Current research shows CBD is full of potential benefits. It can do everything — from giving you glowing, healthy skin to helping relieve chronic pain. One key question for many consumers is – How long does CBD stay in your system?
CBD can stay in your system for several hours to several months. How long CBD remains in your system depends on a person’s age and general well-being, how much CBD you take, along with other factors.
Here is a complete breakdown of CBD: how long CBD products stay in your system and whether CBD can make you fail a drug test.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 540 chemicals in cannabis Sativa plants. CBD is one of the two main chemical compounds of cannabis plants. The other is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical that makes you feel high.
CBD has no psychoactive properties like THC, which means it will not get you high.
CBD can be derived from both hemp and marijuana plants. Hemp plants contain less than 0.3% of THC but more CBD. Marijuana plants contain more than 0.3% THC and less CBD. Therefore, hemp-derived CBD products have less THC than marijuana-derived ones.
Although CBD research is still limited, many people have tolerated CBD well with no or mild side effects, and it does not appear addictive.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD is metabolized in the body and may be absorbed through the bloodstream when you take CBD products.
CBD interacts with our body and the brain through the endocannabinoid system. This system is a network of cell receptors spread throughout our bodies, with two primary receptors:
- CB1 — In the central nervous system
- CB2 — In the immune system
The endocannabinoid system controls various bodily functions, including sleep, mood, temperature, pain, appetite, and more. Our system releases natural cannabinoids to restore balance if something is wrong with our health.
Sometimes natural cannabinoids aren’t enough, so people turn to alternatives, such as CBD products. There are a wide variety of CBD products on the market, ranging from consumables like CBD gummies or CBD oil, topical CBD lotions, or even CBD patches.
There are three main types of CBD:
- Full-spectrum CBD — Contains all cannabinoids found in cannabis, including THC.
- Broad-spectrum CBD — Contains cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant but no THC.
- CBD isolate — Contains only pure CBD.
How Long Does CBD Last?
The impact of CBD can last for several hours or even days after you have used CBD products. CBD is stored in fat cells in the body and can remain detectable for days or even weeks in some cases.
How long CBD lasts depends on the product, how much CBD you take, and how your body reacts.
Most topical CBD products, such as CBD oils and creams, can last 2 to 6 hours.
If you swallow CBD gummies, it first goes through the liver, where as much as 95% of CBD doesn’t get into the bloodstream. On the other hand, CBD that’s vaped or smoked lasts much longer because it goes straight into the bloodstream, and CBD oil applied under the tongue also lasts longer than CBD gummies.
More research is being performed to determine how long CBD lasts when consuming CBD products.
How Long Does CBD Take to Leave Your System?
How long CBD takes to leave your system depends on several factors:
- Your diet — How much you eat and what you eat impacts how the body processes CBD. A meal full of fat will make CBD present for longer. But, if you consume CBD products on an empty stomach, CBD will leave your system sooner.
- How often you consume CBD products — If you consume CBD often, it can build up in the fatty tissues and stay in your system for longer (even weeks in some cases) because CBD is fat soluble.
- How much CBD you consume — The more CBD you take, the higher CBD levels in your system, and the longer it may stay. 1.35 mg of CBD is detectable for six hours after ingestion. The type of CBD you consume also plays a factor – broad-spectrum CBD, full-spectrum CBD, or CBD isolate.
- Your body — Your mass index and metabolism also influence how long CBD stays in your system.
- System of consumption — Smoking and inhaling CBD causes it to leave the body quicker. On the other hand, ingesting CBD oil stays in the system for longer (up to two to five days).
- Medical conditions — Medical conditions may also impact how long CBD remains in the system. For example, people with liver disease or those who take medications metabolized by the liver can have altered metabolism. In this case, CBD can interact with other medications and stay in your system for longer.
Can CBD Cause You To Fail a Drug Test?
It is highly unlikely consuming CBD with no THC would cause you to fail a drug test. Most drug tests check for the presence of THC, which is illegal in most states. You could fail a drug test if the CBD product contains more than 0.3% of THC.
Pro tip: Buy CBD isolate and broad-spectrum CBD products, as these don’t contain any THC. Avoid full-spectrum CBD, as it includes all cannabis isolates, including THC.
Here’s how long CBD is detectable on different drug tests:
- Urine tests — Urine tests are the most common method of drug screening. THC can show up on urine tests between three days to two weeks, depending on how much THC you’ve taken. CBD leaves the body much quicker. A study found that no CBD was detectable 24 hours after consuming CBD.
- Hair tests — Hair tests can detect CBD for up to three months after consuming CBD. However, these tests are expensive and complicated to perform, so they aren’t common.
- Saliva tests — Saliva tests to detect CBD are rare. These tests are usually done to detect THC consumption and can detect THC for up to 72 hours on average.
- Blood tests — Blood tests are also used to detect THC metabolites and aren’t typical for CBD screening. Blood tests can detect THC for about five hours after you’ve consumed it. However, in some cases, THC can be present in the blood for up to a week.
How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System: Final Thoughts
How long CBD will stay in your system depends on your current body condition and what CBD products you take. For example, how fast is your metabolism, do you take any medication, etc. It also depends on the type of CBD compound in the product: full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, or CBD isolate.
Drug tests primarily screen for the presence of THC and very rarely CBD. If you are concerned, look for reliable manufacturers, like UNOCBD, who perform third-party testing and provide detailed descriptions of their products so you can take comfort in knowing what type of CBD is used. High-quality CBD products from reputable manufacturers are generally safe to take, so that you can enjoy a range of benefits with peace of mind.
DiLonardo, M. J. (2021, December 15). CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference? WebMD. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/cbd-thc-difference
Raypole, C. (2019, May 17). Endocannabinoid System: A Simple Guide to How It Works. Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/endocannabinoid-system
How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System? (2022, April 22). Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-does-cbd-stay-in-your-system#duration
Ujváry, I., & Hanuš, L. (2016). Human Metabolites of Cannabidiol: A Review on Their Formation, Biological Activity, and Relevance in Therapy. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 1(1), 90–101. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2015.0012
Nadulski, Thomas*; Pragst, Fritz*; Weinberg, Gordon†; Roser, Patrik†; Schnelle, Martin‡; Fronk, Eva-Maria‡; Stadelmann, Andreas Michael†. Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study About the Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) on the Pharmacokinetics of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) After Oral Application of THC Verses Standardized Cannabis Extract. Therapeutic Drug Monitoring: December 2005 – Volume 27 – Issue 6 – p 799-810 Available at: https://journals.lww.com/drug-monitoring/Abstract/2005/12000/Randomized
Millar, S. A., Stone, N. L., Yates, A. S., & O’Sullivan, S. E. (2018). A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans. Frontiers in pharmacology, 9, 1365. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01365
Moeller, K. E., Kissack, J. C., Atayee, R. S., & Lee, K. C. (2017). Clinical Interpretation of Urine Drug Tests. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 92(5), 774–796. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.12.007
Wertlake, P. T., & Henson, M. D. (2016). A urinary test procedure for identification of cannabidiol in patients undergoing medical therapy with marijuana. Journal of pain research, 9, 81–85. Available at: https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S96856
Does CBD Show Up On Hair Follicle Drug Tests? (n.d.). CBD Choice. Retrieved August 17, 2022. Available at: https://cbdchoice.com/cbd-and-hair-follicle-drug-tests/
Anizan, S., Milman, G., Desrosiers, N., Barnes, A. J., Gorelick, D. A., & Huestis, M. A. (2013). Oral fluid cannabinoid concentrations following controlled smoked cannabis in chronic frequent, and occasional smokers. Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry, 405(26), 8451–8461. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-013-7291-5
Pacifici, R., Pichini, S., Pellegrini, M., Rotolo, M. C., Giorgetti, R., Tagliabracci, A., Busardò, F. P., & Huestis, M. A. (2020). THC and CBD concentrations in blood, oral fluid, and urine following a single and repeated administration of “light cannabis.” Clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine, 58(5), 682–689. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2019-0119