How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?


Cannabidiol (CBD) use has grown exponentially in the past few years.

A report from SingleCare.com reveals that at least 20% of people between the ages of 18 to 29 said they have used cannabidiol in the past. At least 16% of people aged 30 to 49 reported the same answer.

Clinical studies show that CBD has a lot of potential when it comes to managing health independently. CBD can be used to stimulate appetite, reduce anxiety and control pain. Cannabidiol is excellent as a supportive treatment for conditions like arthritis, inflammation, chronic pain and even high blood pressure.

If you have any chronic or acute symptoms of anxiety or pain, CBD derived from a hemp plant could be the answer. But the increased use of CBD has raised just as many questions - including this one:

How long does CBD stay in your system?

Cannabidiol is absorbed into the bloodstream and urine, but also into other systems such as the body’s fat cells.

Factors like how much CBD you consume, how often you use it, and even your typical dose, can make a difference to the answer. The type of test (whether hair, urine or blood) will also make a difference to CBD test results.

If you live in a country with complex legalities, or you are subject to doping tests as a sportsperson, drug tests as a regular user of CBD can be one of your biggest concerns.

Here’s an ultimate guide to CBD, how it is metabolized and how long CBD can stay in your system for.


Understanding How CBD Works and is Metabolized

Cannabidiol (CBD) isn’t just found in marijuana, cannabis, or grass. CBD is also a compound which appears in hundreds of other plants in minor concentrations, even in daisies - but in a cannabis plant, the concentration of cannabidiol is particularly high, and perfect for extraction.

CBD can be applied topically, but also consumed directly through any number of products you’ll find online and in stores. Everything from CBD gummies to infused drops are on the market, usually with a specific dose.

An article in Scientific American points to the fact that CBD use is skyrocketing, but scientists are still studying its effects. (2019)

Cannabidiol is picked up by the human body via specific receptors that all people have. But before this, cannabidiol has to be absorbed into the body - and this will depend on how the CBD is ingested.

According to research, oral absorption of CBD is 13 to 19%. Further research published in NCBI says that while they are not the same chemical, the metabolism-rate and half life of cannabidiol is similar to that of THC.

CBD and THC metabolism begins from the moment these substances are ingested. CBD and THC can both still remain in the blood, urine and hair - especially with frequent and high-dosage use.

With a standard test, CBD isn’t often tested for, but THC is. Unregulated products can have high enough trace amounts of THC levels for a drug test to show positive, even if the product claimed to include CBD alone.

Product purity is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to a CBD test. While most drug tests will not pick up pure CBD, small amounts of THC (which your CBD product might contain) will show up.


Key Factors That Affect How Long It Stays In Your System


Cannabidiol (CBD) is absorbed into the system just the same way as THC, even though they are not the same compound.

Absorption starts from the moment the compound is ingested, where it is then processed by the body - and for CBD, there is no “high” or psychoactive effect.


How long does CBD stay in your system for?


Cannabidiol can stay in the system for an average of 2 to 5 days according to the vast majority of online resources and research on the topic.

But 2 to 5 days is only the easy answer. There are many different key factors that affect how long it stays in your system for.

These key factors include your individual metabolism, how often you consume CBD and how much you have consumed at a time.

Body mass and genetics will also play a strong role in how long CBD might stay in your system for.


How Often Do You Take CBD?


Cannabidiol (CBD) can stay in the system for up to 5 days, but this assumes that you take it only once. If you take CBD often and are a regular user - say, daily - then it is likely to stay in the system for much longer than the average period of time.

Daily or weekly CBD use will mean that the compound accumulates (that is, builds up) in the system.

If you are a regular CBD user, then cannabidiol can stay in your system for much longer than the average of 5 days.


How Much CBD Do You Take?


Dosage is another subjective variable when people take CBD. Needs are different, and therefore dosages vary from one person to the next. Simply, how much CBD you take at a time will have an impact.

Light to moderate CBD use (under 100mg) will process out of the system faster, but if you use larger amounts of CBD it can increase the potential time period.

If you take larger amounts of CBD per dosage, then CBD might be in your system for longer than the average period of 5 days.


How Fast/Slow Is Your Metabolism?


Metabolism describes how the body processes what it ingests. Metabolism is frequently associated with body weight, but in reality, metabolism involves several different body systems, and is talked about as its own process.

How fast or slow is your metabolism? Some people process traditionally “heavier” meals better and faster than others. It’s part of how metabolism works.

Ingestion of CBD is the same: metabolism is different for everyone.

If you have a slower metabolism, then CBD could stay in your system for longer than 5 days.


When Last Did You Use CBD?


The last time you used CBD, regardless of consumption method, will also impact how long the compound can stay in the system for. If you have used CBD recently, expect this to “reset the counter” on how long CBD can be picked up in your system for.

Haven’t used CBD in a long time?

It’s likely to be cleared out of your system within a few days. But if the last time you used CBD was a few days ago, that won’t be the case.


How Pure Is Your CBD Product?


The purity of your CBD product can have an impact too. If you use pure CBD products that contain only CBD, it will process out of your system in the recommended few days. This is why understanding whether your product is full spectrum or broad spectrum is essential.

Impure CBD products can contain trace amounts of THC levels that can set off the average drug tests.

If you use any type of CBD product, make sure you use a tested pure CBD product - one that won’t contain THC where you don’t need it!


Detection Methods and Time


CBD can be detected in the system for approximately 2 to 5 days according to the majority of online resources and research. But that is only the answer with a simple over-the-counter CBD test under very specific circumstances.

We’ve just explained why this isn’t always the right answer thanks to variable factors like your metabolism, body weight and CBD dosage.

The type of test (detection method) also matters to the answer.

The 2 to 5 day rule can be immediately rendered invalid with a urine test, hair test or blood test, where compounds can be picked up for much longer.


How long does CBD stay in your system for?

It depends on the test.

Advanced tests are more likely to pick up trace elements, even days or weeks after the substance was last encountered.

Let's break down the expected periods of time that CBD can stay in your system for when judged by the different kinds of tests.


Urine Tests

Urine tests are one of the most common methods of testing for THC and CBD. Usually, this is because urine tests are readily available and produce an instant result.

Due to its interactions with the liver and kidneys, trace amounts of CBD will be excreted through the urine.

With the use of a standard urine test, CBD can be picked up for at least 3 to 14 days after its last use.

Heavier dosage, frequent CBD use will stay in the system for longer. Occasional users can expect to fall into the mid-range of the suggested time period.


Hair Tests

Hair tests are a more advanced form of testing than the standard urine test. Usually, hair tests look for the presence of a specific chemical compound - in this case, cannabidiol.

Results for a CBD hair test will depend on how frequent and strong your usage is. Trace amounts of CBD are unlikely to be detected through the average hair test.

If you are a heavier, more frequent user, CBD can be picked up for several weeks via a hair test. Using at least 200mg per day for several weeks or months at a time can basically guarantee the presence of CBD in your hair.

Trace amounts of THC can also accumulate over time. If you have taken a strong dosage of THC too, expect it to show up in hair tests for several weeks. 

Blood tests

Blood tests are a more refined means of testing than urine or hair, and blood tests can pick up very small (trace) amounts of chemicals even if they have not been ingested for a very long time.

Cannabidiol can be picked up for at least 7 days after its last use within a blood test, sometimes for double the amount of time.

Recent or heavy CBD use could mean that it gets picked up for longer.

Blood tests are refined enough that they might also pick up trace amounts of THC if your choice of CBD product is not completely pure.


Will CBD show up on a drug test?


So, will CBD show up on a drug test?

Again, the answer isn’t as simple as yes or no!

The majority of drug tests out there don’t test for CBD, but look for accompanying compounds like THC that some products might contain.

Impure, untested CBD products might contain a higher concentration of THC than you expected. This is the danger when you use CBD and need to undergo a drug test, as the real risk in testing comes down to false-positives for minute levels of THC that weren't accounted for accurately.

Even though drug tests don’t look for CBD alone, THC is tested for, and is likely to come up with certain types of CBD products - especially if the extraction methods don’t match up to lab standards.


What does the law define as a CBD product?


How can you be sure that your “pure CBD” product contains exactly that, and no amounts of THC?

Here’s what you should know about the CBD products on the market today.


What Are CBD Products?


The term CBD products applies to any products that contain extracts of cannabidiol. There are many different CBD-containing products on the market, including topical creams, CBD oils and CBD gummies.

If a CBD product is marketed as “pure”, then it has to be exactly that. Pure CBD products are required to adhere to specific legal requirements if they are going to be sold as such.

Since CBD is more common today, federal regulations are now in place that say what is and is not a pure CBD product.

According to federal law, CBD products cannot contain more than 0.3% THC.

Regulations hold all products responsible to the same industry standard.

This guarantees that lab-tested CBD products from reputable companies labeled to have absolute 0% THC are likely that they won't contain enough THC to trigger a positive drug test for THC.


Why Pure, Clean CBD Matters


If you order your CBD products from a reputable company that guarantees high quality extraction methods, you are guaranteed an excellent product - one that, if desired, you can find one that shouldn't contain enough THC to trigger a positive test result.

Reputable companies test their products to meet the federal level of standards, and their certification depends entirely on this.

Cheaper, off-brand CBD products that don’t adhere to the same quality standards could contain trace amounts of THC that is unaccounted for.

Only use CBD products when you are 100% familiar with the brand as reliable, tested and trusted.


Alternate Options

Cannabidiol isolates are popular as a means of ingesting cannabidiol thanks to its guaranteed purity and intricate extraction methods.

Isolates guarantee that the CBD has been extracted, and only the most concentrated form of it is used in the final product.

Unlike regular CBD products which might contain trace amounts of CBD, an isolate is kept to a more strict standard.


Pure CBD makes all the difference.


At the end of the day, if you're in a situation that requires regular testing, Hemp-derived CBD products can be risky.

Although THC levels are regulated to be extremely low, the reality is that although it leaves your system shortly depending on the above variables, those trace amounts of THC in certain products can be screened for and do enter into your system briefly.

If you are worried about the possibility of a drug test, consider the purity of your cannabidiol products first and think about alternative options such as CBD Isolates.

While cannabidiol can stay in the system for a few days to weeks at a time, it’s THC that the majority of drug tests look for.

To learn about CBD Hemp Direct's third-party lab results, learn more here.