By Dr. Igor Bussel
CBD’s popularity has skyrocketed, with the compound becoming more popular than virtually any similarly situated supplement. 1 in 7 Americans has tried CBD as of last year, numbers that have unquestionably increased since the survey was taken. The popularity of CBD is even more remarkable when you consider that the substance has only been legal at the federal level for less than two years.
CBD’s newness has given rise to a wide array of questions about the product, however. One of the more common ones is just what CBD does to your body, and how long CBD stays in your system. There’s no hard and fast answer, but there are some factors that can help you figure out what will make CBD last for a longer or shorter period of time.
These factors can change, and there are things that are temporary or more permanent when it comes to determining how long CBD will stay in your system. Less changeable, more permanent items include:
- Your history with CBD and cannabis products, like marijuana. The more you use, the longer it takes for the product to leave your system. Interestingly enough, the same principles make it more likely your use of CBD may result in a positive drug test.
- Your body and metabolism speed. Generally speaking, your metabolism and size will be big impacts in terms of how long it takes for you to process CBD.
Shorter term factors include:
- How much CBD you use, with greater levels of use being associated with longer processing periods.
- If you have a full stomach or not. Full stomachs will result in the CBD taking a longer period of time to process.
- How you use the CBD. The quicker it takes for a method to be used, the quicker it will be processed in your body. Vaping and CBD tinctureswill be relatively quickly processed, as they enter the bloodstream quicker. CBD creams, balms, and edibles have to travel longer before reaching your bloodstream and thus take longer to be processed.
So, back to the original question: How long does CBD stay in your system? Limited research shows that CBD will stay in your body for 2-5 days before it is completely processed. That doesn’t mean that this is how long you will feel its impacts. That is rarely for more than six hours. However, as best we can tell, that seems to be how long CBD is actually in your body.
What does this actually mean? It means that CBD may be detectable for that time period. Does this mean that you will fail a drug test for that long of a period? Probably not. As the study above noted, most people who use CBD will not be at risk for failing a drug test, unless that drug test uses a particularly low threshold for determining THC content per milliliter.
Other official recommendations see to line up with the idea that CBD can stay in your system for an extended period of time. One such example is the United States Food & Drug Administration’s recommendations on CBD use and breast feeding. Their official recommendations say that women should avoid CBD for one week prior to breast feeding or expressing milk. The same recommendations urge that women avoid CBD use while pregnant, as not enough is known about the impact that CBD can have on a developing child. Given the potential risks of giving a child CBD, these recommendations say to wait one week from last time you use CBD in order to be extra safe.
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