Learn about CBD and how long it will linger in your body’s system in the following article.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the many cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. It is similar to the most well-known cannabinoid, THC, in many respects, but it is not psychoactive. This fact means it does not create any intoxication in the user. For those who partake in CBD, they may often question “how long does CBD stay in your system?”
While CBD has been known for many years and included in a limited number of products, the recent trend toward more holistic living has increased that aspect. CBD has seen an incredible surge of popularity and product demand in recent years due to the many health benefits it offers.1
Hemp-derived CBD is created from hemp grown for industrial reasons. These industrial plants are grown largely for their seed and fiber content and will appear quite different from the cannabis plants often seen in the media.2
Hemp plants are planted at incredibly dense rates. They grow extremely tall and skinny and have very sparse vegetative growth. They can be separated from marijuana plants by visual distinction as well as by testing, as the farm bill that legalized hemp set a THC limit of 0.3% or less.
CBD can also be derived from cannabis plants grown for marijuana. Marijuana plants will have much denser foliage and large, sticky flowers that are frequently consumed for their medicinal and recreational effects.3
Any cannabis plants that have a THC content of more than 0.3% are classified as marijuana. The CBD obtained from both hemp and marijuana, however, is identical on a molecular level.
The primary condition for cannabidiol that is allowed to be sold is that it contains no THC. THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana cannabis plants that gives users the “high.” Since THC is an intoxicant, it is highly restricted and must be kept below 0.3%.4
This fact applies to CBD products sold in areas that have legalized adult-use marijuana. Even when sold side-by-side in legal markets the CBD-only products must contain no THC.
In the cannabidiol product market, there are several types of CBD available and each one will affect the user differently. Each product will either contain full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, or a CBD isolate. Each one has its supposed benefits and drawbacks, and below is a breakdown.
Full-spectrum CBD will contain many different organic compounds that are not CBD. They can contain several whole-plant cannabis extracts, as well as essential cannabis oils, terpenes, and other cannabinoids.5
Full-spectrum can even contain THC if it meets the 0.3% limitation. It can lead to complications with those who are highly sensitive.
Broad-spectrum CBD is very similar to full-spectrum products, though there are some key differences. Broad-spectrum CBD will still contain many of the companion cannabinoids like cannabinol, or CBN, and cannabichromene, known as CBC.5
It will also contain many of the other organic compounds found in plant extractions, such as terpenes, limonene, and pinene. Broad-spectrum will not contain any THC, and the THC will be specifically removed if present.
A CBD isolate is as pure of a cannabidiol extract as someone can get. It is a CBD extract that has then had all other elements removed.5
All of the non-CBD cannabinoids have been removed, as well as the other organic compounds such as terpenes. The CBD has been refined and isolated through chemical processes.
Cannabidiol is currently marketed in a staggering number of ways. This marketing includes not only food products and other consumables but health products and beauty products as well.
One of the most common forms of taking this substance is taking CBD oil. This product is the specified extract, suspended in an oil solution. These products are often made with such oils as coconut oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, and more.5
CBD oil can be taken by mouth, or it can be added to cooked or baked goods made at home. It allows for extremely high dosages.
CBD gummies are probably one of the most commonly sold CBD products in areas where it is permitted. CBD gummies can be found at nearly any gas station, convenience store, and more, and they can be bought in full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate formulations.5
CBD gummies, like CBD oil, make it extremely easy for someone to take a large amount. For some people, this aspect can mean a much longer wait until it is out of the system.
Now that the cannabis market has opened up to a much larger extent in many states, there has been a flood of food and drink products which include CBD-infused edibles. These edibles make consuming CBD a much more appealing option for those that have never done so.
One of the rarer formulations of CBD is the use of topical creams, lotions, and salves. These are the usual pain relief rubs only formulated to include CBD components that can be absorbed through the skin. Out of all of the various techniques and methods, the topical CBD solutions are frequently the ones with the lowest dose of CBD.5
The short answer is yes. The 2018 Farm Bill proclaimed that industrial hemp could be grown and used, but that it has to contain no more than 0.3% THC. This fact means products that can be made from hemp, such as CBD, are also legal, provided they adhere to the same THC limits.6
Being legal on a federal level means states can decide for themselves if CBD is going to be permitted. Many areas have outlawed CBD products while other areas have left them unlegislated.
Since CBD is derived from cannabis, many people wonder how long CBD will stay in your system. Once the substance is fully metabolized it will no longer be present in the body. Most people stop feeling the beneficial effects long before this point, leading them to take another dose before the drug is fully removed.
Several factors will affect the length of time CBD remains in your system. Some factors will have a much more significant influence than others, but they will all play some role in the metabolism and removal of CBD from the body.
Age will be a factor in how long CBD stays in your system. Younger people will generally have much more active metabolisms, making them much more adept at removing CBD from the body.
Body mass index will be important in estimating how long CBD will be in your system. Nearly all cannabinoids are fat/oil-soluble, meaning when they are taken they can be stored in fat cells very easily. This factor leads to people with higher body mass indexes storing cannabinoids longer, on average.7
Everyone’s metabolism is different, and metabolism is one of the key factors to processing and subsequently removing it from the body. Individuals with slower overall metabolisms will find that cannabinoids like CBD stick around in their system for longer.
Diet can indirectly influence how long CBD is present in the system. Having a well-balanced diet generally indicates a more fit individual, resulting in less fat cell creation, and lower intake of unhealthy food items. These can contribute to the body’s natural metabolism breaking down the CBD.7
One of the most important factors in how long CBD is retained in the body is an individual’s frequency of use. Using more often, even multiple times per day does not give the body a chance to fully metabolize the previous amounts. It causes the drug, CBD, to build up in the system over time, taking longer to be fully removed overall.7
Large doses are more difficult for the body to break down and remove in a timely manner. Those who take lower doses can expect the CBD to be removed from their systems quicker on average.
The method of administration for the CBD is important. Very accessible forms like CBD oils and tinctures will be able to enter the bloodstream and begin metabolization quickly. Forms like CBD gummies need to be eaten, digested, absorbed, then begin metabolization, extending the time it is in the body overall.7
The most efficient way to check for CBD is to look for the associated THC content with conventional screening methods, which can have its benefits and drawbacks.
While not the most common, blood tests can be used to test for the metabolites that CBD creates. CBD metabolites can be detected in blood tests for a relatively long time in the blood.
CBD will be detectable in the blood in just minutes once it is taken. Since CBD is a metabolite of THC, it can be detected in blood and plasma for up to a week in many people.
Testing for cannabinoids in urine is one of the most common and popular methods for both commercial and private testing. The detectability windows are often hard to predict and can be seen as soon as two days after consumption, remaining detectable for up to a month post-administration.
Testing for CBD, or THC metabolites, in the hair and saliva, is quite rare. It can be incredibly accurate, however, with results being detectable within minutes of taking the drug and continuing to be detectable for up to thirty-six hours in saliva after that. Cannabinoids are detectable in hair for up to three months from the last use.
Unless screened specifically with gas chromatography and mass spectrometer testing, there are no tests that currently screen for CBD content in bodily fluids. There just is no commercially available CBD drug test.
However, many CBD products contain full-spectrum extracts, which can have cumulative effects with the 0.3% THC that is allowed, which can trigger any screening processes that test for THC or its metabolites.
Just like with many other substances, the amount of CBD that remains in your system after a set amount of time will depend highly on the dosage history. People that take high doses multiple times per day will have a much longer wait before the CBD is removed from their system. Those that use smaller doses, or dose less frequently will see their CBD decrease much quicker.
The half-life of CBD can range from one hour to several days, depending on several factors. This fact means that when someone takes a dose of CBD, after the half-life elapses, half of that dosage will be metabolized and removed from the system.
This number is only an average, however, and some people may find that their systems function far differently. Some people may take several days or even weeks to find the CBD in their system has decreased.
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