How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?

how long does cbd last
By Bethan Rose Jenkins Updated May 23rd

Fact-checked by Alexandra Arnett, MS

Nestled among the resin glands that envelope cannabis' delicate flowers are fascinating compounds with magnificent medicinal qualities. Of the many antioxidant-rich terpenoids, flavonoids, and 113 identified cannabinoids produced by this flowering plant—dubbed a "miracle drug" by researchers—is cannabidiol (CBD). 

It may be small, but CBD has imposed a colossal footprint on the healthcare industry since its discovery in 1940 by organic chemist Roger Adams. CBD belongs to the broader cannabis market, which contributes to 417,493 full-time equivalent jobs in the U.S., based on the 2023 Vangst Jobs Report

Beyond the realm of cannabis, CBD has forged a standalone market valued at USD 6.4 billion in 2022 and forecast to inflate by 16.2% from 2023 to 2030. CBD is used regularly by one in seven Americans - 40% of whom use it for pain, 20% for anxiety, and 11% for sleep.  

Consumers won't tumble into an intoxicating slump after using hemp-derived CBD, which is legal across much of the U.S. CBD is a non-addictive cannabinoid that serves as the main ingredient for a tempting range of remedial products, so there's no wonder why people of all ages are harnessing its benefits, including pain relief, immune system enhancement, and brain protection.1 

Further contributing to the popularity of CBD is its ease of use, availability, affordability, and versatility, with pre-clinical research demonstrating that the compound has anxiolytic, anti-compulsive, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and immunomodulatory effects.2,3,4,5,6

Although CBD receives ongoing praise for its efficacy, safety, and diversity—no fatal overdoses have ever been reported—concerns regarding drug tests and interactions are not unfounded.

Learning how long CBD oil lasts in the body and how to flush it out when needed is essential for consumers who want to reap the benefits of this potent therapeutic powerhouse without experiencing unwanted side effects or potentially awkward circumstances.

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How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?

The answer to, "How long does CBD effect last?" differs from the answer to, "How long does CBD stay in your system?" The effects of CBD may be as short-lived as 2 hours or as long as 8 hours, depending on various factors.7 In contrast, CBD traces can be detectable for days or weeks since your last dose. 

Numerous tests can be implemented to detect cannabinoids in blood, hair, nails, saliva, and urine.8 Chronic users with high tolerance levels will likely take significantly longer to flush CBD from their bodies than first-timers.

So how long does CBD last in the body? 

The length of time CBD can last in the body varies from 26 hours to 5 days.9 Traces of CBD may still be present in heavy, regular users from 10-14 days, or may be detectable for even longer with certain drug tests.

Many of the available studies that investigated the time it takes for CBD to clear the body looked at the "half-life" of CBD. This term refers to the time it takes for half of the total amount of a substance to be removed from the body.

A 2005 study published in the journal Therapeutic Drug Monitoring investigated how long CBD stays in the body when taken orally. As per the results, the half-life of oral CBD in single doses rests between 1 and 2 days, with only 1.35 milligrams of CBD noticeable in the blood for 6 hours post-ingestion.10

A 2020 study featured in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology focused on how long CBD stays detectable in urine. Based on the findings, CBD was found in urine 4-5 days post-ingestion.11 All participants consumed a single dose of a standardized CBD formulation.  

Interestingly, it appears that the body processes and eliminates CBD much faster than THC. The elimination half-life of CBD in the bloodstream is 14-17 hours among healthy individuals who ingest purified CBD formulations. CBD is only measurable in plasma for a maximum of 5 hours, while THC metabolites are detectable for up to a week.  

A separate study published in Science Direct found that hair samples from individuals who used CBD-rich cannabis contained THC metabolites with unusual profiles, proving the importance of CBD detoxing if you have a job that requires mandatory drug testing.12 

The Factors That Affect How Long CBD Stays In Your System

 That Affect How Long CBD Stays In Your System

Considering the vastness of the demographic who uses CBD—60% of people in the U.S. use or have tried at least one type of CBD product—there's no definitive answer to the question, "How long does CBD stay in your system?" 

Every human on planet Earth has a unique biochemistry. Factors such as a person's biological composition, genetics, age, weight, dosage, CBD product choice, and lifestyle behaviors/habits will also impact how long the cannabinoid remains in the body. On top of this, the active ingredients will affect how to get rid of CBD oil in your system.

Research indicates that upwards of 65% of cannabis is discharged from the body in fecal matter and 20% is released in the urine.13 The remainder of cannabis' chemical remnants (cannabinoid metabolites) are stored in the body for anywhere from 1 hour to 50 days, although THC has been detected in the hair for up to 90 days.

Some factors that affect CBD's longevity in the body include:

  • CBD Dosage - The simple rule of thumb is as follows: the higher the CBD dosage, the longer it will take to get rid of CBD oil in your system.
  • Body Type and Metabolism - The faster a person's metabolism is, the faster CBD will leave their system, and vice-versa. Research indicates that CBD inhibits CYP3A4 and CYP2D6–two enzymes used to metabolize various compounds and medications–and may increase drug concentration via decreased metabolism.
  • Diet - Food intake influences how the body processes CBD, with a 2019 study discovering that CBD exposure and absorption improves following high-fat food consumption.14 The cannabinoid's half-life increases with food intake and more CBD is detectable in the bloodstream following a high-fat meal. Fasting produces the opposite result.15
  • Product Type - Just as the onset time varies based on product type, so does the elimination timeline. For example, edible cannabis products may linger in the body for longer than vaporized CBD.
  • Frequency of Use - CBD will accumulate inside the body when used consistently. Consequently, this affects how long CBD lasts in the system.  Clearance will likely be slower in older adults who consume CBD regularly, as metabolism slows with age.16 
  • Medication - CBD may produce adverse effects in consumers who use warfarin (blood thinner), amiodarone (heart rhythm drug), levothyroxine (thyroid medication), and numerous seizure medications, like clobazam, lamotrigine, and valproate. Because the liver metabolizes CBD, patients who take liver-metabolized medications may metabolize CBD differently from others.

Although the above factors reportedly influence the duration of CBD's presence in the body, further research is needed to determine how long CBD stays in the body at various doses and under specific circumstances.

How Long Does CBD Last Based on Product Type?

Not only will the chosen route of administration determine the time it takes to feel the effects of CBD, but also how long CBD stays in the body. Dosage plays the most prominent role in how quickly the body expels (and uses) cannabinoids like CBD. 

Levels of CBD drop significantly after one hour of administration via inhalation and within 3-4 hours after administration via oral absorption.17 The detection of CBD by tests in blood or urine may be dose dependent. This is even more true for oral intake–like tinctures and sprays–of CBD due to the metabolism and absorption of the cannabinoid. 

Studies have demonstrated that there is minimal evidence to support the idea that chronic use of CBD causes the body to store its metabolites longer, but more research is needed. 

Products using nanoemulsion technology, like CBD water, have a greater absorption rate and may be present in the system longer.18 Research also demonstrates that eating food may also increase the concentration of CBD in blood plasma, compared to an empty stomach.

In general, CBD can remain in the body anywhere from two to five days after use. Consistent use of CBD will result in metabolites remaining in the body for as long as a person continues to use CBD products.

Obtaining/requesting proof of laboratory testing results is recommended to pinpoint CBD product purity, potency, and the presence of other ingredients. All of these factors may influence the overall experience and longevity. 

Lab testing certificates will also highlight the presence of other cannabinoids. They'll also highlight additional additives—artificial flavorings, preservatives, or sweeteners—and potentially harmful substances like heavy metals, microbes, and pesticides.

Why Detox From CBD?

detoxing from cbd

Plenty of people wonder how to detox from cannabis or, in this case, CBD. 

Despite the myriad benefits, there may come a time when stopping CBD use is necessary. Most cannabis compounds (80% to 90%) are expelled by the body within 5 days as carboxylated and hydroxylated metabolites. In some cases, the elimination process may take longer. 19

Fortunately, a quality detox can quickly flush CBD from the body.. Here are some reasons to get rid of CBD in the body:

  • Giving Your Tolerance Level a Reboot - Cleansing the body of CBD will reset your cannabinoid receptors and increase sensitivity the next time you use it.
  • Preparing for Anesthesia Induction - Going under anesthesia for a  surgical procedure while under the influence of cannabis may amplify the risk of complications by raising heart rate and lowering blood pressure, thus proving the importance of abstaining from these plant-based medicines before surgery.
  • Using New Medication - Cannabinoids like CBD may produce synergistic reactions when consumed with other medications, such as gabapentin.
  • Passing a Drug Test - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate many CBD products. As a result, products often contain traces of THC that could trigger a positive drug test. Detoxing will ensure you pass the test.

Tips for Detoxing CBD Efficiently and Quickly

A surge of cannabis detox products has emerged hot on the heels of the ever-evolving legal cannabis market. From metabolism-boosting pills and cleansing drinks to shampoos and dietary fiber supplements, the cannabis detox market is brimming with products designed to banish CBD from the body. Just make sure you aren't using a CBD shampoo.

Since many CBD (and THC) detox kits are widely unregulated and may contain synthetic ingredients, uneducated buyers often consume potentially harmful substances. Mitigate risk and learn how to get rid of CBD in the body by using ingredients sourced from Mother Nature and natural techniques instead. 

Here are a few methods worth considering:

  • Time - As the old saying goes, "Time is a great healer." By abstaining from CBD use for 2-3 weeks, you can safely and effectively eliminate the cannabis compound from your body.
  • Hydration and Exercise - Physical activity bolsters circulation, encouraging the body to process and expel CBD faster. Exercise will also kickstart the body's natural detoxification processes and increase metabolic rate.20
  • Fiber - The majority of CBD is excreted in feces. Introducing more fiber into your diet may speed up digestion to enable you to get rid of CBD from your system more quickly.21

CBD and Body FAQ

A little bit of research can save you the time and hassle of visiting a doctor's office to ask common questions. Rather than scouring the web for answers, enlighten yourself by reading our CBD and body FAQs: 

Can you get high on CBD?

Since CBD crosses the blood-brain barrier, it possesses the power to influence mood.22 However, CBD is non-intoxicating and will not cause feelings of euphoria, intoxication, or dizziness like THC might. 

Can you overdose on CBD?

"Start low, go slow" is the best motto regarding CBD dosage, with 25mg being a good starting point. Nevertheless, daily doses of 1,500 mg are reportedly well tolerated in humans.23

Is CBD detectable by drug tests?

Hemp products containing low quantities of Δ9-THC may appear on a urine drug test. While CBD isolate products may claim to have zero-THC, with the lack of standardization among analytical labs, it is not recommended to rely on using CBD isolate products to pass a drug test.24

What's the difference between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD?

Full-spectrum CBD is packed with many of the cannabis plant's cannabinoids and compounds, including up to 0.3% THC, whereas broad-spectrum CBD does not contain THC. Both full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum may produce synergistic reactions with other cannabinoids and terpenes, but broad-spectrum CBD lacks any potential benefits from THC.

Does CBD interact with medications?

Several studies show that CBD may interact with antidepressants, anti-epileptic drugs, THC, and opioid analgesics and produce divergent effects.25 CBD also interacts with numerous other over-the-counter medications, like antihistamines.

What's the difference between CBD and THC?THC binds with CB1 receptors that affect vital physiological processes like pain, inflammation, memory, and hunger, CBD indirectly stimulates CB1 and CB2 receptors, which play a protective role in neuroinflammatory conditions.26

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The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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