Lately, CBD has been a trending topic within the cannabis industry. It's sold in countless places and for good reason. It can offer its users possible medical benefits, and many seek it out for this purpose. Nonetheless, some people may be wondering how long does CBD stay in your system after its use and whether CBD shows up on drug tests.
First, no, pure CBD doesn't show up on drug tests because they only test for THC. However, there are some caveats that you should read below because a LOT of CBD products have THC too. Second, everyone's body is different and processes CBD at different rates. It could be such that CBD is entirely gone after a few hours or it could take several weeks. However, usually CBD will have fully exited your system after 2-6 days. There are many factors at play here, each of which we'll be covering in this article. So let's get to it!
Everyone has different individual physiology, and this affects how long it takes the body to fully process CBD. There's no consistent timeframe for elimination that's the same across all people. Dozens of variables are at play, each of which can slow or hasten the process.
Let's take a closer look at each in more detail:
One of the most significant factors involved in the body's processing of CBD is how often the body consumes CBD naturally.
Generally speaking, a single dose of CBD may linger in the body for around 2 - 5 days or so. If you continue to use more and more CBD in this timeframe, it'll start to build up in your system.
This means, of course, that the more CBD you have accumulated in your body, the longer it will take to be processed and disappear by the body. As such, the newest users may find that CBD stays in their bodies for the shortest amounts of time.
As you can expect, the amount of CBD you use in one sitting is also a significant factor in how long it takes to leave your body. Naturally, if you just dabble with smaller amounts occasionally, CBD will quickly be processed out. Larger dosages, however, may take several days or weeks.
The individual physiology of people's bodies also plays a role in how long CBD remains in the system. A person's body mass index, water content, body fat percentage, metabolism, and genetics all have an effect, either increasing or decreasing the time CBD takes to process.
Your diet is also a factor in how long CBD oil stays in your system. Your body can only absorb so much of the CBD you consume. Ultimately, this is only a small percentage. If you eat many foods rich in medium and long-chain fatty acids, your body may be able to process larger amounts of CBD. This means that foods such as coconut and sesame oil can increase the bioavailability of CBD (absorbing more of what you consume).
So, if you have a diet rich in fatty acids, you may find that the CBD you consume has a much longer duration. By the same token, it will take longer to leave your system. If you eat a large meal before consuming CBD, it will both take longer to feel the effects and for it to fully metabolize out of your system.
The specific ways you use CBD and the particular products you consume also affect how CBD is metabolized. We've included a brief list below that covers the varying ways you can use CBD. For each of these, the faster the CBD compounds hit your bloodstream, the faster you can expect them to leave your body.
Each method of consumption has a varying rate for the bioavailability of CBD. The higher the level of bioavailability, the more CBD your body can absorb. A CBD product with 0% availability will result in no absorption, and 100% will lead to complete processing of the CBD. Most CBD tinctures and special formulations only show a bioavailability of between 30-45%, and some of the highest rates are only around ~50%. Regular edibles have an even lower absorption rate.
Many people consume CBD in the form of oils and tinctures. These allow users to place drops of CBD oil, using a pipette, on or under their tongues. CBD is then absorbed by the membranes found in your mouth. This particular method of consumption allows the CBD to be absorbed faster than other edible ways of consuming CBD. Because CBD is absorbed directly in the mouth, users will not need to wait for the product to be processed by the liver to feel the effects. The exact bioavailability of CBD oils/tinctures is not known definitively. However, it is believed to be much higher than other edible forms of CBD.
Other edible forms of CBD are pills, capsules, and more traditional baked goods and candies. Unlike tinctures and oils, these kinds of edibles take much longer to kick in and feel the effects of CBD. This is, of course, because they must first be processed and metabolized by the liver before they enter your bloodstream. The bioavailability of these forms of CBD is also low. Users will find that they can only absorb a fraction of the CBD that is consumed. Generally speaking, CBD edibles only grant a bioavailability of 13 - 19%, but this can vary dramatically from product to product.
It's also possible to use CBD in some of the traditional ways that marijuana is consumed. You can vape CBD, for instance. As a matter of fact, vaping CBD allows for some of the fastest rates of absorption. The CBD vapor goes from the lungs directly to the bloodstream, allowing you to feel the effects much faster. Vaping also allows for bioavailability of up to 50-60%, which as we mentioned, is very high when compared to other CBD consumption methods. However, as is the case for other vaping products, much more research is needed before the full effects are known. Adverse side effects may be possible with vaping CBD, so you should be sure to do your own research before trying it and talk to your doctor.
Finally, topical creams and lotions are other popular methods of consuming CBD. This method of consumption is absorbed in the body in a very different way than other ways. Topical CBD products work on the CB2 receptors that are found in the skin. This allows users to localize the relief of CBD to certain areas. For instance, if a user is only looking to CBD to relieve back pain, topical creams and lotions may be the way to go. However, unlike any other CBD product, topical creams and lotions do not enter the bloodstream. So, if you're using a topical CBD cream, then the answer to how long CBD oil stays in your system is -- it doesn't! It will only affect the CB2 receptors in your skin.
CBD will not show up on drug tests so long as the products you consume are purely CBD, so the more accurate question if you're worried about drug test results would be, how long does pure CBD oil stay in your system? This is because some CBD products contain THC also.
The amount of THC can vary from trace amounts that don't affect the consumer to several times the amount of CBD in the product. These combination CBD/THC products will definitely show up on a drug test.
If you get your CBD product from a dispensary where the cannabinoid content is analyzed, you'll see a ratio of CBD to THC on the label. Ratios range from 1:1 to 20:1 or more. A product that is 20 parts CBD to 1 part TCH will have little psychoactive effect on you if any. But if you take enough of it, it will still show up on a drug test despite the fact that it never made you high. If you're worried that you might be at risk, take a very close look at the label on your products and chat to your supplier before taking more. You might want to read our guide on how to pass a THC drug test, too.
Other CBD products, like the ones you can buy at health food stores instead of dispensaries, usually have little to no THC and won't result in detectable amounts of THC in your system unless you take enormous quantities of the product. This means that it's potentially possible to use enough of these kinds of CBD products to build up enough THC to show up on a drug test, but it's not common.
You should be aware of this risk if you have any upcoming employment drug tests scheduled though. If you're planning on taking a drug test soon, carefully check the label of your CBD product for trace amounts of THC, and if the product contains THC, just opt for one that doesn't.
For more information, be sure to check out our article Does CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?