The amount of time CBD stays in the body depends on how much the user has taken, how often and what form of CBD they use.

Whether he is a long-term CBD user or has just started with CBD, he may be interested in how long CBD stays in the body.

Different methods of using CBD lead to different results. After inhalation, you may feel the effects of CBD quickly. But how long does CBD remain after the effects disappear?

If you want to take a short break, increase the dose, switch from one method of use to another, or just wonder what happens to CBD after it enters the body - you will find the answers in this text.

In this article, we will look at how CBD is absorbed, metabolized and excreted. We compare long-term use of CBD with short-term use and how it can affect how long CBD stays in the body after the effects have subsided.

So how long does CBD stay in your system?

We need further research to get a definitive answer to this question. But here's what we know so far:

CBD will not remain in your system for more than 7 days after the last use - unless you are a frequent user of CBD (more than 10 mg daily for several weeks). In this case, it may take up to two more weeks for CBD, depending on how often you use it.

What the research says

In a study published in Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, 14 patients with Huntington's disease were administered extremely high doses of oral CBD (10 mg / kg / day - about 700 mg / day) for six weeks. The study found that CBD levels dropped to an average of 1.5 ng / ml one week after CBD discontinuation. Cannabidiol levels were virtually undetectable after about a week.

The study found that the biological half-life (elimination half-life, half-life) of CBD was about 2-5 days. There was no difference in the half-lives of CBD for each sex. This half-life is significantly shorter in people who do not use CBD regularly.

What does half-life mean?

The elimination half-life of a drug or compound is common in medicine to determine the time at which 50 % initial doses of a compound must leave the body.

Each half results in a proportionately smaller elimination.

This is how the half-life of CBD works, assuming that the half-life of 10 mg CBD is 3 hours:

- reaches a maximum concentration of 10 mg about one hour after taking CBD

- after the first half (3 hours), only 5 mg of CBD remains in the body

- only 2.5 mg of CBD remains in the body after the second half (6 hours)

- after the third half (9 hours), only 1.25 mg of CBD remains in the body

- 0.62 mg of CBD remains in the body after the fourth half-life (12 hours)

The half-life varies depending on the route of administration and the time for which CBD is used. Smoking CBD has a half-life of 31 hours and long-term oral use of CBD increases the half-life to 2-5 days.

Estimated CBD concentrations after a 10 mg dose

Time after CBD administrationOral CBD (single dose)Oral CBD (long-term use)CBD inhalation
3 hours 5 mg 10 mg 10 mg
24 hours0.3 mg8 mg6 mg
3 days0 mg5 mg2.3 mg
1 week0 mg2.3 mg0.3 mg

The bottom line is that one use of CBD will be gone from the system in about a day, while regular users of CBD and those who use it by smoking or vaporization will probably have to wait a week or more before CBD leaves their system altogether.

What happens when CBD is taken at a much lower dose?

As you can imagine, lower doses of CBD in the bloodstream will not stay as long as at higher doses.

A study published in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring found that 1.35 mg of CBD was detectable in the blood only about 6 hours after use.

It is important to keep in mind that the seven-day time frame can vary from person to person. The time required to clean the system from CBD depends on several factors, including:

- individual metabolism

- method of use

- how often CBD is used

- the dose of CBD taken by the user

- age of the user (older people metabolize compounds more slowly)

- other medicines

How does the body process CBD?

Elimination of CBD revolves directly around how CBD is processed in the body.

This may vary depending on the form of CBD used:

1. Oral consumption (swallowing)

What happens in the body when CBD is given orally?

When administered orally, CBD has a low bioavailability of approximately 13-19 %. The bioavailability of a drug (in this case CBD) is the amount of CBD that enters the circulation and produces an active effect.

To better understand the bioavailability of ingested CBD, let's compare this method with an intravenous dose of CBD (administration directly into a vein). If you take CBD or any other medicine directly into a vein, the bioavailability of this medicine per 100 % is assumed. The reason is that the drug is injected directly into the systemic circulation.

Things work differently in the body when you take a CBD capsule orally. The capsule material passes through the organs and is processed in the intestines and liver before reaching the systemic circulation.

The metabolic process of CBD and other drugs that are broken down by intestinal and / or liver enzymes is called the first-pass effect.

The low absorption of orally administered CBD has been largely attributed to first-pass metabolism, when CBD is processed by the gut and liver.

According to several studies, CBD passes through the CYP450 enzyme system in the liver - a key pathway for drug metabolism. This is where CBD is inactivated and ready to be excreted from the body by the kidneys.

Approximately 100 different metabolites of CBD have been identified in various animal species. The major human metabolites of CBD are 7-COOH-CBD (7-carboxy-cannabidiol) acid derivatives.

Molecules absorbed by the lymphatic system or distal rectum can bypass the liver.

The lymphatic system plays a role in the process of absorbing fats and fat-soluble nutrients. Cannabidiol as a highly lipophilic compound - a compound that has the ability to dissolve or combine with lipids or fats - can be transported by the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system has a special membrane in the small intestine that receives most of the absorbed fat from the gastrointestinal tract. Absorbed fats are delivered by lymphatic fluid directly to the bloodstream.

Studies further show that when CBD is taken with lipids, it is better absorbed into the lymphatic system. It is therefore advisable to take CBD after a high fat meal.

This means that CBD oil skips the metabolism of the first pass in the liver. So how is it metabolized?

In the gut, CBD is metabolised by the cytochrome P450 enzyme system, more specifically the CYP3A4 isoenzyme, which accounts for almost 70 % of the total amount of CYP450 in the gut and 60 % in the liver. Extensive metabolism of this enzyme in the intestine causes poor bioavailability of many drugs.

Lymphatic metabolic transport of CBD is important for several reasons, including:

Higher levels of CBD compared to plasma.

Plasma is the largest component of human blood and contains water, enzymes, salts, antibodies and other proteins. When the drug reaches the plasma, it must be present in a minimal concentration to produce effects, which can be difficult if the drug has a low bioavailability.

According to an animal study published in scientific reports, CBD, together with lipids, has a higher chance of utilizing lymphatic transport. The study found that CBD concentrations in tissue fluid were 250-fold higher than in plasma. This means that oral CBD is more effective when given with a high fat meal.

More effective in regulating and normalizing the immune system.

When CBD is taken orally after a high-fat meal, the absorption of CBD in the intestinal lymphatic system is much higher and has the potential to treat autoimmune diseases.

2. Smoking CBD

Inhalation of CBD has shown a high rate of absorption because the lungs transmit CBD directly to the bloodstream. The compound reaches the blood within a few seconds, it is transmitted through a network of capillaries.

The CBD fraction is converted to 7-carboxy-cannabidiol (inactive CBD) and further metabolized to 7-carboxy-cannabidiol-glucuronide. The remainder is excreted in the urine. Using this method of use, CBD is rapidly absorbed within minutes of use, but this also means that the effects of CBD are short-lived.

According to a 2018 study, three minutes after smoking a 19.2 mg CBD cigarette, peak plasma concentrations of 110 ng / ml were recorded. One hour after administration, CBD concentrations dropped to 10.2 ng / ml. The average bioavailability in smoke is 31 %, which means that when inhaled, CBD tends to be absorbed into the bloodstream in a higher proportion than when taken orally. However, inhaled CBD also degrades faster.

3. Sublingual use

When used sublingually, CBD is placed under the tongue and transferred to the bloodstream through the mucous membranes and capillaries in the mouth - it effectively bypasses the digestive system and liver.

Thus, sublingually used CBD will follow a similar pathway in metabolism and excretion as inhaled CBD.

4. External applications

During external application, CBD creams, ointments and other products are applied directly to the skin.

External application is best for localized symptoms such as local inflammation and arthritis pain. External application of CBD works locally - the applied CBD product never reaches the bloodstream.

External CBD affects the human sebocytes - the cells that make up the sebaceous glands to produce oily secretions that keep the skin supple.

Upon external application, CBD is expected to enter the skin via the transfollicular pathway and accumulate in the sebaceous gland. This means that CBD can penetrate the follicles into the sebaceous gland and achieve a local effect.

External administration includes transdermal administration, in which CBD is administered to the skin and is absorbed through the skin to achieve systemic circulation.

How long does CBD stay in the urine?

There is very little research on how long CBD is detectable in urine. In a 2016 study, researchers at Pacific Toxicology Laboratories in Chatsworth, California, administered a controlled group of 15 participants to various CBD-rich cannabis products.

Two hours after administration, 14 of 15 participants tested positive for CBD metabolites. The researchers found in one participant that CBD was not detectable in his urine after only 24 hours.

Does CBD interact with other drugs?

Yes, CBD can interact with other drugs - which can shorten or prolong the time it takes to eliminate CBD from the body.

The very first observed pharmacological effect of CBD was related to drug interactions. CBD is a promoter and inhibitor of CYP450 enzymes, so it could disrupt the metabolism of other drugs.

One study investigated potential drug interactions between oral CBD spray and CYP450 inducers and inhibitors at different dosing regimens. A study in healthy male subjects showed that inducers of CYP3A4, an enzyme involved in CBD metabolism, significantly reduced the maximum plasma concentration of CBD. On the other hand, a CYP3A4 inhibitor almost doubled the maximum plasma concentration of CBD.

Conclusion: How long does CBD stay in the body?

CBD will not stay in your system for more than a week after a single use - even if taken at the highest dose.

However, with long-term use, it may take a whole week or longer for the body to be completely cleansed. This is mainly due to the fact that CBD concentrations accumulate in the bloodstream and fat over time, unless they are completely degraded after each use.

The amount of CBD that remains in the system after a dose depends on several factors, including the route of administration, the dosage, the frequency of use, and the use of other drugs.

"Single-use CBD will be out of the system in about a day, while regular CBD users will probably have to wait a week or more."

"CBD can interact with other drugs - which can shorten or prolong the time it takes to eliminate CBD from the body"