The question of how long CBD stays in your body is a difficult question to answer precisely. Many different things can influence not only how long any effects last, but also how long it takes for your body to remove traces of CBD.
For some people, the average single dose of CBD may provide benefits for several hours and remain in their system for days. Others may feel nothing from the same dose and have little CBD left in their system half a day later.
In addition to looking into how long CBD stays in your system, we need to look at how our bodies store, metabolize, and interact with CBD, as well as other factors that can influence how the body retains CBD.
How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?
After being ingested or inhaled, cannabidiol (CBD) enters the bloodstream and accumulates in the fat cells.
As it travels around your body, some of it can attach to receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, blocking them and providing the pain-relieving effects that CBD is known for. The rest ends up in the liver, where the complex process of metabolization occurs.
Substances like CBD have what is called a half-life. This is the length of time it takes for half of the substance to be eliminated from the body. It commonly takes four to five half-lives to completely eliminate medicines and drugs from the body.
Here’s a rough guide to how long CBD remains in your system from the last time you take it.
- CBD Drops and Sprays: 10 hours to 2 days
- Vaped or Smoked CBD: 24 to 36 hours
- CBD Drops and Sprays: 10 to 24 days
- Vaped or Smoked CBD: 2 to 7 days
Other Factors to Consider
CBD can stay in your system from just a few hours to several weeks, depending on how it is taken, the amount taken, and the type of CBD taken, to name just a few variables. Here are the main factors that can affect both how well CBD is absorbed and how long it stays in your system.
Quantity and Frequency of Use
CBD can build up in fat cells and tissues over time, so the more frequently you take it and the amount you take each time can impact how long it stays in your system. If you take CBD every day for a month and then stop, it is likely to persist in your system for comparatively longer than if you take it infrequently.
Because CBD binds so well to fat cells, having a high-fat diet means that it stays in your system longer. Taking CBD after a meal that contains a lot of fat will increase its half-life considerably.
CBD that is taken on an empty stomach, and not immediately followed by a meal, will be metabolized faster and leave your system more quickly. You are also likely to feel the effects more quickly.
CBD is metabolized in the liver. This means that any medication you take that is also metabolized in the liver could change the half-life of CBD. Certain medications can slow down the process or even interact with the CBD, making it harder to process within your body.
You should be wary of using CBD if you suffer from liver disease, or take medication for a liver problem. It is better to speak to your prescribing medical professional than to risk an adverse interaction in your liver.
Route of Administration
CBD can be taken in several different ways, from inhaling it in a vape to eating it in gummies. How you take your CBD has a direct effect on how long it can stay in your body, as well as how quickly you might feel the benefits.
Ingesting CBD orally, like with a CBD gummy, is the least effective administration method. It can take a while for the CBD to be processed by your gastrointestinal system, so it takes much longer to reach your endocannabinoid receptors. This also means CBD ingested like this can stay in your system for up to five days from a single dose.
Vaping CBD oil is a more efficient way to administer it. Vaped (and smoked) CBD enters the bloodstream through the lungs, which is a much faster process. It is also metabolized more quickly and therefore can be eliminated from the body in a day or less.
How Long do the Effects of CBD Last?
The answer to how long the effects of CBD last is also quite variable and depends on several things. CBD can take a while to build up enough for the beneficial effects to be felt. Body composition, diet, level of health, the type of CBD you take, and how you take it can all have an impact on how long the effects last.
The fastest way to feel the effects of CBD is to vape or otherwise inhale it. Inhaled CBD reaches your brain much quicker than when eating it, but the effects will last for a shorter period.
Dosage is also an important consideration and will influence how long someone feels the benefits of CBD. A large adult (200+ lbs) might need a dose of more than 20mg to feel any benefits, while someone who weighs half as much might notice the effects of 12mg of CBD for hours.
Even when any noticeable effects have faded, which can be after only a few hours, CBD will likely remain in your system for several days, perhaps even weeks.
How Long is CBD Detectable in Your Body?
Although it can remain detectable in your body for several weeks, CBD is not commonly tested for in a drug test. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t detectable, only that most drug tests don’t look for it.
However, because CBD can contain traces of THC, which is commonly tested for, you may still fail a drug test. It really all depends on the type of CBD and how it has been processed. The three main types of CBD are:
- Full Spectrum CBD: This will contain all of the natural compounds from the plant, including some THC. This makes full spectrum CBD likely to show up in a drug test.
- Broad Spectrum CBD: Broad spectrum CBD is similar to full spectrum CBD, but it has been through a process to remove the THC. It is unlikely (but not impossible) that it will be detected in a drug test.
- CBD Isolate: CBD isolate is processed in a way that isolates and retains only the CBD. CBD isolate almost certainly won’t show up in a drug test.
Is CBD Detectable in Urine?
Yes, CBD that is taken orally or inhaled through a vape can be detected in your urine. A study by the Journal of Analytic Toxicology suggested that, on average, urine tests can be used to detect traces of CBD for up to four or five days after the last dose has been taken.
Once again, workplace drug tests that use urine testing do not routinely check for CBD. There is no need to look for a non-controlled drug like CBD, and few employers will be concerned that an employee is taking a substance legally available for use as pain relief or its anti-inflammation properties.
Frequently Asked Questions About CBD
Can You Bring CBD On a Plane?
According to the TSA, you can carry hemp-derived CBD with less than 0.3% THC in your carry-on or checked bags. To be safe it’s best to keep your CBD products in their original container so that the ingredients and safety notices are clearly shown.
Is Vaping CBD Addictive?
CBD is not known to be addictive. As long as the oil that you use to vape doesn’t contain any other ingredients like nicotine, there is no chance that you will become addicted. The act of vaping can become habitual, but that is very different from addiction.
What is CBD oil good for?
CBD has been shown to help with chronic pain, joint inflammation, and some types of anxiety. It can even help to reduce epileptic seizures, with the FDA approving a CBD-based anti-seizure drug called Epidiolex in 2018.
Does CBD Have Side Effects?
CBD is generally well-tolerated by most users. However, there is the possibility of high doses causing side effects such as nausea, tiredness, loss of appetite, and dry mouth.
As mentioned above, CBD can also interact with medications metabolized in the liver.