Generally you will feel it start to work within 3 to 5 minutes! My experience has been that the area where applied begins to warm up and then loosen up so you can move it more easily and then after 5 to 10 min, the pain begins to lift off. Again, generally speaking the effect can last anywhere from a couple hours to the whole day depending on what condition you are treating.
I say generally because our bodies have individual responses to all kinds of medicine and that holds true with cannabis. Also I say "generally" because it depends on the condition you’re treating, in other words, is it sore muscles or strained tendons or stiff joints or skin conditions like psoriasis? Its hard to compare how it works on sore muscles vs psoriasis, but in general, you will feel it beginning to act within about 5 min & the pain begin to lessen within 10 to 15 minutes. I also recommend if it helps, but doesn’t take the pain completely away, reapply again & see if that does the trick. Always try to apply at least once daily for at least a week to get the full effect as some conditions respond better to regular applications over time.