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Taking CBD

The Best Time of Day to Take CBD Oil

Is there an optimal time of day to take CBD? This is a common question among CBD users who wonder when to take CBD oil. The answer is: it depends.

There’s no specific guideline when it comes to the best time of day for taking CBD. Whether or not there is a right time for you largely depends on the reasons you’re taking it. Some people like to take CBD oil in the morning for an energy boost, while others will take a dose before bed to improve their sleep.

Before you decide what time of day is best for you, it’s important to understand CBD’s different effects on the body. This varies from person to person, and depending on when and how you take it.

Couple taking morning bike ride with an early dose of CBD oil

CBD Oil For Energy

If you need a bit of get-up-and-go in the morning, an early dose of CBD might help. Recent research has found small doses of CBD may act as a ‘wake-inducing’ compound due to the interactions with neurotransmitters in the brain [1].

This effect has the potential to improve energy and clarity throughout the day.

Interestingly, the same study reported the opposite effect for some users. Researchers noted that while the sleep-promoting benefits of THC have been well-established, contradictory results have often been reported for CBD—with some users citing a wake-inducing effect, while others claimed CBD only made them more tired. Study authors concluded that the sleep-wake cycle modulation was most likely dependent on how the CBD was administered, the dose, and the individual.

CBD Oil For Sleep

CBD has been used for centuries as a calming agent. Its usefulness in this area is due to its anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects, which have been well-documented in recent years [2].

People with anxiety and depression will be the first to tell you their symptoms often impact their ability to get a good night’s rest. Research has even found that mental health disorders can contribute to the development of insomnia over time [3].

By easing the symptoms associated with these disorders, CBD may help achieve the restful sleep that has otherwise alluded these patients. In fact, a 2019 large scale study found that anxiety patients taking CBD every night after dinner had decreased anxiety and improved sleep scores within the first month of use [4].

The Effect of Terpenes

CBD does not work alone, as it is known for its complex profile producing a vast array of cannabinoids and terpenes. Terpenes are the natural compounds found in the cannabis plant. They are responsible for the plant’s aroma and beneficial qualities.

Scientists have recently discovered what’s known as the ‘entourage effect.’ This is where terpenes combined with cannabinoids work together, increasing the effects throughout the body [2]. Both these compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a system of receptor sites throughout our body and brain that regulates homeostasis, promoting balance.

In this case: Rest when the body needs rest, and energy when enough rest has been had.

Terpenes and CBD work together in creating stronger and more powerful effects than either could achieve on their own. For example, research has found terpenes like myrcene, linalool, and caryophyllene help promote sleep and have anti-anxiety and sedative effects [5]. Meanwhile, terpenes such as limonene and β-pinene have been found to produce anti-depressant like effects, improving mental clarity, memory, and mood [6]. These terpenes were also found to have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-anxiety effects.

Duration and Onset of Effects

CBD is metabolized in different ways, depending on how you take your product. Sublingual drops are a common method for ingesting CBD oil. By holding the oil under the tongue for up to 30 seconds, the CBD can absorb quickly into the bloodstream. With sublingual intake, effects can be felt within 5 to 10 minutes of use and last for up to 8 hours.

Vaping, on the other hand, has almost immediate effects, lasting for around two hours after use.

Another common method for ingesting CBD is through oral consumption. This includes taking edibles or capsules, as well as adding CBD oil to food or drink. Oral consumption allows for CBD to be absorbed through the digestive system and metabolized by the liver. This method takes a little longer to achieve desired outcomes because of the route for delivery, averaging between one and two hours before effects are felt. The good news is when taken with food, especially a meal containing fat, CBD can be absorbed at a rate of 3 to 6 times faster than if taken alone [7].


So When Should You Take Your CBD?

CBD’s effects vary from person to person and can be based on the type and amount of CBD taken [8]. For these reasons, there is no universal answer to the question of when to take CBD oil. But there are some ways to figure that answer out for yourself.

First and foremost, you need to ask yourself what you’re hoping to gain from the use of CBD. Is it for fast absorption? Pain management? Anxiety reduction? Improved sleep or energy?

By understanding your goals for CBD use, you can better identify when you personally should be taking CBD. Need to feel energized? Smaller doses in the morning can increase alertness and reduce daytime sleepiness. Try a CBD product with terpenes such as limonene and pinene to increase energy and performance throughout the day.

To improve sleep, taking CBD in the evening with a terpene like linalool can have calming effects.

From there, you may need to engage in some trial and error until you discover the right type and dose of CBD for achieving your goals. It may be helpful to keep a diary of what time of day you take your CBD and how you feel afterward. This will help you to experiment with a schedule that is best for you.


[1] Murillo-Rodríguez, E., Sarro-Ramírez, A., Sánchez, D., Mijangos-Moreno, S., Tejeda-Padrón, A., Poot-Aké, A., Guzmán, K., Pacheco-Pantoja, E., & Arias-Carrión, O. (2014). Potential effects of cannabidiol as a wake-promoting agent. Current neuropharmacology12(3), 269–272. https://doi.org/10.2174/1570159X11666131204235805

[2] Ferber, S. G., Namdar, D., Hen-Shoval, D., Eger, G., Koltai, H., Shoval, G., Shbiro, L., & Weller, A. (2020). The “Entourage Effect”: Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders. Current neuropharmacology18(2), 87–96. https://doi.org/10.2174/1570159X17666190903103923

[3] Roth T. (2007). Insomnia: definition, prevalence, etiology, and consequences. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine3(5 Suppl), S7–S10.

[4] Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente journal23, 18–041. https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/18-041

[5] Guzmán-Gutiérrez, S. L., Bonilla-Jaime, H., Gómez-Cansino, R., & Reyes-Chilpa, R. (2015). Linalool and β-pinene exert their antidepressant-like activity through the monoaminergic pathway. Life sciences128, 24–29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2015.02.021

[6] Russo E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British journal of pharmacology163(7), 1344–1364. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x

[7] Millar, S. A., Stone, N. L., Yates, A. S., & O’Sullivan, S. E. (2018). A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans. Frontiers in pharmacology9, 1365. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01365

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