How Long Does CBD Oil Stay In Your System?
Cannabidiol, often abbreviated as CBD, has become the fastest growing and most popular health alternative today. According to a 2020 survey by SingleCare, at least 33% of the population in the United States has used CBD. 64% of current CBD users use it to relieve pain and inflammation.
Stop by any health food store, and you'll find an overwhelming variety of CBD-based products—everything from capsules to gummies to oils to creams and even lotions. As CBD becomes more readily available, users are becoming curious about it___how long does CBD oil stay in your body? How long does CBD take to work? Will it show up in a drug test? This article answers these questions based on existing research.
How Your Body Processes CBD
Cannabidiol, aka CBD, is a nonintoxicating and nonpsychoactive ingredient produced naturally by cannabis plants. This means that, unlike its popular cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD won't get you high or cause any feelings of euphoria and paranoia.
When you consume CBD oil or any CBD-based products, the compound is absorbed into the bloodstream and brain. How fast CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream primarily depends on your consumption method.
For instance, CBD oil is mainly consumed by placing a few drops of the oil under the tongue and letting it sit there for 30 seconds before swallowing (sublingually). Generally, you will begin to feel the effects of your oil within 15-30 minutes.
On the other hand, CBD edibles must first pass through the gut and liver before the CBD compound can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Hence, edible effects can take around 30-90 minutes or more to kick in.
CBD delivers its effects by interacting with the receptors in our endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system, often abbreviated as ECS, is a biological cell signaling system in our bodies, comprised of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced naturally by our bodies), and enzymes (responsible for breaking down endocannabinoids). These components work synergetically to regulate vital processes in our bodies like memory, mood, immunity, pain sensation, appetite, and more.
Enzymes break down or metabolize the CBD compound in the body. Experts suggest that CBD does not interact with the cannabinoid receptors the same way THC does. THC binds directly with the CB1 receptors in the brain, producing psychoactive effects like a euphoric high and changes in mood, memory, and consciousness.
Conversely, CBD is thought to offer its benefits by preventing endocannabinoids breakdown. This way, the endocannabinoids are able to have a greater effect on the body.
Research also suggests that CBD interacts with receptors like serotonin, a hormone that stabilizes our feelings of well-being, mood, and happiness. Although it doesn't necessarily increase serotonin levels, it influences how our brain responds to the serotonin already available in our system.
How Long Does CBD Stay In Your Body?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not straightforward. That's because there are many factors that play a major role in how fast the CBD metabolites are excreted from your system.
These factors include your metabolism, frequency of use, consumption method and more. Therefore, how long CBD metabolites last in your system after the effects wear off may differ significantly from another consumer.
Let's have a closer look at these factors:
- Your Body
Our bodies are different in many ways, from genetics, metabolism, age, weight, to body size. CBD is lipophilic, meaning that it is stored in our body fat cells. Therefore, your body mass index (BMI) determines how fast CBD is metabolized in the body.
Generally, people with a higher body mass and weight tend to have a slower metabolism. Hence CBD takes longer to leave their system. Comparably, consumers with a fast metabolism metabolize CBD much faster so that it is excreted from the body sooner than people with a slow metabolism.
- Consumption Method
The best thing about CBD is that there are numerous ways to consume it. Whether you prefer gummy bears, chocolate bars, baked goods, tinctures, or topicals___there is always a choice for everyone!
However, your consumption method determines the onset of effects, duration of effects, and how long CBD lasts in your system.
For instance, if you vape CBD or smoke dried CBD flower, it enters your lungs from where it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and brain. The effects kick in almost instantly and leave your body fast.
As noted earlier, edible effects take time to kick in; however, these effects last in your body much longer than other consumption methods.
Ideally, younger people have a faster metabolism. This means that the compound is metabolized and eliminated from the body much quicker than older CBD users.
How long CBD stays in your system is greatly determined by what you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat. Ideally, if you consume CBD on an empty stomach, it will be metabolized and eliminated much faster than if you had taken it on a full stomach.
- Frequency Of Consumption
How often you use CBD also influences how long it lasts in your system. Over time of regular consumption, CBD builds up in your body. This means that it will take much longer for CBD to leave your system entirely. However, CBD will clear from your system much faster if consumed occasionally.
To sum it up, just because you've stopped feeling the effects of CBD doesn't mean the compound is no longer in your system.
According to a 2018 review, the half-life of CBD is generally 2-5 days when consumed orally. Other consumption methods have varying CBD half-lives.
Another study published in 1991 in Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior investigated CBD concentration in the blood after consuming high CBD doses daily. 14 Huntington's disease patients were given a daily dose of 700 mg CBD for over 6 weeks.
After 7 days of ceasing dosing, only 1.5 nanograms per milliliter CBD remained in the blood, and these levels were 'virtually undetectable' thereafter.
Based on these two research, we can safely say that, in general, CBD will not linger in your system for longer than a week after your last use. But frequent CBD users can expect the compound to stick around for up to two weeks.
How Long Does CBD Take To Work?
How long CBD takes to work typically depends on the same factors that determine how long CBD stays in your body. Therefore, it's relatively hard to determine how long CBD will take to work for everyone.
For instance, you will begin to feel the effects of vaping and consuming CBD sublingually within 5 minutes, but the peak of effects will be felt in about 15 minutes after consumption.
When you use CBD topically, whether creams, salves, or balms, the CBD is absorbed via the skin. But unlike your regular CBD products, it does not reach the bloodstream. Instead, it interacts with the cannabinoid receptors through skin pores, delivering a delayed onset of effects (about 1 hour).
How Long Do CBD Effects Last?
How long CBD effects last in your body depends on the same factors discussed above, including how much you consume, your body, consumption method, and more!
Anecdotally speaking, however, CBD effects generally last in the body from 2-6 hours.
How Long Does CBD Stay In Your Urine?
Urine drug tests analyze urine for the presence of cannabinoid metabolites. Research into how long CBD stays in urine is relatively scarce. However, in a 2016 study, a controlled group of 15 volunteers was given varying cannabis products with high CBD amounts.
2 hours after consumption, 14 of the 15 patients tested positive for THC and CBD metabolites. The researchers found that the CBD metabolites could no longer be detected in one of the volunteer's urine after just 24 hours!
If you are expecting a urine drug test soon, the best thing to do is abstain from CBD for at least 7 days. Alternatively, you can use CBD isolate or broad-spectrum products as they don't have any traces of THC.
Will CBD Make You Fail A Drug Test?
Most drug tests are designed to detect the presence of THC rather than CBD. THC remains illegal at a federal level, while CBD is federally legal and allowed in all states.
It's very unlikely that CBD makes you fail a drug test. However, it's important to note that there are varying forms of CBD available on the market. CBD isolates and broad-spectrum CBD do not have any amounts of THC. Comparably, full-spectrum CBD contains 0.3% or less THC levels.
0.3% or less THC is the legal THC limit allowed by federal law, and it cannot make you high. In addition, this amount is too low to be detected by regular drug tests. But note that consuming high amounts of full-spectrum CBD increases your chances of failing a drug test.
So if you don't want to take chances, the best thing to do is abstain from CBD for some time. But if you really want to pass the test and still reap the amazing benefits that CBD has to offer, then CBD isolate and broad-spectrum products are your best choice.
Unfortunately, the answer to how long does CBD oil stay in your body is not as straightforward as many would wish. That's because numerous factors influence how long CBD remains in your system after the effects wear off. The good news is that you will not fail a drug test if you purchase hemp-derived CBD products from a trustworthy dispensary.