How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?

We live in a world filled with too many things to stress over. The usual methods of relief are often not enough. Ironically, those things that are supposed to help us alleviate our anxiety or pain are even bad for us or even get us hooked on them. 

Naturally, most of us end up looking for something that can help us relax, offer relief from our pain and anxiety, which are basically by-products of our stressful life, and yet do no harm to us. 

That’s exactly why so many people are increasingly turning to Cannabidiol, or CBD in short, for relief. It has always been believed that natural remedies are better than the chemicals cooked up in laboratories. 

But the worries don’t end with CBD oil, now, do they? A lot of people fear the restrictions and controversies surrounding CBD oil. 

Although cannabis products, especially CBD oils, are gaining in popularity and are being quite openly accepted by most states, people are still wary about their effects and the possibility of the substance showing up on drug tests. 

Even though the World Health Organization has declared CBD as a safe substance, and we know for a fact that CBD is non-psychoactive, many still ended up testing positive on drug tests after consuming CBD oil recently. 

That has led to many to wonder how long does CBD actually remain in our system – so that they can avoid using it before a drug test

On the very onset, let us inform you, all these worries are merely the result of lack of awareness and proper information regarding what really happens in your body when you take CBD oil and what CBD oil really comprises.

Factors That Govern Time For Which CBD Remains In Body

Even after the effects of CBD wear off, the substance doesn’t really leave your system. It stays on in your body, being slowly expelled from your body through different forms, like sweat, urine, stool, etc. The rate at which this expulsion takes place depends on several factors. 

They are as follows:

  • 1. Method of administration

You can consume CBD oil in several ways – through edibles, capsules, vaping, injection, tinctures, sublingual sprays, topical creams and lotions, etc.

Methods like vaping and injection give you faster effect, but also leave your system sooner. But, edibles and other orally consumable methods like soft gels and capsules take longer to take effect, although they remain in your system for a longer period.

The method of administration also influences the potency or bioavailability of the CBD product.

  • 2. Your body weight

How much you weigh matters quite a bit. Since CBD is fat-soluble, it is stored in your body fat. That’s why it is advised to consume fatty food with CBD to ensure your body can hold it longer for a better effect. People who have less body fat can hold on to it for less time. The higher the number of fat cells your body has, the longer the substance will remain in your system.

  • 3. Your age and gender

This is again related to your fat metabolism rate. Youngsters possess a higher metabolism rate. Naturally, youngsters can’t be expected to retain CBD in their system as long as older people can. The same logic applies to men, who have a higher rate of metabolism compared to women. So, women’s bodies are better equipped to retain CBD longer.

  • 4. Lifestyle and food habits

People, who have an active lifestyle, expel CBD from their system faster. This again relates to the metabolism rate, especially the body fat. Those, who drink a lot of water and work out regularly, burn fat faster. Besides, if they live on a fiber-rich diet, avoiding fat, it is natural they would eliminate CBD more quickly. 

  • 5. Frequency of use and dosage

This is a pretty simple equation. The higher the dose, the longer it takes for the body to expel it from the body. Again, the frequency of consumption increases the period for which CBD will remain in your body. For a once-in-a-while user, it may remain for around 6-7 days, whereas for a person using it on a daily basis, the period may be 10-15 days or even longer, of course, depending on the other variables.

  • 6. Biochemistry

Everyone reacts to CBD differently. This depends on each individual’s constitution at the time of CBD consumption. Two individuals of the same age, gender and having similar body weight can metabolize CBD at different rates, owing mostly to the difference in their endocannabinoid system’s reaction to the substance.

How Long DOES It Remain In Your System?

Different studies conducted on this topic have thrown up varying results. While one study suggested that CBD remains detectable in your bloodstream for around 3 – 4 days, another study showed it can stay for around a week. 

Yet another revealed that CBD if consumed in high dosage and frequently enough, it can be detectable even after a week. 

While it has been established how long CBD can remain in the bloodstream and ways to measure that has been found, it is still unknown how long this substance can be detected in urine or breast milk. 

In fact, there is no documentation relating to CBD being found in urine samples, neither is there any analytical method currently available to measure CBD in breast milk.

However, a urine test (the usual method of drug test) on a regular THC (smokable marijuana) user will detect the substance even 10-15 days after its last use. Sometimes, THC can remain in the system even for 30 days. This, of course, varies according to the dosage and frequency of use as well as the physical parameters of the user. 

Studies On CBD Clearance Time

According to a World Health Organization 2018 report [1] by its Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, CBD remains in your system for around 3 -4 days. 

In a 1991 study [2], published in the Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, subjects were given CBD dosage of 700mg of CBD a day (an extremely high dosage) for six consecutive weeks. On completion of the study, it was found that cannabidiol had been entirely expelled from their body a week after discontinuing it. 

Will It Show Up On Drug Tests?

CBD, no! But, if your CBD oil contains high levels of THC (above 0.3% of the extract by weight), you will definitely fail the drug test if you smoked up the night before.  

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive component of cannabis, is illegal and prohibited. If you’re taking a drug test for a job application or to travel abroad, presence of high levels of THC (like in many medical marijuana compositions), you will probably not make the cut. 

Taking CBD isolates or CBD oils with low levels of THC content will not be a problem. Unless, your company has specific rules against the use of CBD as well, for which, the management will have to pay for a specialized blood test (as opposed to the usual urine-based drug test). 

Duration of Effects vs. Detectability In Body

CBD’s effects usually last for around 3 – 4 hours. If you are taking CBD to get relief from pain, the pain may slowly creep back in after 4-5 hours. But, that doesn’t mean the CBD has been flushed off your body, as explained earlier. 

The former is the period for which CBD is acting on your endocannabinoid system (ECS). During this time, CBD interacts with the C1 and C2 cannabinoid receptors of your nervous system as well as other areas where ECS receptors are found. 

Even after this experience wears off, the CBD remains stored in the fat cells of your body and will be detectable for 3 – 4 days more, as mentioned earlier. 

Final Thoughts:

So, if you’re worried about failing your drug test because you’re using CBD oil, then this article must have given you some clarity.

The usual drug tests aren’t looking for CBD anyway, given the fact that CBD is now legal across the country. As long as the CBD extract does not contain high levels of THC, which is the actual culprit in some CBD products, there is no cause for concern. 

As long as you are using the best brands of CBD oil that contain THC well within the permissible limit of 0.3%, you will not face the flak. You’re in the clear! 

  1. CANNABIDIOL (CBD), Critical Review, Report, Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, Fortieth Meeting; Geneva, 4-7 June 2018; World Health Organization; https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/CannabidiolCriticalReview.pdf
  2. Assay of plasma cannabidiol by capillary gas chromatography/ion trap mass spectroscopy following high-dose repeated daily oral administration in humans; Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior; November 1991; Paul Consroe, Kurt Kennedy, Karl Schram; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1666917