CBD has taken the world by storm. Famed for its non-psychoactive wellness properties and compatibility with the human body, CBD is becoming increasingly popular as a natural supplement for health and wellness routines.
But because CBD is still relatively new, there are a lot of questions about the best way to take it. Like any other supplement, there will be more ideal times to consume CBD to best meet your wellness needs and get the most out of your experience.
Whether you are new to CBD or just want to make sure you are using it optimally, here is everything you need to know about the best time to take CBD.
Why Does It Matter When I Take CBD?
Consuming CBD gummies, oil tinctures, capsules, or other CBD products at the right time can mean the difference between a pleasant experience and an uneventful one. It can also make a big difference in how effectively your CBD routine meets your wellness goals.
CBD works with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS has been shown in many clinical studies to play a role in maintaining overall balance and homeostasis within the body. It does this by helping to regulate various important functions.
Like any other vital body function, the ECS needs the right balance of input to function properly. By consuming CBD at the right time, you can trigger cannabinoid receptors when they need it most to maximise a dosage’s potency and effectiveness.
Additionally, taking CBD at the right time ensures maximum absorption and saturation happens when you need it most. Not all CBD products are metabolised the same way, with some taking much longer to work their way into the bloodstream than others.
For instance, CBD edibles take much longer to metabolise and absorb into the bloodstream. This is because they must first go through the digestive system before being metabolised by the liver – a process that can take up to two hours.
On the other hand, CBD vape oil is metabolised much more quickly as it is absorbed directly through the lungs and is introduced into the bloodstream within minutes.
Furthermore, how you react to CBD products can also significantly affect when you should take them. Those sensitive to cannabinoids such as the minute trace amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) found in full-spectrum CBD oil formulas, may find that they experience minor side effects such as fatigue or dry mouth that are not as bothersome when the product is taken at night before bed, for example.
When Do People Normally Take CBD?
Supplementing with CBD products is something that people do daily or as needed depending on their wellness needs. Some people take it in the morning to start their day off right, while others take it at night to wind down from a long day. In some cases, people only take it when they think it will benefit a particular activity, such as working out.
Because of CBD’s varied absorption rates, some people find that taking CBD edibles and capsules in the morning is best as the product will need longer to provide supplemental support for the whole day. Others find that taking CBD oil tincture to start their day is best since the oil absorbs quickly and provides more immediate support when needed most in the morning.
Conversely, the same products may be taken in the evening to supplement wellness routines that help promote a restful night’s sleep or help unwind from the day. Topicals, for instance, are preferred by those who work physically demanding jobs and want a nice CBD cream to massage into their muscles after a long day at work.
Sometimes, CBD routines are based on the type of CBD product used. For example, full-spectrum CBD oil products contain multiple cannabinoids, including THC (<1mg per bottle). While only included in trace amounts, those sensitive to THC may use their full-spectrum formula at night to avoid any issues with grogginess or fatigue. However, during the daytime, these same CBD users may opt for a broad-spectrum CBD or pure CBD isolate product, which are THC-free.
When is the Best Time to Take CBD Products?
In many countries, including the UK, CBD products are legal as a food supplement but not a medicine. This makes it problematic for vendors to provide detailed advice on how to take their products.
While medical claims can’t be made about the health benefits of CBD concerning pain relief or anxiety for example, information about how each product works and how long it takes to be effective can be useful in helping people make informed decisions about the best time of day to take CBD.
CBD Oil Tinctures
CBD oil tinctures are one of the fastest absorbing CBD products on the market for two reasons. First, when taken sublingually (under the tongue), the CBD is absorbed directly through the mucous membranes and into the bloodstream. Second, CBD oil is often blended with a carrier oil to enhance bioavailability and absorption. These two factors combined make CBD oil drops one of the best options for those who need immediate effects from their CBD supplements.
Because of its fast sublingual absorption time, CBD oil tinctures are often used day or night by those wanting to get a quick, concentrated daily dose of CBD. It’s also a popular choice for those new to CBD supplementation as it’s easy to use an amount of CBD best for you without having to worry about any waste or taking too much CBD oil.
Remember that CBD oil tinctures can come in formulas containing multiple cannabinoids. Many of these cannabinoids are non-psychoactive but can still result in varied reactions, so be sure to take them at a time of the day that optimises your routine rather than disrupts it.
CBD edibles such as CBD gummies, honey sticks, and candy are popular among those who want to enjoy a delicious way to take their CBD supplements. CBD edibles slowly release CBD throughout the day for more long-lasting effects. They are easy to take, discreet, and offer accurate doses, making them ideal for first-time users who don’t want to worry about measuring out CBD doses.
While CBD edibles are very convenient and easy to take, they do take longer to kick in than other products since they must go through the digestive system before they can interact with CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors. For this reason, the best time to take CBD edibles would be in the morning for full afternoon and evening supplemental support or at least 2 hours before bedtime.
Taking CBD edibles during these times allows for the product to be fully digested and for CBD to provide wellness support during the time of day or night you need it most.
CBD topicals like creams, balms, lotions, and salves are typically taken as needed day or night. Topicals are often formulated with additional ingredients that provide hydrating, cooling, and heating sensations to enhance their effects. For this reason, you may find that various CBD topicals are best suited to particular situations.
For example, topicals that provide cooling sensations along with a potent dose of CBD may be best after intense physical exercise or work. Lotions with shea butter and essential oils might be best for your morning or evening skincare routine to add an extra layer of support and hydration.
Anecdotal evidence varies on the activation time of CBD topicals, but typically, people find that up to a 1/2 hour may be necessary to ensure maximum absorption into the skin and muscle tissue.
Capsules and pills are one of the most convenient ways to take CBD since they offer accurate doses and can be taken with water like any other supplement. Because they must go through the digestive system, it takes a little longer for capsules to take effect.
CBD capsules often contain a concentrated dose of CBD oil and can sometimes cause an upset stomach – especially for CBD beginners. For this reason, the best time to take CBD capsules will probably be with breakfast, lunch, or dinner, depending on the time of day you’d like peak CBD absorption to occur.
CBD Vape Oil
Vaping CBD involves attaching a pre-filled CBD oil cartridge to a small better and puffing the vapour released when heated. Vaping offers near-instant absorption of CBD into the bloodstream for those who want no delays between taking CBD and experiencing better wellness.
When to use CBD vape pens is primarily up to the user. While CBD vape liquid offers fast absorption, it may require frequent dosing. CBD is metabolised quickly when inhaled. For this reason, some people find it best to take their vape pen with them on the go and vape as needed throughout the day or night.
What To Do If CBD Isn’t Working?
Sometimes, CBD may not provide the results you are hoping for even though you have followed all the instructions on how to take CBD correctly. If this happens, there are a few possible explanations.
You May Not Be Taking Enough CBD.
CBD absorption is affected by many body chemistry factors such as body weight, metabolism, and gender. For example, if you are heavier (over 90 kilos), have a slowed metabolism due to age or illness, or are a male, you may need to take a higher dose of CBD to guarantee maximum absorption that makes a CBD product worth buying.
When taking CBD in the daytime or night time, it is best to start with a small dose of CBD and gradually increase the amount of CBD you take over 10-14 days or until you find the right dose. What works for one person may not work for another, so trial and error will be best in determining the right dose and when to take it.
The Quality of Your CBD May Be Poor.
Even with CBD being legal in the UK, USA, and other countries, quality control is not always up to par. Make sure you are only taking CBD from companies with a good reputation that use third-party lab testing to verify the potency and safety of their products.
Common hallmarks of high-quality CBD products also include:
- Organic/non-GMO hemp
- Natural ingredients
- Blended with a carrier oil (MCT oil, coconut oil, hemp seed oil)
- Made with CO2 extraction methods
By using high-quality CBD products from reputable CBD brands, you can stop worrying about when to take CBD for the best results and start enjoying it as part of your daily supplement routine.
You May Have Built up a Tolerance to CBD.
If you find that you no longer feel like your CBD supplement is providing what it used to for your wellness needs, you may have built up a tolerance to the product. This can happen when taking CBD too frequently or in too high of doses.
If you think you may have built up a tolerance to your current CBD product, it is best to take a break from using it for a few days or weeks. Then, after some time has passed, start with the same low dose you were taking before and gradually increase it over time until you notice the desired effects.
Unfortunately, taking CBD at a specific time every day will not decrease the chances that you build up a tolerance. But, by cycling your CBD use, you can give your body regular breaks that will hopefully prevent any issues with tolerance from developing from routine daily or nightly use.
Why Does CBD Make Me Feel Sick When I Take It?
One of the most common side effects of CBD consumption is upset stomach. This can happen no matter the time of day you take CBD and is most common when:
- You are new to taking CBD
- You have taken too much CBD
- You have started taking a higher dose of CBD
- You have taken CBD without food
Most often, it will be these four reasons that cause you to feel sick after taking CBD. If you are new to taking CBD, start with the smallest dose possible and increase it gradually over time until you find the perfect amount for your needs.
If you have started taking a higher dose of CBD, it is possible to experience an upset stomach as well as other side effects like diarrhoea and fatigue. Reduce your dose and see if that helps alleviate your symptoms.
CBD may also cause an upset stomach when taken on an empty stomach. Try having CBD with toast, bananas, or other light snacks before taking your supplement.
Sometimes CBD may cause nausea due to interactions with other medications you are taking.
Should I Talk To My Doctor About the Best Time To Take CBD?
In the UK, CBD products are not considered medicine, so your healthcare provider may not be able to offer medical insight into when would be the best time for you to take cannabidiol.
However, they may be able to offer suggestions on how CBD could interact with other medications you are taking or any pre-existing medical conditions you have. Some medications, such as blood thinners, may interact with CBD, so it’s always best to err on the side of caution and speak with your doctor before starting a new supplement routine.
Additionally, some conditions may make taking CBD in certain forms worse. For example, using a CBD vape pen may not be the best idea if you have breathing issues or lung conditions. Or you may have food allergies that make some CBD edibles off-limits. Your doctor can help you determine if there are any risks associated with taking CBD given your unique circumstances.
Like any supplement, talking with a healthcare professional is always the best way to ensure you are taking it safely.
Take CBD At the Right Time, For the Best Time
CBD is a versatile supplement that can be taken in many forms and at different times throughout the day. By understanding critical factors like the form of CBD you are taking, how much you need and what affects CBD absorption, you can develop a daily routine that fits your specific goals and needs.
If you are just starting out with CBD, be sure to start small and increase gradually over time. Experiment with different times of day and products to find what works best for you. And always consult with a healthcare professional if you have questions about CBD or other medications you are taking.
1. An Interaction Between Warfarin and Cannabidiol, a Case Report, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5789126/
2. The Endocannabinoid System: Essential and Mysterious, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-endocannabinoid-system-essential-and-mysterious-202108112569
3. Cannabidiol (CBD): Consumer Advice on Cannabidiol (CBD) Extracts, https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/cannabidiol-cbd