Some people may be apprehensive to try CBD over concerns that it could cause them to fail a drug test. It’s highly unlikely that CBD would show up on most drug screenings, as most tests specifically look for the presence of THC and THC metabolites. But even hemp-derived CBD can contain trace amounts of THC, so there’s technically a chance — albeit extremely slim — of receiving a false-positive test result from taking an unusually large dose of CBD oil (estimates range from 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams per day).
Bottom line: Ingesting CBD via a tincture or a CBD oil-infused edible will result in a longer onset (up to two hours) and possibly weaker effects.
When cannabidiol is introduced to the endocannabinoid system, it inhibits the absorption of anandamide, a natural cannabinoid molecule that regulates pain. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
How long does it take for CBD oil to work orally?
The way CBD interacts with and leaves your body depends on several factors that vary from person to person.
For those worried about THC showing up in their system, look for broad-spectrum oil or products that contain pure CBD isolate. Broad-spectrum oil, as opposed to full-spectrum oil, is refined to exclude the trace amounts of THC that may have been present in the hemp plant. Products with CBD isolate contain no THC or other plant-based cannabinoids. To find high-quality CBD, search for products that come with a certificate of analysis from a third-party testing lab to ensure that the information listed on the product label is accurate. Be careful not to confuse hemp seed oil or hemp oil, which seldom contain any CBD at all, with CBD oil. These products will provide a hearty dose of omega-3 fatty acids, but they won’t provide any potential pain-relieving or anti-anxiety effects.
It’s not just your body that influences how long it takes CBD to work, but also the quality of the CBD product and how often it’s used. Once you acquire CBD oil, the next step is to find the optimal dosing regimen, including frequency of use. The answers will depend largely on the type of product, amount of CBD inside it, and the specific ailment you are targeting. Most reputable manufacturers will provide instructions on how to properly use the product, but experimentation may be required to find the optimal dose for you and your specific needs.
The most common method for CBD consumption involves administering a couple of drops directly into the mouth. Swallowing the oil will prevent the CBD from immediately entering your bloodstream, sending it instead through the digestive tract and eventually on to the liver, where it is broken down before finally reaching the bloodstream.
Bottom line: While the time that CBD is detectable in the body will depend on the aforementioned factors, we can deduce that CBD will likely leave the system after a week or two.
Based on existing research, CBD may stay in your system anywhere from 24 hours to a few weeks. That timeframe can change depending on a variety of factors including metabolism, consumption method, frequency of use, and dosage.
How long is CBD detectable in urine?
We have some insight into how long CBD remains in the blood, but there is little research on how long CBD is detectable in urine. In a 2016 study published in the Journal of Pain, participants were given different types of CBD-rich cannabis products, including oils, capsules, and flower. Two hours after administration, urine samples from all 15 subjects tested positive for CBD. The researchers followed one participant after the last day of administration and found that CBD was no longer detectable in the urine after 24 hours.
Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating compound found in the cannabis plant, may potentially relieve mild pain and anxiety. While many people are using CBD for these potential benefits, the fear of failing a drug test looms large for others. Because even with the legalization of hemp-derived CBD products in the US, there’s still some uncertainty about how CBD interacts with the body.
A 1991 study published in Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior examined the concentration of CBD in the blood after high doses daily. Over a six-week period, the research team administered a daily dose of 700 milligrams of CBD to 14 Huntington’s disease patients. One week after the dosing ceased, the CBD remaining in the blood was just 1.5 nanograms per milliliter and was “virtually undetectable” thereafter.
Homemade edibles are often made with CBD ‘cannabutter’ or ‘cannaoil.’ The recipes usually include marijuana, but you can substitute the same quantity of CBD flower.
CBD isn’t “one size fits all.” The desired effects of CBD may be noticed immediately, several hours later, or after several weeks of daily use. Those effects are highly dependent on the method of administration, the amount of CBD you’re taking, and the medical condition you’re treating.
The method isn’t important whether you’re taking CBD oil, vaping or consuming edibles; what matters is the dosage. The best way to gauge your first dose is by starting with small increments.
For those with healthy metabolisms, oral CBD could take effect in 20-30 minutes. People with slow GI systems could take the same exact dose, but it might be a full four hours before they experience substantial relief.
On the other hand, CBD treats symptoms of mental health issues rather rapidly. Whether you’re dosing daily or as needed, cannabidiol can ease panic attacks, PTSD flashbacks or generalized anxiety within two minutes to several hours. Remember, everyone reacts differently to CBD oil and other CBD products.