Drug Testing: How Long CBD Stays in Your System and Other Information You Need

There are many factors that will determine how long CBD and other cannabinoids like THC will stay in your system. When it comes to CBD and drug testing, the answers aren’t black and white.

CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. THC is a cannabinoid that is known to produce the infamous cannabis high feeling. They are only two of many cannabinoids that are known for their host of therapeutic benefits

While CBD has become a very popular supplement, navigating the waters of CBD when it comes to duration and drug testing are still quite murky.

Let’s take a look at the top questions you should have the answers to before you begin your CBD journey. Different countries and states have different regulations regarding CBD. 

In Canada, cannabis is Federally legal, but there are still rules surrounding employment that may state what is tolerable. In the U.S, CBD must contain no more than 0.3% THC in their finished product, and in the UK that amount decreases to 0.02%.

So, you’d think if there are rules in place and you follow them, then you’ll have no problems passing a work-related drug test, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, even if you buy a CBD oil that is within the legal limit of restricted cannabinoids, you may be putting you and your job at risk.

Before I freak you out about taking CBD and passing a drug test, we’re going to first look at how long CBD will stay in your system, how long it takes to feel the effects of CBD, and how long those effects may last.

How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?

There are many factors that play into how long CBD will stay in your system. The information on the internet goes back and forth about the actual duration, but consuming CBD occasionally should not stay in your system for longer than one week.

It is important to understand the difference between the effects of CBD in your system, their duration and cannabinoids in your system in general.

CBD users who use consume large quantities over a long-term period build up their levels of cannabinoids present. A person who infrequently consumes CBD won’t see levels of cannabinoids that high. So that’s CBD in your system.

When you consume CBD, the effects and the duration will vary based on the product you use, your method of consumption, your weight, your ECS, and the symptoms you are aiming to treat.

When Will CBD Take Effect?

That depends. I hate to break it to you, but your experience with CBD is going to differ greatly from my own. Do you use a tincture or indulge in gummies? Would you rather vape, or soak in a nice hot bath with CBD-rich topical beauty products? 

Different methods of consumption have individual time-to-effect. Time-to-effect means how much time does it take before you will feel the effects. Since we’re on the topic of scientific jargon, another term to familiarize yourself with is bioavailability. It means how much (or how well) of your CBD ( and cannabinoids in general) your body will absorb and put to use.

Other factors like how large of a dose, how often you consume, and biological factors like your weight and height also play a role in how fast you will feel the effects of CBD. 


The tastiest and most discrete way to reap the many of CBD is via edibles. Sweet or savoury, these CBD-infused treats are potent, and there’s a flavour for everyone. Ingesting CBD edibles has the longest time-to-effect. 

Because anything you eat has to travel through your digestive system prior to passing through your blood-brain barrier and entering your bloodstream, it can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours before you begin to feel the effects of a CBD edible.

The downside of using CBD edibles would not lay in the product itself, but in the unregulated market. Because the laws surrounding cannabinoids like CBD vary greatly, the market is highly unregulated. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate CBD making it difficult for consumers to have consistency in their products. Potency levels of cannabinoids, health and safety standards, as well as product consistency,  vary from each CBD company operating.


Probably the most luxurious and relaxing way to reap the many therapeutic benefits of CBD oil is via topical CBD-rich products. Lotions, creams, and even bath bombs are a treat for aches, pains, and silencing mental chatter.

The interesting thing about using CBD products topically is that they never enter your bloodstream. Instead of the work locally ( on the problem area only). Most CBD infused beauty products will only penetrate the first few layers of your skin and do not reach the blood-brain barrier.

Combining a CBD topical with another method of consumption like a tincture is a popular method for CBD users. The tincture will take effect within minutes while you wait for your skin to absorb the CBD-rich topical and start working.


Sublingual (under the tongue) dosing is one of the fastest ways to reap the benefits of CBD oil. A CBD tincture is an edible oil that you can consume sublingually or by adding it to your food and drinks. The time-to-effect with CBD tinctures can be as fast as 10 minutes or as slow as 30 minutes. Regardless of using CBD sublingually is the second-fastest method of consumption when it comes to the onset of effects.

Unlike consuming your CBD through an edible, using a tincture sublingually allows the CBD oil to enter your bloodstream much faster. By holding the CBD oil under your tongue it is absorbed through the mucous membranes, passes through the blood-brain barrier directly bypassing your digestive system and enters your bloodstream.

The only thing better for balancing your ECS and healing yourself with a CBD tincture is combining this method of consumption with another method of consumption. 

Vaping/ Inhalation

If you need your CBD to kick-in immediately, get yourself a good quality vaporizer and CBD distillate or isolate. When you vape CBD, it enters your lungs and goes straight to your bloodstream. You will feel the effects of vaping within moments. 

The absorption and bioavailability rate of CBD is the highest compared to all other methods of consumption. The downside of vaping would be irritation of the throat. Otherwise, vaping CBD is the best way to consume CBD. 

When it comes to dosing, how long CBD stays in your system will also vary on the method of consumption. Let’s take a look!

How Long Do the Effects of CBD Last?

Just like how long CBD takes before you begin to feel the effects, the duration of effects varies from person to person and product to product. The time-to-effect, bioavailability, and the same biological factors mentioned above all play a role in how long the effects of CBD will last.


CBD-rich edibles last the longest. While edibles take a little longer to kick-in, their effects stay in your system the longest. Depending on your dosage, a CBD edible can stay in your bloodstream anywhere from 6 to 8 hours.

If you need your CBD to work faster but last longer, try combining a CBD edible with vaping. You’ll feel the effects of inhaling CBD and the benefits may last for several hours by eating an edible.


Because most CBD-infused topical products do not breach the blood-brain barrier and cannot enter your bloodstream, the lasting effects are hard to gauge. Relaxation, reduction of swelling, and tension are all benefits of using a CBD lotion, but to reap the maximum benefits of CBD, try using a CBD tincture or incorporating CBD capsules into your anti-pain arsenal.

CBD transdermal patches are the only known topical product capable of penetrating the blood-brain barrier. While more research needs to be conducted, transdermal patches are similar to edibles in that the effects may last up to 8 hours.


Using a CBD tincture sublingually will take effect within minutes, and how long the effects last will vary. The potency and frequency of use will be two main determining factors of how long the effects will last. Most tinctures will last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. 


Vaping has the shortest lasting effects. You may feel the effects of vaping CBD distillate or CBD isolate immediately, but the effects wear off in under an hour. Using this method of consumption is great for flare-ups of pain or anxiety-related symptoms. Combining vaping with another method that lasts longer like an edible is a great way to maximize your CBD experience.

Does CBD Show Up on A Drug Test?

It depends. ( I know, you’re probably getting tired of that answer, but it’s true!) Technically, CBD and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids should never result in a positive drug test. Unfortunately, there have been cases where CBD users have failed to pass their drug test and have lost their job.

The thing is, the FDA does not regulate CBD, so we don’t have a clear picture of what we’re consuming. Transparency falls on the shoulders of the manufacturer. Unless the manufacturer wants to provide third-party lab testing results for each batch, they aren’t mandated to. This is what makes it so difficult to know what’s really in your CBD oil. 

There may be more THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) than legally allowed, or even worse, not knowing where or how your CBD was extracted, there may be harmful residual compounds like pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals.

CBD does not show up on a drug test, but mind-altering cannabinoid THC will. If you are consuming a CBD product that has more THC than the label says, you may fail a drug test. While the legal limit of THC in any CBD oil is 0.03% in the U.S, opt for a 0% THC: CBD ratio oil if you have concerns about failing a drug test.

Different testing methods will have different thresholds. If the level of THC is higher than their cut-off level, then you are going to fail. The most common tests for THC are saliva, urine, hair, and blood tests. 

How Can CBD Make Me Fail A Drug Test?

Lack of Regulation

Technically you could call this heading Product Mislabeling, but that’s only one issue out of many regarding the lack of regulation in the cannabis industry. Your CBD tincture could contain more THC in it than the label says. Some people have filed lawsuits against CBD companies after losing their job because the CBD oil contained enough THC to fail a drug test. 

Tolerance Build-Up

If you’re using CBD products on a daily basis and the manufacturer is not reputable, you may unknowingly be building up levels of illicit cannabinoids like THC. Using cannabinoid therapies regularly may result in a failed drug test because they are known to stay in your system and levels may build-up over time.


Your CBD product may have THC in it because of cross-contamination. Also, thanks to lack of regulations (thanks, FDA) manufacturers who do not practise high-quality health and safety standards may create your product around other full-spectrum or whole-plant cannabis extracts that do contain THC.

The Verdict: Source Your CBD

If you’re concerned about THC in your system, look for a CBD manufacturer that follows the best safety and quality practises. Transparency is huge. Look for a CBD company that provides third-party lab testing results for each batch. Although the legal limit of THC in any CBD oil is 0.3% in the U.S, opt for a CBD oil that contains 0% THC if you are worried about the potential of testing positive.

Using CBD to reduce stress, anxiety, as well as physical aches and pains is still a relatively new holistic method that needs more recognition and support from political and government bodies to be better regulated. Consistency, potency, and transparency are what you’re looking for in a premium CBD company. I hope you’ve learned a thing or two about how long CBD stays in your system, and as always, stay lifted!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *