how long does CBD stay in your system - drug test

How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?

One of the least asked but most important questions is: how long will CBD stay in my system?

Don’t worry, you won’t overdose but it’s good to know the answer to this question when consuming CBD oil or administering it to a pet or loved one.

Arguably, if you don’t know how long CBD will work in your body or stay in your system – then how do you really know how much to take to enjoy its powerful benefits?

With that said, lets get into it…

How does CBD work in your body?

cbd receptors in your brain

Despite its potent reputation, the human body can only process around 35% of any CBD you consume regardless of how you consume it.

Sadly, the remaining 65% is lost as waste which is why it’s important to use a high-quality CBD so the absorbed 35% is actually potent.


When you consume CBD oil, your blood carries it throughout your body, where the CBD chemical compounds interact with cannabinoid receptors in your endocannabinoid system.

Once consumed, concentrations of the compound are reached in the blood after 20-45 minutes as a general rule.

However, the time varies depending on what you take. For example, if you use CBD via a capsule or edible sweet it can take 90 minutes for it to peak in your blood.

If you consume it via a tincture or vapor it’ll peak in half the amount of time.

Once it travels through your blood, it’s processed in your liver and then either exits the body via the digestive tract and kidneys or moves into fat cells for storage.

It usually takes around 1-2 days for your body to excrete any consumed CBD.

How long does CBD stay in your system?

drug test beakers

Now this is where things get weird.

Researchers actually discovered CBD before THC (the chemical compound that gets you “high”).

But because cannabis has been more popular for a longer period of time, there’s less scientific evidence as to how the human body metabolizes CBD.

So, how many days does CBD stay in your system?

Well, it depends on how often you use it.

One single use will remain in your body for up to 3 days.

Moderate usage will cause CBD to remain in your body for 3-5 days and repeated use (ie. daily) will cause CBD to remain in your body for up to 10 days or longer.

That being said, these are rough guidelines and results will vary massively depending on the CBD’s half-life.

Half-life is the pharmaceutical name for the amount of time it takes for the overall quantity of a substance to decrease by half of its original value.

But perk up, a small study back in 2016 published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research journal showed that the average half-life of the cannabinoid lasted between 27 to 35 hours after a single dose.

If that’s true for the study and is assumed to be true for the rest of the population, in just over one day the amount of CBD in your system may be reduced by half.

You should know there is no standardized information available regarding how long CBD remains in the human body, but studies like the one mentioned above generally conclude the same results ie. CBD takes from 10-40 minutes to react in the body and those effects will then last for the next 5-6 hours.

After 7 hours you’ll no longer feel the effects and the CBD in your blood will drop while slowly exiting your body via the digestive tract.

Which factors influence how long CBD remains in your system?

clocks - time cbd stays in body

Unlike other natural medicinal treatments, CBD is slightly different due to its interesting chemical makeup.

CBD is a fat-soluble molecule which means it can build up in your system and actually stay in your fat cells for some time.

Again, as mentioned above it depends on how much you take, the quality of the CBD, and how often you take it.

Beyond that, there are a variety of other factors that will cause CBD to remain in your system for different lengths of time.

Let’s explore them…

Body weight

scale with apple and tape measure for weight measurement

While more research is needed to discover the extent of this factor, body weight definitely impacts how long CBD stays in the human body.

Anyone with a larger body mass index (BMI) may hold onto excess CBD longer than those who metabolize and burn fat.

This is due to the fact CBD exits your body via the digestive tract OR moves to your fat cells for storage.

Naturally, if you have a larger number of fat cells, it’s easier for the CBD to get stored.

Further, if you have a larger BMI you’ll likely dose with a higher amount of CBD which will also contribute to it staying in your system for longer.

Diet & exercise

broccoli - diet affects how long cbd stays in your system

If you have an active lifestyle, i.e. you sweat more and burn more fat, you’ll shorten the time in which CBD stays in your system.

This is because you probably burn fat more frequently (so it’s harder for CBD to be stored in fat) and you sweat more which means you’ll sweat it out.

You probably also drink more water than the average person which contributes to flushing your system faster.

Also, if you eat a lot of dietary fiber, that helps pull the fatty compounds out of your body via the digestive tract – again, removing CBD from your system quicker.

How often you take CBD and in what quantity?

It’s worth noting the amount of CBD you take can cause better effects, but it also builds up in your system meaning it stays longer.

Also, taking it daily vs once a week will impact how long the CBD stays in your system.

But, generally speaking, this isn’t a problem for anyone who takes CBD to treat something like pain or anxiety since they want the CBD to remain in their system.

CBD & Drug Tests

cbd drug tests

Before beads of sweat crop across your brow, don’t worry – most employers don’t test for CBD.

The key thing to remember here is the fact CBD is NOT the same as cannabis.

CBD doesn’t change your cognitive awareness by getting you high nor will it impact your mental wellbeing in any way – in fact, it’s the opposite as it helps stress levels and anxiety.

The only way you could fail a drugs test is if you consumed a CBD oil that contains THC – the chemical compound that gets you high.

Whilst the THC % would probably be low, it could be enough to fail on a urine or hair drug test.

This is why your best and safest bet is to buy a high quality 0% THC, CBD oil.

(Related: Hemp Vs Marijuana | Their Differences & All You Need To Know)

How long does CBD take to work?

woman checking watch for how long cbd takes to work

If you’re serious about enjoying the benefits of CBD, then you need one thing – time!

Take it seriously and consistently for at least 2-4 weeks if you want to experience peak results.


Simply, it takes time to build up in your system and as a result, has a cumulative effect.

That being said, CBD, when consumed via vapes and tinctures, is absorbed the quickest.

Lotions and balms containing CBD, however, are different as they aren’t ingested.

It takes them longer to work and they work best to target physical relief from muscle or joint inflammation as opposed to anxiety or stress.

If you’re new to CBD, start with a lower amount and increase your intake daily until you experience relief.

From there, continue taking the same amount each day.

Like anything in life, you need to keep taking CBD in regular consistent amounts in order to enjoy the benefits each day.

It’s also wise to perhaps keep a log of your daily dosage and note down when you notice changes in effects, that way you can continue to get the most out of your CBD.


how long does cbd stay in your system- hemp plant

Don’t panic, if you enjoy a high quality CBD oil with 0% THC then you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Whether work springs a surprise physical test on you or you’re required to take a drug test – you won’t have to worry about the CBD that may still be in your system.

As a final note of relief, it’s practically impossible to overdose on CBD.

That being said, some studies have shown that heavy use of CBD (up to around 300mg per day) won’t cause side effects but it can cause rare cases of dry mouth, drowsiness, low blood pressure, and lightheadedness at an extremely high dose (above 5000mg).

So, if you’re asking yourself “is too much in my system fatal?” then the answer is no. But it’s good to be aware of what it does when consumed in unnecessarily high amounts.


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