Cannabis, including marijuana and hemp, is comprised of over 113 chemical compounds called cannabinoids. CBD is one such cannabinoid. The healing properties of CBD have been discussed at length in recent years. Feedback reports that CBD can assist with stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, and skin health. But, how long does CBD stay in the system?
How long CBD will remain in the system depends on how the CBD is taken. CBD can be taken as food / drink, orally by way of the mucous membrane in the mouth, smoked, or applied topically.
For CBD taken orally as food / drink (think CBD gummies or CBD capsules) the CBD will land in the stomach, enter the digestive system and be passed to the liver before reaching the bloodstream. This method of ingesting CBD offers the lowest bioavailability. In fact, one will only enjoy about 13% of the original dose of CBD. This means that if you eat a CBD gummy that has 20 mg of CBD, you truly will be benefiting from only 2.6 mg of CBD.
CBD taken orally under the tongue (sublingually) will enter the bloodstream directly through the mucous membrane of the mouth and bypass the digestive system. This is the most effective manner in which to take CBD without any potential side effects.
CBD can also be smoked. When CBD is inhaled, it enters the lungs and on to the bloodstream by way of alveoli. Smoking CBD is the most bioavailable manner in which to take CBD. However, smoking can damage the lungs and cause other health issues.
CBD applied topically almost never reaches the bloodstream. The topical application engages with the skin’s endocannabinoid system specifically receptors CB1 and CB2. Topical application of CBD heals locally.
Limited studies by the government have shown the half-life of CBD to be 18-32 hours.¹ Half life is the term that describes how long it takes a compound to be reduced by 50% in the body. This means that CBD will remain in the system approximately 1 – 2 days.
There are factors to consider, however. The age of the person (older people metabolize more slowly), the metabolism of the user, the dose of CBD, how often CBD is taken and that CBD is fat soluble. CBD being fat soluble means that it will be stored in fat cells. If one takes CBD and exercises a great deal, the CBD will exit the system quicker than someone who is sedentary.
Will CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?
This question pops up a lot. If the drug test tests for CBD and CBD is in your system then the answer is yes. But, it is unlikely that a drug test will test for CBD. Most of the time, THC is the cannabinoid being tested for.