How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

CBD, short for Cannabidiol, and its staying period in the human body is a topic of much interest to researchers all over the world. Ever since the magical cannabinoid was discovered (again) a few decades ago, CBD and CBD related research has been a hot debate among medical experts, researchers, pharmacologists and the average Joe.

While many people would swear on their life while stating the benefits of this hydrocarbon, others are still skeptical about it. 

The fact that you would like to know how long CBD stays in the human body tells us that you’re not sure of the legality of the compound and/or you want to know if it will show up on the drug test that you plan to take in the next 10 days.

For that purpose, we’d like to discuss the legality of Cannabidiol and also give you some general information that may come in handy in case you ever have to explain yourself or even if you’re just plain curious. 

Don’t miss this important article: Treat Your Asthma with CBD

Is it Legal?

Unfortunately, CBD is still frowned upon in many places around the world. A lack of education or fear of unfair usage has prevented many countries from legalizing it. There is a common misconception that CBD is marijuana, whereas this compound is actually all work and no play.

Literally, it means that CBD does not get you high, it does not affect your cognitive abilities, it does not impair your motor and psychomotor functions and does not give you the red eyes and a wide smile that you get with smoking Hashish or Marijuana.

No, this compound is all about boosting your health, improving your immunity, regulating your eating and sleeping patterns, promoting healing and repair of body cells and fighting off mental illnesses.

Systematic Stigmatization of Cannabis/Hemp

Dried Cannabis

The only tragedy that has stigmatized this wonder of a compound is the fact that it is found in all strains of the Cannabis plant, which includes marijuana. The Euphoria one experiences upon marijuana consumption is associated with a compound with THC only. 

The Farm Bill 2018 Act 2018 declassified hemp as a controlled substance in the United States legalizing cultivation, production and selling of CBD products in all the states across the US.

This is when people finally understood that there is more than just THC in the holy plant! In fact other than CBD, there is CBN, CBG and 110 more cannabinoids, none of which are psychoactive except for THC and with a lot of medicinal applications that intrigue researchers.

CBD: Broad Spectrum, Full Spectrum & Isolate

CBD that is used in commercial products is sourced from Hemp, which is naturally abundant in CBD and low on THC. Further classifying CBD, you can even avoid the little percentage of THC that is present in Cannabis if you purchase a CBD isolate product which is 100% pure CBD.

Other forms include Full-Spectrum and Broad-Spectrum CBD. The Broad-Spectrum CBD contains other flavonoids, cannabinoids and beneficial terpenes in addition to CBD which are believed to synergistically work together with the hydrocarbon to enhance its effects in human beings.

Full-Spectrum CBD is one variant that does contain THC in addition to the flavonoids, terpenes and cannabinoids in broad-spectrum CBD. Currently the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes CBD products with less than 0.03% THC as legal. 

How Soon Can You Experience The Effects of CBD? 

Fresh Cannabis Leaves

How long does it take for the CBD to ‘hit’ you predominantly depends on the method of administration. As we’re sure you’re aware, CBD is available for consumption in edible form (gummies, capsules, chocolates and cookies), IVs, Tinctures, Vape juices, Coffee Flavors, Patches Beauty Products, Oils, Sports Gear and CBD-infused food and drinks

The phenomenon of bioavailability also comes into play when talking about this topic. This simply means that some methods get more of CBD per mg of product into your body while some are a little less effective.

As we’re sure you’ve guessed, IVs, Vapes and Oils are the most efficient of CBD products and ensure maximum bioavailability by directly passing CBD into your bloodstream within minutes of administration.

Edibles and Drinks are on the completely opposite end of the spectrum because most of CBD consumed through them is lost during the digestion process and the bioavailability of Cannabidiol is left at a mere 6%. 

Now, if you haven’t figured it out already, the time CBD takes to exhibit its effects can vary from a few minutes to a few hours, after which you can enjoy the effects for up to 6-10 hours, again, depending on the dosage, potency and method of administration.

CBD In Your System: What are the determinants?

You Can Have CBD With Your Tea

The amount of time CBD spends coursing through your veins depends upon the following external and internal factors. Let’s take a brief look at how the absorption and retention rate of CBD can vary from person to person. 

  1. Amount of CBD Consumed:

First and foremost, it is quite obvious how the amount of CBD consumed would have a direct relation with how long it stays in your system. Not only this but how potent your CBD dosage is also affects how long it takes for CBD to flush out. 

2. How Often it is Consumed:

If you’re a regular user of CBD, it will wash out of your body within 2-3 days (again, depending on the amount consumed). Once you’ve established a pattern and let’s say if you have been consuming CBD for over a week now, the amount of time it will take for CBD to get completely flushed out of your system now will have increased from the time when you were completely new to it.

The regular dosage builds up the amount of CBD in your system and thus if you were to leave it abruptly, you would have it out of your system in 4-5 days after the last dose.

3. Method of Consumption

CBD products are all over the market. From gas stations and superstores to exquisitely branded ecommerce stores, you can find your preferred CBD products anywhere without putting in too much time and effort. Let’s take a brief look at what consumption method leads to what effect. CBD is available in:

  1. CBD Oil
  2. CBD Tincture 
  3. CBD Edibles 
  4. CBD Gummies
  5. Vaping 
  6. Creams & Lotions
  7. Patches

Each method of consumption gives you a different percentage of CBD in your body system. The oral bioavailability in humans is somewhere around only 6% whereas it can go up to 30-40% when absorbed (through oil drops under the tongue or by patches adhered to the skin).

The availability finally rises to around 45-50% when inhaled i.e through vapes where the compound enters the bloodstream directly from the lungs. 

4. Eating Habits

Girl eating

Eating habits are also something that can influence how long it will take for CBD to exit your system. What you eat, when you eat and how much you eat are kind of factors that may determine how long it will take for CBD to completely flush out of your system.

Some food compounds stick to CBD to form by-products in the body which may retain the CBD a little longer or flush it out faster than normal

5. Your Metabolism 

You might have come across individuals in your life who eat like crazy but still do not gain weight and then there are those who gain weight just by looking at food (pun intended). This is because each human being has a unique body structure and a different metabolism rate.

By metabolism rate we mean the rate at which your body breaks down substances that enter its body and disposes them off. Your body mass index, water concentration levels and kidney health are also some of the factors that play their part in CBD retention. 

People with a faster metabolism rate break down food pretty easily and dispose of it instead of storing it like bodies with slower metabolisms do, and thus this is one of the biggest reasons why some people do not gain weight even after they eat normally (or even more than normally). 

As a natural consequence, your metabolism rate is also an important factor in determining how long CBD stays in your system. If you have a relatively faster metabolic rate, you will probably end up flushing CBD out of your system much quicker as compared to someone with lower metabolic rates. The exact timeframe can still only be determined after you practically experience it first. 

Does CBD Show Up On a Drug Test? 

Drug Testing Kit

Now to address your reservation number 2: Does CBD show up on drug tests? No.  CBD does not show up on drug tests. Why? Because drug tests scan for THC, not CBD. Drug tests are done to check for the presence of amphetamines, psychoactive substances, alcohol and other psychedelic drugs, all of which CBD is not. 

Since CBD is non-psychoactive and thus not addicting, employers are not generally concerned if someone uses CBD or not. Therefore, if you are afraid of taking CBD because of the reason that it might show up on a drug test, relax, take a chill pill (or a CBD pill for that matter 😉 )and don’t think twice the next time you get a chance to get your hands on a Cannabidiol product. 

According to a study, researchers have estimated the half-life of CBD to be around 2-5 days. At this rate, it will take a total of anywhere between 12-30 days before CBD is completely eliminated from your body; however, it is nearly impossible to detect CBD in blood during this time. A new user may take longer to get cleansed of CBD than a regular CBD user. 

Pregnancy, Breastfeeding & CBD; Expert Curated Advice

Can you use CBD in Pregnancy

Reservation number 3: People are concerned about the amount of time CBD stays in your system because they’ve suddenly found out they’re pregnant!

First of all, Congratulations!!! Second of all, relax! 

Many breastfeeding moms are concerned about the timeframe too. CBD products are generally safe to use even if you’re pregnant because it contains no harmful ingredients but since the research done so far on CBD is not too conclusive (lesser budgets, less number of test subjects etc.), it is recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding mothers stay away from CBD. 

This is only because since marijuana is prohibited during pregnancy and the breastfeeding phase. Marijuana contains THC and prolonged use leads to weaker, smaller babies. Some of your CBD products may also contain trace amounts of THC even when they claim they don’t because the concept of full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum and CBD-Isolate is not properly understood by many people. 

It is thus better to avoid it for the while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Better safe than sorry, right? If you’ve already been consuming CBD before you found out you were pregnant, you should discuss it with your gynecologist and see what they have to say, although it will most likely not have had any negative effects on you or your baby. 

Find out : Can you take CBD during Pregnancy?

Note: Women who have plans of breastfeeding in future should discontinue the use of CBD at least 1-2 weeks prior to breastfeeding. For more information into this subject consult your healthcare professional. 

Parting Words:

The bottom line is that it’s really hard to say how long it will take for you to be CBD clean. There are a lot of factors that come into play as described above.

The human body is a complex yet unique system that reacts differently in different environmental and internal factors. But as a general rule it does not take long and it doesn’t show up on drug tests, so go have your CBD Oil or Vape your CBD e-juice right now!

I am a 34-year-old father of three that lives in Sweden. I´ve changed my life with the help of CBD and I have a profound interest in the research surrounding CBD. You can read more about me here.

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