How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

One question that many cannabidiol (CBD) users have is the amount of time this hemp oil extract will stay in the human body.

In some cases, this question comes up out of concern about whether the CBD oil will negatively impact a drug test. So, let’s start there.

Although most any employer can require job applicants to take a drug test, there are a few industries in which this pre-employment screening is mandatory. Among them are transportation workers, construction workers, and athletes. [1]

This is critical because, although many CBD products have been found to have positive effects for conditions such as chronic pain relief, anxiety, cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s [2], it also contain trace amounts of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.

THC is the chemical extract from hemp plants that causes psychoactive effects. It is also the substance that can result in a positive drug test.

Therefore, the short answer to concerns about how this can impact a drug test is, as long as the CBD product doesn’t contain THC, there are no worries says Barry Sample, the Director of Science of Science and Technology for Quest Diagnostics, a diagnostic agency that offers drug testing services. [3]

However, where it gets a bit sticky is if you use high doses of CBD oil that has THC in it. In this case, the drug screening could pick up enough THC to provide a positive result. This is true whether it is a urine test or blood.

Frequency of use is another factor that could make you test positive as the more often you take CBD oils containing THC, the more likely it is that the THC will build up in your system enough to affect the test result.

Another reason people will ask, “How long does CBD stay in the system?” has to do with how long it can provide relief from certain medical conditions.

Again, there are many factors to consider when determining how long CBD stays. One is the amount of CBD you take since higher doses will likely stay in your system longer.

The length of time CBD is able to provide medical benefits could also be impacted by the type of CBD you take. For example, a full-spectrum CBD oil—which is CBD that is derived from the entire cannabis plant—is going to stay in your system longer than a CBD isolate.

The form of CBD matters too because it impacts bioavailability, or your body’s ability to actually use the cannabinoids contained within the product. If you take the CBD oil sublingually via a tincture that is placed under your tongue, for instance, your body will likely absorb more of the CBD than if you take it orally in the form of CBD edibles, gummies, or some other CBD product you swallow.

The reason for this is due to something called first pass metabolism. First pass metabolism is when your body destroys a portion of the supplement during the regular digestive process.

The quality of the CBD oil matters as well. Specifically, if you use a high-quality product, the CBD stays in your system longer than if you choose a manufacturer that uses subpar CBD extracts or poor extraction methods.

As you can see, the question of, “How long does CBD oil stay in my system?” is not an easy one due to the many factors that can ultimately affect the answer.

Just remember that CBD levels will vary based on how much CBD oil you take, how long you take it, the amount of THC in the CBD product (or even just the presence of THC), the form you take, and the quality of the product.

All of these can impact how long CBD oil will remain in your body, where it can be used by your endocannabinoid system. They can also impact whether you have a false positive on a drug test.

 

Sources:

[1] “Industries that Require Drug Testing.” Tomo Drug Testing. Feb 15, 2016. https://www.yourdrugtesting.com/industries-that-require-drug-testing/

[2] Kubala, J. “7 Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil (Plus Side Effects).” Healthline. Feb 26, 2018. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cbd-oil-benefits

[3] Schwab, J. “Can You Fail a Drug Test Due to CBD?” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Apr 03, 2019. https://www.usdrugtestcenters.com/drug-test-blog/181/can-you-fail-a-drug-test-due-to-cbd.html