How Fast Does CBD Oil Kick in for Dogs?

How Fast Does CBD Oil Kick in for Dogs?

February 22, 2024

As pet owners increasingly turn to CBD oil for its potential health benefits, questions regarding its efficacy and speed of action are more prevalent than ever. Particularly, how fast CBD oil takes effect in dogs is a topic of considerable interest. This post delves into the intricacies of CBD oil, including how its form can affect its absorption and action time.

Understanding CBD Oil for Dogs

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. It’s important to note that CBD oil for dogs typically comes from hemp, which contains negligible amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound that produces the “high” in marijuana. CBD is not psychoactive and is used for its potential to relieve pain, reduce anxiety, and support overall wellness in animals.

How CBD Interacts with Dogs

Dogs, like humans, have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that regulates bodily functions such as sleep, pain, immune responses, and mood. CBD interacts with the ECS by enhancing the body’s use of its own endocannabinoids. This interaction can help maintain balance and promote a state of health.

The Speed of CBD Oil Action in Dogs

The time it takes for CBD oil to take effect in dogs can vary significantly based on several factors, including the dog’s size, the condition being treated, and the form in which the CBD is administered. Generally, you can expect CBD to start working within 30 minutes to 2 hours. However, this timeframe can fluctuate based on the method of administration.

Forms of CBD and Their Impact on Absorption

  1. Oral Administration: CBD oil given directly by mouth or added to food is one of the most common methods. When ingested, CBD is absorbed through the digestive tract. However, this process is slow, and the presence of food can either hinder or aid in the absorption of CBD, affecting how quickly it begins to work. Typically, effects can be noticed within 45 minutes to 2 hours.
  2. Sublingual Administration: Placing CBD oil under the tongue (sublingually) is another popular method. This method allows CBD to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes in the mouth, bypassing the digestive system and liver metabolism. This can lead to a quicker onset of action, usually within 20 to 40 minutes.
  3. Topical Application: CBD can also be applied to the skin using lotions or balms. This method is most effective for localized issues, such as joint pain or skin conditions, because the CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors directly at the site. While absorption through the skin is slower, effects can be targeted and sustained over a longer period.
  4. Inhalation: While not commonly recommended for dogs due to the risks associated with inhaling smoke or vapor, inhalation is a method that provides the quickest effects in humans. For dogs, this method is generally bypassed in favor of safer, more controlled dosing methods.

Factors Influencing CBD Absorption

  • Dosage and Concentration: The amount of CBD administered and its concentration can significantly impact how quickly it works. Higher doses may provide more immediate results but finding the right balance is crucial to avoid potential side effects.
  • The Dog’s Size and Metabolism: Larger dogs may require higher doses, and individual metabolic rates can affect how quickly CBD is processed and begins to show effects.
  • The Condition Being Treated: For anxiety, owners might notice a calming effect relatively quickly, while more chronic issues like arthritis may take several weeks of consistent use before noticeable improvements are seen.
  • Quality of CBD Product: High-quality, third-party tested CBD products are more likely to provide the intended effects and do so in a consistent timeframe. Lower quality products may not only be ineffective but can also be harmful.

Safety and Considerations

While CBD is generally considered safe for dogs, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian before starting any new supplement, especially if your dog is on other medications. The right dosage is key to maximizing benefits while minimizing risks.


The speed at which CBD oil takes effect in dogs depends on various factors, including the form of CBD used. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, understanding these factors can help pet owners make informed decisions about using CBD for their furry friends. As research into CBD continues to evolve, so too will our understanding of how best to utilize this compound for the health and well-being of our pets.