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How Long does CBD Last in the Body?

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Today we find ourselves so inundated by stress that we’ll give anything a shot if it promises relief. In this scenario, many natural alternatives have cropped up. More and more people are open to experimenting with natural, plant-based remedies. Naturally, this environment has been ripe for CBD’s popularity and mainstream acceptance.

Cannabidiol (CBD) has become incredibly popular as a remedy for a plethora of health issues and lifestyle problems. Its many health benefits and therapeutic effects have found legions of fans and it has steadily become a safer alternative to opioid-based painkillers. However, with that being said, many people are confused about CBD and its use. If you’re new to the cannabinoid, you may have some questions.

In this article, let’s explore how long CBD stays in your body.

What is CBD Exactly?

Cannabidiol is extracted from cannabis plants, mostly from hemp-based ones in the US. Since hemp contains lower levels of psychoactive THC, it doesn’t induce a high. This means that it can be used easily as part of your everyday schedule without risking any impairment of your senses. Moreover, this makes CBD legal.

Cannabidiol is one of over 110 active cannabinoids found in cannabis. This compound naturally binds with the body’s endocannabinoid (ECS) system site receptors to produce a healing effect. This reaction within the body restores your body to its optimum functionality. Moreover, the response of this cannabinoid with the receptor sites helps in the management of anxiety, muscle spasms, epileptic seizures, chronic pain, arthritis, and many other ailments.

The ECS regulates the effect of cannabinoids on the body. However, the ECS also controls hunger, mood, sleep, appetite and the body’s temperature. The way cannabidiol affects the ECS is known to control the corresponding bodily functions. It is this ability to regulate the ECS that makes CBD useful as a remedy for many health issues. As more scientific studies attest to the remedial and therapeutic effects of CBD oil, its scope as a healing alternative are growing.

Why use CBD Oil?

Pain relief is one of the most widely accepted benefits of CBD. People with chronic pain have found comfort and an increase in the quality of their life with regular use. CBD is also known to bring relief to people with arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other painful joint conditions. It helps with muscle spasticity and in cases of neurodegenerative disorders. Conditions such as social anxiety and mild depression caused by low serotonin production, and even PTSD can be effectively managed with CBD oil. Regular use of CBD can help control and regulate sleep, appetite and moods. Moreover, talking CBD as a daily supplement has a host of other health benefits.

In addition to the possible health benefits listed above, CBD oil supplements also provide the body with some essential oils that are often missing from our daily nutrition intake. This can include vitamins and minerals, omega fatty acids, flavonoids and even important proteins or terpenes. All in all, there are many beneficial reasons to consider using CBD oil as a supplement for a healthier and fitter you.

How Long Does CBD Stay in Your Body?

Before we get down to answering this question, you must understand that there is no definite ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach here. However, in general, it takes around five to twenty minutes for CBD to begin to take effect in your body upon consumption. Surely, factors such as the size of the dosage and product potency make a difference. Still, as an average, the effects of most regular CBD doses last between two to four hours.

Naturally, most people assume that once the product’s effects have gone, so has the cannabinoid itself. However, even if you don’t feel the effects of CBD, it doesn’t mean the substance has left your system entirely. Over some time, the quantity of CBD in your system gradually reduces as it is expelled from the body. However, this is a slower process than most people imagine.

According to some experts, CBD takes between three to four days to exit your body completely. However, as we have already told you, a variety of different factors influence the effect of substances in your body. In any case, CBD doesn’t take any more than a week to leave your body altogether.

We must also add that most drug tests won’t have a problem with CBD in your system. Since it doesn’t cause you to be impaired at work, most employers don’t set out to test for the substance. However, if your CBD product has a higher level of THC, it may lead to a positive result. Even with poorly manufactured or improperly-labeled products, this can happen. This is why you should always stick to reputed brands and third-party tested CBD products.

Factors That Can Influence How Long CBD Stays in Your Body

As we specified before, the fat-soluble substance CBD, has a different effect on different people’s bodies. The way that this cannabinoid shows an impact in different systems depends on a variety of factors. These factors affect how long it takes for CBD to work in your body as well as for how long it will work in your body.

Method of Ingestion

The amount of time that CBD will stay in your body depends mostly on the method of ingestion. Today, there are a wide variety of methods to get your daily dose of CBD on the go. Right from edible gummies, capsules and salad dressings, to more traditional tinctures and oils, every product has a different way of being metabolized in and expelled from your body.

Vaping, the most widely enjoyed way of ingesting CBD these days enters the body via the lungs. The effects begin to show within 5 to 10 minutes. Similarly, in cases of vaping, the CBD eliminates your body fairly quickly.

Contrary to widespread assumption, sublingual CBD drops aren’t ingested via the liver or digestive system. When placed under the tongue, they are absorbed via the mucous membrane under the tongue. It takes longer for CBD ingested in such a manner to leave your body. Topically applied CBD is digested slowly, and hence, leaves the body slowly.

CBD that is ingested via drops, tinctures and other edible forms is metabolized via the digestive system. On an empty stomach, the effects are felt almost instantly. Correspondingly, this type of ingested CBD is metabolized soon, leaving all traces of your body in a similar fashion.

Body weight

CBD is fat-soluble. This means that it is stored in fat cells as opposed to being assimilated by water cells. As is the case with any other substance that is metabolized with fat, BMI has a role to play. In the case of people who exercise regularly, metabolize fat faster and have a lesser density of fat cells, CBD storage is lower. This means that it stays for a shorter time in their body.

On the other hand, the reverse is true for people with higher body mass and weight. The more the fat cells you possess, the higher the period that CBD will stay in your body.

Surely, more research is required to understand the storage and metabolism of CBD in fat cells. However, existing research suggests that chronic CBD consumers with higher BMI may store excess CBD in their body for longer.


CBD is a fat-soluble molecule that tends to stay in the bodies of people with higher BMI, as we mentioned above. Similarly, we see that people who have a more active lifestyle process and expel CBD out of their systems faster. We believe that this happens as a result of specific activities and habits promoting a higher metabolism and higher fat-burning rate.

People with a high-fibre diet are more likely to eliminate CBD quickly from their system as compared to those with poor fibre levels in their food. Similarly, people who consume more water and exercise regularly will eliminate CBD quicker. The same is the case with people who don’t smoke and who consume a diet rich in all the essential vitamins and minerals. Even adequate sleep helps boost the body’s metabolism. Since all these activities promote a more stable fat-burning rate within the body, a person’s lifestyle is an essential factor in determining how long CBD will stay in their body.

The frequency of Usage and Dosage

Again, another important factor that determines how long CBD stays in your body, the frequency of your usage matters. With people who use CBD frequently, there is a chance that the cannabinoid gets accumulated steadily in the fat cells.

In cases of people who use CBD once in a while and only in single servings, the cannabinoid may remain in the body for up to 3 days. In the case of users who consume cannabidiol with moderate frequency, it remains anywhere between three to five days. With repeated use, this number shoots up considerable. In the case of regular users of CBD, the compound can remain in the body anywhere between 10 to 15 days. All in all, the more frequently that you consume CBD, the longer it takes to clear out from your system completely.

In the same vein, the stronger the dosage of CBD is, the longer it takes to be completely eliminated from the body. This rule is applicable in the case of most substances. For regular consumers of CBD, especially for those who consume large doses, it can take anywhere between three weeks to a month for the compound to entirely leave their body.


Every person’s body is different. This means that the way every person’s body reacts to substances is different too. After all, every person’s body metabolizes substances differently too. By extension, our ECS systems are also prone to processing CBD differently. It is this difference that can cause discrepancies in how long it takes CBD to leave an individual’s body.

We still don’t know everything there is to know about how cannabinoids are processed and metabolized in the body. Since we don’t know what factors within the body’s biochemistry affect this precisely, there is no saying how long the cannabinoid will leave your system in. However, we can be confident that an individual’s biochemical environment has an impact on how long it takes for cannabidiol to leave their body.

Will CBD show up on a drug test?

Many people are concerned about CBD showing up on a drug test. For people seeking employment, this question can keep them going around in circles. After all, CBD is derived from cannabis, right?

Well, the short answer to this question is no. CBD oil or any of its products won’t cause you to fail a drug test. However, this holds only in cases where the CBD product has more than the recommended allowance of THC in it. Any product which has more THC than the 0.3% permitted level is a cause for concern.

Moreover, when employers ask for drug tests, they aren’t looking out for CBD presence anyway. The tests that employers ask for are looking out for traces of substances that may cause impairment at work. THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis might make you too high for work. This is why some employers test for it. On the other hand, CBD is therapeutic and not recreational. Consequently, most employers won’t have a problem with this.

As long as your CBD products don’t contain more than a trace amount of THC, it won’t cause you to fail a drug test. However, this makes it even more vital for you to read the label of products that you buy. In the case of CBD, it is always advisable to stick to a manufacturer with third-party lab testing for its products. Such tests ensure that there are no pollutants, solvent residues, or any other pollutants in the product. Most importantly, they also verify the presence of THC and the concentration of CBD within the product.

These tests ensure that you know exactly what is contained in a product and what you are paying for. This knowledge goes a long way in determining how long CBD might stay in your body.

Written by: Dwight K. BlakeLast updated on February 5, 2020

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