Although most people can expect cannabidiol (CBD) to stay in their system between two to five days, pinpointing the exact moment your body fully dissolves this substance is tricky. Factors like your metabolism, how much CBD you take, and the absorption method you use might skew this period one way or the other. As a result, some folks may even have to wait for weeks before their digestive system breaks down chemical bonds holding this non-psychoactive compound together.
So, how long does CBD stay in your system? While answering this question is challenging, you can get a more accurate estimate by learning about all the variables involved in the process. This way, you can determine how long CBD may hang around in your case and what you can do to shorten or extend this time frame.
Join us as we go through the crucial elements determining how long CBD stays in your system and answer some of the most commonly asked questions regarding this substance.
What Factors Determine How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?
Whether you use CBD oil or other CBD products, you need to remember several factors affect the time cannabidiol stays in your system. These include physical factors (like your metabolism, age, weight) and your lifestyle choices. Let’s take a closer look at the most relevant ones below.
The rule of thumb here is simple: the more CBD you consume, the longer it will take your body to deal with it. So, if you wish to lower the total CBD concentration in your bloodstream faster, you should consider consuming CBD in smaller amounts.
You might also want to pay extra attention to the strength of the product you want to use. For example, more potent CBD oil might take your body more time than usual to process.
Frequency of Use
If you use CBD frequently, the chances are your CBD levels are pretty high. Although the human body naturally produces endocannabinoids, using CBD-infused products will increase the overall amount of cannabinoids in your system and extend the time they stay there.
On the other hand, if you use CBD products occasionally, CBD will disappear from your body faster. According to a 2014 study published in the Epilepsy Currents, ‘following single doses in humans, the half-life of CBD when taken orally is about 1 to 2 days.’ It means that cannabidiol, when used sporadically, will most likely clear your system after five days at most.
Furthermore, a 1991 study published in the Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior found that people taking CBD regularly for six weeks (one dose per day) did not have any CBD in their bodies one week after they stopped taking it. The observed half-life of CBD was two to five days, significantly extending the period while the substance was present in the body.
Other elements that play a significant role in how fast CBD is metabolized and excreted are your metabolism, body mass index (BMI), and water content.
As CBD is fat-soluble, it is stored in fat cells in your body. It means that the higher your BMI score, the better suited your body is for storing this substance. This factor can make CBD stay longer in your system.
Conversely, high metabolism and water content will help you process CBD much faster — lowering the risk of getting a positive drug test result.
What you eat before taking CBD has an enormous impact. It affects how CBD interacts with the body and alters the time it takes to break this substance down. For instance, if you eat something fatty, the CBD you consume will probably stay around for much longer in your system.
Similarly, when and how much you eat can also influence how long CBD stays in your system. Consuming CBD on an empty stomach is a well-known method to metabolize it faster, speeding up its digestion.
This brings us to yet another essential factor in establishing how long CBD stays in your system — the intake method you choose. Here are some of the most prevalent ways to take CBD:
- oils and tinctures
- pills and capsules
- creams and lotions
Depending on which one of these you opt for, your experience with CBD may vary drastically.
If you decide to vape or smoke CBD, you can expect to feel the effects quickly, as inhalation allows for rapid absorption. It also allows your body to start breaking down the substance almost immediately after it enters your system.
Alternatively, you can choose the most common method of CBD consumption — oral ingestion. As the CBD you consume has to pass through your digestive tract first, oral consumption is perfect for those who want to enjoy the benefits of cannabidiol for longer.
If you aim for a middle ground, you might want to try taking your CBD oil using sublingual consumption. This method transfers CBD to the bloodstream through mucous membranes located in the mouth. It usually produces effects after half an hour and makes them last between one to three hours.
Will It Show Up on Drug Tests?
One of the most significant concerns regarding CBD use is whether it will show up on a drug test. The short answer is no, but there is a catch.
First of all, even though most drug tests screen for THC and not CBD, they may sometimes mistakenly take cannabidiol for its close cousin — especially if you consume high doses of the latter. While both substances are present in the cannabis plant, one is perfectly legal, and the other is not.
Additionally, the type of CBD products you use can affect the result of the drug screening you take. If you only use CBD isolates, you should be fine, but both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oil could bring you some trouble.
Overall, if you are to be drug tested soon, you might want to hold back from taking CBD for some time. Whether CBD will be found in your system depends on the last time you took it and what kind of product you used.
Can Different Kinds of CBD Affect a Drug Test Result?
As mentioned above, the kind of CBD products you use will affect your drug test result. Urine tests, hair tests, blood tests, or saliva tests — all of them will detect THC, which is present in some CBD products.
It would be wise to familiarize yourself with the different types of CBD products available on the market to ensure your upcoming drug test returns negative.
This type of CBD product contains only cannabidiol, making it by far the safest choice. As long as you use hemp-derived CBD isolate products and nothing else, no urine test should detect drugs in your system.
Broad-spectrum products feature a mix of CBD and other cannabinoids present in the hemp plant, such as terpenes and terpenoids. The primary goal is to produce the entourage effect, making the therapeutic effects of CBD more potent.
Nevertheless, some broad-spectrum oils may contain trace amounts of THC that could be picked up during drug tests. So, whether you have to provide urine samples for drug testing or take a drug test of some other kind, it is best to switch to CBD isolate or forgo using CBD altogether for some time.
Taking a full-spectrum CBD oil provides you with all the naturally occurring compounds present in the hemp plant, including THC. Currently, all CBD products are federally legal as long as they contain less than 0.3 percent THC and come from hemp.
Alternatively, you could go for marijuana-derived CBD products, but they may feature more THC than their hemp-derived counterparts. Thus, they may not be legal in your area. Furthermore, using them increases the risk of THC showing up during urine drug tests.
If you are at the start of your CBD journey, you might want to learn how quickly CBD enters and leaves your body. However, if you ask yourself, ‘How long does CBD stay in your system?’ you may soon find out that providing a satisfactory answer is not as straightforward as many think.
To do so, you have to account for multiple factors, such as your metabolism, how you take CBD, and how frequently you use it. The type of product you use also determines how long CBD stays in your body and whether it will come up during drug screenings or not.
Remember that different bodies have various responses to CBD, so it may take you some time to optimize your dosage to reach the desired effects. Good luck!