It generally takes 5.5 half-lives for a drug to be fully eliminated from the system. So CBD taken orally would completely leave the body in about 11-28 days, but it may be impossible to detect on a blood test well before that. The half-life for vaped or smoked CBD in blood plasma is much shorter than for ingested CBD—just a few hours. A regular user may take longer to fully clear CBD from their system than an occasional or new user.
CBD disappears from the body relatively quickly. In a study following 14 patients who were each given about 700 mg of CBD a day orally for six weeks, the average plasma level fell to just 1.5 ng/mL a week after the final dose, and was undetectable after that. The authors estimated the CBD half-life to be about 2-5 days.
The non-intoxicating compound CBD is known to have a variety of beneficial effects, including reduction of pain and inflammation, and anxiety relief. A single dose of CBD may keep working for several hours, and the cannabinoid may persist in the body for days or weeks. How long CBD effects last depends on several factors, including the user’s metabolism and if they use CBD regularly.
How long does CBD keep working?
The first thing to know is that you need to absorb enough CBD for it to have any effect at all. Depending on how you administer CBD, much of its benefit can be lost. Swallowing it forces the drug to first pass through the liver, and as much as 95 percent never gets into the bloodstream. The highest bioavailability (how much is absorbed and gets into the bloodstream) comes from CBD that’s vaped or smoked, with CBD oil tinctures applied sublingually (under the tongue) finishing second.
Because inhaled CBD reaches the brain rapidly, users may feel a much more immediate and pronounced effect than they would from tinctures or edibles. But the therapeutic effects—reduced inflammation, pain and anxiety—are eventually noticeable from all forms of consumption, assuming you use enough. Proper CBD dosing can require some experimentation.
Research showing how long CBD is detectable in urine is rare, but one study showed a single test subject maintained detectable CBD in his urine for only 24 hours. In any case, CBD is almost never included in standard drug tests (like those given by employers).
Generally, the effects of CBD wear off within just a few hours, but that depends on the amount of CBD taken, the method used, and the user’s size, metabolism, and history of use. If you begin to feel the pain or anxiety begin to return, you can simply take more CBD. There is no practical way to overdose on CBD.
With ingestion, it could take anywhere from one to two hours before the effects of CBD finally set in. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Bottom line: While the time that CBD is detectable in the body will depend on the aforementioned factors, we can deduce that CBD will likely leave the system after a week or two.
Swallowing CBD oil prevents the cannabinoid from entering the bloodstream right away. Instead, it will travel first through the digestive tract and eventually on to the liver, where it will be broken down before finally reaching the bloodstream.
How long does CBD stay in your system? That depends on multiple factors. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Consumers who want to be extra-cautious and use CBD with no THC should shop for a broad-spectrum oil or a CBD product that contains pure CBD isolate. Broad-spectrum oil is refined to exclude THC, while CBD isolates contain no THC or other plant-based cannabinoids. To ensure that your CBD contains no THC, it’s important to source products from reputable manufacturers that provide a certificate of analysis from a third-party testing lab.
In most cases, it’s highly unlikely that CBD will cause a positive test result in a drug screening. Most drug tests are developed to look specifically for the presence of THC or related substances. On top of that, employers generally abide by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) guidelines, which include detection for THC but not CBD.
CBD may not produce the same intoxicating effects as THC, but it does get stored in the body. The time that CBD remains detectable in the body depends on several factors.