, the effective dose of hemp oil to treat it could vary.


Other substances or medications you take CBD subject our body chemistry to slight variations. Therefore, if you are under treatment with some other substances such as opioids, anti-anxiety medication or other drugs that alter your natural chemistry, CBD could also interact with these substances and, in some cases, even generate unwanted effects. This is why it is most advisable to always consult a doctor before including hemp oil as part of your treatment or aid in treating any condition you have.

Knowing all this, we must also consider that as our body goes through psychological changes, so do our cannabinoid receptors in our endocannabinoid system. This makes the correct dose of hemp oil vary throughout our lives. Therefore, there is no such thing as a universal static amount of hemp oil that works perfectly for you. The ideal hemp oil dosage will always depend on these factors and can vary from person to person and from condition to condition.


How Long Does it Take for Hemp Oil to Work?

A simple answer to this question could be that hemp oil takes about 15 minutes to take effect when vaped or consumed sublingually and one to two hours when it is an edible or topic. But the reality is that these times are relative and also depend on a series of factors, such as:


The form of hemp oil used: From the type of hemp oil we choose; isolated, full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, until presentation and product; vapes, edibles, topicals, oils, concentrates, resins, dabs. They all vary in how long it takes for hemp oil to work because they put the body to digest and assimilate hemp oil differently.


Body chemistry and metabolism: Each body is unique. Therefore, the metabolism, digestion times, body chemistry, and medical conditions of individual personnel directly influence how long it takes for hemp oil to take effect.

In the case of dosage, we must take special care since it does not directly influence how long it takes hemp oil to work, and it is a mistake that many people usually make. Increasing the dose, rather than speeding up the action time of CBD, can cause you to consume more than the ideal dose and end up experiencing unwanted side effects. Although it is impossible to overdose on CBD, you can experience symptoms such as fatigue, drowsiness, nausea, changes in appetite, among other symptoms.


How Does Hemp Oil Interact with the Body?

Hemp oil can affect us because our bodies naturally produce cannabis-like substances called endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors present in our nervous system and many parts of our body, including the bones. The exact mechanism of action of the CBD contained in hemp oil is still under investigation. Nonetheless, some studies suggest that the CBD contained in hemp oil could enhance the intrinsic signalling of the endocannabinoid anandamide. Thus, it helps our endocannabinoid system work better and regulate its functions.


What Affects How Long Hemp Oil Stays in Your System?

Hemp oil usually stays in our system for 2 to 5 days. However, this range is relative, and for some people, hemp oil can last in their system for up to weeks of abstinence. The factors that affect the time that hemp oil remains in our system are pretty similar to those that affect the onset of its effects and are, above all, physical factors, manner and frequency of consumption, and dosage.

As with most substances, the greater the amount consumed, the longer it remains in our system.

How often you use hemp oil also plays a role in how long it stays in your system because CBD, the main cannabinoid found in hemp oil, builds up in the body over time. This is why it is recommended to use hemp oil for at least a week to see if it works for you. Since CBD is deposited in fat, your body will eliminate it more quickly and easily if you only use it occasionally.

However, each body’s metabolism, body composition, body mass index, and water content can also influence the time it takes for the body to process and eliminate hemp oil completely from the system.

What you eat, how much you eat, and the timing of your meals also influence. If you take hemp oil on an empty stomach, your body digests it and metabolises it faster than a full stomach in which digestion is slower.

The form of hemp oil you choose to take also influences how long it stays in your system. When you vape hemp oil, it enters your lungs, generates its effects, and leaves your system quickly. Sublingual oils and tinctures take effect speedily but take longer to leave your system. As for the edible forms of hemp oil and balms and creams, they take quite a long time to enter and take effect in the body and completely abandon our system.