CBD (cannabidiol) has made exceptional traction over the past decade as a natural supplement. It is sourced from hemp and marijuana, which belong to the same species, but the latter has a higher THC concentration than the former. Hence, it is possible for drug tests or screening to detect THC (trace amounts) in CBD users.
But studies show that drug tests often cannot tell the difference fuelling the misconception that CBD and THC are the same. So, it can be a thorny issue for CBD users when they must undergo screening for job recruitments. People using or considering CBD wonder how long it stays in the system. It depends on different factors, like the dosage, how the CBD was administered, and usage frequency.
Let’s review how you can take CBD, how the body processes it, and how long it stays in your system to help ease your worries or concerns.
How The Body Processes CBD And How Long CBD Stays In Your System
We shall begin by discussing the various elements influencing how CBD is processed, stays in your system, and its effects. Please note that we all have different body systems; thus, how long CBD lasts and affects us is not the same for everyone. Chief factors that cause the differences include:
b). Physical factors like age, weight, and metabolism
d). Ingestion time
e). Frequency of use
Cannabidiol is a fat-soluble compound that can be stored in the body’s fat cells instead of their water counterparts. Subsequently, your BMI (Body Mass Index) will govern how quickly your system metabolizes CBD. The higher the BMI, the longer CBD takes to leave your system.
Your preferred intake method also influences how CBD affects your body and how long it takes to exist in your system. Most common ingestion methods and forms include:
i). Dietary supplements
v). Dried flower (smoking)
The CBD goes directly into your bloodstream within seconds if you vape CBD or prefer smoking dried flowers, meaning the CBD will impact your brain almost immediately after ingestion. The effects will not be as immediate if you take CBD edibles or dietary supplements. The symptoms might be experienced within an hour of digesting the CBD, but your dietary habits and metabolism will govern how you feel.
Also, you will continue to feel the effects for roughly 1 to 3 hours after ingesting CBD, regardless of your intake method. And this brings us to the following question: can the period the symptoms linger influence how long the CBD stays in the body?
How Long Does CBD Stay According To Lab Tests?
First off, let us point out that since the FDA does not regulate CBD products, consumers can unknowingly consume CBD that contains other cannabinoids, which increases the chances of detection. Moreover, the more you use CBD, the broader the detection window.
The CBD effects fading does not mean that the compound will be undetectable. Cannabidiol has an 18-hour to 32-hour half-life and can be detected on lab tests even after that period. The drug tests and screenings will often check for THC instead of CBD. While THC is a chief compound in marijuana, there is a trace amount of this compound in CBD. Hemp products can legally contain no more than 0.3% THC.
Therefore, passing a screening after ingesting CBD does not mean you do not have THC in your body but that the THC levels are too low to be detected. And please note that different tests have different cut-off levels, and some screening methods are more effective at detecting THC than others.
Overall, detectability can depend on how long after you ingest the CBD product before undergoing the drug test and the drug screening methods administered.
How Long Does CBD Stay In Your Urine?
Urine tests are the most common drug screening methods used by employers. THC detectability via urine tests primarily hinges on the dosage and frequency of use. However, chances of detection can vary widely. The THC can appear on a urine test three days after ingestion or even a fortnight later.
The Mayo Clinic suggests that THC compounds can be detected 15 days after ingestion among daily/frequent users, but the results can vary significantly depending on the dosage.
How Long Does CBD Stay In Your Hair?
Hair tests are a preferable drug screening method when testing for substances an individual consumed for an extended period prior to the testing. It can detect THC three months after consumption; nevertheless, hair tests are rarely used to check for CBD and THC.
How Long Does CBD Stay In Your Blood?
While blood tests are rarely used to screen for cannabinoids compared to urine tests, still, the metabolites can be detected using this screening method. Blood tests are less opted for because of how quickly the body expels THC and other cannabinoids from the bloodstream.
THC can stay in your blood plasma for roughly five hours after ingesting the compound. However, THC and CBD can linger for up to seven days after taking the product.
How Long Does CBD Stay In Your Saliva?
CBD and THC can be detected in your saliva minutes after consumption, and they can last for roughly 36 hours depending on the amount you take and frequency of use. Saliva tests are incredibly rare, with varying reasons and legal and employment implications. So, the chances of THC detectability are higher if you consume a large amount of CBD products or regularly. The test can also be effective when screening for other drugs.
Overall, it is evident that while hemp-based CBD products might have a trace amount of THC, the THC metabolites can be detected using different screening methods. However, the detectability level of any testing method depends on the dosage, when it was taken and how regularly.