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How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?

How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?

Tatum Blakeney

CBD is a nonintoxicating chemical found in cannabis plants that has become increasingly popular due to its potential therapeutic benefits.  Many people have started using this cannabinoid, CBD, for many different uses like sleep, pain, and stress.  While much research still needs to be done on how CBD works in our bodies, what we know is fascinating.  

Cannabinoids like CBD can supplement our body’s natural system.  Humans (and most animals) are equipped with an Endocannabinoid System (ECS), an extremely vital organ responsible for one of the most important physiological functions - homeostasis.  Our ECS consists of receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids - cannabinoids our body makes.  The ECS is responsible for keeping our bodies working at the most optimal level. Supplementing the endocannabinoid system with CBD helps bring our bodies into balance.  How long does CBD stay in your system? Let’s take a look.

Factors Influencing CBD Effects In Your System

CBD can be stored in our body’s endocannabinoid system, and the length of storage depends on several different factors of our individually unique selves. Consider these factors when asking, “How long does CBD stay in your system?”. 

Metabolism: Metabolism is a factor that determines how fast things are metabolized and emitted from the body. Consequently, this affects whether most drug tests (like blood tests or urine tests) will show if there is CBD in your system. CBD is no different, if you have a fast metabolism, CBD will likely be in your system less time. 

Frequency and Dosage: How often you use CBD, CBD concentration, and how many CBD products you use are also factors influencing how long the cannabinoid will stay in your body. 

Type of CBD Product Used:  Different administration methods will affect how the CBD will stay and work within your system.  For example, ingesting CBD Gummies vs. vaping CBD have very different onset and ways it interacts within your system. 

Edible Form CBD in Your System

Ingesting full-spectrum CBD oil or broad-spectrum CBD oil is one of the most common methods of CBD consumption. Whether ingesting CBD with gummies or oil drops, CBD may be in your system for up to ten days.  This 2014 study found that CBD has a half-life of one to two days when ingested. The term “half-life,” when talking about a chemical compound like CBD, means the amount of time it takes for the compound to be reduced to half.  For example, by taking 10 mg in a day or two, you will have about 5 mg left in your body’s system.  This means CBD could last in your system from 2 to 10 days. 

As mentioned earlier, many factors play into the calculation, but when it comes to edible or ingestible CBD, the different ways to administer the CBD can impact how fast or slow it moves through your system. 

Sublingual Administration:  Administering CBD sublingually is one of the best methods for getting the most out of your CBD product. By holding the CBD oil under your tongue, the CBD is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream.  This could also mean that the CBD would leave your system faster. 

Edibles:  Taking CBD edibles like gummies or capsules is another very popular method for taking CBD. When taking CBD edibles, the CBD must pass through the digestive system, and enter into your bloodstream through the lower intestine.  This means that it would take a longer time to enter into your system, somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour or even two. This also means that it takes longer for CBD to exit your system. It might take 5 - 10 days. 

Vaping CBD

Vaping CBD is probably the fastest way to get the benefits of CBD. When you inhale CBD through vaping, CBD enters your lungs and is absorbed into the bloodstream immediately. Similar to taking CBD sublingually, Vaping CBD has immediate effects, therefore will likely leave your system faster. According to this study, the half-life of CBD when smoked or vaped was between 17 - 36 hours. 

Topical CBD

Topical applications of CBD, like CBD creams, lotions, and roll-on products, are applied to the skin to relieve local symptoms like pain and inflammation.  Unless the product is labeled as transdermal, CBD topicals never enter the bloodstream.  The skin acts as a barrier between the outside world and your inner organs.  Although CBD is absorbed into the skin, muscles, and nerves, it doesn’t reach the bloodstream or your brain. Therefore, it cannot stay in your system. 

One exception to this is transdermal topicals or patches. These work by sending the cannabinoids past the skin barrier and into the bloodstream. Since CBD will enter into the bloodstream immediately, it is likely that it won’t stay in your system long. 

CBD + Your Immune System

Hemp derived CBD works within our Endocannabinoid system, it also helps within our immune system.  The Endocannabinoid System has been referred to by scientists as “the gatekeeper to the immune system,” and CBD might help play a role in maintaining a healthy and balanced immune system.  CBD and the immune system are well-studied subjects, as CBD activates TRPV2 (an important receptor for healthy immune function) and can also influence other transient receptors that support the immune system.  

Another way CBD may help support your immune system is in your gut.  The GI tract is home to a large proportion of the immune system, as well as a collection of microorganisms that help keep our immune system in balance.  The gut biome may become inflamed, leading to impaired immune response. CBD has been found to support intestinal inflammatory response. 

CBD can indirectly affect the immune system by helping curb everyday stress. Stress can be directly linked to a decline in immune function.  Several studies have found ways CBD can work within our bodies to reduce stress and anxiety. 

Essential Takeaways on CBD's Role and Duration in the Body

  • CBD's Versatility: CBD, a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, is used for various purposes like enhancing sleep, alleviating pain, and managing stress.
  • The Science Behind CBD: While research is ongoing, current knowledge about how CBD interacts with our Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is compelling. The ECS, present in humans and animals, is crucial for maintaining bodily homeostasis.
  • Duration of CBD in the Body: The length of time CBD remains in your system varies based on factors like metabolism, usage frequency, and the type of CBD product.
  • Ingestible CBD: When consumed, CBD's half-life is about one to two days. Edible CBD might stay in your system for 2 to 10 days.
  • Sublingual and Vaping Methods: Sublingual CBD administration leads to quick absorption and shorter duration in the system. Vaping CBD shows immediate effects, with a half-life of 17 to 36 hours.
  • Topical CBD Application: Generally, topical CBD does not enter the bloodstream and thus doesn't stay in your system. Transdermal products are an exception, as they deliver CBD into the bloodstream.
  • CBD and the Immune System: CBD supports immune health by interacting with receptors and the gut biome and by mitigating stress, which is linked to immune function.
  • In summary, CBD's interaction with our body's natural systems, particularly the ECS, and its variable duration in the system highlight its unique role in promoting health and well-being.

Tatum Blakeney

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