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After ingesting a CBD edible or CBD capsule, you may start feeling effects in as little as 20 minutes, depending on your individual digestive system and metabolism. For most people, though, it takes about 60 minutes to start feeling the effects of CBD that has been ingested via edibles. You may be able to hasten the effects on your individual system by ingesting CBD on an empty stomach; it can take much longer if you have just eaten a large meal.
Common topical CBD products include balms, lotions, oils, and salves. They work by binding to CB2 receptors near the skin and activating the endocannabinoid system, without being absorbed into the bloodstream. Human skin absorbs these cannabinoids at a low rate; this is why many cannabis topicals recommend liberal application to the affected area. Topical methods are slower to take effect than other methods (generally more than an hour), but the benefits may be long-lasting (often five or more hours).
A report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published in the journal Pediatrics cautions pregnant women and nursing mothers to avoid marijuana use due to possible adverse developmental effects to their baby. In a study reviewed for the report, short-term exposure to CBD was found to increase the permeability of the placental barrier, potentially placing the fetus at risk from certain substances.
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