How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

Whilst the effects of CBD last around 2-6 hours, the limited research we have suggests that it may remain detectable in your body for days or even weeks. Ultimately, however, the length of time that CBD will remain in your system is influenced by a variety of factors.

As CBD is extracted from the hemp plant – which is often associated with cannabis – there is still a lot of mystique and subsequent misconceptions surrounding it. Although the two often get conflated, CBD is different from THC; thus, the consumption of CBD will not produce any psychoactive effects.

THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, another one of the many naturally occurring compounds found in cannabis. However, THC produces psychoactive effects which, in turn, causes a “high”.  The compound is illegal in the UK, and we can therefore ensure that none of our products contain any THC. 

In response to the question “how long does CBD stay in your system?”, this blog will outline the variables that affect the answer. If you are curious about how long the health benefits of CBD last and how long it persists in the body, you have come to the right place.

CBD Dosage

Naturally, as with most other substances, the amount of CBD taken directly affects how long it stays in your system. The higher the dosage, the longer CBD will stay in your system. If you are aiming to keep CBD in your system for as long as possible, remember that the FSA advises healthy adults to take no more than 70mg of CBD per day.

Frequency of Use

The frequency of use similarly dictates how long CBD might stay in your system. If it is taken regularly, CBD will build up in your body over time. Comparatively, if it is taken only occasionally, it will be cleared from your system fast. For the same reason, it is often recommended that you take CBD for at least a week to see if it works for you.

Your Body

As everyone’s body is different, CBD affects people differently. Two bodily factors that both play a large part in the effect of CBD on any given individual are Body Mass Index (BMI) and metabolism; notably, the two are also linked.

CBD is fat-soluble, and therefore it is stored in your body’s fat cells rather than water cells. In turn, your BMI affects how quickly cannabidiol is metabolised. If you have a higher BMI, it will take longer for CBD to leave your system. Alternatively, if you are young and have a high metabolism, CBD could leave your body sooner than it would for an older user.

CBD Administration Method

The method you use to take CBD can affect the onset, the duration, and most importantly how long CBD stays in your system. There are a variety of different cannabidiol products on the market and clearly the product you choose dictates how CBD will be taken. 

CBD oils taken sublingually (placed under your tongue) are absorbed into your bloodstream quicker and also linger there for longer. When you consume CBD edibles, your body takes time to digest and metabolise them and so they have a delayed onset. CBD skincare products, such as hemp body salves, are similarly slow to both get into and out of your body. 

What Is the Half-Life of CBD?

According to a 2018 review, the half-life of CBD – the time it takes for the concentration of CBD in the body to decrease by half – is two to five days when it is taken orally. Comparatively, it was 31 hours when it was smoked. Since there is not much demand to investigate the exact half-life of each administration method, all we know is that it varies accordingly. 

In a different study, researchers similarly found that the half-life of CBD when it is ingested is considerably longer than other administration methods. In fact, they also estimated the half-life of CBD when taken orally to be about 2-5 days. From this, they argued that CBD taken orally will completely leave the body in about 11-28 days. Both studies measured the levels of CBD in the participants’ blood plasma to draw these conclusions.

How Long Does CBD Last?

Importantly, even when you no longer feel the effects of CBD, it will be present in your bloodstream. However, the length of time that it takes for the effects to kick in and how long they last vary according to the same factors that influence how long the compound stays in your system, but this link has not been extensively explored.

Full-Spectrum and Broad-Spectrum CBD

If you are concerned about THC levels, you should be mindful of the product you choose. For instance, if you buy from us, we can ensure that our products have been tested by a third-party laboratory. There is also another important distinction to be made between the type of products themselves.

  • Full-Spectrum CBD contains all the naturally occurring compounds from the plant they are extracted from, including THC. However, CBD products cannot legally contain more than 0.3% THC.
  • Broad-Spectrum CBD goes through the same extraction process as full-spectrum but also undergoes an additional process to eliminate THC. 

As long as it is hemp-derived CBD – rather than marijuana-derived CBD, which is illegal – full-spectrum CBD will always contain less than 0.3% THC. However, if you want to be extra cautious, you could exclusively opt for THC-free broad-spectrum CBD products like our own.  

Other Tests for CBD

If you are wondering if there are any mainstream tests that look for CBD rather than THC, the answer is no. Most employers do not care that you are taking a legal, non-intoxicating drug that is advertised as promoting health and wellness

There have been some other studies, however, that offer helpful indications as to how long CBD could be detectable in your system. For instance, a 2016 study studied how long traces of CBD could remain present in urine by testing various forms of cannabidiol, including oils and capsules. Participants’ urine samples were tested two hours after they had taken CBD and they all tested positive. However, when they retested urine samples 24 hours later, any traces of CBD were no longer detectable. 

Final Thoughts

Given the rising popularity of CBD is a relatively recent phenomenon, we are continuing to learn about how the compound interacts with the body. That being said, studies continue to point towards a wealth of health-promoting effects that CBD has to offer. 

To learn more about CBD and how it works, check out our FAQ page or explore our award-winning range of THC-free products, including CBD oils, CBD edibles, CBD capsules, and CBD skincare products.