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How Long Does CBD Oil Stay in Your System?

How Long Does CBD Oil Stay in Your System?By Penguin CBD

So you've finally gotten yourself the amazing hemp extract, CBD oil, and you can’t wait to experience its benefits. But then you begin to wonder how long you have to use CBD oil before you feel its effects. Is your system going to metabolize it the same way as other supplements? How many doses are enough for you to start seeing its effects? And, most importantly, how long is CBD going to stay in your system?

The truth is, everybody harbors the hope of seeing results early, and your curiosity about duration and dosage is not unusual. So, whether you're using CBD oil to manage your life, maintain wellness or improve your mood, it is important to remember that metabolism differs from person to person, and so will the time it takes for each person to expel it from their system.

A number of factors influence how long CBD will stay in your system. This duration can vary wildly between people. The result you anticipate is a factor as well, because your goals impact how much CBD you consume and how often. 

What Is the Ultimate Purpose of Consuming CBD?

Let's reestablish that CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of the components of the cannabis plant. Although it is a derivative of cannabis, it has a very low THC level. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the portion of the cannabis plant that has a psychoactive effect on people. Also, according to the Farm Bill law, the CBD product you buy should have less than 0.3 percent THC content to be legal. So, if one of your anticipated results is psychoactivity, CBD oils are not the option for you. 

If some of the effects you are looking forward to are along the lines of centering your wellness, healthy rest cycles, general skin maintenance and general well-being, then CBD oils may be better aligned with your goals.

How Long Will CBD Stay in Your System? 

The answer to how long it will take to work in your system is not going to be one size fits all. There are many personal variables and preferences. For instance, if you buy CBD oil for mood-lifting properties, you might notice that the effect is much quicker than when trying CBD oil for something more profound. Moreover, the mode of usage dictates the bioavailability of active ingredients involved. 

Method of Intake and CBD Digestion

The consumption method of CBD is the most important factor that determines the duration of CBD in your system. Here are some of the primary ways in which people take CBD.

Oils and Tinctures

CBD oils or tinctures, when applied under the tongue, are absorbed into the bloodstream faster and linger longer. This is because substances can be absorbed a lot quicker through the lining of the mouth than through the digestive system.

Sublingual application (underneath the tongue) does a great job of bypassing the digestive system and its juices. This affects both the timing and the potency of the cannabinoids ingested. This method is the second-quickest way to absorb CBD, according to research. It will take between about 20 and 40 minutes to take effect.

Often, CBD taken through the gut takes longer to kick in, but it also lasts longer than methods that lead directly to the bloodstream.

Some products, however, never reach the bloodstream.


Some people prefer to get their CBD through topical applications. This means they can rub it into their skin. Topical CBD can be in the form of a balm, lotion or cream.

Some studies have suggested that topical application improves bioavailability by restricting systemic absorption, avoiding the first stage of metabolism in the gastrointestinal system. But topicals may also present less risk to consumers. 

CBD Capsules

Capsules can be taken orally, just like any other diet supplement. Although it is the slowest method, it makes CBD convenient for ingestion. However, the capsule only becomes active after going through the gastrointestinal tract and the liver, before absorption into the bloodstream. 

At all these stages, some of the active ingredients are gradually lost, such that the effective amount available to the body for absorption is lower than what was initially ingested. 

Also, how quickly the CBD capsule is absorbed can vary depending on how empty your stomach is. If you take CBD on an empty stomach, it gets metabolized and eliminated faster than it does when you take it on a full stomach, which slows its digestion. According to one study, oral administration of CBD may take up to five hours to metabolize and produce effects. But most people feel the effects much sooner.

CBD Dosage and Concentration Considerations

The amount of CBD that you are consuming will have an effect on how long your system will hold on to the cannabinoid. And, as with most other substances, the higher the dose of CBD you consume, the longer it will stay in your system.

CBD Quality and Digestion Issues

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of buying quality CBD, because not all CBD products are produced with equal rigor. Due to the unregulated market of the CBD industry, many brands do very little to maintain the quality of their products. 

Some brands may use ingredients that have contaminants that will significantly affect the safety of your product. You should always look for a third-party lab test of the product to know if you're getting the right CBD. That's why at Penguin CBD we make our lab reports available right on our website. We cannot overemphasize the importance of purchasing your products from a reliable and trusted source. Your health depends on it!

Aside from checking third-party lab tests, we also recommend looking for a broad-spectrum product, which contains more cannabinoids than just CBD. These other cannabinoids don’t get you high; rather, they have a synergetic effect that heightens your body’s response. 

The origin of the raw hemp plant material is another important factor that determines the quality of your product. But you can avoid buying a low-quality CBD by buying a certified product that has been tested regularly.

Your Body Decides When to Get Rid of CBD

In addition to the method of consumption of CBD oil, the other main factor affecting how long it stays in your body is your body. Your body mass index, height and weight can make a difference in how quickly it comes into effect and the dosage you should take.

No two people respond exactly the same way to CBD, even if they have the same consumption, delivery method and body composition. One person could feel the effects of their tincture in a few minutes, and the other in an hour. 

The following personal factors contribute to the amount of time CBD will stay in your system.

Your Body Mass Index (BMI)

The higher your BMI, the longer it takes for CBD to work.

People who weigh more may have more fat cells in their bodies. Like most cannabinoids, CBD is a fat-soluble substance. This means that people with a high BMI will absorb and store CBD in their bodies for longer. In more scientific terms, the prolonged half-life of cannabinoids in the system is thought to be associated with weight and amount of fat cells in the body.

Although this is certainly not bad news, it implies that people with more fat cells in their bodies will most likely need more time to utilize the CBD oil than others before they can feel the effects and eventually rid the body of the cannabinoid. 


If you have a high metabolic rate, you’ll feel the effects of the CBD faster, and it will also clear out from your system more quickly. On the other hand, if you have a slow metabolic rate, you’ll notice that it takes longer to feel the CBD effect, and it will stay in your body for a longer period.

Endocannabinoid Balance

CBD, a distinct member of the cannabinoids present in cannabis plants, interacts with a biological system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The system consists of innate endocannabinoids of the body as well as cannabinoid receptors. Phytocannabinoids like CBD interact with this system as a whole by influencing the innate endocannabinoids or by binding with the cannabinoid receptors they are compatible with. 

The endocannabinoid system has been found to perform a host of functions and is reported to be responsible for many proprietary biological functions, like changes in mood, sleep and appetite. 

Apparently, CBD has a significant influence on the endocannabinoid system via its interaction with cannabinoid receptors distributed all over the body. In cases of an imbalance or a disruption, there can be an interruption of this process. CBD may help reset the balance for you, restoring your energy and lifting your mood. Similarly, the status of your ECS will impact how long CBD remains in your system.


Consistency of consumption will impact the time CBD remains in the system for a number of reasons. For some, the positive effects of CBD are noticed immediately. These people will notice that they’re feeling better not long after ingesting CBD products. 

For others, it might take a few weeks to notice the effects of CBD. There are plenty of factors unique to you that will influence your CBD experience. Provided you've got the right quality and type of CBD product for you, results will come. However, the length of consumption will also impact the duration of digestion. It takes your body time to process such compounds. The more compounds in your system, the longer it will take.

How Long After CBD Consumption Can It Impact a Drug Test? 

We cannot speak to the integrity of products everywhere, but if you purchase quality CBD products, you should not have to worry about failing a drug test. 

In cases of urine tests, since CBD is not a Schedule 1 substance, it will not show up on the radar to incriminate you in most testing procedures. According to federal workplace guidance, CBD is not an illegal substance. However, if the CBD products you use contain unregulated THC levels, they might produce positive urine results. 

Also, there are cut-off levels used in order to deter false-positive results. For THC, the cut off is usually 50ng/ml. So if your CBD product contains the regulatory 0.3 percent THC content, it should not come up on a drug test. 

In some cases, it has been reported that hair samples tested positive for cannabinoids. A study found that six weeks after the topical use of hemp oil, applicants' hair samples still tested positive for cannabinoids. We cannot speak to the transference of cannabinoids from topical scalp application to the bloodstream, but it would be okay to remain cautious if you use hemp-related cosmetic products and have a hair drug test on the horizon. 

The Bottom Line About CBD Staying in Your System

By now you must have realized that how long CBD stays in your system is a question that doesn’t have just one answer. Too many variables are involved. 

A light consumer who has taken one dose could expel every bit of CBD within a few days quite easily, regardless of consumption method. A long-term consumer, who tries every consumption method possible, may have CBD in their hair for months, and in their urine and fat cells for weeks.

If you found this article about how long it takes CBD to leave your system enlightening, please share it with your friends!

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