How Long Does CBD “Stick Around?” — The Latest Info On CBD Absorption

Despite hemp’s long history of cultivation, there are still many mysteries surrounding this plant’s effects. Although we’re sure CBD is non-intoxicating, we don’t know how long it stays in the human body. Plus, according to the latest reports, CBD could have different absorption rates depending on your body type, age, and metabolism.

At this time, we can’t give a precise estimate for how long CBD lasts in everyone’s system. However, we could examine the most significant factors influencing CBD’s absorption. By understanding these features, you should have a better understanding of CBD’s effects.

What Influences CBD Absorption? — Three Crucial Factors

  1. Different Products, Different Effects

Not all CBD products are created equally. While the CBD molecule has the same structure in hemp flowers, topicals, CBD vapes, and oils, that doesn’t mean they all work the same. So, the first feature to consider when evaluating CBD’s absorption is what form of CBD you’re taking.

Since smokable and vapeable CBD products go directly into your lungs, they tend to have the highest absorption rates. However, since these products have an immediate impact, most people notice these effects wane after about one hour.

By contrast, CBD edibles and capsules take a little longer to work through the digestive tract. Indeed, you probably won’t notice effects from these products until one hour after swallowing them. On the positive side, the subtle effects you feel from these products should last for at least two to three hours.

FYI: there’s a significant difference between full-spectrum and isolate CBD products. Since full-spectrum CBD items have a wide assortment of secondary cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes, they tend to have a more pronounced effect compared with CBD isolate powder.


Since CBD topicals are designed for external use, they have a different absorption profile than capsules, edibles, or pre-roll hemp joints. In fact, when you apply CBD topicals to your skin, they won’t get into your bloodstream.

However, just because CBD can’t penetrate the skin layer doesn’t mean it won’t have effects. Indeed, many people who use our CBD topicals claim they feel at least an hour’s worth of relief from joint stiffness or muscle aches. How is this possible?

Interestingly, we have thousands of CB2 receptor sites all along our skin. When you apply CBD to a joint or muscle, these receptors seem to absorb the CBD molecules, which typically results in soothing effects.

  1. Does Body Type Affect CBD Absorption?

While the CBD product you choose will significantly influence your experience, it’s not the only factor worth considering. Indeed, your body type could have a significant impact on how much CBD you could absorb.

Generally, people who have an above-average BMI will need higher CBD doses to feel their desired results. You also must consider how fast your metabolism works when evaluating CBD’s effects. Those with a naturally slow metabolism may need extra CBD to take full advantage of this cannabinoid. Plus, since our metabolism slows as we age, it’s likely customers over 65 will require more CBD than younger users.

  1. Don’t Forget About Your Dosage!

The most obvious factor influencing how long CBD stays in your system is how much product you take. The more CBD you take, the longer you’ll have to wait for it to filter through your system.

Please also remember that your body will build a tolerance to CBD over time. If you find that you continuously need higher doses of CBD to feel your desired effects, we’d recommend taking a few days off of CBD each week. Even if you omit CBD for two days per week, you will reduce the chances of building a tolerance for this supplement.

So, How Long Will CBD Stay In My Body?

As you could see, determining how long CBD stays in the body varies from person to person. However, that doesn’t mean scientists aren’t trying to better understand this cannabinoid’s average longevity. In fact, new research out ofDrake University suggested that a one-time moderate dose of CBD may have a half-life of one to two days.

Of course, you’d have to compound these findings depending on how many doses of CBD you take. If these half-life numbers are to be believed, people who take CBD every day may have to wait weeks before all that CBD gets flushed out.

It’s also important to note that CBD molecules are fat-soluble, which means they will attach to your body’s fat cells every time you use them. The more often you take CBD, the more likely it will take longer for these molecules to break down.

While the research at Drake University is preliminary, it’s worth keeping in mind when evaluating CBD’s long-term effects.

Is It Best To Take CBD Oil On An Empty Stomach?

According to new research from the University of Minnesota, you should consider scheduling your CBD sessions around your meals—especially if you’re eating fatty foods!

Minnesota professors tracked CBD’s absorption rates in people who ate a breakfast burrito versus those who took CBD on an empty stomach. The results were staggering: people who ate high-fat meals had roughly 14-times as much CBD as those who didn’t eat breakfast.

This data strongly suggests you could get more out of your CBD oil if you take it with protein-rich foods. Please keep this in mind when you’re microwaving your next burrito!

Could CBD Oil Appear On A Drug Test?

While some readers may be interested in CBD absorption out of scientific curiosity, most people only want to know if CBD could wreck a drug test. While standard drug tests aren’t designed to detect CBD, they could pick up small traces of THC from full-spectrum CBD products.

Although the chances are slim, we can’t guarantee THC won’t be in your bloodstream when you’re giving a urine sample. As we’ve noted multiple times in this post, everyone absorbs CBD oil at a different rate. How much THC is in your system depends on your metabolism, dosage, and the type of CBD you’re taking.

If you know a drug test is forthcoming, we’d recommend refraining from full-spectrum CBD products for at least three days. In the meantime, only use CBD oils that have been tested to have zero percent THC.

Want To Figure Out Your CBD Dosage? Keep A Journal!

Finding your optimal CBD level will always take a bit of trial and error. That’s why we always recommend writing your daily CBD dosage in a journal. Be sure to start with the lowest possible dose and gradually work your way up till you feel effects. While this may be a bit tedious, this is the best way to find your perfect CBD levels.