With the CBD industry growing, more people have been exploring the use of CBD products in their wellness routines. If you’re one of them, you may be wondering, “How long can I expect to feel the effects of CBD?” And, if you have an upcoming drug test, you might also be asking, “How long does CBD stay in your system?”
In this guide, we’ll explore how CBD and marijuana are different, how long it takes to feel the effects of CBD, how long CBD stays in your system, and if CBD shows up on a drug test.
Are CBD and Marijuana the Same Thing?
In short, the answer is no.
Cannabidiol (or CBD) is present in both hemp and cannabis plants. But CBD products are typically derived from federally legal hemp plants, while marijuana comes from the cannabis plant. Both hemp and cannabis contain over 80 different cannabinoids. Cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) by attaching to different receptors that affect the human body. Your ECS helps modulate sleep, memory, mood, hormones, and appetite.
The two most well-known cannabinoids are CBD and THC. In general, hemp plants have more CBD, and cannabis plants have more THC. THC is what causes someone to feel high when they use marijuana.
Depending on the type of CBD product you use, it may contain small amounts of THC. The FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products, but per the 2018 Farm Bill, all CBD products must, by law, contain less than 0.3% THC. Here’s a breakdown of the types of CBD and which ones include THC:
Full-spectrum CBD: Full-spectrum CBD products will give you the range of cannabinoids found in the hemp plant and will have trace amounts of THC.
Broad-spectrum CBD: These blends include the wide range of cannabinoids found in hemp but without the THC.
CBD isolate: Unlike full- and broad-spectrum blends, CBD isolates are what they sound like, a single isolated cannabinoid. Isolates make it easy to enjoy the benefits of pure CBD (without THC or other cannabinoids being included).
It’s commonly believed that the low percentage of THC in full-spectrum CBD products isn’t enough to make you feel high the way marijuana can. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the percentage does not tell you the dosage. So, if you take enough CBD or if you’re sensitive to THC, you may in fact experience psychoactive effects.
So, How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?
When you ask this question, you may be looking for two different answers. One, you may want to know how long you will feel the effects of CBD in your system. Second, you may be wondering how long the CBD remains in your body even after the effects have worn off — especially if you have a drug test coming up.
We’ll provide you with some general guidelines, but it’s important to keep in mind that how long you feel the effects of CBD and how long it stays in your system can be influenced by a few factors:
Body chemistry and composition: Your metabolism, weight, and age can all play a role in how long CBD will stay in your system. Because CBD is stored in fat cells, your body mass index is an essential factor to consider as well.
Frequency of use: Do you use CBD occasionally, or are you a fairly regular user? How often you use CBD can influence how long it will last in your body. New users are likely to metabolize it more quickly. Be aware that you can also build up your tolerance over a period of time.
Dosing: The amount of CBD you use is another aspect to consider when you’re learning how long CBD stays in your system. High doses of CBD will take longer for your body to metabolize and process.
When Will the CBD Effects Kick in and for How Long?
How soon you'll feel the effects of CBD and for how long will depend on your body and the manner of use. However, the half-life of CBD is estimated to be anywhere between 18 and 32 hours. In general, you’re likely to feel the effects of CBD for up to six hours.
Let’s look at some common ways of using CBD and how long it can take to feel the effects with each method.
CBD Oil and Tinctures
CBD oils and tinctures are an accessible way to start including CBD in your wellness routine since you can use them in different ways. You can add a few drops to your coffee, tea, and cocktails. Alternatively, you can skip mixing them into beverages and try a sublingual method of consumption. Adding a few drops under the tongue is one of the fastest ways to feel CBD’s balancing effects and has better bioavailability over ingestion. Expect to feel the effects in 15 to 30 minutes.
Gummies and Other Edibles
Gummies, edibles, and capsules are more portable than CBD oils and tinctures, which can make them more convenient when you’re on the go. If you already have a vitamin and supplement routine, you could consider adding CBD capsules to your lineup.
Unlike oils, edible CBD products have to move through your digestive system before you’re likely to feel the effects. So, it could take a couple hours. As such, you’ll want to be a little more mindful of your dosage. It’s easy to overdo, and having too much will increase the amount of time your body spends metabolizing your CBD.
How soon you feel the effects of edibles also depends on whether you’re consuming them on an empty stomach or not. While you absorb CBD faster without food, you may not be reaping all the benefits. Studies have found taking CBD alongside a meal with healthy fats makes it more bioavailable (which means how much your body will actually digest).
Lotions and Salves
CBD lotions, salves, and other topicals are another fantastic way to incorporate hemp products into your day. Try using CBD lotion to soothe sore muscles after a workout or bring relief to aches, pains, and areas of tenderness in your body. Giving yourself (or a loved one) a massage using CBD-infused lotions or rubs can alleviate stress and leave you feeling refreshed.
While CBD will be absorbed in your body, topicals are geared more toward localized relief. Feeling the effects of topical CBD applications can take anywhere from several minutes to a couple of hours.
If you’re looking for portability, ease of use, and something that your body will absorb quickly, consider using a vape pen. Because you’re inhaling the vapor, your body will absorb it in seconds — no waiting around for a lotion to absorb or a capsule to be digested.
But be sure to check out the ingredient list if you decide to try vaping. Quality brands won’t include additives like coconut oil or vitamin E acetate, which are not meant for inhalation. You may come across these additives if you’re buying from less reputable vendors or black market sellers.
Will CBD Show Up in a Drug Test?
Just because you aren’t feeling the effects of CBD after a certain amount of time doesn’t mean it isn’t in your system. CBD can linger long after you’ve enjoyed its therapeutic benefits. While you shouldn’t have to worry about CBD showing up in a drug test, we can’t make any promises since each drug test has a different cut-off value for THC. It also depends on how much full-spectrum CBD you take. Several CBD products contain trace amounts of THC metabolites, so if you’re concerned about an upcoming drug test, you’ll want to look for broad-spectrum tinctures and oils or isolates so you can enjoy CBD without altering test results. Here are the basics of how long CBD will stay in your system and when it could show up on a drug test. Urine Urine tests are a common way of measuring THC levels, but how much will actually show up on a test depends on how much CBD you’ve taken and how often. Generally, you can expect to find THC in urine anywhere between three and 15 days after using it, with some tests detecting metabolites as long as 30 days after. Blood Even though THC is metabolized in blood plasma quickly (as soon as five hours after use), a blood test may be able to identify metabolites for up to seven days. Saliva Unlike both urine and blood tests, THC is only detectable for a few days. However, as we’ve mentioned before, how much and how often you use CBD can influence test results. Hair Strand tests are the least common method of testing for CBD and also where traces of THC can be identified the longest — up to 90 days after using. Find the CBD Product That’s Right for You You’ve probably wondered, “How long does CBD stay in your system?” Answering that question isn’t straightforward but rather depends on your own unique body chemistry and which CBD products you decide to use. Each has their advantages and affects your body in different ways. Whether you're curious as to how CBD can affect drug testing, or you're interested in knowing how quickly you can expect to feel the effects, having the information you need can give you a better idea of how to choose the right CBD products for your needs. We think shopping for CBD should be fun and easy. And we verify every brand, so you have peace of mind knowing whatever you have delivered to your door is safe and effective. When you’re ready, check out the Treepost marketplace for one-stop shopping of top-quality CBD oils, tinctures, capsules, and more.