What Affects How Long CBD Stays in Your System?
If this article has sparked your interest then you are likely already aware of the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid from the cannabis plant thought to possess beneficial properties for treating conditions ranging from anxiety to epilepsy and chronic pain.
Have you been reluctant to try CBD oil, perhaps fearing it may lead to a positive drug test or be lingering and accumulating in your system. While we can provide general guidance on the length of time CBD might stay in the system, studies on the matter are limited. Multiple factors also affect the length of time CBD remains in the system.
What Affects How Long CBD Stays in Your System?
There are a number of pharmacological factors that will influence the length of time CBD stays in the system. The way CBD interacts with the body and the amount of time it remains detectable in the system needs further research. What little we do know comes from a number of existing clinical trials and provides some insight.
How Much You Use
In general terms, the higher the dose of CBD, the longer it will take to clear from the system.
How Often You Use It
With increasing frequency of use comes increased intake and accumulation of CBD in the body thereby affecting the length of time the CBD remains in the system.
A study reporting on the mean peak concentration of CBD in the blood after multiple doses of THC/CBD spray found that the peak concentration increased when the number of single doses given was increased as well as when the number of chronic doses over 9 consecutive days increased (1).
Each human body is unique in its size, function, water content and how it reacts to different substances. All of these factors can contribute to how long the CBD will stay in the system.
CBD is highly lipophilic meaning that it combines well with fats and oils. Consuming CBD in combination with fat-containing foods, (like nut-butters, nuts, cheese, and avocados) will increase the bioavailability of CBD by increasing its digestibility and therefore increasing the time needed to be cleared from the system.
The rate by which CBD is cleared from the plasma is dependent on whether the user is in the fed or fasted state. Studies carried out by Stott et al. have suggested that the plasma apparent clearance can range from between 2546 – 4741 CL/F following 10mg CBD in a fasted state (2, 3) but this dropped to 533 CL/F in a fed state (4).
Methods of Use
Different types of CBD products have varying biological availabilities. Hence, some routes of CBD administration will reach a higher maximum concentration than other routes, even if the dose is the same. Smoking, inhaling or using IV CBD products have a higher maximum concentration than oral consumption (5). They also reach their peak faster, and are thought to exert their effects and clear the system faster.
When taken orally, CBD is metabolised and absorbed by the digestive system, sometimes being stored in the fat cells which can increase the time taken for it to be cleared from the body.
One study gave subjects a single dose of 10mg CBD and 10mg THC, administered either sublingually (under the tongue), buccally (through the check), oro-pharyngeally (directly to the mouth and throat) or orally (into the mouth). CBD was detectable after 15 minutes through all routes bar the oro-pharyngeal route which was detectable at 30 minutes (6).
How Long for CBD To Kick In?
Once again, the time taken for CBD to have an effect will depend on the dose and form used.
When 5.4mg oral CBD was taken as well as 10mg THC, the peak concentration of CBD was detected 60 minutes after intake (7). As oral administration must go through the process of first-pass metabolism, the concentration of CBD increased slowly during the first couple of hours in comparison to studies of CBD concentration after smoking.
Some feel the effects of CBD when vaped or used sublingually in as little as 15 minutes.
How Long Does CBD Last?
When 5.4mg of oral CBD was taken, the CBD remained present in the system for 3-4 hours following administration (7).
Another study looking at the terminal (longer) half life of CBD, after a single dose administration in long term cannabis users was estimated between 13 and 32 hours (8).
When subjects were given a single dose of 10mg CBD and 10mg THC,it remained in low concentrations 12 hours after administration regardless of the route by which it was administered (oral vs sublingual vs oropharyngeal vs buccal) (6).
Patients with Huntington’s Disease were given around 700mg/day of oral BD for 6 weeks, the CBD was still detectable in the system a week after the CBD was discontinued, but after was virtually undetectable. At this point, authors estimated the half-life of CBD to be around 2-5 days (9).
Does CBD Show Up On A Drug Test?
Risks with the use of CBD arise due to the under-labeling and few regulations around the manufacturing of CBD products. Some CBD products, specifically full-spectrum CBD products, contain amounts of THC that may be sufficient to make you test positive on a work-place drug test. The safety net around these products is virtually non-existent and consumers should err on the side of caution.
CBD alone in a pure isolate form, should not show up on a drug test, however you put your faith in the manufacturer when you buy it as to whether they have accurately labelled the amount of THC. We provide QR codes on all our product labels that you can scan to see the 3rd party tested lab results, and you can find all our Lab Results here.
Alternatively, look to buy CBD oil that is derived from the hemp strain of cannabis over the marijuana strain as hemp is required to be grown with low levels of THC.
The Bottom Line
CBD is still relatively new to the market, and clinical studies are not keeping up with the product’s growth in popularity. Consumers should be aware that a THC positive drug test is possible if using full-spectrum CBD products.
Many factors influence how long CBD will stay in your system and on top of that, different bodies will react differently to the same amount of CBD.
**Standard Disclaimer: CBD is not FDA-approved. We make no such claims that using our products will guarantee relief. Moreover, research regarding CBD is still ongoing and in the early stages.**