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Key Takeaways

  • Several factors determine how long CBD stays in the system, including body composition, the amount of CBD taken, whether it was taken on an empty stomach, frequency of use, and consumption method.

  • CBD is federally legal, but only if it doesn’t contain more than 0.3% THC; still, some restrictions may apply depending on the state.

  • Even though CBD is a non-intoxicating substance, trace amounts of THC in full-spectrum CBD oil products may show up on a drug test.

  • Depending on the consumption method, the effects kick in around 15 minutes (sublingual administration or vaping) up to two hours (edibles and topicals).

  • In general, the effects CBD products produce can last anywhere from 2 up to 6 hours.

  • Although a dose of CBD is likely to keep working for a few hours, the substance may be detectable in your system for days to come.

  • If you want to flush CBD out of your body, you can try drinking more water or taking diuretics to speed up urination.

The popularity of various CBD products, be it CBD gummies and other kinds of CBD edibles, CBD oils and tinctures, or CBD-based topicals, has probably never been so high as it is now. However, even this amount of recognition doesn’t change the fact that many people remain full of suspicion when it comes to this substance.

While some may be aware that CBD comes from the cannabis or hemp plant (hence the existence of hemp-derived CBD products) and know that there are a few different ways to consume it, it is still definitely not common knowledge among most people, including those who could potentially benefit from it.

So, if you’ve ever found yourself wondering, “How long does CBD stay in your system?” or “How long do the CBD effects last?”, below, you will find detailed answers to these questions and learn everything you should keep in mind before you consume CBD products.

Factors That Affect How Long CBD Stays in Your System

Regardless of the exact CBD product you use, it’s crucial to remember that several factors determine how long CBD stays in your system.

And because these include both physical factors, such as your age, weight, and metabolism, as well as your lifestyle choices, the exact numbers are likely to vary from person to person.

Let’s take a closer look at the most relevant factors that affect how long cannabidiol can stay in your system.

Your Body Composition

Your individual metabolism, body mass index (BMI), and water content all play a crucial role in how long it can take for you to metabolize and excrete CBD.

Since this compound is fat soluble, it means that after you consume CBD, it is then stored in your body’s fat cells.

Therefore, if you’re leaner, have less body fat, and built some muscles due to regular physical activity, you will metabolize CBD faster.

On the other hand, in the case of people with more body fat and less muscle tissue, CBD will stay in their bodies for longer.

Shortly speaking, people with high BMI scores have bodies that are more likely to store this substance for an extended time.

Conversely, high metabolism and water content allow the processing of CBD to be much faster, which can even lower the likelihood of getting a positive drug test result.


The amount of CBD you take is another highly relevant factor that plays an important role in how long CBD will stay in your system.

In general, the more CBD you consume, the more time your body will need to metabolize it. This means that one of the best and most reliable methods to lower the levels of this substance in your bloodstream is to consider consuming CBD in smaller amounts.

On top of that, regardless of the particular kind of CBD product you use, it’s essential that you always check the strength of the product you intend to consume or apply to your skin.

That’s because a potent CBD oil will likely stay in your system longer.

Whether You Take It on an Empty Stomach

Taking CBD on an empty stomach can be compared to drinking alcohol with no food to fuel your body and help it deal with the substance.

This means that if you don’t eat anything before or closely after taking your daily dose of CBD, it’s likely to leave your system faster.

If you take an edible, such as CBD gummies, brownies, or candies, or eat a boiled egg or avocado toast, the substance will be metabolized slower.

Frequency of Use

People who tend to use CBD products frequently or even take them on a daily basis are likely to have quite high CBD levels in their systems.

The human body is a complex structure of interconnected systems and vital organs, and it produces endocannabinoids naturally. Still, using CBD-based products, whether derived from the hemp or the cannabis plant, will definitely increase their numbers in your system.

The time they stay, there is also likely to be longer. However, if you use CBD only from time to time and you’re not particularly regular with it, the substance will leave your system faster.

The half-life of CBD in the human body can vary, ranging from 1 hour even up to 5 days. Half-life is the time it takes for the substance in your system to be reduced in half.

Products such as CBD sprays and drops have a half-life of 1.4 to 10.9 hours, but when consumed regularly, these numbers can increase to 2 to 5 days.

Consumption Method

Another factor that shouldn’t be omitted when talking about the time it takes CBD to leave one’s system is the method of consumption.

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Here are some of the most common ways to take this substance:

  • oils,
  • tinctures,
  • edibles,
  • pills,
  • capsules,
  • vapes,
  • topicals (creams, lotions, balms, etc.)

You can choose any intake method that fits your needs and preferences, but keep in mind that your experience will vary depending on what you settle for.

For instance, vaporized CBD will allow you to feel the effects fast since the substance won’t have to travel through your digestive system before reaching the bloodstream. Inhaling CBD, whether through vapor or smoke, is one of the fastest ways for it to “kick in.” This also means that your body will start breaking the CBD down much faster and therefore it will leave your system quicker.

If you decide to ingest CBD orally, for instance, by taking CBD softgels, the substance will have to pass through your digestive system first. As a result, it won’t leave your body as quickly and you will be able to enjoy its potential health benefits for longer.

Consuming cannabidiol sublingually using CBD products such as tinctures or oil is a “middle ground” between the two options above.

This method of consumption produces its first effects after around half an hour. The effects will last for around 3 hours or more, depending on the potency of your tincture or oil and other factors mentioned earlier.

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Is CBD Legal?

CBD has been legal in the U.S. since 2018. However, that’s not all that there is to it. Purchasing CBD is federally legal but only if it doesn’t contain more than 0.3% THC. Furthermore, depending on the state you live in, you may be able to purchase CBD only if you have a valid prescription.

Today, CBD is legal in most countries around the world, but it doesn’t change the fact that everyone should remain responsible and make sure to check the laws at their destinations (if they travel) and learn more about the legal status of CBD.

Can CBD Show up on a Drug Test?

Drug tests, be it urine tests or blood tests, are rarely a pleasant experience, but sometimes taking them is simply necessary. The authorities may order some people, while others need to be regularly tested for work.

Regardless of the exact reason, everyone may wonder whether CBD will likely appear on a drug test.

First of all, it’s important to remember that CBD is a non-intoxicating substance that will not cause you to experience a “high.” This feeling is caused by a different cannabinoid known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

A common misconception leads many people to believe that CBD and THC are the same, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Even though these two compounds have the same chemical formula, their atoms are arranged in different ways, giving CBD and THC different chemical properties. This causes them to affect your body differently.

CBD is a natural supplement that is unlikely to show up on most drug tests, as the vast majority of the commonly used tests do not specifically screen for it. However, THC metabolites can be detected during such screening which could result in a failed test.

Luckily, you can still use CBD without having to worry about the results of such tests, as long as you know which product to choose.

There are several types of CBD oil. Legal full-spectrum CBD contains trace amounts of THC but no more than 0.3 %. In most cases, broad-spectrum CBD oil has no THC, but some broad-spectrum products still may have trace amounts of this intoxicating substance.

If you want to avoid THC, you can safely reach for broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate, which essentially is pure CBD, free of other cannabinoids and compounds that can be found in the cannabis plant.

Full-spectrum CBD oil may seem more tempting than CBD isolate, mostly due to the fact that it can produce the entourage effect. Still, if you want to be able to take a drug test with 100% confidence yet still use CBD oil regularly, you should choose products that are THC-free.

How Long Does It Take for the CBD Effects to Kick In?

Determining how long it will take CBD to work is quite similar to trying to answer how long CBD stays in your system. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions, as there are too many variables regarding CBD use that can differ drastically from person to person.

For instance, most people are likely to feel the first effect of CBD kicking in around 15 minutes after vaping or administering CBD oil or tincture sublingually.

However, some may still need to wait a little longer or find other CBD-based methods that work better for them.

How Long Do the CBD Effects Last?

Everything depends on your body, how much CBD you take, and how you take it. On top of that, the scientific research on how long CBD oil stays in your body isn’t very thorough, mostly due to the fact that there’s little demand for doing such tests.

Nevertheless, if you’re still determined to know how long CBD stays in your system, you may be pleased to know that, in general, the effects of your CBD products can last anywhere from 2 up to 6 hours at a time.

How Long Is CBD Detectable in Your Body?

CBD can disappear from your body relatively quickly. The main factors determining it are your metabolism and whether you regularly use CBD products, be it CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD oil, or broad-spectrum CBD.

As mentioned above, one dose of CBD is likely to keep working for a few hours, but the substance may be detectable in your system for days to come.

How Do You Clear Your System of CBD?

If you want to flush CBD out of your body for whatever reason, one of the first things you should try is drinking more water. Doing so hastens urination, so if you increase your daily water intake, you should be able to clear your body faster.

Another method involves taking diuretics which can speed up urination. Remember, though, that it’s important to drink plenty of fluids when taking diuretics to prevent dehydration.

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