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How long does CBD stay in your system?

How long does CBD stay in your system?


CBD is now one of the most sought-after natural remedies. It boasts of countless benefits, with little to no side effects and does not need to be prescribed by a physician. Many swear by its relief and some even prefer it over opioids.

One of the most common questions asked is “How long does CBD stay in your system?“. Based on scientific evidence and loads of anecdotes, CBD is considered relatively safe with no psychoactive properties. However, it may not be worth it to a consumer if they can potentially fail a drug test. In this article, we will explore just how long CBD lasts before it is undetectable. Answering this question is not exactly straightforward, as it really depends on the individual. But there are some factors that make it easier to narrow down.  

How long does CBD last in the body?

The effects of an average dose of CBD can be felt for a few hours then it fades away. Some may assume that when the effects wear off so does the CBD. This is not the case. CBD actually stays in your system for quite some time. Some studies suggest that it takes around 4 days to exit the body completely, but this is still largely subjective.

Like we stated earlier, there is no definite amount of time and will require some experimentation if you really want a specific timeline. It’s important to remember that most drug screenings do not check for CBD specifically. If you use full-spectrum CBD, the real concern should be the trace amounts of THC and THC metabolites. Admittedly, there have been a few reported cases of failed drug tests from using nothing but CBD oil. This may be one of the reasons someone would want to know how long CBD stays in their body. After all, better safe than sorry.

Factors which influence how long CBD stays in the body

The way CBD interacts with each individual is different. These are some of the major factors which are likely to impact how long CBD stays in your system.  

Method of consumption

The method of consumption usually has a significant influence on how long CBD lasts in the body. Nowadays, there are so many different CBD products. You can get the traditional capsules and vapes or be more adventurous CBD-infused beverages. Each form of ingestion has its rate of absorption and metabolization.  

The oral ingestion of CBD may involve the digestive process from beginning to end or sublingual (under the tongue) absorption. It takes a while for the CBD to pass through the digestive system until it is eventually metabolized in the stomach. This process also depends on how much food was consumed before the CBD dose and the metabolism of the person. Sublingual absorption via the membranes below the tongue is a faster way of ingestion but still leaves the body relatively slowly. 

Topical CBD also leaves the body slowly, but people tend to use topicals in smaller amounts when compared to other forms of ingestion. The fastest method of consumption for CBD is vaping. The CBD hits the bloodstream through the lungs and the effects are felt within minutes. With vaping, the CBD is also expelled from the body fairly quickly. 

Consumption amount

When you’re trying to determine how long CBD will last in the body, consider how much CBD is being consumed. More specifically, how much and how often. CBD can be accumulated into the fat cells. This means that with frequent or excessive use, the compound can last for quite some time in the body. As a general guideline, CBD can remain in the body for up to 3 days for infrequent users. With moderate frequency and dosage, it may last around 4 to 5 days. With regular consumption, this timeline extends significantly. The compound stays in the body for 10 to 15 days for average users. 

Of course, the more you use the CBD, the longer it takes to exit your system. There is certainly a cumulative effect. Another consideration is the potency of each dosage. Not all capsules and tinctures are created equal. The higher the strength, the longer it takes to be eliminated from your system. There are cases reported where the CBD took up to a month before it entirely left the body.  

Body Fat

This may come as a surprise to some, but as we mentioned before, CBD can be stored in fat cells. What this means for someone with some extra layers of body fat, is that it will last longer in the body. These excess fat cells containing the cannabinoid would need to be metabolized for the CBD to be released. On the other hand, a lower body fat percentage implies that the CBD will leave your system faster. The lower the number of fat cells, the lower the CBD storage. If someone exercises often, they will be constantly breaking down any excess fat cells and therefore, CBD will not last as long in their system.  

Daily routine

Your daily activities directly impact the way CBD is processed in your body. People that are always on the go or active in some way, likely expel the CBD much faster than someone who does not burn many calories. Habits that induce high metabolism and fat burning rates such as resistance training are likely to have a significant impact on how long CBD stays. Fat-burning is not only influenced by exercise but also by diet.  

A nutritious, well-balanced diet and even proper sleeping routines can play a part in boosting the body’s metabolism. This, in turn, improves the fat burning rate and ultimately influences how long CBD stays within the body. Remember, less fat cells means less storage for the CBD molecules. 

Individual Body Chemistry

Some factors extend a bit beyond your daily activities or how you choose to consume CBD. Each person has their unique biological makeup and chemistry. With this comes varied metabolism, fat distribution, and reactions to compounds like CBD. Researchers are still trying to determine how the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) works and specifically how these cannabinoids are metabolized. But based on what we know so far, the individual body chemistry has an impact on how long CBD takes to be processed and expelled.

Research and Studies

According to a study conducted in 1991, a medical team gave a group of patients 700 mg of CBD daily for six weeks. Based on their findings, after one week of stopping the dosage, the CBD levels were considered ‘virtually undetectable’. There was also no significant difference between genders during the clinical trial. This study gave the researchers an idea of how long CBD remains in the blood. 

Another study was conducted in 2016 using several CBD products such as oils, capsules and CBD rich flowers. The products were administered to a group of 15 participants. After two hours, 14 out of 15 tested positive for CBD and THC metabolites. On the last day of the examination, it was observed that the CBD was no longer detectable in the urine after 24 hours.  

Drug Test tips

According to what we have just learned, CBD may stay in your system for up to a week with average use. If you have an impending drug test and are concerned about CBD raising some flags, it is best to stop taking it for at least 10 days before the examination. These precautions are really for the trace amounts of THC which may be still lingering in your system. After all, even hemp-derived CBD can contain up to 0.3% THC.  

THC is the ingredient responsible for the intoxicating effects of cannabis. Although most drug tests don’t look for CBD, and the amount of THC may be negligible, it is better to play it safe. Usually, you need to consume a large amount of CBD to flag a false positive. So, if you are only consuming small amounts there should be no issue. However, in the case of a drug test, take some time from using the supplement altogether to eliminate the possibility of a false positive. 

Final Thoughts

This concludes our discussion on how long CBD lasts in the body. This is something that varies from person to person, depending on their method of consumption, lifestyle, weight and body chemistry. In a more general sense, we can estimate that it entirely leaves the system in one to two weeks. With most of the CBD products, it takes a while for CBD to be expelled. Vaping is perhaps the only exception. People with an active lifestyle are less likely to retain CBD in their system than those who are inactive.  

If you’re preparing for an upcoming drug test, they most likely are not testing for CBD. In most cases, drug screening is likely aimed at THC and THC metabolites. However, if you are using full-spectrum CBD supplements (especially full-spectrum), you may still have some traces of THC remaining in your system. In this case, it is better to lay off of supplementation for at least 10 days leading up to the test.  

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