How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

CBD oils, sprays, capsules, and edibles have continued to grow in popularity over recent years. This hype is not unwarranted. Extracted from dried hemp plants, cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural supplement with an extensive range of health benefits.

Given that it burst onto the scene relatively recently, there is still a lot of curiosity around the compound. One of the biggest questions surrounding it is: how long does CBD stay in your system? Generally speaking, the effects of CBD last around 2-6 hours, but the length of time that CBD stays in your system depends on several factors. 

What Factors Affect CBD Levels in the Body?

How long CBD remains in your circulation depends on a variety of different factors such as:

  • The amount taken
  • The frequency of the dosage
  • Individual genetics
  • Body weight and lifestyle
  • Lifestyle
  • Age
  • The administration method

The Amount Taken

How much CBD you consume directly corresponds to the length of time it will stay in your body. This applies to both CBD concentration and volume, and so that is why you need to be aware of the strength of the product you are using when it comes to CBD consumption. There is no exact measurement for this as the length of time it will take to process and metabolise CBD will vary from person to person

If you are using our 2020 Botanics 5000mg CBD oil, we recommend starting with 0.25ml (10 drops). However, if you are using Love Hemp’s 300mg low-strength CBD oil, we recommend starting with 1ml (40 drops). Finding your optimal dose of CBD oil or any other CBD product will take a bit of experimenting, but it is always best to start by taking CBD in small amounts. Just make sure you that you do not exceed 70mg of CBD per day, as this is the Food Standard Agency’s (FSA) maximum recommended daily intake.

Frequency of Dosage

CBD has a cumulative effect on the body; therefore, if you take it 3 times a day, it is more likely to stay in your system longer than if you only took it once per day. Given that it builds up in your body over time, we recommend consuming CBD for at least a week before deciding whether CBD works for you or not.

There is no exact science to how frequently you should be taking CBD. Some people may prefer to take small doses regularly throughout day, and others may opt to take a large single dose. Remember, it is all about experimentation and personal preference!

Remember, it is all about experimentation and personal preference!

Individual Genetics

Individual genetics can affect the length of time CBD remains in your body. Mostly because metabolic rate is a bodily function that is largely considered to be determined, at least in part, by genetics. 

How quickly your system can burn something off will affect how long the substance will stay in your system. Thus, the speed of your metabolism will influence the time it takes for CBD to leave your bloodstream.

Body Weight and Lifestyle

Since CBD is fat-soluble, body tissues store the compound with ease. As a result, people with a high BMI (body mass index) usually retain the compound for longer until the metabolic processes can eliminate residual traces from the body’s fat cells. 

The kind of lifestyle you lead will also likely influence how long CBD stays in your system. Once again, this ties in with your metabolism and metabolic rate. If you lead an active lifestyle, especially one which involves a lot of cardiovascular exercise, you will metabolise CBD quicker than someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle.


Age comes into play similarly because of a link between CBD levels and metabolism. When you are younger, you have a naturally higher metabolism, and therefore CBD is likely to leave your body sooner than it would for an older user.

Method of Administration

Whilst CBD isolates and oils taken sublingually (i.e. placed under your tongue) are absorbed into the bloodstream faster, when consumed orally CBD will take longer to enter your bloodstream. This is because they are immediately absorbed through your mucus membranes when placed under your tongue, whilst your body takes time to digest and metabolise a CBD edible as it passes through your digestive system. 

As your lungs are very good at absorbing small, fat-soluble molecules, inhaled CBD will be quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. Therefore, vaping CBD will mean that it will start getting to work almost immediately. Meanwhile, topical CBD products, such as body salves, are slow to both enter and leave your body.

What Is the Half-Life of CBD?

CBD capsules and other edibles take approximately 5.5 half-lives to disappear from the body. Each half-life is between eighteen and thirty-two hours. In other words, the concentration of CBD in the body halves each day or so. 

Although the initial changes are more pronounced, total elimination is a slow curve that gradually approaches undetectable levels after several days. Thus, CBD should be no longer detectable in the body eleven to twenty-eight days after you consume a CBD edible.

Will CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?

As CBD is legal, a test for illegal substances would not flag it. However, such tests would pick up THC. CBD and THC are two naturally occurring substances that derive from the cannabis plant. Although they are vastly different, the fact that they can both be found in the same plant means they often get wrongly conflated.

The biggest difference between the two cannabinoids is that CBD does not produce a psychoactive effect because it has little binding affinity for CB1 receptors, whereas THC binds strongly to CB1 and activates them which creates the high people often associate with marijuana. 

Most drug tests screen for THC and will use what is called a "C3" or third-generation blood test to measure the number of THC metabolites in your body. These are usually administered by an employer when they are suspicious that their employees are abusing drugs or due to pre-employment screening.

Before we continue, it is worth noting that there is a distinction between the different types of CBD extract:

  • Full-spectrum: When a CBD product contains several naturally occurring cannabis plant extracts – including THC (up 0.2%) – it is considered full-spectrum CBD.
  • Broad-spectrum: Broad-spectrum cannabidiol undergoes the same extraction process as full-spectrum, before undergoing an additional one to eliminate THC. Therefore, it is typically THC-free, although can contain trace amounts of THC. Our range is entirely made up of THC-free broad-spectrum CBD products!

The only way that a CBD product could make you test positive for THC is if it contained a significant amount. CBD products cannot legally contain more than 0.2% THC in the UK. This amount is so low that for it to register on an illegal drug test you would have to take an enormous amount of full-spectrum CBD, around 1,000mg or 2,000mg a day! Regardless, we can guarantee that all our products are entirely THC-free.

The Health Benefits of CBD

Although we have answered the question “how long does CBD stay in your system?”, you may still be wondering “what does CBD actually do whilst in your system?”. To understand what happens when CBD enters the human body, we must first discuss the role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS helps regulate many things including sleep patterns, appetite, mood/stress levels, immune function, pain perception, and memory. It is responsible for helping your lungs release extra air after holding your breath; it prompts you to want to eat after feeling hungry; it reduces inflammation and it regulates the release of neurotransmitters that help the brain communicate with and control bodily function. 

There is an abundance of research and evidence that supports just how important the ECS is for overall health and wellbeing. Given that CBD is said to interact with this system, they form a powerful partnership that can supply you with a range of wellness-promoting health benefits

Further information

At CBD Oils UK, we specialise in broad-spectrum CBD products and thus guarantee that our products contain zero THC. Supplying our customers with high-quality CBD goodness is our only goal!

Please click to contact us. Alternatively, you can find more information about our range of CBD oils, edibles, capsules, and skincare on sale in the UK. Get started on your CBD journey or re-stock your favourite CBD-infused products today!

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