EducationHow long does it take to feel the effects of THC oil?

How long does it take to feel the effects of THC oil?

15 min read

Editorial Team

How long does it take to feel the effects of THC oil?


How THC oil works in the body

All animals have an endocannabinoid system, which is a biological system that interacts with the body's life support systems. From your endocrine system to your nervous system, your reproductive system to your respiratory system, many bodily functions are governed by the endocannabinoid system network. 

This system is made up of a network of cannabinoid receptors that are located throughout the body and play a pivotal role in maintaining homeostasis, ensuring cells perform their functions correctly. Their abundance in the body points to why medicinal cannabis has the potential to be so effective at treating a wide range of medical conditions.


  • How long does THC oil take to peak? 
  • Is THC oil an effective treatment option for pain?
  • How long do THC oil effects last?
  • What is the difference between THC oil and CBD oil?

How long does it take to feel the effects of THC oil?

The time it takes for you to feel the effects of THC greatly depends on the methods of administration, as well as individual factors such as metabolism and tolerance levels. Fortunately, there are fast and slow-acting options, as well as ways to take low or high doses in order to facilitate control over the way your body reacts to your medicine.

How to take THC oil?is a question we hear all the time. The answer is surprisingly simple. 


Vaporising THC is among the fastest way to feel the effects. When vaporised, THC is drawn into the bloodstream in a matter of seconds when inhaled through the lungs. 

THC is a bronchial dilator.  This means that it essentially allows your airways and lungs to expand when inhaling it, which can be a cause of irritation for some people, but also offers the fastest onset of effects. This rapid onset is preferable to many pain and nausea patients, as it provides almost instant relief of symptoms.

Expect to feel the effects of vaporised THC oil within 1 to 2 minutes.


Using a tincture to take your THC is another quick way to feel the effects. Tinctures are best administered as sublingual THC drops (under the tongue), as the active THC is absorbed through the oral mucosal membrane located there. 

This route of administration allows the THC to enter the bloodstream within two to ten minutes of exposure. Because the THC bypasses the liver by entering the bloodstream directly, this minimises the potential extra psychoactive effects that can happen if THC is digested.

Sublingually taken THC oil drops will take between 5 and 10 minutes to be felt, with the effect peaking after 30 to 45 minutes.


Cannabis capsules are individually dosed pills or tablets that allow patients to take an exact amount of cannabis oil each and every time (something that can be difficult when vaping). It is best to take THC cannabis oil capsules within half an hour before eating in order for them to be properly digested. Capsules are often prescribed to patients looking to find long term pain relief, as while they do take longer to take effect (from 30 minutes to 90 minutes depending on your metabolism), their effects last for a long time – anywhere from six to twelve hours.

The digestion process takes between 30 minutes to two hours, with most people finding they have an onset of THC-related effects around the 45-minute mark.

Metabolism and tolerance

Individual differences in metabolism, tolerance levels, and the endocannabinoid system's varying activity can also impact how long it takes to feel THC oil's effects. Some people may feel the effects almost immediately, while others may take longer for the THC to fully kick in. Additionally, tolerance levels can change over time with regular application of THC oil, but we dive into this further down below.

THC oil effects

The range of effects that taking THC can offer patients is as wide-ranging as the health conditions and related symptoms that it can potentially address. Patients taking THC oil have reported relief from serious and chronic medical conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, and Crohn's disease. THC oil for pain reduction is a very common application. 

Some of the most common THC oil effects include:

  • Pain relief: THC is known for its analgesic properties and can help alleviate pain caused by various conditions, including neuropathic pain.
  • Anti-inflammatory effects: THC has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, making it a potential treatment option for conditions such as arthritis and Crohn's disease.
  • Nausea and vomiting relief: THC has been found to be effective in reducing nausea and vomiting, especially in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Relaxation and mood enhancement: THC is known for its psychoactive effects that can induce feelings of relaxation, euphoria, and improved mood.
  • Appetite stimulation: THC has been proven to increase appetite, making it beneficial for those experiencing loss of appetite due to illnesses or medical treatments.
  • Sleep aid: Many patients have reported improved sleep quality after taking THC oil, making it a potential treatment option for insomnia and other sleep disorders.

New patients are often confused regarding the differences between THC and CBD oil. To learn more, check out our helpful guide "Cannabis oil fully explained"

The risks and side effects of THC oil

Aside from these therapeutic effects, taking THC oil may also have some potential side effects. These include dizziness, dry mouth, increased heart rate, and changes in blood pressure. It is important to consult with a specialist doctor before taking THC oil to ensure you are administering it correctly for your specific health needs.

Furthermore, it is essential to note that THC oil effects can vary greatly from person to person, and not everyone may experience the same effects. The psychoactive properties of THC may also impact cognitive function and impair motor skills, so it is crucial to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while under the influence of THC oil.

What to do whilst waiting for THC oil to take effect

If you have taken a THC oil capsule or edible and are waiting to feel the effects for the first time, it is best to do something relaxing and non-stressful. Put on some nice music, a familiar film or TV show, or have a conversation with someone you are close to. Try not to think about it, and allow the onset of effects to begin naturally. There is no need to worry. The less you focus on any potential negative effects, the better the outcome most likely will be.

What happens if it takes longer than it should?

This should only be an issue if you are taking your THC oil in capsule or edible form. 

If you still have not had any noticeable effect after 90 minutes, it is possible that you either did not digest the capsule yet, or you took a dose that was too weak to treat your symptoms. 

You will want to avoid taking another dose straight away, in case you just have a slower system for metabolising THC oil. Stick to your dosing time schedule, and be patient. You may find that after another 30 minutes, you do start to feel the effects. If not, you should discuss dosage sizing with your prescribing doctor. 

What happens if I realise I’ve taken too much THC oil?

The best thing to do is not to panic. Try to relax and make yourself comfortable. Calm music or speaking to someone you are close to are great ways to stay grounded. Some people feel like they want to hug someone, and others feel like they want to be left alone. In any case, it is a good idea to make sure you are not completely alone for safety reasons, or in the instance you need some help. 

Dry mouth, dizziness, lethargy, sickness, vomiting, delayed response, and memory loss can all be negative side effects of taking too much THC oil but be assured the effects will subside after around 4 to 6 hours at most. Sugary drinks, fruit, and plenty of fluid are helpful aids in this situation.

THC has been proven, through a huge range of clinical studies and trials, to be extremely safe even at high dosage levels, so just take it easy and relax. Remembering to drink plenty of fluids is the key thing here. Having a friend or family member around is a good idea. That company can help ease any anxiety you may be feeling.

If you think you may have accidentally taken a larger dose than prescribed, and would like some tailored advice, feel free to reach out to us here at Releaf.

How long does it take for the effects of THC oil to wear off?

A dose of THC in edible or capsule form should last you around 3–6 hours, with the average being around 4.

If you have inhaled your THC through a vaporiser, then expect the effects to last around half that time. When taken sublingually, the effects of THC can be felt almost immediately and will typically wear off within 1-2 hours. However, other factors such as individual metabolism and tolerance can also impact the duration and intensity of THC's effects.

It is important to remember that THC oil affects everyone differently, and it may take some experimentation with dosages and methods of ingestion to find what works best for you.

How often is it safe to re-dose THC oil?

The timing of dosage is a unique and subjective experience, and there is no single answer that will work for everyone. However, when considering re-dosing with THC oil, it's essential to seek professional medical advice, as dosage amounts and frequency can vary greatly depending on individual tolerance and body chemistry. 

It's also essential to remember that THC oil is a potent form of cannabis, so it's best to start with smaller dosages and increase gradually until you find the right dose that helps to relieve your symptoms. 

Before beginning any medical cannabis treatment, always consult with a qualified healthcare professional.

Building up a tolerance to THC oil

Over time, you will start to be able to tolerate the effects of THC more easily. For some people, this is a quicker process than for others. If you find it is taking many weeks for you to tolerate THC in higher doses, it may be beneficial for you to take a CBD tincture half an hour before. This can help negate some of the psychoactivity of THC. You do not need to feel the psychoactive effects of THC in order to receive the medicinal benefits.

How long does it take THC oil to have a long-term impact on a medical condition?

Whilst the effects of THC can be felt in a matter of seconds when inhaled, the onset time is slower for most THC oil applications. When taken sublingually, it will be absorbed into the bloodstream quickly and effectively in a matter of minutes. If you are adding your THC oil to food, such as a smoothie or salad dressing, it will take between 30 and 120 minutes for the oil to be fully absorbed and the effects to begin.

Factors to consider

The length of time that THC oil has an effective impact on your medical condition will vary depending on the type of condition, how frequently you take it, and the method of administration. Generally speaking, the effects of THC oil can be felt for up to four to six hours.

This question has very variable answers from condition to condition and person to person. THC oil is not a magic bullet that helps with every diagnosis, it is more likely to be something that allows your body to heal itself over a longer period of time. 

With daily administration, many patients have reported significant improvements after three months of continuous application, but again, this is a case-to-case situation. Anecdotal evidence, while helpful, cannot replace clinical research. Thanks to the changes in medicinal cannabis laws globally in the past decade, we are finally seeing cannabis research gain momentum. Hopefully, in the coming years, we will be able to provide clear, clinically proven answers to many of the questions that are still unanswered.


What is the difference between THC oil and CBD oil?

THC and CBD are the two main cannabinoids produced by cannabis plants, but they have different effects. THC is known for its psychoactive properties and can produce a "high" feeling, while CBD does not have these psychoactive effects.

Products containing less than 0.2% THC can be legally sold over the counter here in the UK, and these are often referred to as CBD oils. However, medical cannabis containing higher levels of THC can only be obtained with a prescription from a qualified specialist doctor.

For a better understanding of the differences between the two, check out our article "What is CBD oil?"

What medically beneficial effects does THC offer patients?

THC has been found to have the potential to help with pain relief, reduction of inflammation, and improvement in symptoms of conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and PTSD. It has also shown potential in helping with anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. For a more in-depth look at THC more generally, head to our guide right here!

How long does THC oil take to peak?

That is dependent on a few factors, including:

  • The method of administration - THC oil that has been vaporised and inhaled tends to peak quickly, at around 1 to 2 minutes for the effects to be felt and 30 minutes for the peak. Sublingually administered THC drops take 5 to 10 minutes to kick in, peaking at around 30 to 45 minutes. THC oil taken in edible form will usually be felt in around 30 to 90 minutes, peaking at the 2 to 3 hour mark.
  • The dosage amount will have an impact on how quickly THC peaks.
  • The individual's metabolism and body chemistry will affect the onset and duration of THC effects.

How long does it take to develop a tolerance to THC oil?

As with any substance, developing a tolerance to THC oil differs from person to person. However, it's important to remember that tolerance can develop quickly with frequent applications of high doses.

Your prescribing doctor will be able to walk you through a personalised treatment plan to help manage and monitor your dosage and tolerance levels.

How long does it take for THC to leave your system?

The amount of time THC can be detected in the body depends on several factors, including dosage, frequency of administration, and individual metabolism. Generally, THC can stay in your system for up to 30 days, but if you are taking medical cannabis containing THC daily, then it may take longer.


In conclusion, THC oil's interaction with the endocannabinoid system of the body offers a potential for various medical applications, though the effects and timing can vary significantly depending on the method of administration and the individual's metabolic response. Whether it's vaping for rapid relief, sublingual tinctures for quick absorption, or cannabis capsules for controlled dosage, the potential benefits of THC oil for medicinal purposes are promising.

However, careful management of dosage and frequency, preferably under the guidance of a medical professional, is paramount to ensure its effective and safe administration. It is vital to remember that THC oil, like any other medicine, may affect individuals differently, and a gradual approach to dosing is advised to ascertain one's tolerance. With more research into medicinal cannabis gaining momentum, our understanding of the therapeutic properties of THC oil is poised to increase, potentially unveiling newer therapeutic avenues in the future.

Releaf understands that medical cannabis can be life-changing for many people. That's why we offer tailored monthly packages based on your cannabis prescription, specialist consultations for medical cannabis, and a unique medical cannabis card for protection.

It is important to seek medical advice before starting any new treatments. The patient advisors at Releaf are available to provide expert advice and support. Alternatively, click here to book a consultation with one of our specialist doctors.

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Editorial Team

Article written by the Releaf Editorial Team, a group of seasoned experts in cannabis healthcare, dedicated to enhancing awareness and accessibility in the field through their wealth of knowledge and experience.

Our articles are written by experts and reviewed by medical professionals or compliance specialists. Adhering to stringent sourcing guidelines, we reference peer-reviewed studies and scholarly research. View our editorial policy.

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