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  • August 23, 2022 5 min read


    Different people have various descriptions and understanding of the word immediate. Therefore, it will be hard to explain how effective CBD is in relieving pain.

    After the application of CBD cream, CBD can take 15 to 45 minutes to manifest its impact. To determine the time that CBD cream works in the body, one must consider body chemistry, the endocannabinoid system, the activity of liver enzymes, and skin layers. Read this article to understand more about CBD and its effectiveness in relieving pain.

    What is CBD?

    CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis and hemp. In recent years CBD has drawn increasing interest as a potential therapeutic agent. Argueta et al., 2020 explained that CBD may be valuable in treating many medical conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, nausea and vomiting, seizures, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease.

    CBD can be taken by mouth or inhaled through the nose. When taken orally, it has a slower onset than THC and lasts longer. CBD quickly enters the bloodstream when smoked or vaped, producing effects within minutes.

    CBD is currently being studied for its ability to reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy and to improve sleep quality in those with chronic trouble sleeping or who suffer from insomnia. It may also benefit people with schizophrenia, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and high anxiety levels.

    Types of CBD

    Full Spectrum CBD vs. Isolate

    Boehnke et al. (2022) differentiated full-spectrum and isolate as:

    Full-spectrum CBD products are more expensive than isolate (pure CBD) but are also more beneficial. The price difference is due to the product's potency, which means it may take less to get your desired effect.

    If you're using a high-quality product, full-spectrum CBD should be able to do everything that a pure CBD isolate can do. The main difference between the two is how much THC is present in the product. If THC isn't present and only CBD is present, it's an isolate.

    On the other hand, isolate is easier to measure and has no negative side effects. It is ideal for those looking for something specific with no other additives or side effects. The time frame in which full-spectrum is felt is faster than isolate.

    Body Chemistry and Composition

    The Endocannabinoid System

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of receptors located throughout the body and brain that respond to compounds called cannabinoids. According to Battista et al. (2012), the ECS plays an important role in many functions, including sleep, mood, memory, immune function, and pain sensation.

    The endocannabinoid system is made up of different substances. The most important ones are:


    According to Daris et al. (2019), cannabinoids are compounds that interact with the endocannabinoid system. There are two main cannabinoids: phytocannabinoids (plant-based) and endocannabinoids (produced by the body). Examples of phytocannabinoids include CBD (cannabidiol), THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and CBC (cannabichromene). Examples of endocannabinoids are anandamide, 2-AG, and NADA (Aladin ether).

    Endogenous Cannabinoids

    Endogenous cannabinoids, or "endocannabinoids," are produced by your body and have similar effects to phytocannabinoids like CBD or THC. They play a role in many body functions, including sleep, mood, memory, and pain sensation.


    Receptors are proteins that act as docking sites for substances like cannabinoids. Marcki and Stella (2006) explained that the receptors are responsible for reducing pain by identifying and combining the pain through hormones.

    The body tries to maintain homeostasis through its hormones with the influence of both the internal and external environment. The availability of CBD impacts how the body will respond. Bioavailability of CBD, which is the amount of CBD that penetrates the bloodstream, impacts the time range that the effect of CBD will be felt.


    People have different types of skin. Some have a very thin epidermal layer (the outermost layer of the skin), while others have a larger epidermal layer. A thin epidermal layer gives room for the quick entry of the CBD compounds into the epidermis to the dermis and eventually into the hypodermis leading to a faster effect felt compared to someone with a larger skin composure.

    Body Weight

    Body composition can also be a factor in the determination of the length of time the effect of CBD is felt. Volume ratio is important in determining the dosage amount to be administered to patients and clients. A larger person will likely need a larger dosage than someone with a smaller volume. However, on the contrary, a person with a larger body mass has a high potential to store CBD since it's stored in the body's fatty acids. Furthermore, this can lead to a spillover effect that is loner after dosing.

    The Activity of Liver Enzymes

    Due to either prevailing conditions or normal body functioning, their liver tends to have a different work rate. Some are slow, while others are fat. The liver, the organ responsible for the fatty acid breakdown, plays a major role in determining how fast or slow certain drugs will metabolize.

    Does CBD Oil Work For Pain Relief?

    CBD has been demonstrated to be effective in lowering pain in preliminary studies. However, further research is needed in bigger, well-designed trials with longer durations to determine its long-term efficacy and safety. According to De fillipis et al. (2019), CBD is thought to reduce inflammation in the brain and neurological system through interacting with cannabinoids and other receptors, ion channels, anandamide (a chemical that controls our pain response), and enzymes.

    An extensive review 2018 of the use of cannabis stated that:

    • All pain in humans tends not to be equally treated by cannabidiol.
    • Cannanabidiods seem not to be effective in treating acute pain.

    The European Federation of Neurological Societies recommends CBD with THC as a second or third-line treatment for central pain in multiple sclerosis. Canadian specialists support it as a third-line treatment for neuropathic pain.


    CBD oil might take anywhere from one minute to two hours to take effect. Although several factors influence the beginning and length, such as age, overall health, lifestyle choices, and food, the consuming technique is the most important.

    Sublingual usage is the golden mean between the onset of effects, duration, and bioavailability. CBD oil used under the tongue will likely start working 15–20 minutes after taking it, last up to 6 hours, and provide more CBD to your system than oral versions. Consider adding CBD pills or edibles to your routine if you don't mind a minor delay but want longer-lasting results.


    Argueta, D. A., Ventura, C. M., Kiven, S., Sagi, V., & Gupta, K. (2020). A balanced approach for cannabidiol use in chronic pain. Frontiers in pharmacology, 11, 561.

    Battista, N., Di Tommaso, M., Bari, M., & Maccarrone, M. (2012). The endocannabinoid system: an overview. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 6, 9.

    Boehnke, K. F., Häuser, W., & Fitzcharles, M. A. (2022). Cannabidiol (CBD) in Rheumatic Diseases (Musculoskeletal Pain). Current Rheumatology Reports, 1-9.

    De Filippis, D., Esposito, G., Cirillo, C., Cipriano, M., De Winter, B. Y., Scuderi, C., ... & Iuvone, T. (2011). Cannabidiol reduces intestinal inflammation through the control of neuroimmune axis. PLoS One, 6(12), e28159.