If you’re new to taking hemp supplements, you may have wondered, “how long does CBD stay in your system?” As lipophilic substances, cannabinoids (the compounds found in cannabis products) are metabolized and broken down in your body’s fat tissue. Lipophilic literally means fat-loving, and that means cannabinoids don’t break down or mix with water.
The question of how long CBD remains in the body offers two different answers. On the one hand, CBD’s effects wear off in under a day. However, because they aren’t water-soluble, cannabinoids remain in the body for up to a month after use.
Let’s take a closer look at how bodies process and dispose of CBD.
The Endocannabinoid System
Not only has hemp recently earned a spot in the wellness market, but it’s also recently taken the spotlight in scientific research. It was only a few decades ago that scientists discovered the ability of cannabinoids to affect a specific system in the body—the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Until that time, cannabis was only seen as a recreational drug used to get high. That couldn’t be further from the truth. CBD and other cannabinoids like CBG and CBN have the ability to reduce anxiety, inflammation, restlessness, and can even have regenerative effects on the body.
Cannabinoids are still a young subject of scientific study. While it has already earned a spot as a treatment for severe epilepsy, we still don’t know much about how it actually works. There are doubtless many more possible applications, but until more research is done, all we have are the resulting effects.
The All-Encompassing ECS Network
Your body is a system of calls and responses. When you feel cold, your brain tells your muscles to shiver so more warm blood will flow. If you’re hungry, your stomach sends out signals telling you to eat. The ECS works the same way.
When regeneration and relaxation need to occur, the brain signals for the production of endocannabinoids. These natural chemicals cause all kinds of interesting things to happen, including anti-inflammation, anti-anxiety, and even the metabolization of free radicals. At the end of the process, the brain sends out another signal—this time for the creation of enzymes that stop production.
CBD works by preventing enzymes from coming in to do cleanup quite so quickly. This allows your brain and body a little more time to enjoy the pleasant benefits of endocannabinoids.
How Long Does the Process Last?
Only you will know exactly how long CBD lasts for you. We can give you our estimates, but since each person will experience it in their own unique way, there’s not much we can say that is objectively true.
Additionally, the way you dose your CBD will affect the way it hits you. For example, vaping allows the lungs to quickly distribute CBD throughout the body through its dense network of capillaries. However, this also means the effect wears off much faster.
Edibles, on the other hand, can provide you with hours of calm and relaxation. If you eat them on an empty stomach though, they won’t last as long as if they are slowly digested with food. You can see how providing an accurate measurement here can be tough.
Depending on how you take it, CBD can last as long as:
Remember, these aren’t scientifically accurate estimates or anything—just some guesses based on the experiences of this writer and others online. It’s up to you to figure out exactly how you respond to CBD.
How Drug Tolerance Affects CBD
If you want your CBD to be effective, it’s important to buy a high-quality product that contains as many other compounds as possible. When working in concert, cannabinoids and terpenes make for a more powerful supplement that can do a lot in small doses.
Yes, most cheap CBD brands will contain what they claim to, but usually, the compound is formulated from dry, isolated powders that just don’t have the same effect. When you buy the cheapest thing online or at the local smoke shop, it can take more product to get the job done.
This isn’t just bad economics—it’s also bad for your brain. If you take too much CBD to reach an effective dose, your brain can develop drug tolerance. Once that happens, it will take more and more CBD before you start to feel it. The doses increase, you spend more on supplements, and things can get frustrating.
The best practice is to find a regular, reasonable dose and stick with it. If you do start to suffer from drug tolerance, just take a break for a couple days. This will reset your brain and get you back to where you were before. Not so bad, is it?
How Long Does CBD Stick Around the Body?
After CBD leaves the brain, you may wonder how long it lasts in the body. As we mentioned earlier, residual CBD is stored in the body’s fat tissues where it continues to break down until it is gone. Because cannabinoids are lipophilic, it’s not easy to wash them out by drinking lots of water.
Will CBD Make You Fail a Drug Test?
Drug tests are made to check for THC—the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. Other cannabinoids don’t pose a threat to your career’s well-being. However, some CBD products can contain enough THC to be a danger.
To be clear, there is no hemp-based product that is THC-free. Such a product doesn’t exist. However, most broad spectrum products are formulated to contain no more than trace amounts of THC, making them safe for any drug test. The problems occur when you look into full spectrum hemp oils.
These unfiltered products take as many compounds from the hemp plant as possible, and if that means 2% THC, so be it. To avoid any trouble with a drug test, it’s best not to trust the label, but to consult a lab report.
What Is a Lab Report?
When you need to know exactly what’s in your supplement, the best place to check is a third-party document that details all the contents of a supplement—a lab report. These reports aren’t cheap to obtain, so if your vendor can furnish one, it’s a good sign.
Lab reports tell you a lot. Not only will they detail exactly how many cannabinoids are present in a supplement—including THC—but they will also tell you whether the grower used synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. These can weaken the product (and possibly cause brain damage), so try to steer clear of anything that wasn’t grown under strict organic conditions.
If your vendor doesn’t have lab reports for you, shop elsewhere. As there’s hardly any regulation on CBD products, lab reports are important for establishing trust with a vendor.
In closing, buy quality products if you want to spend less per dose.
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