More and more Americans are using CBD (cannabidiol) products because of their revolutionary health effects. But one of the most common questions revolves around just how long that CBD will stay in your system. For those who might be trying to get a job or report to a parole board, this can be essential information. The simple answer here is that you should almost always assume that CBD will be detected on a drug test and should be considered when using it if you know that you are about to be drug tested.
But knowing more about CBD, how long it lasts, and just how your body processes it can go a long way towards allowing you to make the most informed decision possible.
How Does Your Body Process CBD?
This all comes down to what method of ingestion you prefer. CBD is available in a ton of different forms including dietary supplements, edibles, dried flower, vape cartridges, oils and tinctures. CBD is most commonly taken through oral methods, but there are a fair number of people that vape CBD or smoke the dried flower.
When smoking or vaping CBD, it will reach your bloodstream right away. When it hits your bloodstream, it starts to have effects on both your body and your brain. Eating CBD can take a bit longer and will depend on factors like whether or not you have eaten recently.
No matter how you prefer to ingest CBD, your body will typically start to absorb and use the CBD within an hour of you ingesting it. So, if it feels like it “isn’t working”, give it time to get into your bloodstream and begin to work.
The effects of CBD will last anywhere from an hour to three hours, but lab tests are able to detect the CBD in your bloodstream for much, much longer than that.
How Long Does CBD Stay in Lab Tests?
This depends on the exact type of drug test applied. Five-panel and 10-panel drug tests will typically check for marijuana use by testing for THC, not CBD. This is because the THC component is what causes that psychoactive high.
The problem here is that CBD isn’t entirely pure. As a matter of fact, up to 70% of CBD products will contain an unmarked percentage of CBD in it, don’t have the same CBD content as advertised on the packaging, or will contain THC and/or other unlisted cannabinoids.
Even legal CBD is still not yet regulated by the FDA, so that means that it could contain other cannabidiols. These are most definitely detectable by a drug test and is then interpreted as marijuana use.
There have even been drug tests administered that were looking for THC usage that ended up triggering false positives for CBD. Even those pure CBD products run the risk of testing positively for that reason.
It is also safe to assume that CBD will be able to trigger a positive drug test for as long as THC can. This is because both chemicals metabolize at roughly the same rate and they are both stored in your body’s fat cells. Not only that, they both have the same half-life of around 18 to 32 hours. This means it takes that long to remove exactly half of the drug from your body.
How Long Does CBD Stay in Your Blood?
Blood tests generally aren’t the preferred way to test for CBD or other cannabinoids. This is because they don’t work for very long. It can take as long as 3 hours to start testing positive, and then the test itself may only be effective for another hour or so.
This means that blood tests for CBD generally have a high rate of false negatives. Simply put the test does not work long enough to detect the actual use of CBD. Most employers and other organizations will not use blood tests for their drug screening process for just this reason. Most of the time, blood tests will only be able to detect substance use that happened earlier in the same day as the test is being implemented.
Other Methods of Checking CBD Use
Blood and urine are not the only methods to check for CBD (and other drug) usage. CBD and other cannabinoids can start to show in your urine beginning around three days after the initial use. From there, it depends on how frequently you use that will dictate how long they remain in your system.
A single dose of CBD could show up on a drug test for around 3 days or so, but if you use CBD on a daily basis and do so heavily, it is entirely possible that it could keep showing up for around 30 days or so. It is also possible that CBD could possibly show up in your urine for longer than three days. This tends to happen if you use an impure or non-isolate product. Pure, isolate products will contain only CBD with no additional cannabidiols that could be detected by traditional drug testing.
CBD can also be detectable in your hair. Hair tests are the longest-acting drug test far and away, with the ability to detect CBD in your body up to 90 days after initial use or sometimes longer. They are also known for producing more false positives than most other kinds of tests. That is because this kind of test checks for the presence of cannabinoids in those skin oils that will be transferred from your scalp to your hair. It is entirely possible that if you use topical CBD products like hemp oil, those products could wind up showing up on a drug test as cannabis use.
The general guidelines are in place to know how long prior to a drug test that you can safely use CBD products. The best practice is to not use if you have an inkling that you will have to take a drug test for any reason as it is always better to be safe than sorry and risk a false positive.