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Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most popular cannabis compounds to relieve various conditions and symptoms. CBD is found in hemp plants. In most cases, CBD can remain in your system for 2-5 days. However, CBD can stay in your system for weeks if you’re a frequent user.

Factors That Affect How CBD Affects Your System

How long does CBD stay in your system? How fast is the onset of effects? How long do the effects last? The answer to these questions depends on several factors, including frequency of consumption, amount consumed, metabolism, and consumption method.

Amount Used

The amount of CBD you take directly correlates with how long it remains in your body. Higher CBD doses will stay in the body longer than lower doses.

Frequency of Use

How often do you take CBD? Over time, CBD levels can accumulate in the body if used frequently. Most users take CBD for a week or longer to see if it works. CBD can leave the body quickly in occasional users. 

Body Chemistry

While CBD generally produces relaxing effects, the effects can vary by person, depending on their body. For example, age, metabolism, body mass index, and other physical factors can affect how long CBD remains in the system.


Are you taking CBD on an empty or full stomach? CBD can get metabolized and removed from the body faster if you take it on an empty stomach and longer if taken on a full stomach.

Consumption Method

different forms of cannabis on wood table

CBD can be consumed in various ways, all of which can affect the onset and duration of effects and how long CBD remains in the body. CBD is available as flower, joints, tinctures, pills, edibles, extracts, vapes, and topicals (creams and lotions).

Smoking or vaping CBD produces the fastest-acting effects. CBD can take effect within 5-15 minutes, and the effects can last for 2-3 hours. Tinctures applied under the tongue (sublingually) can take effect within 5 minutes, and the effects can last for 2-3 hours.

Consuming CBD edibles takes longer to process. The onset of effects from edibles can take 60-90 minutes because they must be metabolized in the digestive system. Effects of edibles can last 6-8 hours. 

Most CBD topicals, except for transdermal patches, do not cross the blood-brain barrier. CBD topicals will absorb through the skin but not reach the bloodstream. The onset of effects can occur within minutes, and the duration of effects can be between 30 minutes to 3 hours.

Onset of Effects

How long does it take to feel the effects of CBD? It varies depending on the factors listed above. Vaping, smoking, and sublingual absorption deliver effects in under 15 minutes. Edibles can take 1-2 hours to take effect.

Duration of Effects

How long do the effects of CBD last? The duration of effects depends on various factors but usually can last 2-3 hours if vaped, smoked, or applied under the tongue. Edible effects can last 6-8 hours.

Can CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?

Can you test positive for cannabis due to CBD? CBD usually will not appear on a drug test. Most drug tests screen for THC metabolites, not CBD. However, if your product contains THC and you consume enough of it, THC can appear on the drug test. THC is the primary compound responsible for the plant’s “high.”

Here is a quick breakdown of the most common types of CBD products:


Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all naturally-occurring compounds, including THC.


Broad-spectrum CBD products are like full-spectrum products but undergo a process to remove the THC.

CBD Isolate

Isolate products only contain CBD.

Full-spectrum products are believed to provide more therapeutic benefits than isolates. However, if you are worried about failing a drug test, look for full-spectrum CBD made from hemp, not cannabis. Hemp-derived CBD products are legally required to have less than 0.3% THC.

CBD and Breastfeeding

How does CBD affect breastfeeding? Health experts recommend avoiding using CBD while breastfeeding or waiting at least one week before having used CBD before breastfeeding. While research is limited, we know that CBD can pass through breast milk. CBD products can also contain THC and other substances that may be harmful to development.

Research on CBD in the Body

Studies on how long CBD can stay in your system are limited. However, some studies have shown that CBD can quickly leave the body in occasional users and remain for a few days in the body in regular users.

In a 1991 study, researchers studied if CBD can treat Huntington’s disease. They gave 700 mg of CBD (high doses) to 14 patients every day. The CBD concentrations were measured at just 1.5 ng/mL one week after the study ended. Researchers found that CBD concentrations were “virtually undetectable.”

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2005 study found that 1.35 mg of CBD taken with 2.5 mg of THC is eliminated from the body after nine hours of ingesting the CBD. A 2018 review of CBD research found that CBD oil’s estimated half-life was 2-5 days for everyday users. Half-lives varied depending on methods of consumption.

Final Thoughts on How Long Does Hemp Stay In Your System

As you can see, hemp can remain in your system for several hours, days, or weeks, depending on various factors. Understanding the factors that affect CBD and buying lab-tested products are the best ways to ensure you don’t fail a drug test or unintentionally get high.

Are you interested in learning more about the cannabis plant and the industry? Enroll in Cannabis Training University’s Master of Marijuana Certification Program today!

Fred Hernandez - Cannabis industry expert writer
Fred Hernandez

Fred Hernandez is a highly accomplished and versatile writer, boasting an extensive background in the cannabis industry. With an in-depth understanding of various sectors including cultivators, processors, retailers, and brands, Fred's expertise spans across the entire cannabis landscape. As a prominent contributor to CTU, he consistently delivers insightful articles exploring the latest developments, news, and regulations shaping the cannabis industry. Whether it's delving into the intricacies of cannabis products, cannabis strain reviews, or providing comprehensive analyses of cannabis laws, or sharing expert insights on cannabis cultivation techniques, Fred's wealth of knowledge positions him as an invaluable writer and educator for all cannabis-related subjects.

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