How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

As time goes by, we’re learning more and more about CBD and the ways that this non-intoxicating cannabinoid affects the human body. While scientific research has made it clear that CBD does not have any major side effects and appears to be perfectly safe, it’s still natural to be curious about how, exactly, cannabidiol interacts with the various systems in your body.

In this guide, we’ll answer any questions you may have about how long CBD stays in your system, how long it takes for this cannabinoid to work, and how long the effects of CBD last. There’s a lot to learn about CBD and how it operates in the human body, so let’s dive into our detailed explanation of the pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol.

How long does CBD oil stay in your system?

The amount of time that CBD can stay in your system varies depending on a variety of factors:

  • How much CBD you take
  • The method by which you take CBD
  • How frequently you use CBD
  • Your weight, age, and other personal attributes
  • Whether you take CBD with food

The more CBD you take at a time, the longer it will take for your body to metabolize and eliminate this cannabinoid. Larger doses of CBD will pass through your body slower while smaller doses will be metabolized more quickly.

When you vape or smoke CBD, the cannabinoids you ingest do not pass through your digestive system, so they are eliminated quickly. When you ingest CBD orally, however, it takes your body longer to process CBD, and the same goes for CBD products that you apply topically.

CBD is a lipid-soluble substance, which means that it tends to build up in your body’s fatty tissues. If you use CBD frequently, each subsequent dose of this cannabinoid that you ingest will build upon previous doses, increasing the amount of time it takes for your body to eliminate CBD.

Your body takes longer to eliminate substances you ingest the older you get, and increased BMI can cause an added buildup of lipid-soluble substances in your body. Medical conditions that affect your metabolism can also alter the amount of time CBD stays in your system.

When you ingest CBD with food, it takes longer for your body to metabolize and eliminate this cannabinoid. CBD that you take on an empty stomach, however, passes through your body more quickly.

How long is CBD detectable in urine?

Even considering the various factors we’ve listed above, not enough research has been done to definitively determine the amount of time that CBD will be detectable in your urine or blood. Thankfully, however, there are no drug tests in existence that test specifically for CBD, so there’s no compelling reason that you’d need to know how long CBD is detectable in your bodily fluids. In addition, when you choose lab-tested CBD products, you can determine exactly how much THC you’re ingesting, which might be useful if you have to submit to frequent drug testing.

Some sources suggest that a single dose of CBD remains detectable in your body for around 1-2 days. The more CBD that you take and the more frequently that you take it, however, the longer this duration becomes. Habitual CBD users, for instance, should expect this cannabinoid to stay in their systems for 15-30 days. Make sure to factor in all the other variables we’ve listed above as well as you estimate how long CBD will be detectable in your body.

How long does it take for CBD oil to work?

Just as the amount of time that CBD stays in your body changes based on a variety of factors, the time it takes for this cannabinoid to take effect varies depending on your body type, how much you take, and how often you use CBD.

When it comes to how long it takes for CBD to work, however, the method of ingestion you choose matters more than any other factor. Additionally, there’s a big difference between how long it takes for CBD to kick in and how long it takes for you to enjoy the expected benefits of this cannabinoid.

Generally, CBD ingestion methods that bypass your digestive system offer a much faster onset of effects. It’s not that your digestive system itself is inefficient, but your liver, which filters out contaminants and toxins in the food that you eat, processes CBD that you ingest orally before it can reach your bloodstream.

In addition to slowing down your body’s metabolism of CBD, your liver also filters out a significant amount of the CBD you ingest orally. While there isn’t enough evidence to draw firm conclusions, some research indicates that the bioavailability of orally ingested CBD may be as low as 30%.

Vaped or smoked CBD, on the other hand, has close to 100% bioavailability since substances you inhale do not pass through your liver before reaching your bloodstream. Topically applied CBD products also have extremely high bioavailability for the same reason.

Regardless of how long your body takes to metabolize CBD, you usually need to administer this cannabinoid multiple times over the course of a few days to start noticing its beneficial effects. Scientists still aren’t sure why this is the case, but some theories contend that it takes a while for your endocannabinoid system to become “attuned” to CBD.

Most CBD users report that this cannabinoid starts delivering its expected effects within around 1-2 weeks. Given what we know about the liver’s role in CBD bioavailability, it would make sense if CBD started delivering results faster when you ingest it via vaping, smoking, or applying topicals.

How long does it take for CBD oil to work for joint pain?

Joint pain is a major reason that people start using CBD. In some cases, CBD users with joint pain report that they experienced the effects they desired after just one or two doses of this non-intoxicating cannabinoid. For others, however, repeated application of CBD over the course of multiple weeks is necessary to achieve the desired results.

If you suffer from joint pain and want to experience the benefits of CBD sooner, we’d suggest vaping or smoking this cannabinoid. By bypassing your liver and its filtration mechanisms, CBD can reach your bloodstream sooner and in higher concentrations, which will impact your endocannabinoid system more quickly and with greater potency.

Applying CBD topicals directly to the site of joint pain is another common tactic for people who suffer from this condition. Some research indicates that CBD has excellent skin permeability, so applying this cannabinoid topically in the area where you experience pain will allow it to reach your affected joints without being diluted throughout the rest of your body. 

How long does CBD last once it kicks in?

Just as is the case with how long it takes CBD to work after you ingest it, the method you use to ingest CBD dramatically impacts the duration of this cannabinoid’s effects. If your metabolism is faster or slower than the norm or you’ve developed a tolerance to CBD, the duration of the effects that cannabidiol offers can also be altered, but your chosen ingestion method remains the single most important factor that affects the duration of the effects that CBD provides. In this section, we’ll cover the duration of the effects offered by three of the most common CBD ingestion methods:

Orally ingested CBD products

As we’ve covered already, oral ingestion of CBD offers reduced bioavailability, and it takes longer for CBD that you’ve ingested orally to take effect. Once orally ingested CBD has kicked in, however, the effects of this CBD ingestion method generally last 1-2 hours.

Some users report that the effects of orally ingested CBD can last as long as six hours, and this makes some sense given the fact that CBD continues to be absorbed into your bloodstream as it passes through your digestive tract. Keep in mind, however, that the effects of orally ingested CBD will be much more subtle than the effects derived from other ingestion methods.

CBD topicals

When you apply CBD topically, the effects of this cannabinoid kick in within a few minutes, but they usually remain localized to the area of application. Since water-based topicals and patches absorb better into your bloodstream, these types of CBD topicals might offer more widespread effects. Users generally report that the effects of CBD topicals last around 1-4 hours.

Vaped or smoked CBD

Vaping or smoking CBD provides the fastest and most potent effects. An artery flows directly from your lungs to your brain to provide this critical organ with proper oxygenation, and when you inhale CBD, it makes a beeline along this bloodstream highway. While the effects of inhaled CBD are highly potent, they only last for around 30 minutes to an hour.

CBD in your body: the bottom line

There’s still a lot we don’t know about this cannabinoid, but at this point, the science is clear that CBD is safe to use and that it doesn’t provide intoxicating effects. Drug screens do not test for CBD, and you can predict how long this cannabinoid will stay in your body based on the type of CBD product you used, how much you used, and how frequently you use CBD. Armed with this information, you’ll find it easy to make smart decisions regarding your use of this cannabinoid whether you’re using CBD recreationally or to help with serious conditions.

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