How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?

One of the major concerns people have when buying CBD oil is “How long will CBD stay in your system?” There is a number of reasons why you may ask this question.

Perhaps you’re about to face a drug test at work and you’re not sure if they are testing only for THC of CBD and THC combined.

Or, you are just curious about the nature of Cannabidiol and it happens that the lasting period of its metabolites falls into the bracket.

Whatever the reason, this article will cover everything you need to know about how long CBD stays in your system. But before we elaborate on that, let’s start with the roots.

How Long Does It Take For CBD to Work?

Have you ever wondered why some people claim they can experience the effects of CBD after a couple of minutes, while others need to wait up to an hour before that happens?

That’s because the onset time of Cannabidiol depends on the way you consume it.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the most popular consumption methods and the time it takes for CBD to work in each case.


Sublingual drops, or CBD oil tinctures, act remarkably fast. When using those, you place a few drops under your tongue, hold them there for 30-90 seconds, and swallow – simple as that.

Once the oil gets absorbed through the salivary gland, it reaches your bloodstream and this is when you should start feeling the effects – they can show up in 2 to 5 minutes after the ingestion.


CBD balms and salves have coined their reputation thanks to their effectiveness when it comes to fighting localized aches and pains [1]. It’s a smart way to apply CBD, but it’s definitely not the fastest-acting delivery method. When you rub CBD into your skin, it has to pass through your pores in order to reach the bloodstream, meaning that the effects won’t take root until an hour after application.


CBD edibles are the new trend on the market. They can come in various forms, including gummies, chocolate bars, healthy shakes, cookies, or even CBD pet treats.

Similarly to the topical application, CBD edibles have to go through a certain route before it enters the bloodstream. In the case of oral ingestion, it’s the digestive system. Once CBD passes your gut, the effects may come in 20 minutes to an hour. If you want to speed up Cannabidiol’s absorption, you can eat CBD edibles on an empty stomach.


Vaporization is by far the fastest and the most effective consumption method. When you vape CBD, it gets to your bloodstream through lungs. This, in turn, means that you can experience the effects of Cannabidiol almost immediately. But most importantly, vaporized CBD has the highest bioavailability; between 35-50% of CBD is absorbed by your body, compared to 20-30% for oil drops and 4-15% for capsules and edibles [2].

How Long Do the Effects of CBD Last?

Now that you know how long does it take for CBD to take effect, let’s see how long you can expect those effects to stay. It goes without saying that this largely depends on a number of different factors, such as your body weight, metabolism, the severity of your condition, and most importantly, the size of the dose and method of consumption.

Simply put, the more CBD you take, the longer you can expect the effects to last. However, there is no universal pattern for working out how long each individual will experience them.

You can always try a certain dose of CBD yourself and then observe how long it takes for the effects to wear off.

Start with smaller amounts of Cannabidiolaround 2 and 5mg. This will allow you to gradually increase the dose until you figure out the maximum time the effects of CBD last in your case.

But generally speaking, the effects of CBD can stay with you for anywhere between 1 and 5 hours depending on the aforementioned factors [3].

How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?

Now, this is where things get more complicated. Of course, we can provide you with a short answer, but…

The Short Answer: It Depends

Let’s make it clear, there’s no definitive answer to how long CBD stays in your system.

Why is that?

Well, because at the end of the day, the time CBD stays in one’s body varies between individuals and as with the effects, it depends on a number of factors.

CBD dosage, the potency of your CBD oil, or personal factors like your age, gender, weight, lifestyle, metabolism, and even the amount of water you drink daily – all of them can impact on how long CBD stays in your system.

If you use CBD occasionally, your body should get rid of its metabolites in less than a week.

Okay, but what about the long and uneasy answer?

Why Isn’t There An Easy Answer?

As much as we love the progress in research on cannabis, we cannot deny the fact that we haven’t always had access to Cannabidiol the way we do today. As a result, we still lack sufficient details about the time CBD lasts in one’s system. Even experts in the cannabinoid field don’t know it yet.

But it doesn’t mean there are absolutely no studies on the time CBD stays in our bodies.

Here’s Science Has to Say About the Time CBD Stays In Your System

One study, for example, examined people who took 700mg of CBD every day for six weeks. You might think that if those people got tested after one week after their last application, CBD would still be in their system, right?

Not really.

Believe or not, but after the 6-week period was over, blood plasma CBD levels reached just 1.5 ng/ml on average among the 14 test subjects in the week immediately following the end of their CBD treatment. After the first week, the researchers concluded that CBD levels were “virtually nonexistent.” [4]

Will CBD Show Up On A Drug Test?

There’s this common misconception around CBD that it can show up on a drug test. Well, first things first, drug screenings don’t test for the presence of Cannabidiol – they only test for THC metabolites.

Now, you may wonder if it’s possible that CBD oil can make you fail a test for THC. This is a very well-founded concern, as CBD can be derived from both hemp and marijuana.

If you live in a marijuana-friendly state, chances are that your CBD oil will have more than 0.3% THC content. (Read more on how long THC stays in your system.)

Still, you would have to consume more than 100mg of CBD per day to fail a drug test, and it would still be a false-positive. This, in turn, is a call for a repeated screening, giving you more time to rid your body of detectable metabolites.

If, on the other hand, you use hemp-derived CBD, you can sleep safe, as such products contain little to none THC.

How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System: A Final Word

To wrap it up, there is no definitive answer to how long CBD stays in your system. It depends on how much CBD you consume, how you apply it, let alone an array of personal factors. However, regardless of the above conditions, CBD should be gone out of your system no later than in a week after the last application. Keep in mind that CBD is not tested on a drug screening, so you don’t have to abstain from your herbal remedy for the sake of your career.


  1. Russo, Ethan B. “Cannabinoids in the Management of Difficult to Treat Pain.” Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management 4.1 (2008): 245–259. Print.
  2. Huestis, Marilyn A. “Human Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetics.” Chemistry & biodiversity 4.8 (2007): 1770–1804. PMC. Web. 25 Sept. 2018.
  3. Ujváry, István, and Lumír Hanuš. “Human Metabolites of Cannabidiol: A Review on Their Formation, Biological Activity, and Relevance in Therapy.” Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research 1.1 (2016): 90–101. PMC. Web. 25 Sept. 2018.
  4. Zhornitsky, Simon, and Stéphane Potvin. “Cannabidiol in Humans—The Quest for Therapeutic Targets.” Pharmaceuticals 5.5 (2012): 529–552. PMC. Web. 25 Sept. 2018.
James Reed

James Reed

James is our in-house cannabis expert and foodie. He earned a Bachelor of Health Sciences with a focus on pharmacology several years ago and has since been working as a writer and editor for cannabis-related blogs and e-commerce brands. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring the landscape around his Crescent City home with his dog Gus.

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