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How long does CBD stay in your system?

While CBD is an all-natural product with very few side effects, it is still important to educate yourself about all of the different aspects of what you plan to put into your body, whether it’s for general wellbeing or a specific medical problem.  One of the things that people often ask is how long the CBD stays in their system. 

This question really covers two different things, the first being how long you will feel the effects of any CBD that you have taken, and the second is how long it will actually remain in the body. This may be of importance to anyone that is concerned about drug tests.

How long do the effects of CBD last?

If you’re taking CBD for a medical issue, you might be anxious to understand how quickly you will feel the effects and how long they will last, particularly if you suffer from acute anxiety or pain. While every person is different, there are some general guidelines that might help you.

Those who smoke or vape CBD products may find they have an almost instant effect as they bypass the digestive system and are absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs. This method, however does not have long lasting effects. Edibles (such as gummies) have to make their way through the stomach, taking 1-2 hours before they provide any positive effects, but these effects will last up to 6 hours. Taking CBD oils or tinctures sublingually (under the tongue), the CBD is actually absorbed much more quickly than with edibles, as it can enter the bloodstream directly rather than going through the stomach and the effects may be felt in as little as 15 minutes. This method also has the benefit of lasting longer than inhalation – up to 5 hours.

For people with chronic conditions that require ongoing treatment, it can be really helpful to establish a CBD routine. By working out how long the effects lasts for you with your body and your chosen method, you will be able to provide yourself with ongoing relief from your issues.

If you find that the effects of the CBD are wearing off to quickly, you can safely increase the dose or increase the frequency of doses. There is no way to accidentally overdose on CBD.

How long is CBD detectable in the body?

While the affects you feel from CBD will generally wear off in a couple of hours, the substance itself will remain in your body for a lot longer. There are a number of studies that give us different estimates about exactly how long this might be, with the caveat that there are factors that will change this from person to person. 

One such study estimates that when taken orally, CBD will remain detectable in your body for 1-2 days, while another study puts the timeframe at closer to 3-4 days. One study has examined the half-life of CBD, which is around 18-32 hours. This means that if you take 20mg of CBD, after 18-32 hours, 10mg will remain in your system. The exception to this is topical CBD applications. As very little (or no) CBD enters the bloodstream, it is not stored in the body.

Knowing how long CBD stays in your system is important for a couple of reasons. The first is if you are concerned about a drug test. While most drug tests do not test for CBD specifically, they will test for THC. If you are using a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD product, this will contain small amounts of THC that should be taken into account. The second is if you are planning to breastfeed. Doctors do not recommend taking CBD while breastfeeding, and suggest stopping CBD use a full week beforehand.

The variables

While studies can give us some examples of how long CBD stays in the body in particular cases, there are always variables that will impact this. Here are some of the key factors that will influence whether these times may be longer or shorter in your particular situation.

How much you use

It should go without saying that the higher the dosage of CBD that you are taking, the longer it will take to be processed and eliminated by your body. CBD is processed by the liver, which can only deal with a certain amount of filtering at a time. By consuming more CBD than the liver can process at any one time, you slow down the elimination from the body.

How often you use it

Regardless of whether you take CBD orally or by inhalation, with regular use, the cannabidiol will build up in your system. Those who only occasionally use CBD will find it is eliminated from their body much more quickly.

The method of use

Just as some ways of taking CBD provide effects much more quickly than others, you will also find that some forms are processed more quickly too. Vaping or smoking will give you an almost instant effect, and will also leave the body more efficiently. CBD oils can stay in the body a lot longer, whereas edibles can be very unpredictable in the time their cannabidiols remain detectable.

Your body

Of course, even if the above variables are constant, the truth is that every person is different and their bodies will process CBD differently. Two of the things that impact the most are your metabolism and your BMI. If you have a fast metabolism, this means that your body processes things quickly in general, including cannabidiol. Your BMI comes into play as CBD is a fat-soluble substance, and can build up in the fat cells in your body.

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