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How long does CBD oil stay in your system?

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  1. How long does CBD oil stay in your system?
  2. How long do CBD oil effects last?
  3. Will CBD show up on a drug test?

You’ve probably heard about the therapeutic relief that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating compound found in the cannabis plant, may offer for various conditions, from chronic pain to anxiety issues. While many people could benefit from using CBD, they may be reluctant to try it due to the fear of failing a drug test or the general stigma that still surrounds cannabis in some places.

While CBD does not produce the same intoxicating effects as THC, it does get stored in the body. Most cannabis drug tests only screen for THC, but some people may still want to know how long does CBD stay in your system?

Despite the legalization of hemp-derived CBD products in the U.S., there is still a need for further research into how CBD interacts with the body. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Despite the legalization of hemp-derived CBD products in the U.S. thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, there is still a need for further research into how CBD interacts with the body, as well as the amount of time it remains detectable in the body after use.

However, using existing research on CBD and its interaction with the human body, we can attempt to better understand how long CBD oil stays in the system.

How long does CBD oil stay in your system?

The time that CBD remains detectable in the body will depend on several factors:

  • Metabolism: A person’s metabolism plays a prominent role in how fast the CBD is metabolized and eventually excreted from the body. Another aspect that could impact the effects of CBD is whether it’s taken with food or on an empty stomach, as certain foods could enhance bioavailability and increase overall CBD concentration in your body.
  • Frequency of Use: How often CBD is used will also influence the amount of time it remains in the body.
  • CBD Dosage: The amount of CBD taken at a time will influence how long the cannabinoid remains in the system.
  • Method of Administration: Both the effects and presence of CBD in the body are also contingent on how the cannabinoid was introduced into the body. For instance, smoking or vaping CBD allows it to take effect almost immediately, while ingestion will delay the onset for an hour or two.

In a randomized, double-blind, controlled 2005 study published in “Therapeutic Drug Monitoring,” volunteers were given cannabis extract with 2.5 milligrams of THC and 1.35 milligrams of CBD. The research team found that CBD was only detectable in the blood for up to nine hours after ingestion.

A 1991 study published in “Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior” examined the concentration of CBD in the blood after high doses daily. Over a six-week period, the research team administered a daily dose of 700 milligrams of CBD to 14 Huntington’s disease patients. One week after the dosing ceased, the CBD remaining in the blood was just 1.5 nanograms per milliliter and was “virtually undetectable” thereafter.

A 2018 review of existing CBD studies found that the estimated half-life of CBD was two to five days for those who took a daily oral dose. Other delivery methods delivered varied half-lifes.

While the time that CBD is detectable in the body will depend on the aforementioned factors, we can deduce that CBD will likely leave the system after a week or two. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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While the time that CBD is detectable in the body will depend on the aforementioned factors, we can deduce that CBD will likely leave the system after a week or two.

That provides some insight into how long CBD remains in the blood, but there is little research on how long is CBD detectable in urine. In a 2016 study reported in the “Journal of Pain,” participants were given different types of CBD-rich cannabis products, including oils, capsules, and flower. Two hours after administration, urine samples from all 15 subjects tested positive for CBD. The researchers followed one participant after the last day of administration and found that CBD was no longer detectable in the urine after 24 hours.

It’s important to note that, while existing evidence shows us that CBD can definitely be detected in the body for a certain period of time, most cannabis drug tests specifically look for the presence of THC. Therefore, accurate information on how long CBD stays in the body remains limited compared with THC.

How long do CBD oil effects last?

Consumption method plays a crucial role in determining how long it will take to feel the effects of CBD and how long they will last.

Ingestion

Ingestion is the most common method for CBD consumption. Administering a couple of drops of CBD oil directly into the mouth is certainly a convenient way to reap the benefits of this therapeutic cannabinoid. However, ingestion is not necessarily the most effective consumption method for those who want to feel the effects of CBD immediately. Swallowing the oil prevents CBD from entering the bloodstream right away, sending it first through the digestive tract and eventually onto the liver, where it is broken down before finally reaching the bloodstream.

Studies show that when CBD compounds are metabolized by the liver, they undergo what is called the “first pass effect,” where enzymes in the liver reduce CBD concentration before the remainder is finally sent to the bloodstream and circulated throughout the body. While oral consumption of CBD has become popular for its ease of use, it’s a rather inefficient method of consumption compared with inhalation or sublingual administration. This is because only about 5% of swallowed CBD ends up in the bloodstream, meaning this method provides low bioavailability.

With ingestion, it could take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours before the effects of CBD finally set in. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Whether you’re ingesting CBD oil or CBD-infused edibles, it ultimately goes through the same lengthy digestive process and reduces the total CBD concentration in the bloodstream. With ingestion, it could take anywhere from one to two hours before the effects of CBD finally set in.

Sublingual

The sublingual method is considered to be more effective than ingestion. CBD oil can be consumed sublingually by placing a few drops under the tongue and holding it for two to four minutes, then using the tongue to rub it into the inside of the cheeks before swallowing the remainder. Using this method, CBD is transferred to the bloodstream via the mucous membranes located in the mouth, completely bypassing the digestive system and liver. Sublingual consumption leads to higher bioavailability compared to oral ingestion.

Inhalation

Inhalation is also an effective delivery method for CBD due to its rapid absorption and the efficiency of the lungs at transferring CBD into the bloodstream (better bioavailability). Whether you’re smoking a high-CBD strain or taking a draw from a CBD vape pen, the interaction with the body remains the same. When CBD is inhaled, the cannabinoids are sent directly to the lungs, where they are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and put into circulation.

Existing evidence suggests that CBD reaches peak blood concentration within three minutes after inhalation, meaning the effects can be felt shortly after use. Accordingly, this method is appealing for those seeking immediate pain relief.

Topical

Topical CBD comes in many forms: infused into lotions, creams, salves, and other health and wellness products. It can be applied directly to the skin where it may be absorbed through the surface of the skin and interact with localized cannabinoid receptors. In certain cases, CBD-infused topicals should be applied liberally to overcome the low cannabinoid absorption rate of the skin.

Topicals can be applied directly to the skin where it’s absorbed through the surface of the skin to interact with localized cannabinoid receptors. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Will CBD show up on a drug test?

In most cases, it’s highly unlikely that CBD oil will cause a positive test result in a drug screening. Most drug tests are developed to look specifically for the presence of THC or related substances. On top of that, employers generally abide by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) guidelines, which include detection for THC but not CBD.

Keep in mind that even hemp-derived CBD products are legally allowed to contain up to 0.3% THC. This could cause hesitation in some CBD-curious consumers who don’t want THC in their system or to risk a false positive result on a potential drug test. However, the chances of failing a drug test from using hemp-extracted CBD oil are extremely slim. You would need to take an exorbitant dosage of full-spectrum CBD oil (estimates range from 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams per day) to risk a positive drug test result.

For those who want to be extra-cautious and utilize CBD with no THC, a broad-spectrum oil or products that contain pure CBD isolate should do the trick. Broad-spectrum oil is refined to exclude THC, while CBD isolates contain no THC or other plant-based cannabinoids. To ensure that your CBD contains no THC, it’s important to source products from reputable manufacturers that provide a certificate of analysis from a third-party testing lab.

For those who want to be extra-cautious and utilize CBD with no THC, look for broad-spectrum oil or products that contain pure CBD isolate. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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There are different types of drug tests with varying detection thresholds for THC. The most commonly used drug screening method is the urine test, which typically has a lower threshold for detection. Under the SAMHSA framework, the cutoff limit for the presence of THC is 50 nanograms per milliliter. A nanogram is one-billionth of a gram.

In the rare case that you test positive for THC after taking CBD oil, you can always try to explain the situation to your employer or request another test.

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How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System

CBD is becoming increasingly popular. And with more and more people using CBD supplements, many have questions about how long CBD products remain in the body after consumption. Below we’ll explain how the body processes CBD, what the substance’s half-life is, and much more.

Contents:

How CBD works

CBD works primarily by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, a regulatory network that keeps the body functioning at its best. Unlike other cannabinoids, CBD doesn’t bind directly with the ECS’s receptors, but works behind the scenes to deliver its unique effects.

The situation becomes a little more complicated because you can take CBD in a variety of different ways, with the method of administration playing a pivotal role in how the compound is metabolised (broken down and distributed around the body).

If you take CBD orally, for example, it has to pass through the digestive system before it can take effect. But, when taken sublingually (under the tongue) or inhaled through a vaporizer, CBD can bypass the digestive system and get to work faster.

How is CBD processed?

Once consumed and absorbed, CBD travels to the liver where it’s metabolised into a variety of compounds that your cells can use. This metabolism is carried out by the same group of enzymes responsible for breaking down roughly 60% of all medications available on the market.

From the liver, CBD metabolites move around the body, where they may interact with a wide variety of receptors.

Although that outlines the basic journey of CBD, what we’re interested in is how long the interaction between CBD metabolites and receptors last—how long CBD stays in your system. To understand that, we need to explain the concept of “half-life”.

What is half-life?

Half-life is the term used to measure the amount of time it takes for a compound to be reduced to half its original amount or effectiveness in the body. It’s gauged by measuring blood plasma for metabolites of the compound in question. From the plasma, drug metabolites are either removed from the body or translocated to another type of bodily fluid.

Half-life is typically measured by administering a single dose of a compound, then testing blood plasma for traces of the drug at regular intervals. The amount of the drug in the plasma will usually increase, reach a peak, and then start to decline.

Using the information obtained while measuring CBD’s half-life, scientists can work out how long CBD stays in the body. You cannot do this yourself at home, but we can use their data to provide a general timeframe.

How long does CBD stay in your system?

The exact half-life of CBD isn’t 100% clear, but we can explore some of the existing studies. There’s evidence that suggests that CBD has a half-life of roughly 2–5 days. This is based on a study involving 14 patients with Huntington’s disease. The patients were given doses of around 700mg of CBD per day for 6 weeks. Note that these doses are much higher than a standard recommended dose.

In another study, half-life of CBD was evaluated based on a single dose in the amount of 20mg and 18.8–19.4mg administered intravenously and smoked respectively. The half-life was accordingly estimated at 18–30h and 27–35h.

But, and this is an important but, that timescale will vary from one person to the next. How long CBD stays in your system is also affected by several biological factors, as well as the way you consume it.

As a general rule of thumb, the more efficient the consumption method, the faster CBD is processed, and the quicker it leaves our system. So, back to our earlier example, orally consumed CBD should stay in your system longer, compared to sublingual application or vaping. It’s a delicate balancing act, but one that you’ll need to experiment with to find out what works for you.

What affects the half-life of CBD?

Whenever talking about the metabolism of any compound, it’s essential to realise that everyone’s body is a little different, and several biological factors can influence your ability to process compounds such as CBD.

CBD is fat-soluble, so a small portion may get stored in fat cells. The cannabinoid can stay in your system for a little longer if you have a high body fat percentage.

• Efficiency of your metabolism

Our metabolism is a combination of chemical reactions, one of which includes the conversion of food to energy. The faster your metabolism, the quicker substances (including CBD) are broken down, processed and eliminated.

• Method of consumption

How you consume CBD not only alters the potency but the duration of effects. The method of consumption also goes hand in hand with bioavailability. Generally speaking, administration methods with greater bioavailability will also leave your system faster.

• Amount of CBD consumed

The more CBD you take, the longer it takes for your body to process it. Be careful though, high doses may produce mild side effects, so it’s essential to find what works for you.

• Purity and strength of the oil/supplement you’re using

The higher the concentration of a CBD oil or supplement, the longer it takes your liver to process, and the longer active ingredients stay in your system.

How long does CBD stay in your system—bottom line

CBD is a very unique and complex compound that can affect everyone slightly differently. Unfortunately, studies have not yet been able to pinpoint the exact half-life of cannabidiol. The half-life of CBD can be estimated to be between 18 and 35 hours, while other studies suggest that the half-life of CBD could be up to 5 days.

However, remember that these are ball-park figures. As we mentioned earlier, a lot of different factors can influence the rate at which your body processes and metabolises compounds like CBD. Until further studies look into the half-life of cannabidiol, these figures are the closest we’ve got.

Click the link to find out how CBD is processed, how long it stays in your system, and what factors affect the cannabinoid’s effects duration and impact.