How long does CBD last in the body?

CBD Oil Drops

“How long does the effect of CBD last?” and “how long does CBD last in the body?” are the most repeated questions asked by users when buying CBD online. These doubts have two very specific possible causes: people who feel that CBD “doesn’t work” after a while, or people who want to know if CBD shows up in urine tests.

In today’s post we’re going to break down the answers as clearly as possible, including the different factors that influence the duration of CBD’s effects and the compound’s retention time.

How does CBD affect people?

The first thing you should know is that CBD or cannabidiol, like other cannabinoids, is a compound that acts in a personalized way. Everyone reacts differently to CBD, depending on factors such as metabolism, weight, tolerance, history of cannabinoid consumption, method of consumption and also, to a large extent, the environment in which you use it.

If what you are looking for in CBD is tranquility, calm and relaxation, you must contribute to this purpose by providing the environment that favors these sensations. While cannabidiol can be a very effective aid, in the end everyone holds the key to their own well-being. It is no secret that pleasurable activities generate endorphins, and that our own body produces endocannabinoids, with effects equal to or even more potent than the compounds contained in cannabis. Here we could also mention the importance of contact with nature, sun exposure, diet, exercise or social life, among many other things that we know affect our body, mind and sense of well-being.

How long CBD lasts in the body
If you are looking for a relaxing effect in CBD, it is essential to accompany it with a suitable environment.

Therefore, if you are concerned that CBD is not working for you, we recommend you focus on whether you are using it correctly, considering the environmental factor and everything you can do on a global level to achieve the desired effect you are looking for.

Factors influencing the duration of the effects of CBD

From a more “scientific” point of view, there are some studies that have investigated how cannabidiol is processed and eliminated from the body. These tell us that the duration of the effects of CBD varies according to the form of administration, dosage and other factors.

In turn, these same factors also affect how long CBD remains in the body and is detectable in urine tests, for example.

In general, CBD remains in the body for a few hours, if consumed sporadically or occasionally, or 2 to 5 days, if used continuously.

Extracted from reference (1). However, don’t get hung up on the headline. There is no universal figure in days, hours or minutes that works for everyone, as there are many factors that modify the duration of the effects of cannabidiol and the time the compound remains in the body.

Form or method of consumption and half-life of CBD

How cannabidiol is used has a direct impact on how quickly it starts to take effect and how long it lasts:

  • Vaping CBD If you inhale CBD through vaping, the effects are usually fast, appearing within a few minutes, but they also wear off sooner compared to other forms, after about 1-2 hours. In a study on cannabis smokers, CBD in blood was found to be undetectable after 1 hour (2).
  • Sublingual CBD When placing a few drops of CBD oil under the tongue, the effects can be felt within the first 30-45 minutes and last longer than with vaping, approximately up to 4 hours. If used sporadically, CBD disappears from the body in a few hours. If used continuously, it takes 2 to 5 days to be completely eliminated from the body. Please note that this form of administration is not regulated in some countries.
  • CBD creams Cannabidiol creams and lotions are applied on the skin and have a localized effect, although less intense than the other ways. The absorption of this method of application is almost null, it acts on the dermis without reaching the bloodstream, so you do not have to worry about CBD remaining in your body through the use of topical products.
  • Edibles: The effects of edible CBD products are more delayed, generally appearing between 60 minutes and 2 hours, but they tend to be more potent and last longer, between 4 and 6 hours. As with the sublingual route, the time that cannabidiol remains in the body can vary between hours, days or even longer in some people, if used in high doses and continuously.

The duration of CBD in the body varies according to individual factors and the form of administration, generally from a few hours to several days.

Oral and inhaled CBD Comparison

Oral administration of CBD produces higher urinary concentrations compared to inhaled administration, indicating greater absorption of CBD when taken orally compared to the pulmonary route. The maximum concentrations of cannabidiol in blood are reached approximately 5 hours after being taken orally, and about 1 hour later in the case of vaporizations or inhalations.

Dosage

The amount of cannabidiol you use also directly influences the duration of its effects. In general, the higher the dose, the longer the effects are likely to last. However, keep in mind that CBD has a biphasic effect, which means that higher doses do not always result in greater effects. We explained it to you in the post about the optimal dose of CBD .

Frequency of use

If you consume CBD occasionally in low to moderate amounts, CBD will generally remain in your body for a few days at most, though no more than 24 hours for most people. However, if you use cannabidiol regularly for a few weeks, it may be detectable in your body for several days or even weeks, depending on the individual organism.

Food and fasting

What you eat and when you eat it also affects the duration of CBD’s effects. A 2019 study revealed that after ingestion of a high-fat meal, higher levels of cannabidiol were detected in the bloodstream, prolonging its half-life. (the time required to eliminate half the amount of a substance in the body) compared to those who consume CBD on an empty stomach.

In other words, if you consume CBD after eating, especially after the ingestion of foods rich in fats (oil, cheese, nuts…), you may have to wait longer for the effects to manifest, but they may also be more intense and last longer, because the absorption will be greater.

On the other hand, if you use CBD drops on an empty stomach, the effects may appear faster, but have a lower potency and duration, since it is likely to be eliminated faster from your body.

Your body

Although it is the typical thing to say, the truth is that studies that have evaluated the pharmacokinetics of CBD in humans have observed that there is actually great variability in how people metabolize CBD and the response to its administration.This highlights the importance of individual factors. Factors such as fat percentage, genetics, gender, whether you have underlying medical conditions, or if you combine CBD with medications, can influence how long the effect of cannabidiol lasts in the body and how long it takes to be eliminated (known as pharmacokinetics).

Ways to detect CBD in the body

As to how long CBD is detectable in the body, it depends on the type of test. Most of the information in the previous point refers to the time in which the cannabidiol molecule is detected in blood, because this is how it exerts its effects. However, some people specifically ask about urine or drug tests.

Is CBD detectable in urine test?

CBD is detectable in urine tests, and its detection depends on several factors, including dosage, frequency of use and type of test used. However, in general, drug or anti-doping tests do not react for cannabidiol, but for the presence of THC and its metabolites. Some CBD products may contain traces of THC.

Can I test positive for CBD in a urine test?

CBD is not a narcotic drug, and therefore is not measured in standard drug tests, and does not produce positive results. However, some CBD products, such as Full Spectrum CBD or CBD flowers, may contain traces of THC, which could lead to positive results in tests looking for THC or its metabolites in urine. This highlights the importance of understanding the labeling on cannabidiol and hemp products to avoid unexpected drug test results and possible unwanted effects.

How long is CBD detectable in urine?

It depends on the dose, frequency of consumption and method of administration. For example, after oral administration, urinary concentrations of CBD may be higher compared to inhaled administration. In addition, in some studies, inhaled CBD has been found to be undetectable in urine after approximately 1 hour. In the case of oral consumption, this period is extended to 5 hours. In case of products with traces of THC, it is possible that THC metabolites may appear in urine tests over a similar period of time. It is important to note that results may vary depending on the individual, the history of consumption and the sensitivity of the test used.

Do CBD cosmetics and creams pass into the blood and are detected in tests?

CBD applied topically has a very low absorption, it is considered null. It acts in a localized manner and practically does not reach the bloodstream, thus being undetectable in drug or urine tests.

All this we will answer in the post on whether CBD is detectable in drug tests. Coming soon!

We hope we have answered all your questions about how long CBD lasts in the body, both its effects and the substance detectable in blood, urine or other tests. Remember that everyone is different, so the experience with CBD may vary. Experiment to find what works best for you:

We remind you that this is an informative article that is not intended to prevent, diagnose or treat any disease or symptom. Its content can complement, but never replace, the diagnosis or treatment of any disease or symptom. Cannactiva products are not medicines and are intended for external use. Consult a professional if you have any doubts before using CBD.

References
  1. Millar SA, Stone NL, Yates AS, O’Sullivan SE. A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans. Front Pharmacol. 2018 Nov 26;9:1365. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.01365. PMID: 30534073; PMCID: PMC6275223.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Perkins D, Butler J, Ong K, et al. A Phase 1, Randomised, Placebo-Controlled, Dose Escalation Study to Investigate the Safety, Tolerability, and Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Fed Healthy Volunteers. European Journal of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics. 2020;45(5):575-586.

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