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How Long Does CBD Stay in your System?

By Alan Paul | Mar 04, 2019 in CBD Blog | 5 min read

Woman sitting in grass looking in the distance

Updated: May 2, 2019

CBD as you may know is a compound that can be extracted from the cannabis plant and has no psychoactive effect on the consumer. Most people mistake CBD for THC which is the compound found in the cannabis plant responsible for the 'high' feeling. We include this as we're often asked 'Does CBD give you a body high', and the answer is no.

CBD can be extracted from either hemp plant or from marijuana which ultimately determines the levels of THC in the final product. The hemp plant contains little to no trace amounts of THC while marijuana has a high THC content.

Cannabidiol (or CBD) has over the years gained popularity due to research into its ability to treat and manage conditions like intractable epilepsy, anxiety, cancer, H.I.V/ AIDS, PTSD, and many more.

It has also been shown to be a form of pain relief as well as supporting with the reduction of anxiety in users.

CBD is available in different forms like oils, capsules, sprays, joints, and even creams. The user can choose any of these depending on its availability, convenience, and how fast they need the product to take effect.

How long does it take for CBD oil to work?

The amount of time CBD stays in the system varies from one person to the other. It depends on a few factors that are specific to the person that is using it.

However, before we dive into the different factors, we need to understand that while traces of CBD might still be in your body in the days after you took it, the effects do not last as long. Usually,the CBD is effective in the body for around 3-5 hours.Depending on the mode of ingestion, the compound will usually take between 3-30 minutes before it starts working.

The quickest way to feel the effects of CBD is by inhaling it; this may be in the form of vapingwhere you inhale the vapor from it or smoking it like one would smoke a cigarette. The active compound is delivered from the lungs to the brain within as little as 3-5 minutes.

silhouette of person vaping

CBD can also be ingested sublingually, which means drops can be placed underneath the tongue and held there for a few minutes. With this method CBD goes directly into the bloodstream and is pumped throughout the body, which takes between 5-15 minutes to take effect.

If you were to eat it in the form of capsules, edibles or oils, it can take up to 30 minutes or longer before it reaches peak levels of concentration in your body. This is because factors such as whether you took it on an empty stomach (takes much less time) or not and the type of food you have consumed play a part in the ingestion process.

Topical application of the compound, which means it is absorbed through the skin, can take around an hour before you begin feeling the effects because it is absorbed through your pores in small quantities.

How long does CBD last?

The effects of CBD tend to last from anywhere between two to four hours. After that, the effects begin to subdue in your body, but that doesn't mean that it is out of your system. It remains in your system,being slowly released from the body depending on a number of factors, these include:

1. Amount of fat in the body

How much you weigh greatly affects the amount of time it takes CBD to wear off from your body completely. This is especially to do with the amount of body fat present in your body. CBD is a fat-soluble substance, which means that the remnants dissolve into the fats, and merge with them thus increasing the amount of time it takes for them to be removed from the body.

2. Lifestyle

Some people are generally more active than others. They walk around, are always up and down, and maybe even work out in the gym, while others tend to sit for long hours at a time, and rarely complete intense exercise.

Those who work out would burn fat faster than those who regularly don't work out. In this way, CBD in the body of an active person will be burned with the fat at a quicker rate as they go about their day, thus making it stay in the body for a shorter period of time.

The food we eat also affects the amount of time CBD spends in our system, as fiber-rich diets facilitate the digestion of extra fats in the body, and CBD as well.

girl sitting down smiling

3. Dosage

The amount of CBD you consume will have a large bearing on the amount of time it takes for it to leave our system completely.One person might take 70mg of CBD oil, while another takes 1.5mg of the same substance. If a test was carried out on these two people the following day for CBD levels, you would find that unsurprisingly the one with a higher dose takes more time to be free of CBD in their body compared to one with a lower dosage.

4. Frequency of consumption

Taking CBD daily will affect how long it stays in your system. If you take it only once in a while when required, the chances are that you will not have it in your system for very long after, and you will be free from it in around three days. Daily consumption, however, increases the time it takes to have your body free from it, going as long as seven days to clear out of your system completely.

Generally, however, CBD does not stay more than a week in your body and takes anywhere between 3-7 days to clear out, depending on the mentioned factors.

doctor writing on clipboard

If you are worried about failing a medical examination, there's no need for you to worry. When you go for a drug test, say at work, they're not testing how much cannabis products are in your blood.Rather, you are being tested for the levels of THC, the psychoactive drug, in your blood. Whether it's a day or a week since you had CBD, it should not affect your drug test but you can find more information here.

While it is true that you might have traces of THC from consuming CBD, you would have to have taken quite a lot of CBD to test positive for THC.

Most CBD products from the hemp plant tend to have 0.3% of THC or less, and this would not affect your drug test. Some products have higher levels than others. You can stick to pure CBD products, those that are tested by third-party labs to ensure there's little to no trace amounts of THC in them.

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