Notoriously, THC – the psychoactive cannabinoid present in Cannabis Sativa L – can be detected in your bloodstream for up to a month after consumption.
But what about our friend CBD?
The bread to THC’s butter – the compound that doesn’t get you “high”– is sold legally as a wellness supplement in the UK and categorised as a ‘Novel Food’.
But how long does CBD oil stay in your system? And can it be detected alone?
We’ve put together a guide to everything you need to know about how long CBD sticks around in your body, including:
- How long CBD stays in your system
- The factors which impact CBD remaining in your system
- How to get CBD out of your system quickly
In this guide:
How long does CBD stay in your system?
There’s no one-size fits all answer, unfortunately.
The time it takes for CBD to leave your system completely can vary.
As a general guideline for moderate users, CBD will likely stay in your system for between 2 and 5 days.
But all of this is relative to you as an individual and depends on several factors.
Do you consume higher than average doses or take CBD more often than the average user?
If so, the compound could remain detectable in your system for a longer than average period of time.
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4 factors that affect how long CBD stays in your system
CBD oil impacts everybody differently. Here, we consider which variables influence how long CBD oil will stay in your system.
1. Body Composition
Body composition reflects the percentages of fat, bone, water and muscle in human bodies.
A person’s body composition will directly affect how long CBD oil stays in your system. The primary influence here is metabolism.
Metabolism and body composition go hand in hand. A body with a high percentage of lean muscle mass will mean your muscle will outweigh or equal your fat.
Therefore, your metabolism will work quicker.
How fast a person’s metabolism is will influence how quickly the body metabolises the CBD and excretes it.
Generally, this means that the more muscle mass a person has – thus a faster metabolism – the less amount of time CBD will typically stay in the body.
2. Activity level
Activity level also increases metabolism. A high activity level will increase how quickly the body burns calories and excretes what it consumes, including CBD.
CBD oil is a soluble fat, so it is stored in fat cells. When a person exercises regularly, fat metabolises faster.
Therefore, a lower density of fat cells will directly impact how long CBD lasts and will typically wear off quicker.
For example, CBD will be excreted faster from the system of an athlete than someone who does not exercise regularly.
3. How often you take CBD
If you are a regular CBD user, CBD will likely be detectable in your system for longer.
Regular users – say someone who consumes CBD every other day – could notice that CBD stays in their system for between 10 and 15 days.
4. Whether you take it with food
Another variable to consider is what you consume before or with the CBD.
Food can cause CBD oil to digest and metabolise slower. So, if you eat a big meal before using CBD, the effects may last a lot longer than if you were to take it first thing before breakfast.
If you take CBD on an empty stomach, it will metabolise quicker. The CBD will have nothing to digest and thus will be eliminated from the body faster.
How long does CBD last?
The quicker your metabolism, the faster CBD will be excreted from your system.
The more you exercise, the faster CBD will be excreted from your system.
The more regularly you use CBD, the longer it will stay in your system.
Taking CBD with food
Taking CBD on a full stomach will make it stay in your system for longer.
How does the method of taking CBD affect how long it stays in your system?
Your chosen consumption method has an impact, both on how quickly CBD will take effect and on the length of time it may take to clear from your system.
This is because the bioavailability of different consumption methods differs.
However, this is likely to be the least notable of contributing factors – both the regularity of consumption and dose level are likely to be more important in determining how quickly your body will expel traces of CBD.
The sublingual method is considered to be the most effective way of taking CBD. It involves placing a few drops under the tongue, holding it there for a few minutes to absorb directly into the bloodstream.
This method is highly effective due to the endocannabinoid system directly working with the CBD oil. The cannabinoids interact with the cannabinoid receptors throughout the body via the bloodstream.
Sublingual use means the CBD can avoid interacting with the liver and digestive system, meaning it can last longer and has higher CBD bioavailability.
When you ingest CBD as a food supplement or an edible, it can take up to an hour to experience any effects.
This is because when substances are administered orally, they have to be absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract – which takes more time, particularly if you’ve eaten a big meal.
Vaping CBD or smoking CBD flowers are also considered good options due to their high bioavailability.
When inhaling CBD, the compound is rapidly absorbed into the lungs and instantly enters your bloodstream, so the neurological effects associated with CBD will occur more quickly.
Therefore, this may be a good option for those who want quick results, similarly to the sublingual method. It is suggested from anecdotal evidence that effects can be felt just three minutes after inhaling through a vaping pen.
But, in the same way that smoking allows CBD to enter your bloodstream faster, it also represents the quickest way for the substance to exit your body.
In recent years, there are many topical variations of CBD. There are a number of benefits of CBD oil for skin by using CBD-infused lotions, creams, balms, or even applying CBD oil directly to the skin.
Using a topical CBD product means you apply it directly to the skin. Here, the CBD will interact with the local endocannabinoid receptors in the skin.
However, the CBD is not absorbed into the bloodstream, therefore it takes longer to feel the effects, and the effects will be less potent than other methods.
6 ways to get CBD oil out of your system
At this point, you should understand how CBD long will CBD stay in your system.
You should also know how it is processed by the body and which factors impact how quickly your body is able to metabolise CBD.
So, the next question is: “How do I get CBD out of my system?”
There is a big difference between getting CBD out of your system so that you don’t feel any side effects, and completely eliminating it from your system.
CBD is stored in fat cells, so there may be traces in your body for weeks after taking it.
However, it doesn’t keep working this entire time. If you want to speed up the process of metabolising your CBD, you could try the following steps.
The body eliminates CBD through sweat and urine, so speeding up these processes may help to clear it from your system faster.
- Start by drinking more water to help increase the rate at which you urinate.
- Diuretics can also help to increase your urination rate. If you take diuretics, you will need to make sure you drink a lot of water to make sure that your urine stays a pale colour.
- Another simple way to increase the rate at which your body processes CBD is to increase the fibre in your diet. A diet high in fibre will stimulate your bowels, which will help to eliminate CBD from your body.
- You should also steer clear of healthy fats, as these will slow down the rate at which your body absorbs the CBD and cause it to stick around for longer.
- Exercise will get your heart rate up and encourage you to sweat. This can help to eliminate CBD from your body faster. If you are feeling anxious about taking CBD, exercise could help you to feel more in control.
- Avoid alcohol if you are trying to get CBD out of your system as this could lead to dehydration. Instead, try a detoxifying juice loaded with veggies and fruits.
Will CBD show up on a drug test?
While CBD is from the same plant as THC – cannabis – it is unlikely, but not impossible, that the cannabinoid will show up on a CBD drug test.
Drug tests – in the workplace, for example – will be testing for THC and its metabolites. But properly regulated CBD oil that adheres to UK law will either contain no THC or a very tiny amount.
This will vary depending on the type of CBD oil you are using.
In this case, CBD oil may appear on a THC test – but the chances are minimal.
For those who do want to be cautious and lower the chances of CBD oil showing up on a drug test, you may want to choose a broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate that contains no THC.
Frequently asked questions:
Both exercising and drinking more water can help speed up the process and flush CBD from your system.
Traces from CBD are likely to remain in urine from any time between 2 and 15 days. But to be 100% safe, we’d say very heavy users may test positive for traces of CBD up to a month after the last time they consumed the cannabinoid.
It depends on your body and how much you take. It’s most common that the effects of CBD will last between 2 to 6 hours.
To sum it up…
Put simply, there are different strokes for different folks!
The regularity of your consumption, dose level, and body composition are all critical variables that are likely to determine how long CBD will remain in your system. Everyone is different, and longevity and bioavailability will vary from person to person.
Moderate users are likely to expel CBD from their system up to twice as quickly as daily CBD consumers. And while it’s improbable that CBD will trigger a positive drug test, you can further reduce chances by choosing broad spectrum or isolate products.