How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

by | Sep 9, 2019 | CBD Health Benefits

CBD, or Cannabidiol, has been shown in lab testing to last a little more than a week in the human body at maximum. This test administered very high doses (700mg) every day for six month and saw this result. Source

Whether you’re brand new to CBD, or you’re already familiar with how it affects your body, one thing you might not be certain of is how long it stays in your system. CBD oil is legal and is widely used by people suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, depression and other health issues.

Sometimes understanding of what it is and how it works is limited because it is such a new supplement. This is especially true by businesses which may still frown on its usage because of the association with marijuana.

The first thing one should understand about CBD, and drug testing in general, is that the length of time a drug is measurable in your body, and the length of time a drug effects you, are two different things.

In general, CBD’s effects can be felt within an hour of ingestion. This time can vary depending on several factors including, body weight, body fat percentage, dosage amounts, consistency, and how the CBD was administered.

These felt effects generally only last a few hours, however your body cannot rid itself of the active compounds that make up CBD instantly. This means that it can still remain in the body even after not taking CBD for several days. 

The Limit of CBD Retention in the Body

While there’s no sure way to know exactly how long your body will retain traceable amounts of CBD in the short term, there is an estimated limit to how long CBD should remain in your system, about one week. 

After one week, there should be no traces of CBD in the body that can be measurably recorded. One week is the most probable figure based on this study, which set out to measure precisely this factor in its participants. In the study, participants were administered a 700mg dose of CBD every day for six weeks. This is an extremely high amount, for a significant amount of time.

Levels of CBD in the body were monitored throughout the test, and were found to stay relatively consistent. The week after the CBD administration stopped, blood plasma levels of CBD dropped by upwards of 80%. The study concluded that after one week, levels of CBD in the body were ‘virtually undetectable thereafter.’

Furthermore, over the entire six week period, no THC was measurable in any subject that was administered this high dosage of CBD orally. 

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How Do I Calculate How Long CBD Will Stay in My System?

There is no foolproof way of knowing whether you have measurable levels of CBD in your system outside of testing. However, the study quoted earlier stated that the operational half life of orally administered CBD was estimated to be anywhere from two to five days. 

This means the amount of CBD in your system will drop by approximately half every two to five days. Again, this figure changes because it’s dependent on a lot of factors including dosage, regularity, health, and diet. 

As for knowing when you’re going to be free of CBD and safe for testing? 

The general rule of thumb among regular CBD users, is that it generally leaves your system about two to three days after you have stopped taking it. This is true especially for light users. It’s generally considered to take up to a week for heavy users, which matches the results of the study. 

If you want to be absolutely sure, the Mayo Clinic says that urine tests can detect THC cannabinoids for up to 15 days after usage, so if you want to be 100% certain you won’t test positive for any cannabinoids, abstain for roughly two weeks before you need to be tested.

Will CBD Show Up in Drug Tests?

The short answer is No. 

While CBD is generally not a substance that is looked for in drug tests, THC (the psychoactive compound found in marijuana) is. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the compound responsible for the intoxicating effects of marijuana. This is the primary compound that is generally looked for in urine tests. Full Spectrum CBD oil contains trace amounts of THC.

While legal requirements regarding CBD dictate that it must contain less than 0.3% THC, (0.2% in the UK) when tested, some CBD oils have been found to contain large amounts of THC, even up to as much as 10%. Technically, this is a high enough concentration that a large dose of CBD oil could cause a positive test result for THC, which could cause someone to fail a drug test. 

Because the CBD industry is largely unregulated, labels about THC content may be misleading, making it difficult to say just how much you might have in your body at any given time. If you aren’t sure about the product you are taking, stop, especially if you’re on a consistent treatment plan.

Is There Anything Else You Can Do to Pass Drug Tests?

When purchasing CBD oil, thoroughly check the manufacturer’s specifications to see if you’re buying a full spectrum CBD product, or a CBD isolate. Full spectrum CBD oils contain whole plant extracts, which can include a wide variety of cannabinoids. Full spectrum oils often contain some THC, but reputable vendors should adhere to the less than 0.3% requirement. Having THC in your system at any amount could potentially cause a failing test for that controlled substance. 

On the other hand, CBD isolate is pure CBD, with no other cannabinoids present (NO THC). If you regularly face testing for controlled substances, or you just have an important drug test coming up for a job, it might be worth switching your regiment to a CBD isolate during this time period.

Final Thoughts

If you’re still concerned about CBD showing up on a drug test, the final option is open disclosure. As more people and potential employers become aware of the various uses involving CBD, as well as the fact that it is considered federally legal, this issue will most likely be of less concern.

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