In general, CBD stays in your system for about 2–5 days—but this is variable depending on factors such as your dose, method of use, and how your body metabolizes the compound. Want to learn more? Keep reading!
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is an active cannabinoid present in the cannabis plant. It interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid (ECS) system to produce a beneficial effect, helping to manage anxiety, muscle spasms, pain, inflammation, and many other conditions.
How does CBD interact with your body?
CBD targets special receptors called CB1 and CB2, which are located throughout your body. Although it doesn’t bind with these receptors directly, it does interact with them to produce a variety of potentially beneficial effects, including the reduction of pain perception, body temperature, and inflammation.
CBD can also increase the amount of “bliss molecules” (also known as anandamide) in your body. This can help to promote a sense of calm and wellness, while also maintaining homeostasis.
How long does CBD stay in your body?
Since everyone is different, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this; however, CBD generally takes around 5–20 minutes to take effect after you’ve consumed it, and then 3–4 days to exit your body completely afterwards.
But there are many factors that influence how long CBD spends in your body. These include the amount you take, the potency of the product itself, and your own metabolism.
A common misconception is that once the effect of the CBD wears off, the cannabinoid must have left your system. This isn’t true at all. Even if you don’t feel the effects of CBD, it may still be in your body. And although the quantity of CBD in your system will gradually reduce during the hours after you take it, this is a slower process than most people realize. Again, it comes down to a variety of factors.
Generally speaking, CBD typically doesn’t take any more than a week to leave your body altogether.
For how long is CBD detectable in the body after use?
There are numerous factors affecting how long CBD stays in your body. CBD is a fat-soluble substance, which means it is stored by your fat cells and, as a result, stays in your system longer than other substances. But other factors have an influence, too.
Method of consumption
The way you consume CBD has a significant impact on how long it remains in your body. There are many ways to take CBD: tinctures, oils, gummies, capsules, topical treatments, and more. Each product is metabolized and expelled differently.
- Vaping enters your body through your lungs and produces effects within about 5–10 minutes. It’s also eliminated from your body fairly quickly.
- Sublingual CBD drops are absorbed via your mucous membranes under your tongue. Since the CBD bypasses your liver and digestive system, it takes longer to be absorbed—and also longer to leave.
- Topical applications (such as balms or lotions) are absorbed slowly and leave slowly.
- Edible CBD products that go through your digestive system can produce an effect almost instantly if taken on an empty stomach. They are metabolized and leave your body fairly quickly.
Bodyweight and lifestyle
Like any other substance stored by fat cells, your body mass impacts how long CBD stays in your system. If you’re active, you’ll metabolize fat faster and have fewer fat cells to store the CBD, so it won't spend as much time in your body. The opposite is true for people with a higher body mass: the more fat cells you have, the longer CBD will stay in your body.
People who eat a high-fibre diet, exercise regularly, and/or drink a lot of water may eliminate CBD more quickly. Getting plenty of sleep may even move CBD along faster, because your metabolism will be functioning better.
Usage and dosage
Frequent use of CBD can mean that the cannabinoid accumulates in your fat cells. This means that it will remain in your body for longer than if you take it sporadically.
Single servings of CBD can remain in your body for up to 3 days. If you consume cannabidiol moderately, it may stay in your body for 3–5 days. More regular users of CBD may have the compound in their body for 10–15 days. Basically, the more often you take CBD, the longer it will spend in your system.
Higher doses will also take longer to be completely eliminated. For regular users, large doses may take up to a month to leave the body.
Everyone reacts to and metabolizes substances differently. The way your endocannabinoid system processes CBD will have a major influence on how long CBD takes to leave your body. Again, this is influenced by the above factors and your own biochemical environment.
Will CBD show up on a drug test?
The presence of CBD on a drug test is a concern for most users—especially those looking for employment or who work in jobs that involve driving, such as truck and taxi drivers. Quality CBD products that contain less than the recommended amount of THC typically won’t show up on a drug test. Any product with more than 0.3% THC (the permitted level) is cause for concern.
This demonstrates why it’s important to choose products that undergo third-party lab testing. These tests ensure that there are no pollutants or solvent residues in the product. Most importantly, they also verify the concentration of CBD and any traces of THC.
So, how long does CBD stay in your urine? Single exposures may mean that THC can be detected in your urine for about 3 days after you take it. However, heavy use may mean that CBD accumulates in your body and stays in your system for up to a week. It may even be detected for more than a month. A urine test will usually come back positive if you take more than 2,000 mg of legal CBD per day.
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