• There is no conclusive clinical data on how long CBD gummies start to work or how long they will last. However, CBD edibles may generally take effect in 30 to 90 minutes and remain effective for six to eight hours(1).
  • Many CBD brands marketing CBD gummies claim these products may help manage inflammation, anxiety, pain, depression, and sleep(2).
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not issued any dosage guide for CBD gummies. One dosing suggestion is to take a low dose and slowly increase the dosage(3).

Duration of Effects of CBD Gummies: How Long Do They Last?

Researchers have not conclusively determined the length of time that cannabidiol (CBD) gummies will remain effective within the body.

In general, CBD edibles are estimated to work for six to eight hours after administration(4). Gummies are edibles that individuals may take orally.

In one review, CBD’s half-life after a 10- and 20-milligram (mg) single-dose oral administration may be around 1.09 and 1.97 hours(5).

Half-life is the time for a drug’s quantity or concentration within the body to be reduced by half (50%).

At present, no clinical trials have been conducted to determine the duration of the effects of CBD gummies. However, individuals may consider the time CBD edibles may remain effective as a basis for the duration of CBD gummies’ effectiveness.

How Long Do CBD Gummies Take to Work?

Current research shows no conclusive data on the onset times of CBD gummies.

However, orally administered CBD products, such as capsules and edible products, typically take about 30 to 90 minutes to become effective(6).

In some cases, the onset times of such products are around one to two hours(7).

One study on the pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol (CBD) showed that a 10 milligram (mg) dose of orally administered CBD has a time to maximum plasma concentration of 1.27 hours(8).

Maximum plasma concentration is the highest drug concentration after administration(9).

Factors That Impact the Time It Takes for CBD Gummies to Kick In: Why Do Gummies Have a Different Onset Time?

One factor for the difference in the amount of time CBD gummies start working is whether the user has eaten or not. 

Cannabinoids, when ingested on an empty stomach, may take an hour for the individual to feel their effects. When taken with food, the drug may take effect in about three hours(10).

The product type may also determine the onset time of CBD products.

For example, CBD tinctures may take 15 to 30 minutes before users feel the drug’s effects. CBD vapes may become effective in 2 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, CBD topicals, such as creams or balms, have onset times of 15 to 30 minutes(11).

How Long Does CBD Stay in the System?

How long CBD stays effective usually depends on the administration method or type of product, such as the following:

  • Ingestion: This administration method allows the effects of edibles to last for six to eight hours(12). Ingestion involves taking CBD orally, allowing the drug to pass through the digestive tract before spreading into the bloodstream.

CBD brands often claim to manufacture CBD edibles, such as capsules, gummies and brownies, formulated to help alleviate symptoms of medical conditions like chronic pain, using only natural ingredients. 

Oral administration may be effective for inflammations and stomach and bowel disorders(13).

  • Sublingual administration: CBD oil administered sublingually or under the tongue may remain effective for two to four hours(14).

This method enables the drug to bypass the individual’s digestive system and enter the bloodstream directly.

Sublingual CBD products include oromucosal sprays and lozenges. CBD tinctures, delivered sublingually, are typically administered using droppers for accurate dosing.

CBD oil tinctures may have an earthy flavor, which may not appeal to some consumers. Thus, one way to take these tinctures is to mix them with drinks or food(15).

  • Inhalation (CBD vapes): This method allows CBD to remain effective for two to four hours(16).

Individuals may inhale CBD using vapes or smokes. The drug passes through the lungs and brain before spreading throughout the body(17).

Vaping CBD is a fast way to deliver the drug into the system. The short onset and duration make this method appropriate for acute conditions like nausea(18).

However, vapes may be linked to lung disease(19). Individuals are cautioned to be mindful of this medical condition before vaping or smoking CBD.

  • Topical application: This delivery route allows the effects of CBD to last for two to four hours(20).

When CBD is administered topically or to the skin, the compound may provide relief on the applied area. Because topical CBD products have zero bioavailability, they are not absorbed into the bloodstream(21).

Some forms of CBD topicals include CBD creams, lotions, salves, and balms.

Why Individuals Are Using CBD Gummies

Manufacturers selling high-quality CBD gummies claim these products may help with pain, anxiety, depression, inflammation, and sleep(22)

These purported health benefits of CBD may be some of the reasons consumers use CBD gummies to feel more relaxed and less anxious.

CBD works in the body by engaging the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system regulates many critical functions of the body, including pain control, immune and inflammatory responses, temperature regulation, and emotional processing(23).

The ECS contains various receptors that help regulate temperature, hunger, and alertness or modulate inflammatory bowel conditions and immune functioning(24).

However, existing research has only tested the effects of CBD oil and not gummies(25). Thus, there is insufficient scientific data to support the claims of manufacturers and consumers that CBD gummies are effective.

Another potential reason individuals take CBD gummies is that these products do not have psychoactive effects(26). CBD products are mostly derived from hemp plants, a variety of the cannabis plant that contains no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC is a cannabis compound whose psychoactive properties produce a “high” typically associated with marijuana use(27).

Studies suggest that individuals may use CBD to help manage epilepsy and psychotic disorders(28). However, some side effects of CBD include tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in one’s appetite or body weight.

Consumers may also choose a CBD product based on the amount of cannabinoids and other compounds it contains.

CBD products categorized as full-spectrum CBD oil contain all the essential cannabinoids and compounds in hemp plants.

The presence of these compounds may create an “entourage effect,” a phenomenon where all the plant derivatives in the product work synergistically to increase the beneficial effects(29).

Broad-spectrum CBD oil contains many of the cannabis plant derivatives in full-spectrum CBD oil. However, broad-spectrum CBD oil products do not contain THC.

Meanwhile, CBD isolates are pure-CBD products only. They do not contain THC or any other cannabinoids and compounds.

Individuals who prefer the full therapeutic benefits of the entourage effect may consider using full-spectrum CBD oil products. Those who prefer consuming THC-free products may opt for broad-spectrum CBD oil or isolates.

How Much CBD Gummies Should an Individual Use?

No clinical studies determine the appropriate dosage or number of CBD gummies to take.

Additionally, the FDA has not endorsed any standard dosage guide for CBD gummies to help with any medical condition.

However, many researchers conducted various clinical trials using oral capsules with varying doses.

One study showed that a single dose of a 600mg CBD capsule may help manage anxiety among individuals with a social anxiety disorder(30).

Another study using a 400mg CBD capsule administered to healthy volunteers showed that the drug may help decrease anxiety while increasing mental sedation(31).

Sedation is the use of a drug or other methods to help an individual calm down or sleep(32).

In one randomized, placebo-controlled trial, the researchers administered oral capsules containing 600 mg of CBD to chronic schizophrenia patients over six weeks(33).

Results showed that CBD may help improve psychotic symptoms. Still, there was no significant difference in improvement between the CBD group and the placebo group, and sedation as a side effect was more prevalent in the CBD group.

For long-term use and higher doses of CBD, one study suggested that humans may tolerate up to 1,500mg of CBD per day(34).

Individuals may consider using these studies as a CBD dosage reference. However, the results of these studies are inconclusive, and users must take due care before deciding on a dosing regimen.

To give individuals an idea of the CBD content in CBD gummies, many manufacturers sell these products in 300mg bottles containing 30 gummies. Thus, the amount of CBD in each gummy may be around 10mg.

Consumers unsure of what dose or number of gummies to take must consult a doctor versed in cannabis.

When Should an Individual Consider Taking More CBD Gummies?

For individuals taking cannabis or CBD products for the first time, one dosing recommendation is to take a low initial dose and slowly increase the dosage(35).

This strategy allows a user to observe the effects of CBD and adjust the dose until they find the right amount appropriate for their needs.

For example, if individuals prefer to start with a 10mg dose of CBD per day, they may take one CBD gummy containing 10mg of CBD daily. Should they feel that the dose is ineffective, they may consider increasing their intake.

Individuals with a medical condition must first consult with a doctor or health care professional for a diagnosis, prescription, and treatment before considering taking any CBD product.

Additionally, CBD may interact with other supplements or medications and cause adverse effects, such as fatigue or digestive issues(36).

Individuals planning to take CBD alongside other medicines should inform their doctor to receive a proper prescription to minimize the side effects.

How to Properly Store CBD Gummies

The packaging of CBD gummy products may contain directions on how to store these products properly. The instructions may help increase the products’ shelf life or the time that food under certain storage conditions remains safe.

Many CBD brands recommend storing the CBD product in an airtight container placed in a cool, dry area away from light.

Food poisoning bacteria grow and multiply between 5° and 60°C (41° and 140°F), known as the temperature danger zone(37)

Storing CBD gummies in a cool place may reduce food poisoning risk. Storing edibles in airtight containers helps prevent them from drying out and keeps their odors from transferring to other foods(38).

Should CBD Gummies Be Kept in the Fridge?

Individuals may store CBD gummies in the refrigerator to help keep the food cool and prevent bacteria from growing.

The temperature in the refrigerator must be between 0° and 5°C (32° and 41°F) to ensure that food poisoning bacteria do not grow(39).

Some individuals may consider storing CBD gummies in the freezer. However, freezing may change the taste and texture of food(40).

Before storing CBD gummies in the refrigerator, individuals must read the product’s label for storage instructions.

What Happens When an Individual Eats Expired CBD Gummies?

One study showed that cannabis or cannabis extracts stored in a dark place at room temperature may be reasonably stable for one or two years(41).

The study mentioned that light exposure and air oxidation may be significant factors in losing cannabinoids in the solution.

This result suggests that CBD gummies may remain effective or safe to consume within one to two years before expiring.

Although researchers have not conducted clinical trials determining the effects of expired CBD gummies, the study on cannabis extracts suggests that these gummies may no longer be effective if consumed after the expiration date.

However, there are currently no indications that consuming CBD after its expiration may cause adverse side effects.

Still, individuals are recommended to consult with a doctor versed in cannabis use. They can give medical advice on the safety and effectiveness of consuming CBD products.

  1. Page 191 of Healing With CBD https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view
  2. What Are CBD Gummies? Are There Any Health Benefits? https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/cbd-gummies-health-benefits-3515165/
  3. CBD Dosing https://www.projectcbd.org/guidance/cbd-dosing
  4. Page 191 of Healing With CBD https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view
  5. A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2018.01365/full
  6. Page 191 of Healing With CBD https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view
  7. Best Way to Take CBD https://www.projectcbd.org/guidance/best-way-take-cbd
  8. A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2018.01365/full
  9. “Plasma Concentration-Time Profile” as an Indefinite Claim Term: A Lesson from Forest Labs., Inc. v. Teva Pharm. USA, Inc. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/blr.2019.29116.phc
  10. Best Way to Take CBD https://www.projectcbd.org/guidance/best-way-take-cbd
  11. Page 190-193 of Healing With CBD https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view
  12. Page 191 of Healing With CBD https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view
  13. Advances in Oral Drug Delivery https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2021.618411/full
  14. Page 192 of Healing With CBD https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view
  15. Page 208 of Healing With CBD https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view
  16. Page 190 of Healing With CBD https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view
  17. Best Way to Take CBD https://www.projectcbd.org/guidance/best-way-take-cbd
  18. Ibid.
  19. Can Vaping Damage Your Lungs? What We Do (and Don’t) Know https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-vaping-damage-your-lungs-what-we-do-and-dont-know-2019090417734
  20. Page 193 of Healing With CBD https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view
  21. Page 210 of Healing With CBD https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AGlxnhS2SoFeOXEuysv75bd_C9pEnwsU/view
  22. What Are CBD Gummies? Are There Any Health Benefits? https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/cbd-gummies-health-benefits-3515165/
  23. The Endocannabinoid System: Essential and Mysterious https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-endocannabinoid-system-essential-and-mysterious-202108112569
  24. Ibid.
  25. What Are CBD Gummies? Are There Any Health Benefits? https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/cbd-gummies-health-benefits-3515165/
  26. Ibid.
  27. Tetrahydrocannabinol https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/tetrahydrocannabinol
  28. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2016.0034
  29. The “Entourage Effect”: Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC7324885/
  30. Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3079847/
  31. Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) on Regional Cerebral Blood Flow https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14583744/
  32. Sedation https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/sedation
  33. The Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) on Cognition and Symptoms in Outpatients With Chronic Schizophrenia a Randomized Placebo Controlled Trial https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29619533/
  34. Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa Constituent https://doi.org/10.2174/157488611798280924
  35. CBD Dosing https://www.projectcbd.org/guidance/cbd-dosing
  36. CBD Oil: What Is It and How Does It Work? https://www.eehealth.org/blog/2019/09/cbd-oil/
  37. Food Safety and Storage https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/food-safety-and-storage
  38. Safe Home Food Storage https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/store/texas_storage.pdf
  39. Storing Food Safely https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/storing-food-safely
  40. Ibid.
  41. The Stability of Cannabis and Its Preparations on Storage https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6643/
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