How long does CBD stay in your system? As CBD continues to rise in popularity, more and more people are beginning to try CBD for it’s potential health benefits. Since CBD is somewhat similar to THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, some people are worried about CBD showing in a drug test. Will CBD show up in a drug test? How long does CBD stay in your system?
These are two excellent questions, and I’m going to do my best to answer them for you. Based on existing research, I will discuss the factors influencing CBD’s lifespan in our bodies.
Let’s have a look!
CBD vs. THC (Cannabidiol vs. Tetrahydrocannabinol)
Who doesn’t know about CBD’s potential health benefits by now? If you don’t that’s okay, but you are falling behind the curve (haha)! Most people have learned about the possible therapeutic effects of this non-intoxicating compound. Cannabidiol, an abundant substance in the cannabis plant, has been deemed useful in various physical and mental conditions. These studies are coming from prestigious research centers and education centers, too. Pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and mental health improvements are only a few of the highlighted properties of CBD.
CBD is generally considered safe due to its non-psychoactive properties and lack of side effects, but few people may feel hesitant using it due to it’s cannabis origin. People associate cannabis compounds with drug tests for THC, which makes since. I can see how people would be worried about that, but should they be? How long does CBD stay in your system?
Remember, CBD doesn’t get the user high like THC does. Still, people are likely to believe the old stigmas and want to know if CBD will make them test positive on a drug test, and how long CBD stays in their system.
CBD molecule image
A effects from a dose of CBD can be felt for several hours, and typically, it may stay in the body in trace amounts for over a week. The length of time CBD stays in your system depends on several factors such as body type, body composition (amount of fat content), the method of consuming CBD, and the user’s metabolism. According to Epilepsy Current, “Following single doses in humans, the half-life of CBD when taken orally is about 1 to 2 days.” That means that it takes roughly 2 days for the dose of CBD to degrade by half. It takes roughly 4 to 6 complete terms to completely go away.
That means that if we take the 2 day half-life of CBD, it would take anywhere from 8 to 12 days for it to degrade out of our body, completely (2 days multiplied by 4 or 6).
Hemp-derived CBD products are fully legal in the U.S following the passing of the Farm Bill 2018. But there is still a need to know more about CBD’s interaction with the human body and how long it’s effects remain in our system.
Most everyone has heard of THC. THC is the psychoactive compound located within cannabis that people use for a number of different reasons. When you ingest or smoke products with a high level of THC in them, you get ‘high.’ Some people like this feeling, others don’t.
THC molecule image
THC has a number of medical benefits, and a lot of cancer patients use it (in the form of smokable or edible marijuana) to help numb their pain and stimulate their appetite.
The half-life of THC is roughly 30 minutes. This means that if you consume 10mg of THC, within 30 minutes there will be 5mg left in your body. It takes roughly two hours for the THC to pass through to your urine.
How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?
If we take the information from above, we can figure out that, typically, CBD stays in your system for roughly one week. Keep in mind this duration varies from person to person. How long CBD remains detectable in the body depends on several factors such as metabolism and body composition.
In order to figure out how long any substance stays in our system, we need to consider the half-life of that substance. What do I mean by “half-life?” A half-life is the amount of time needed for any specific substance (i.e. the concentration of CBD in the body) to decrease by half. Nearly 94 to 97% of a substance (CBD in this case) will be eliminated after 4 to 6 half-lives have passed. After 4 to 5 half-lives have passed, the plasma levels of a drug (CBD) will be below a clinically relevant concentration and thus will be considered eliminated (Jericho Hallare & Valerie Gerriets, 2020).
Above, I mentioned the half life of CBD is 1 – 2 days. If we take 2 days, and multiply it by 6 (longest case scenario) you end up with 12 days. The shortest case scenario would be 2 days multiplied by 4 which gives you 8 days. Based off of this math, CBD can stay in your system for anywhere from 8 – 12 days.
Let’s go over some of the factors that affect the lifespan of CBD in the human body…
The user’s metabolism plays a vital role in figuring out the levels of CBD in the body. A fast metabolism will quickly metabolize CBD and eliminate it from the body faster than someone who has a slow metabolism. Some foods can increase bioavailability and increase the CBD levels in the body. How long CBD stays in your system also depends on how you consume it: are you taking the CBD on an empty stomach, or after a meal?
The more doses of CBD you consume, the longer it will stay in your body. That makes sense, right? If I take a dose of CBD in the morning, and again at night, I have doubled the amount of CBD intake. That means, CBD levels in my body will increase.
The more CBD you take per dose, the more CBD will be available in your body. This also is relatively simple to understand.
Method of CBD Consumption
The effects and presence of CBD in the body somewhat depend on how CBD enters the body and bloodstream. For example, consuming CBD through smoking or vaping will start showing immediate effects and result in a higher bioavailability than by eating it. CBD ingestion can take 1-2 hours to start showing effects.
When we eat substances they also have to pass through the liver and kidneys before getting into our blood stream. The liver and kidney are part of a filtration system that our bodies use. Different methods of consumption have a different effect on the bioavailability of CBD in our systems. Bioavailability means the amount of a compound that is available for use to your body. Something becomes bioavailable when it enters your blood stream.
Here are some popular methods of consumption when it comes the CBD use…
Ingestion of CBD – How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?
Ingestion (by way of eating or drinking) is a convenient and maybe the most common method of consuming CBD. However, it’s not the best way of taking CBD for those who want it to take an immediate effect. Through this method, the first CBD enters the digestive system rather than into the bloodstream and then enters the liver and kidney complex, as mentioned earlier.
Here, the CBD is broken down into tiny parts. These parts are sent to the bloodstream where they are circulated throughout the body. This method provides a lower bioavailability of CBD when compared to other methods.
The method is much more effective than ingestion. People place a few drops under the tongue and hold it there for up to two minutes. That’s it!
CBD reaches the bloodstream in higher levels because the CBD is able to enter the bloodstream via the sublingual vein. The time that it would take to pass through the liver is eliminated. The sublingual method ensures better bioavailability and quicker results.
Some of the best effects of New Phase Blends exclusive products come from sublingual use.
Vaping CBD Products
Inhaling CBD is also an effective method of consuming CBD. Inhalation causes rapid absorption of CBD to the bloodstream, increasing bioavailability. In the inhalation method, cannabinoids can directly reach the lungs. Once in the lungs, it can circulate to other parts of the body. This method can be a great choice for those who want to experience immediate effects.
Due to the nature of smoking, and recent vaping crisis, New Phase Blends chooses not to sell any smokable CBD or vape products.
Several CBD-infused products are available in topical form, such as lotions, creams, balms, salves, and gels. Apply CBD topicals directly on the skin. Our skin can absorb the CBD and then transfer it to our bloodstream. Bioavailability is nominal with this method.
Interesting fact: We have CB1 and CB2 receptors in our skin that respond to cannabinoid use, like CBD topical creams. Take a look at this picture from the medical journal Trends of Pharmacology in Science.
Photo Source: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Drug Test Results of CBD Use – How Long Does CBD Stay in Your Body?
The purpose of most of the drug tests is to identify the amount of a drug in our system. Typically, CBD won’t show on a drug test, but THC will. Many of the CBD products contain a tracea amount of THC, which would theoretically cause a positive drug test result. However, the amount of THC in legal CBD products is so miniscule that drug tests for THC will not show as positive. It is important to avoid any false positives for THC on a drug test by making sure the CBD product is derived from hemp – not marijuana.
Hemp derived CBD must contain less than 0.3% of THC which is a very, very small amount. This amount is usually not enough to show a false positive on a drug test.
Marijuana derived CBD, on the other hand, can have much higher levels of THC. Some Marijuana derived CBD products have THC content in excess of 20%. That is more than enough to show as positive on a drug test.
Furthermore, the quality of the drug test can have an effect on positive results. The better quality the drug test, the less the likelihood that a false positive for THC will occur.
Conclusion | How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?
A study published in 1991 in Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior was conducted to check the blood’s CBD concentration after consuming high doses daily. Over six weeks, the research team managed a daily dose of 700 milligrams of CBD to 14 Huntington’s disease patients. After one week of dosing ceased, there were just 1.5 nanograms per milliliter CBD left in blood and consequently was “virtually undetectable.”
In 2018, a review of existing CBD studies showed that for those who took a daily oral dose of CBD, the estimated half-life was 2-5 days in their system.
So what’s the answer? How long does CBD stay in your system? After looking at all of the research in this article, I can safely say that in most cases CBD will remain in some amount within our bodies for anywhere from 8 to 12 days after use. Some people will have it eliminated from their bodies quicker, and others longer. Remember, it all depends on the following factors…
- Body Composition
- Method of Consumption
Most cannabis drug tests scan for the THC quantity in the body – not the CBD content. Furthermore, CBD is now federally legal. Testing for CBD in your body is not really a thing. Keep in mind that if you are tested for THC via drug tests, make sure your CBD products come from hemp and not marijuana. This will make sure the THC content is near nothing.
Better Health Channel: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/metabolism
Epilepsy Current: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4189631/
Frontiers in Pharmacology: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6275223/
Future Med Chem: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/
Marijuana as Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK224387/
Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayocliniclabs.com/test-info/drug-book/marijuana.html
Merck Manual: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/clinical-pharmacology/pharmacokinetics/drug-bioavailability
Project CBD: https://www.projectcbd.org/cbd-101/what-is-cbd
Science Daily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191104141650.htm
Stat Pearls: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554498/
Trends in Pharmacological Science: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2757311/
United States Department of Agriculture: https://www.agriculture.senate.gov/2018-farm-bill