How long does CBD stay in your system?

How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?

CBD is short for Cannabidiol, a pharmacologically active natural medicine called a cannabinoid that is derived from the cannabis plant.

It's important to know how long CBD lasts and how long CBD stays in your system if you want to maximize your benefits. The general rule of thumb is that CBD lasts between four to six hours per dose and stays in your system for up to 30 days.

Everybody is unique, so the actual length of time CBD lasts and stays in your system can vary based on a number of factors that include how much you take, your diet, metabolism, body weight, dosage frequency, individual tolerance level, as well as how you take your CBD (e.g., sublingual ingestion, oral ingestion, topical application, or vaping).

CBD is not psychoactive and will never cause you to feel euphoric or "high" after taking it, even if you take more than the recommended CBD dosage. Drug screenings typically do not test for the presence of CBD because it is a legal over-the-counter medicine. You should take note that CBD products — especially full spectrum CBD — often contain THC and Delta-8 in very tiny amounts, which may affect drug screening results.

Click a table of contents option below to jump to a section of interest or continue reading to get the facts about how long CBD lasts and how long CBD stays in your system.

Table of Contents

    Mechanism of Action: How CBD Works In Your System

    CBD is relatively new to the world of modern science and medicine. But the cannabis plant from which CBD is derived has been used for centuries among those practicing naturopathic medicine and other alternative medical practices.

    Clinical research shows that CBD is a pleiotropic natural medicine. This means CBD produces multiple therapeutic effects via many pathways in the body though the exact way it works to promote benefits is not yet fully understood.

    Scientists know that CBD binds to various receptor cells in the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to affect positive change in the body. These receptor sites are found along various pathways of the brain and spinal cord. They are also found in immune cells, lymph tissue, and peripheral nerve terminals.

    Cannabinoid (CB) receptors 1 and 2 have been identified as the major cannabinoid receptor sites, with transient receptor cells, also known as TRPV1 or transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 cells, being the primary binding sites for CBD. These receptor sites are part of an integral system that controls memory, emotion, fear perception, the fight-or-flight response, pain sensation, and inflammatory responses.

    The Difference Between Physical Effects of CBD and Physical Presence of CBD

    How long the effects of CBD will last and the duration of time that CBD stays in your system are two different sides of the same coin.

    On average, CBD lasts between four to six hours per dose. You should take CBD regularly (i.e., at least once daily) because it allows for the buildup of CBD serum levels in your blood. Regular use will maximize the therapeutic benefits of CBD in the near term and improve your overall results in the long term.

    Taking CBD regularly for extended periods will increase the duration of time CBD stays in your system. For example, if you take only a mild dose of 25 mg to 50 mg CBD just once, then it is likely to be completely out of your system within 24 to 48 hours. However, CBD taken regularly will stay in your system for up to 30 days depending on your typical dosage strength, dosage frequency, metabolism, and body fat composition. The length of time CBD is detectable in your system is called the detection window.

    Below are the most common CBD detection windows based on the type of test used:

    • Saliva Test
      CBD is present in saliva for up to three days with heavy or repeated use
    • Blood Test
      In blood, CBD is detectable for as little as five hours and up to 3½ days after each dose regardless of frequency or dosage strength
    • Urinalysis Test
      CBD is detectable in urine between three to 30 days, depending on how often you take it and the concentration of your average daily dose
    • Hair Strand Test
      Hair strand tests may detect CBD usage for up to 90 days

    Factors That Affect How Long CBD Stays In Your System

    You may no longer feel its effects, but that doesn’t mean the CBD in your system is not still detectable. Numerous factors affect how long CBD remains detectable in your system. Understanding these factors will help you determine how and when to take CBD for the best results. They will also allow you to manage your expectations on how long CBD stays in your system should you need to discontinue use.

    CBD Half-Life

    Knowing the half-life of CBD provides insight into how long it will remain in your system after each dose. The half-life of any drug or natural medicine refers to the duration of time required for the substance to become 50% less effective than it was in its original state.

    Research shows that the half-life of CBD can be anywhere between hours and days, depending on the dosage ingested, your tolerance, dosage frequency, and the length of time you have already been taking CBD. In clinical studies, CBD begins to break down in as little as one to ten hours. For some CBD users, the half-life may be as long as 18 to 32 hours. However, the detection window (i.e., the length of time CBD stays in your system) may be much longer than that.

    Diet and Metabolism

    Diet and individual metabolism play a primary role in how long CBD remains in your body. CBD users who have recently consumed a large amount of fat, for example, are much more likely to extend the half-life of CBD. Those who are fasting, on the other hand, might not feel as much of an effect and will likely experience a shorter half-life while using CBD. Pairing high-fat foods (such as avocados, salmon, nuts, and even cheese) significantly slows down the time it takes for your body to break down CBD and increases its absorption into the bloodstream.

    Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

    CBD is metabolized by the liver. Health conditions that affect liver function can affect the time it takes for CBD to be broken down and removed from the body.

    It is also important to consider any medications you may be taking. This includes liver treatments and drugs for other health conditions as well. Most medications are metabolized by your liver, so taking them at the same time you take CBD can interfere with their breakdown and absorption. In certain instances, this interaction can reduce the effect of one or both medicines leading to potential unwanted side effects. Always speak with your doctor before adding CBD to your wellness plan if you are taking prescription medication or over-the-counter drugs.

    CBD Dosage: How Much CBD You Take Matters

    The less frequently you take CBD, the shorter the half-life will be and the smaller the detection window (i.e., how long CBD stays in your system).

    The dosage of CBD you take regularly is important as well, especially if you are seeking long-term relief. The fact of the matter is you may not reap all of the benefits that CBD has to offer if you take only a small amount of CBD now and then. Generally, the minimum effective dose for CBD in most users is 25 mg taken at least once per day.

    Dosage Frequency: How Often Should You Take CBD?

    The dosage frequency of CBD will vary greatly based on your unique wellness concerns, individual tolerance, body weight, diet, metabolism, as well as the CBD delivery method.

    Safe CBD dosages range from the minimum effective dose of 25 mg to more than 1,200 mg CBD taken daily. The more often you take CBD throughout the day or week, the longer CBD will remain detectable in your body.

    CBD Delivery Method: How Do You Take Your CBD?

    The consumption method you choose for CBD plays a significant role in how long CBD will remain in your body because some CBD delivery methods work faster and others last longer.

    How long CBD Lasts in the System Depends On How You Take It

    The acute effects of CBD can last up to eight hours, depending on how often you typically ingest or consume CBD as well as the dosage you take regularly. The duration CBD will last also depends on the method of consumption you choose and the type of CBD you prefer (i.e. full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, or CBD oil isolate). The use of full spectrum CBD is ideal because it contains other major cannabinoids that increase the effectiveness of CBD itself through a process called the entourage effect.

    Bioavailability

    CBD is available in a variety of mediums, including vapes, oil tinctures, softgels, gummies, baked goods, concentrates, and topical products applied to the skin. Bioavailability refers to the overall absorption rate of CBD. It is important to understand the impact that bioavailability has on CBD effectiveness because it will help you choose the CBD delivery method that is right for you.

    Vaping

    CBD vaping provides the most significant bioavailability by far when compared to other CBD delivery methods. The bioavailability when vaping CBD is approximately 34%-56% in total. But there is a caveat: With rapid absorption comes rapid breakdown and dissipation. Vaping CBD requires more frequent dosing (i.e., inhaling the vaporized CBD concentrate) because each dose typically lasts just two to four hours. Vaping is known to exacerbate asthma conditions and may increase the potential for respiratory symptoms due to irritation of the delicate mucous membranes in your lung lining.

    Sublingual Ingestion

    Sublingual ingestion is among the most popular CBD delivery methods because CBD can be absorbed directly through mucous membranes in your mouth. The bioavailability of sublingual oil tinctures and powders is approximately 10%-20% in total. It is highly recommended that you hold sublingual CBD oils and powders under your tongue for a minimum of 30 seconds to maximize their absorption. Sublingual ingestion is ideal if you are seeking rapid absorption while optimizing your CBD half-life. Each sublingual dose typically lasts up to four to six hours per dose.

    Recommended sublingual CBD products include Cannabiva Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tinctures, Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Tinctures, Zero High CBD Isolate Oil Tinctures, and CBD Honey Sticks.

    Oral Ingestion

    CBD softgels, gummies, baked goods, concentrated distillate, and isolate powders are meant to be taken orally and swallowed immediately. Oral ingestion provides the longest half-life because of a much slower absorption time. Oral CBD delivery methods provide long-acting benefits that last up to eight hours per dose. Bioavailability for oral ingestion is approximately 6% to 19% in total.

    Recommended CBD products for oral ingestion include Cannabiva Full Spectrum CBD Oil Tinctures, Full Spectrum CBD Softgels, Full Spectrum CBD Concentrate, and CBD Honey Sticks.

    Topical application

    Transdermal patches and topical CBD in the form of balms, salves, creams, and oils offer a rapid absorption rate, but a significantly reduced half-life. Bioavailability for topical CBD delivery methods is approximately 5% in total. You should choose a topical CBD product with a very high CBD concentration for optimal benefits since topicals have such low bioavailability and half-life characteristics. CBD topical products work best for immediate relief when applied directly to an area of the body, if only for a short period.

    Dosage Recommendations: How Much CBD Should You Take?

    Getting started with CBD can feel overwhelming with so many options to choose from, but it’s really easy to figure out! Use the Cannabiva CBD Dosage chart to choose the right CBD products and CBD dosage for you.

    The minimum effective dose is 25 mg CBD. Studies show that average CBD dosages range from between 50 mg to 1,200 mg. CBD taken at least once daily is recommended to maximize blood serum levels and improve success rates.

    Avoid taking CBD in excess of 1,200 mg daily unless recommended by your doctor. Taking too much CBD could cause unwanted side effects and adverse events.

    Everyone is unique, so your CBD dosage strength will vary from that of other CBD users depending on your weight, how your body responds to CBD, your preferred consumption method, and the type of wellness concerns for which you are taking CBD.

    How Often Should I Take CBD To Make It Last Longer?

    You should take CBD at least once per day to make it last longer overall.

    The half-life of CBD is approximately one to ten hours which means your blood serum levels will decrease by about half during that period. The optimum usage schedule is to take CBD morning, midday, and night to ensure your blood serum levels consistently remain at peak levels.

    CBD will build up in your system over time and last longer when you take it regularly, allowing you to experience benefits for as long as possible.

    How long is CBD detectable in your system?

    One 2016 clinical trial showed that CBD levels peaked about three hours after consumption and were detectable for up to one week after the last dose was taken.

    The CBD detection window — how long CBD remains detectable in the system — varies significantly based on a multitude of factors, including how much you take, your diet, metabolism, body weight, dosage frequency, individual tolerance level, as well as how you take your CBD (e.g., sublingual ingestion, oral ingestion, topical application, or vaping).

    If you’ve taken only a mild dose of 25 mg to 50 mg CBD just one time, then it is likely to be completely out of your system within 24 to 48 hours. Otherwise, the general rule of thumb is that CBD stays in your system for up to 30 days if you have taken it regularly (i.e., once or more times daily for two weeks or longer).

    How long do CBD effects last in your system?

    The effects of CBD last between two to eight hours per dose depending on the CBD delivery method you choose:

    • Vaping
      Two to four hours per dose
    • Sublingual
      Four to six hours per dose
    • Oral
      Up to eight hours per dose
    • Topical
      Up to six hours per dose

    CBD Chart: Delivery Methods And Bioavailability

    Delivery Method Bioavailability Absorption Time Peak Effects Product Types
    Sublingual
    Hold under tongue for up to two minutes
    10% - 20% 0 - 60 minutes 4 - 6 hours CBD Oil
    CBD Honey Sticks
    CBD Powder
    Oral
    Swallow dosage
    6% - 19% 2 - 3 hours Up to 8 hours CBD Oil
    CBD Honey Sticks
    CBD Softgels
    Inhalation
    Inhale into lungs
    34% - 56% 0 - 60 minutes 2 - 4 hours Vaping Device
    Hemp Flower
    Transdermal
    Apply directly to target area
    5% 0 - 60 minutes Up to 6 hours CBD Oil
    Cream
    Salve
    Patch

    CBD will last in the system and remain detectable for 24 hours to up to 30 days after your last dose, even if you no longer feel the effects. How long CBD lasts in your system depends on typical dosage strength, dosage frequency, diet, metabolism, body weight, and body fat composition.

    How long does THC stay in your system when taking a full spectrum CBD Oil?

    Full spectrum CBD oil is usually rich with other cannabinoids, including THC and Delta-8. Both are psychoactive substances also found in marijuana though at much higher levels.

    There is conflicting information about detection windows for THC, and even whether it’s detectable at all because it is present in such minuscule amounts. The truth is, there are many factors at play that could affect the results of your drug screening:

    • How much CBD do you take
      The concentration and dosage range of your CBD is an important consideration. Stronger CBD will have more THC and Delta-8.
    • Your CBD dosage frequency
      The more often you use CBD and the longer you take it increases the amount of THC and Delta-8 you are taking.
    • Diet and metabolism
      Taking your CBD with meals will slow down and increase absorption of all full spectrum CBD oil cannabinoids, including THC and Delta-8. Fasting causes much more rapid breakdown and lower absorption rates.
    • Body weight and body fat composition
      Heavier set users must take higher CBD dosages and will potentially store more THC and Delta-8 metabolites in body fat. The more metabolites stored in body fat, the longer the time required to remove them from the body.
    • Individual tolerance to CBD
      The tone of your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) varies from that of others. Some users must take higher doses due to a higher tolerance to CBD. Taking more CBD will increase the amount of THC and Delta-8 you take.

    New clinical research shows that drug screenings cannot actually determine any difference between THC from marijuana and THC from CBD products, so you should avoid full spectrum CBD oil products altogether if you are concerned about passing a drug test in the next 30 days. Broad spectrum CBD products should be used with caution, too, as THC levels vary depending on the brand.

    The results of your drug screening can never be guaranteed if you are taking any cannabis-derived product due to a variety of complex factors, which include the sensitivity of your drug screening, the testing method used, and concentration cutoff limits.

    How Long Does CBD Stay In Your Bloodstream?

    CBD is detectable in a blood test for up to 3½ days after each dose, regardless of frequency or dosage strength.

    Your diet and metabolism play a crucial role in how long CBD stays in your bloodstream. Taking CBD while fasting will result in a shorter time that it is detectable in the bloodstream whereas pairing your CBD dose with a high-fat meal (think avocados, nuts, salmon, and even cheese) significantly slows down the time it takes for CBD to absorb into your bloodstream and leads to a longer detection window (i.e. how long CBD stays in your bloodstream).

    How Long Do CBD Effects Last In The Brain?

    CBD is non-intoxicating and will never make you feel euphoric or “high” because it does not bind to the Cannabinoid (CB) 1 and 2 receptor sites like THC does. The effects of CBD are much more subtle as it works on multiple receptor sites in the brain and body. CBD influences serotonin 1A receptors and dopamine receptors that affect emotional wellness, mood balance, and stress tolerance. Opioid receptor sites that regulate pain sensation are also targeted by CBD to promote relief.

    The effects of CBD on the brain last approximately four to six hours, depending on the strength of your CBD dose and the CBD delivery method you choose (vaping, sublingual, oral, or topical). Your response and how long CBD effects will last in the brain may vary based on many factors that include how much you take, your diet, metabolism, body weight and body fat composition, dosage frequency, as well as individual tolerance level.

    Will CBD show up on a drug test?

    The short answer is no.

    CBD is a legal over-the-counter natural medicine that is non-psychoactive. Current drug screenings do not typically test for the presence of CBD, so it will not show up on a drug test.

    You should note that many CBD products contain other cannabinoids, including THC and Delta-8, which may show up on a drug test because they are found in marijuana and actively screened for by all drug testing labs. Recent clinical study shows that drug tests cannot determine the difference between THC in marijuana and THC in CBD products. Avoid full spectrum CBD altogether if you are concerned about passing a drug screening in the next 30 days, and use broad spectrum CBD products with caution as THC levels vary depending on the brand. Isolate CBD products are another option to consider if you need CBD with no THC.

    Recommended CBD product lines if you are trying to avoid THC altogether include Cannabiva Broad Spectrum CBD (lab verified 0.0% THC by volume) and Zero High CBD Isolate Oil (lab verified 0.00% THC by volume).

    Summary

    Everybody is unique, so the actual length of time CBD lasts and stays in your system will vary based on a number of factors that include the following:

    • Dosage strength
      The concentration and dose determine how much CBD, THC, and Delta-8 you are putting into your body
    • Frequency of dosing
      How often you take CBD affects your overall blood serum levels
    • Diet and metabolism
      Fasting speeds up the breakdown of CBD, whereas pairing it with a meal or fatty foods slows it down
    • Body weight
      The more you weigh, the more CBD you will need to take to be effective
    • Body fat composition
      Heavier set users potentially store more CBD, THC, and Delta-8 metabolites in body fat
    • Individual tolerance level
      Some users must take more CBD  due to a higher tolerance to it
    • CBD delivery method (e.g., sublingual ingestion, oral ingestion, topical application, or vaping)
      The way you consume CBD will last shorter or longer depending on the delivery method you choose

    On average, CBD lasts between four to six hours in the system. It is recommended that you take CBD regularly (i.e., at least once daily) because it allows for the buildup of CBD serum levels in your body. Regular use will maximize the therapeutic benefits of CBD and improve your overall results in the long term.

    You may no longer feel its effects acutely, but that doesn’t mean the CBD in your system is not still detectable. The length of time that CBD is detectable in your system is called the detection window. Detection windows for CBD vary based on the type of screening test you take:

    • Saliva Test
      CBD is present in saliva for up to three days with heavy or repeated use
    • Blood Test
      In blood, CBD is detectable for as little as five hours and up to 3½ days after each dose regardless of frequency or dosage strength
    • Urinalysis Test
      CBD is detectable in urine between three to 30 days, depending on how often you take it and the concentration of your average daily dose
    • Hair Strand Test
      Hair strand tests may detect CBD usage for up to 90 days

    Getting started with CBD can feel overwhelming with so many options to choose from, but it’s really easy to figure out! You should take CBD at least once per day to make it last longer overall. Use the Cannabiva CBD Dosage chart to choose the right CBD products and CBD dosage for you.

    Do you still have questions about how long CBD stays in your system? Get in touch with a Cannabiva CBD team member to get answers.

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