How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

After absorption, the drugs reach the circulation. Once in circulation, a drug performs its functions and is eliminated from the body via urine and faeces. The time a drug remains inside the body is important as it determines the therapeutic effectiveness, dosing and frequency of use. How long does Cannabidiol (CBD) stay inside the body? Let’s explore.

How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 104 natural compounds obtained from the resinous flowers of the cannabis plants. The CBD and the related compounds are known as cannabinoids and have many therapeutic applications, e.g., relief from anxiety, inflammation, pain and neurological disorders. 

CBD is the major cannabinoid and accounts for 40% of the extract of cannabis plants. It is used in various forms, e.g., capsules, topical preparations, edibles and oils.

Various CBD formulations are available in the market. The Cannaray CBD Oil Drops is one such product used to treat anxiety, promote relaxation and treat insomnia. We have an informative article with a comprehensive review of this product. Visit the page to read it.

How long does the CBD stay in the body?

The time the body takes to eliminate a drug from the body depends upon its therapeutic half-life. Half-life is when 50% of a given drug is eliminated from the body. Typically, the whole of the drug is eliminated from the body in 4-5 half-lives. 

The half-life of a drug depends upon its route of administration, patient-specific factors, e.g., age, liver functions and kidney functions, formulation, frequency and dosage of administration and interactions with other drugs. Based on these factors, the half-life of different formulations of CBD is;

Half-life of different CBD formulations (Source: systemic review by Dr Sophie A. Millar and colleagues)



Nebuliser and aerosol administration

1.1-2.4 h

Oral administration (pills)

1.09-1.97 h

Oral lipid capsules

2.95-3.21 h

Oral sprays and drops

1.44-10.86 h


31 h

Chronic oral administration

2-5 days

To get the stay time inside the body, multiply half-life by 5. To cut the story short, aerosol-administered CBD stays in the body for 5.5-12 hours, orally administered as pills for 5-10 hours, orally administered capsules for about 15 hours, and orally administered as drops and sprays for 7-53 hours. The duration is considerably longer for smoked (about six days) and chronically oral (10-25 days) CBD. 

How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

The factors influencing the stay inside the body

According to Sirichai Chayasirisobhon, MD (Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, California), the major factors that decide how long it stays inside the body are;

The dose of CBD administered 

Generally, the higher the dose, the more time the body processes it. It means that people receiving higher doses must expect effects for longer durations than people receiving smaller doses. 

The frequency of use

The frequency of use of a drug matters. More frequent use causes a gradual build-up of the drug inside the body, resulting in a longer half-life. In case of occasional use, it clears from the body more rapidly. That's why taking it for at least a week is recommended before deciding about further use. 

Individual metabolic factors 

Inside the body, the drug is metabolised by the liver and eliminated by the kidneys. Each individual has a different metabolic rate, body mass index and body composition. So, the time taken for the drugs to be eliminated from the body varies. 

Generally, the drug is eliminated more rapidly from younger people with faster metabolism than elders with lower resting metabolic rates. The functional efficiency of organs decreases with advancing age. 

The route of administration  

The common forms of administration of CBD are pills, tinctures, oils, capsules, vapes, edibles, and lotions. The method used influences the onset and duration of the effects. The CBD taken through the vapes enters circulation rapidly through the lungs; thus, the effects appear easier, and the drug is also quickly eliminated from the body. 

The onset of effects and removal time duration from the body is moderate for the pills, edibles, capsules, tinctures and oils taken orally. The lotions and creams applied topically have very poor and slow absorption into the body and are equally slowly eliminated. 


The type and amount of food consumed influence the absorption and excretion of the drugs. When taken with food, the CBD takes longer to reach peak concentration and stays in the body longer than in people who take it on an empty stomach.

How long do the effects appear after taking CBD, and how long do they last?

The time taken for the effects to appear and disappear depends on the factors mentioned earlier. Generally, the effects of sublingual application and vaping appear within 15 minutes, while the topical and edible preparations take hours to work. The impact duration depends on the abovementioned factors and lasts between 2 and 6 hours. Please note that this is the duration of clinical effects, while the subsidiary effects last many days.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the side effects of CBD? 

CBD is generally well-tolerated. However, some people, particularly those vaping higher doses, experience issues like fatigue, drowsiness, lower appetite, diarrhoea, dry mouth and dose-related liver damage. It also interacts with some medications like blood thinners. Another concerning issue is the unreliability of dosage and purity of the CBD products available in the market. 

How long does it take for the body to get out of the CBD? 

It hits different people differently. The stronger effects last only for a few hours. The aftereffects, however, continue for several more hours and even a few days. In the case of chronic oral use, the effects linger for weeks. 

What is the elimination half-life of CBD? 

The elimination half-life of a drug determines how quickly it works and is eliminated from the body. The half-life of oral CBD is between 18-32 days (average duration) and varies between 1 hour to 5 days. 

What are the benefits of CBD? 

The CBD is used for several health benefits. The most common use is to lower anxiety and treat insomnia, other sleeping disorders, and chronic pain. It must be used only as recommended by the doctor. 

What should be the initial dose of CBD for a beginner? 

The initial dosage depends upon personal health factors and the purpose of use. The recommendation is to start from 5 milligrams and increase slowly to 20-40 mg or even higher, depending on how the body reacts. The doctor must decide on the initial dose depending on the purpose of use.

How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

Bottom line

It is difficult to predict how long the CBD stays in the body as various factors are involved. The basic science of staying inside the body is explained as a guideline. The responses, however, vary from person to person. In general, the effects appear much faster in young people who vape or take it orally than the elders applying it topically as lotions and creams. Discussing these variables with the doctor to choose the best formulation according to the requirements is important. 

Consult our doctors through Welzo Private GP Appointments Online feature to discuss health conditions, treatment options and use and safety information of different drugs and medications. 

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