How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?

by Rae Lland

There are many great, valid reasons to want to add CBD to your life, and with skyrocketing popularity, it’s easy to understand why more and more people are asking questions about this seemingly commonplace cannabinoid. One such question that many want to know is — how long does CBD stay in your system? The answer to this varies depending on a few factors; quantity and frequency of use, your unique biological makeup, and the method of consumption, and even your diet can affect how long CBD stays in your body. Learn more below.

What Is CBD?

First, a quick recap. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid naturally found in the cannabis plant that is often used for reported health benefits such as reducing inflammation, pain, nausea, and even in the treatment of seizure disorders with positive results. It can be taken in many forms, such as oils, topicals, edibles, vaping, and smoking. Unlike its sister cannabinoid, THC, cannabidiol is non-psychoactive and will not make users feel high or intoxicated.

neurons in the human brain

How Long Does CBD Last In Your Body?

A 2018 review of prior CBD research reported that the estimated half-life of CBD when consumed daily was around 2-5 days. Effects, on the other hand, can generally be expected to last anywhere between 2-6 hours. That said, as mentioned above there are several factors at play that may cause your results to vary.

  1. Quantity

The amount of CBD you use will affect how long it lingers. Higher doses give your body more to process, and thus it will take longer for it to fully move through your system.

  1. Frequency

Similarly, how often you use CBD will determine its longevity in your body. Cannabidiol can build up in the body over time with regular use, so using CBD often will also slow down your body’s processing time, and leave it in your system for longer.

  1. Your Diet

Like most things we consume, how fast our body can process it depends on how busy it is processing other things. When taken on an empty stomach, CBD can metabolize much faster than on a full stomach, and thus pass through at a quicker rate.

  1. Your Body

Speaking of metabolism, you may be aware that everyone’s digestive system is different! One person may metabolize CBD very quickly, while another may not. Other factors that play a role here are your body mass index and even water content.

  1. Method of Use

There are many great CBD products, and the method of delivery can affect the amount of time it sticks around. For example, when you vape CBD the effects are felt quickly, it’s processed quickly, and it tends to leave the body more quickly as well.

CBD canna oils on the other hand are processed by the body’s bloodstream and can hang around longer, much like CBD topicals which typically have a longer duration as well.

CBD edibles meanwhile can be slightly unpredictable, as metabolism really comes into play here. Some may find they hit quickly and don’t take long to leave your system, while others may not feel the effects for some time.

How Long Do The Effects Last?

When it comes to the onset of the desired effects of CBD, methods such as vaping and oils are felt most quickly, generally around 15 minutes or so, while topicals and edibles take longer to be felt — approximately 1-2 hours.

drug test request paper form with pen

Will CBD Show Up On A Drug Test?

Most drug tests are not searching for other compounds, and thus CBD won’t show up on a drug test. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) guidelines include detection for THC but not CBD, and are followed by most employers. However, depending on the cannabidiol product you are using, you may still be consuming tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

A full-spectrum CBD product contains cannabidiol as well as all naturally occurring compounds in the cannabis plant. This means that THC and even other cannabinoids such as cannabinol (CBN) and more can be present. While some studies suggest that these full-spectrum products are more effective due to the cannabinoids enhancing one another, for those who are concerned about drug test results, you will want to avoid anything that could possibly contain THC.

Instead, you will want to opt for a broad-spectrum product refined to exclude THC, or a pure CBD isolate with no other cannabinoids besides cannabidiol. Regardless of what you’re looking for, make sure to choose products that can provide certificates of analysis and have been tested for content and quality by third-party manufacturers.

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