The question of how long CBD takes to leave your system is one that worries and confuses a lot ot people – but the answer isn’t simple. Let’s take a look…
With the rising popularity of CBD oil, there also comes a lot of mixed views and doubts.
While some users regularly take it to improve their overall wellbeing, some are still wary of its outcomes and in particular, are unsure how long CBD oil stays in your system.
Despite its legalisation in many countries worldwide, new users are often those concerned about its stigma and worry about its after-effects.
So, how long does CBD oil stay in your system?
The concern could arise because of drug tests, overdoses, or unwelcome side effects.
Today, you will discover:
- How long it takes for CBD oil to work
- What affects how long CBD oil stays in your system
- How long CBD oil stays in your system
- If CBD oil shows up on a drug test
Let’s take a closer look at how long CBD takes to work, stay in your system, and affect these aspects.
What's in this Guide?
How Long Does It Take For CBD Oil to Work?
THC and CBD do not impact general wellness in the same way, nor do they compare when considering their after-effects. THC results in a ‘high’ feeling, and the ‘comedown’ can be unpleasant, while CBD has neither of these outcomes.
Instead, it is CBD, the non-intoxicating compound from the cannabinoid, that is used worldwide to improve general wellness.
However, although both are different, they are suggested to take the same amount of time to kick in and demonstrate their effects.
Some evidence suggests that when consuming CBD oil through a vape, effects can show up within 15 minutes.
It seems that various components may influence how long it takes to work. It may be due to your body, dosage, what you are taking it for, how you take it, and what you take it with.
Therefore, the longer it will take to work is not guaranteed or the same for every user.
If you’re reading this, you might also be wondering whether you can overdose on CBD oil – thankfully, we’ve put together this handy video to answer that exact question:
What Affects How Long CBD Stays In Your System?
The reason for CBD oil taking different times to show results is down to form, dosage, and more.
The same goes for how long it stays in your system.
Here, we are looking at what different variables influence how long CBD oil stays in your system.
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. If a body has a high percentage of lean muscle mass, this will mean your muscle will outweigh or equal your fat.
The more lean muscle your body has, the more calories it burns.
Therefore, your metabolism will work quicker.
Depending on how fast a person’s metabolism is, this will influence how quickly the body metabolises the CBD and excretes it.
This suggests that the more muscle mass a person has, thus a faster metabolism, the less amount of time CBD will stay in the body.
Activity level also increases metabolism. A high activity level will increase how quickly the body burns calories and excretes what it consumes, such as CBD.
CBD oil is a soluble fat, so it is stored in fat cells. When a person exercises regularly, fat metabolises faster. A lower density of fat cells will directly impact how long CBD lasts and will typically wear off quicker.
How Often You Take It
If you are a regular CBD user, the frequency of use may encourage the CBD to stay in your system longer.
People who use CBD every so often may find that the CBD will stay in their bodies for 2 to 5 days. The effects will not be noticeable but the CBD might show up on a test – if it’s specifically looking for CBD.
Whereas a more regular user, say someone who uses it every other day, may see that the CBD stays in the system for 10 to 15 days.
Whether You Take It With Food
Another variable to consider is what you consume before or with the CBD.
Food can cause the 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, thus will be eliminated from the body faster.
Multiple variables influence how long CBD oil stays in your system. Whether you exercise, eat, or consume CBD regularly, these can all affect how fast it metabolises and eliminates.
How Long Does CBD Oil Stay In Your System?
Many factors can cause CBD to metabolise quicker and, therefore, be eliminated from the body; the answer to the question can vary.
It all depends on your body, the dosage you take, how you take it, and what you take it with.
For moderate users and most people, CBD may stay in the system for 2 to 5 days. Although the CBD may be detectable in the system after five days, it will not show any effect.
From a moderate dose, the effects of CBD may typically last between 4 to 8 hours. This may vary depending on body composition, CBD strength, and other variable factors.
If CBD is consumed in a higher quantity, concentration, or more often, it may stay in your system longer. Effects may last up to 15 days, depending on the dosage and frequency of use.
How Does The Method of Taking CBD Affect How Long It Stays in your System?
There are various ways to consume CBD. In recent years, there are more ways than simply taking CBD oil orally.
Now, there are edibles, skincare products, and even alcoholic beverages.
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.
Another popular method is ingestion. Ingesting CBD oil is similar to the sublingual method.
It involves placing the drops of CBD oil into the mouth and swallowing them.
Although the results may not be as quick or as bioavailable, it is considered a more convenient way of taking CBD oil.
By swallowing the CBD, it means it will not enter the bloodstream straight away. Instead, it will pass through the digestive tract and the liver before entering the bloodstream.
Before it reaches the bloodstream, much of the CBD is broken down.
The ingestion method suggests that only 5% of the CBD actually ends up in the bloodstream. Ingestion could take the CBD up to two hours before showing any effects. Thus, this method may reduce its efficacy and longevity.
The sublingual method is considered the better option for those who want to feel the CBD’s effects immediately or quicker.
Consuming CBD oil through vaping is considered a good option due to its high bioavailability. When inhaled through a vaping pen, the CBD is rapidly absorbed into the lungs and transferred straight to the bloodstream.
Vaping 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.
In recent years, there are many topical variations of CBD. There are a number of benefits of CBD oil for skin using CBD-infused lotions, creams, balms, or even applying CBD oil directly to the skin.
Using a topical product means you apply it directly to the skin. Here, the CBD oil will interact with the local endocannabinoid receptors, similar to the sublingual method. Results may be as fast as the sublingual method, yet there is not enough evidence to verify this.
Due to the products being infused with CBD oil, the concentration of the CBD is low. So it is suggested to apply the product in large amounts to increase efficacy to improve wellness.
Will CBD Oil Show Up On A Drug Test?
Although CBD is from the same plant as THC, it is unlikely that it will show up on a drug test.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) guidelines state that when drug testing, they can only detect THC, not CBD.
It will vary depending on the type of CBD oil you are using. For example, hemp-derived CBD products often contain a small amount of THC, around 0.3%. Here, the CBD oil may show up on a test.
However, the chances are still very small.
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 specific type of CBD. Those specific types include:
- Full-spectrum: contains all naturally occurring compounds from the cannabis plant, both CBD and THC.
- Broad-spectrum: goes through a process to remove the THC content.
- Isolate: only contains CBD.
Full-spectrum CBD oil is more likely to show up on a drug test as it contains THC. If you want a product without THC, broad-spectrum and CBD isolates will be the best option.
To make sure your product is without THC, ensure to get your CBD oil from a reputable brand that clearly displays their ingredients and third-party lab results.
To sum it up…
With there being limited evidence and many variables to consider that suggest how long CBD oil stays in your system, it is difficult to give a definitive answer.
If you look for almost immediate effect, then the sublingual or vaping method is the obvious option. Many variables can alter how long it takes the CBD oil to take effect. Similarly, there are various methods to consider that differ how long the effects last.
Different bodies have different responses, so longevity and bioavailability will vary from person to person.