How Long Does CBD Oil Stay in Your System?
If you’ve followed our other articles or perused the rest of our website, it’s easy to see how useful CBD is for a variety of neurological issues such as anxiety, depression, pain relief, inflammation. CBD treatments are so prevalent these days that it’s easy to wonder what it doesn’t promise to do. But, its long association with marijuana gives some users pause, wondering how long the effects of CBD last, and how long blood tests can detect it.
Fortunately, CBD oil doesn’t last long in the bloodstream, and there’s almost none of the active psychotropic component THC in any dose. Various factors determine how fast CBD is metabolized, such as diet, activity, how you ingest the CBD and its type. In this article, we’ll go over different kinds of CBD, show you how it affects the body, and how fast it leaves your system depending on these various factors.
But, if you’re worried about a pending drug test for your job or wonder how long it takes to leave your system entirely, the answer will reassure you. Within a week, CBD of almost any type is undetectable in the blood.
The nervous system is stunningly confusing, full of long words that, when strung together, are likely to give most people a headache and flashbacks to high school chemistry class. You could sit all day and stare at words like Endocannabinoid and Anandamide until you reach for the aspirin for the developing headache.
Without delving too much into the mind-numbing specifics, it might be useful to speak in terms of analogy. Imagine your body’s nervous system as being crammed with tiny post offices, whose job it is to make sure that cells and neurotransmitters get the proper messages at the appropriate time. These post offices are called receptors. And, unfortunately for us, they’re not always selective enough about the types of packages they receive.
Various protein lipids (the packages) are accepted by the receptors, causing issues like anxiety, depression, inflammation, and many other problems, which scientists are still discovering. THC — the primary chemical compound in marijuana that causes the neurological alteration seen in a typical ‘high’ — is one of the compounds that bind to the receptors. But it isn’t the only one.
In terms of our earlier analogy, our body naturally produces the packages received by the receptors, but we can also obtain them from exterior sources like from food and drugs. As we’ve mentioned, not all of these packages are healthy. Some co-opt the messaging system and cause reactions in our body, like accidentally kick-starting the immune system to reject something that should be considered safe.
Though we’re simplifying the system in the extreme, adding CBD to the cannabinoid system is like hiring a team of postal inspectors for your body. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t bind to the receptors, acting instead as a blocker for receptors so that they refuse lipid packages that trigger specific physiological and psychological responses.
If you want a great, and much more scientific, approach to how CBD works in the brain, check out these websites:
If you’re reading this, you may have anxiety about an upcoming drug test and fear that using CBD will result in a positive on a drug test. Or, you may be curious about how long it takes to get rid of CBD from your system from a scientific perspective. But, if you’re worried about a drug test, don’t.
Most employer-conducted drug tests check for the active ingredient in marijuana, THC. It’s this chemical compound that binds to the receptors causing the variety of psychotropic results we see from the average ‘high.’ And THC, because it binds to the receptors, stays in the bloodstream for much longer. It can remain in your system often up to a month or more, depending on a variety of factors.
Drug tests only check for THC, not CBD. So, it’s unlikely that they’ll detect any in your system. But, consistent use of CBD can sometimes generate a false positive for certain types of CBD products due to low levels of THC that build up over time from regular use. Most CBD products contain trace amounts of THC, particularly if they’re full-spectrum products that synthesize the entire plant into a concentration.
The amount of trace THC in any given CBD product depends on how refined it is and how much of the original plant material remains after it’s filtered. Generally, Full Spectrum products contain the most, as they try to include most of the original plant into their mixture to preserve some of the added benefits such as terpenes and other compounds that have other beneficial effects on the nervous system.
If you’re looking for the CBD product with the least THC content, however, some companies produce a fully refined and filtered product called CBD Isolate. It contains none of the other terpenes or compounds and acts only as a receptor blocker, providing nothing other than pure crystalized CBD. CBD Isolate is flavorless and odorless and powdered so you can use it in many forms, including as a food additive.
As we’ve mentioned, CBD detection in your system depends on a variety of factors that we’ll go over more thoroughly in the next section. But, different types of tests also afford varying degrees of detection. In this section, we’ll discuss the different types of drug tests most commonly used by employers or law enforcement and reveal their limitations as well as the window in which they can find CBD.
Urine tests are the most common type of drug test employed by employers who require mandatory screenings. As we’ve discussed previously, most drug tests don’t search for CBD in the system. They only search for THC. But, if you’re worried about a false positive based on CBD use, urine tests depend upon the requested threshold of concentration.
A higher threshold for detection means it’s less likely to be found in your system if you’re only using CBD. You can rely on these trace amounts of THC to be gone within roughly five days if you use it infrequently. Regular CBD users, however, may have positive results within 30 days, particularly users with more body fat, or those who use unregulated CBD products that don’t clearly define their ingredients.
Because saliva regenerates often, saliva tests detect THC presence only within the most recent 72 hours. However, saliva tests are much more focused and specific, and they are able to identify compounds in much smaller amounts. So, these tests are much more likely to detect the trace levels of CBD in products.
Blood tests are usually only administered in emergencies or as part of a law enforcement investigation. It’s rare to encounter a blood test given in typical employment situations. But, should you encounter this sort of analysis, you’ll likely test positive up to 24 hours after use if you use infrequently, and up to 7 days for regular use.
Hair sample tests have the most extended window for detecting the presence of THC due to the average growth rate of hair and its ability to trap and use proteins. Hair sample testing is one of the more sensitive tests, able to discover THC up to 90 days for the average specimen.
As we’ve mentioned, both CBD and THC leave your system naturally over time. However, some factors may alter how long it takes for your body to process and remove them. In this section, we’ll go through a few of the most common factors that determine how well your body filters CBD and THC and mention a few things to look out for to avoid positive results on tests.
THC and CBD are fat-soluble, which is why manufacturers suspend CBD in oil rather than other liquids. Fat solubility means that those with a higher percentage of body fat will store the substances longer than others. If you have high body fat, and you need to take a drug test, estimate that any trace THC will stick around longer than average estimates, which can be up to a month depending on usage.
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘I have a high metabolism’ among people who can eat anything and not gain any weight. Having a high metabolism is a function of genetics and determines how efficiently your body processes food and other proteins and minerals. Some people are blessed with a highly efficient system, which means they’ll digest faster, and drugs and alcohol leave their body quicker than others.
Though metabolism is primarily a function of genetics, age tends to decrease your body’s efficiency over time. Older people shouldn’t expect to process THC or CBD as quickly as someone in their 20s and should plan accordingly.
Regular exercise helps you metabolize and burn fat — two factors that work to retain proteins and foods in the body. Those who exercise regularly give themselves an extra boost when dealing with any fuel, meaning they’ll get rid of THC faster.
Likewise, drinking water helps flush toxins out of your system through the body’s natural filters. But be careful. Urine tests with diluted samples from too much water intake can raise suspicions.
As we’ve mentioned, most CBD products contain little more than trace amounts of THC. But THC takes much longer to leave the body than CBD does, even though they’re part of the same thing. Frequent use of CBD products causes the THC to build up within the system, resulting in the most common cause of false positives on drug tests.
Either try to use less CBD to control your particular systems, or switch to more concentrated CBD products like CBD Isolate that filters out more of the actual plant from the final product. CBD Isolate is entirely CBD, it contains no traces of THC, but it still functions the same way as full-spectrum CBD.
Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t bind on your protein receptors, which means your body processes it much faster. But, if you worry about a false positive on a drug test, or are a regular user, you can help metabolize it with regular exercise and water. Otherwise, there’s not much cause for worry about daily CBD use having a lasting effect on your system as it leaves your body within a week under most circumstances.
CBD is a terrific product for a variety of chronic issues, including depression, anxiety, and seizures. But, the science behind CBD use remains relatively new, opening fresh avenues and understanding about how our receptors work, and how to block them.