Consuming CBD may have many potential health benefits, which explains its popularity. We break down the factors that impact how long CBD stays in your system. In recent years, CBD has become something of a go-to solution for several health conditions. Many advocates have cited benefits such as reducing symptoms of anxiety, helping to improve the quality of sleep, resetting sleep patterns, and even helping with chronic pain.
How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?
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Table of Contents
- 5 Factors That Affect How Long CBD Stays in Your System
- How Long Do the Effects of CBD Oil Last?
Research shows consuming cannabidiol (CBD) may have a host of potential health benefits, such as reducing anxiety, relieving pain, and promoting sleep—explaining the latest surge in CBD’s popularity. But people who use CBD—either regularly or just once in a while—might wonder how long it stays in your system.
No matter how you take CBD, it’s likely that the clinical impact can last for several days after use, says Kelly Johnson-Arbor, M.D., a triple-board certified medical toxicologist and co-medical director of National Capital Poison Center. In fact, a 2020 study in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology found people who consumed a single dose of a standardized CBD formulation had detectable levels of CBD in their urine for four to five days after ingestion  Spindle T, Cone E, Kuntz D, Mitchell J, Bigelow G, Flegl R, Vandrey R. Urinary Pharmacokinetic Profile of Cannabinoids Following Administration of Vaporized and Oral Cannabidiol and Vaporized CBD-Dominant Cannabis. Journal of Analytical Toxicology. 2020;44(2):109-125. .
Continue reading to discover the myriad factors that may impact how long CBD stays in your system.
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5 Factors That Affect How Long CBD Stays in Your System
According to Dr. Johnson-Arbor, how long CBD stays in your system can depend on various factors.
How and What You Eat
How much you eat, as well as what you eat, can impact how your body processes CBD, says Dr. Johnson-Arbor. After consuming a high-fat meal, higher levels of CBD are typically present in the bloodstream, making its half-life (the time it takes for half the amount of a substance to be eliminated from the body) longer than in individuals who consume CBD while fasting, she explains. In other words, if you consume CBD on an empty stomach and don’t eat immediately, CBD is more likely to leave your system sooner. Meanwhile, eating high-fat foods, such as avocados, cheese and nuts, can have the opposite effect. One 2019 study also found CBD exposure and absorption increases significantly when paired with high-fat foods  Birnbaum A, Karanam A, Marino S, Barkley C, Remmel R, Roslawski M, Gramling-Aden M, Leppik I. Food Effect on Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol Oral Capsules in Adult Patients with Refractory Epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2019;60(8):1586-1592. .
Medications Processed in the Liver and Liver Disease
Certain medical conditions may impact how long CBD stays in your system. “Since CBD is metabolized by the liver, people with liver disease or who take other medications that are metabolized by the liver may have altered metabolism of CBD,” says Dr. Johnson-Arbor. She explains that the human liver contains enzymes that help the body break down medications and other compounds, and some medications can increase or decrease the activity of these enzymes. “When this happens, medications can be metabolized either faster or slower than normal, and this can lead to unwanted adverse reactions,” she says. Since CBD is metabolized by liver enzymes, there can be a potential drug interaction with many other medications.
Frequency of Use
If you use CBD frequently, it can build up over time and stay in your system longer, largely because CBD is highly soluble in fat. “This means that it can build up in our fatty tissues for a long period of time after heavy use and can therefore remain in the system for prolonged periods of time (e.g. weeks) in heavy users,” says Dr. Johnson-Arbor.
How Much You Use
Unsurprisingly, the more CBD you take at once, the longer it stays in your system. A 2005 study in the journal Therapeutic Drug Monitoring found taking 1.35 milligrams of CBD was only detectable in the blood for about six hours after ingestion, but higher doses were detectable for longer periods of time  Nadulski T, Pragst F, Weinberg G, Roser P, Schnelle M, Fronk E, Stadelmann A. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study about the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on the pharmacokinetics of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) after oral application of THC versus standardized cannabis extract. Therapeutic Drug Monitoring. 2005;27(6):799-810. .
Type of CBD Administration
The way in which you consume CBD can impact how long it stays in your system. According to a 2018 review, smoking or inhaling CBD not only causes CBD to enter the bloodstream faster but also leave the body quicker. Meanwhile, the same review found CBD oil can stay in your system longer—up to two to five days. Dr. Johnson-Arbor explains that the reason smoking or inhaling drugs leads to faster clinical effects than consuming a drug orally is because orally administered drugs have to be absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, and that takes more time. However, whenever you’re talking about how long CBD can stay in your system, it’s important to remember that it really depends on the frequency of use. “CBD (and other cannabinoids) are fat soluble, which means that they can accumulate in fat tissue after chronic use and then be released back slowly into the blood for elimination from the body,” she says. “This means that chronic users may have longer detection times than acute or one-time users (the latter is what’s generally represented in clinical studies and may not be applicable to the general population). The same is true for smoking and inhaling CBD. I don’t want people to get the wrong impression and believe that no matter how much or how frequently they use, CBD will only be detectable in their system for two to five days.”
How Long Do the Effects of CBD Oil Last?
How long the effects of CBD last varies greatly depending on the factors discussed above. “In a study involving healthy individuals who consumed a highly purified CBD formulation, the elimination half-life in the bloodstream was 14 to 17 hours. Since it takes approximately five half-lives to completely eliminate a drug from the human body, it’s likely that CBD stays in the system for about 85 hours, or about 3.5 days” says Dr. Johnson-Arbor.
So, based on the half-life of the drug, it’s likely that detectable levels may be present for several days after use.
How Do You Flush CBD Out Of Your System?
In recent years, CBD has become something of a go-to solution for several health conditions. Many advocates have cited benefits such as reducing symptoms of anxiety, helping to improve the quality of sleep, resetting sleep patterns, and even helping with chronic pain.
Though there are still concerns with CBD, cannabinoid oil (CBD oil) is becoming increasingly mainstream and accepted in communities across the globe.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a chemical compound originating from cannabis but does not contain the psychoactive compound present in the other key extract from the plant – tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Cannabis fans employ the latter to achieve the “high” associated with the plant. On the other hand, CBD has been associated with several health benefits and is available in many forms, including gummies, capsules, oils, and gels.
There may be some instances where you’ll wish to flush CBD residue from your system, such as if you have an upcoming drug test and feel concerned that your CBD supply may contain detectable traces of THC.
How Long Will CBD Stay In My Body For?
If you take your CBD in the form of an oil, the time it takes to leave your body can vary depending on how much you took, the method you used, your current weight, and anything you may or may not have previously eaten that day. According to some studies, CBD can take anything from one to twenty-five days to leave your body altogether, and this can be an issue if you need to take a drug test. Furthermore, many CBD products may contain small traces of THC if they aren’t tested for purity, but not in quantities to cause serious or significant effects, though they may register on drug tests.
How Can I Flush CBD Out Of My System?
If you need to clear CBD out of your system in a hurry, there are a few options you can choose from. The most important thing to note is that the substance exits the body through urine and sweat, and there are ways to speed up the process.
Increase Your Water Intake
Drinking more water will increase your urination levels, which will help CBD to be flushed from your body more rapidly. To pass a urine test, increase your water intake to between two and three liters of water a day before the test, and drink one to two liters a few hours before you take the test.
You can also try a diuretic to help enhance urination, particularly when paired with excessive water consumption. However, you should be aware that this can also make your urine seem very pale, and your sample may be rejected by lab staff who believe that a pale color implies lower than usual creatinine levels.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
In addition to increasing urine production, you also need to stimulate bowel movements, allowing CBD to leave the body alongside your bodily waste. Cut down on fatty foods, which can negatively impact the detoxing process and increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables, beans, and pulses.
Shifting your workouts to the next level can also be very beneficial if you are trying to flush CBD from your system. A moderate to intense workout will cause you to sweat more, allowing a greater amount of CBD to exit the body via sweat. A good workout will also encourage you to drink more water, helping to improve and boost the detox process and break down fat cells.
Try Detox Pills
If you are on a deadline to cleanse your system, detox pills may help. As the name suggests, these are designed to eliminate toxins from the body. It is essential to do your research before taking any detox pills and making sure that you understand the requirements and potential side effects before you go ahead and use them.
The Best Method is Patience and Time
While you may not want to hear this, especially if you find yourself in a rush to flush your system, the best method for getting rid of all traces of CBD from your body is to have patience and allow it to work itself out naturally. The tips we’ve given above can certainly help speed things along, but by simply stopping CBD use a few weeks before you need your system to be clear of it, you can allow your body’s natural process to flush it out.