CBD edibles like gummies, mints and tablets are convenient and tasty, delivering a delicious dose of CBD extract for an on-the-go snack or after-dinner treat.
Unlike CBD oils and CBD topicals, edible CBD products must first pass through the digestive system before they’re absorbed into the bloodstream to deliver their desired CBD effects, meaning they may stay in your system longer.
When you consume a CBD edible ... it can take a full hour or even two to kick in since it has to move through your digestive system before entering your bloodstream.
So, how long does edible CBD stay in system? Typically, CBD edibles will stay in your body anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. That said, your body composition, consumption habits, and the potency of the CBD product can influence how CBD is metabolized.
How Long Does Edible CBD Last?
Before analyzing how long CBD stays in your system, it might be helpful to know how long CBD stays active. Once you eat your favorite CBD edible gummy, there’s a delay before the CBD begins to affect your system.
CBD oils or balms may begin working in a matter of minutes, but when you consume a CBD edible like a CBD gummy, it can take a full hour or even two to kick in since it has to move through your digestive system before entering your bloodstream.
How long do CBD edibles last? This may depend on your CBD serving size. However, you can expect the effects to continue for two to six hours.
While CBD edibles do not cause a psychoactive effect, they may provide several measurable benefits, including:
- Relaxation – Many CBD users are looking to kick back and relax. The mellow and non-psychoactive benefits of CBD edibles can support a calm and contemplative mood.
- Sleep – Looking to help your body settle into a peaceful slumber? CBD can assist with quality sleep without causing grogginess or fatigue the next day. Check out the best CBD for sleep or consider the connection between CBD and melatonin.
- Joint support – Exercise and daily use can leave your muscles and joints feeling worn and achy. Fortunately, CBD edibles can assist with joint support and help ease exercise-related stiffness.
Of course, the length of effects may vary depending on factors such as:
- Amount – Consuming larger amounts of CBD could create longer-lasting effects. The more CBD your body has to metabolize, the longer it may take for the effects to wear off.
- Body mass – Various physical factors, such as body mass, can affect the length of CBD's effectiveness. Larger individuals may need a higher dosage of CBD edibles to experience the same effects as someone with a lower body mass.
- Quality of products – The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for oversight of CBD products on the market. Unfortunately, due to the recent changes in law and continued reevaluation, consumers may experience subpar products using low-quality natural materials and below-standard manufacturing products. Always aim to source your CBD from a reputable source that has a Certificate of Analysis to verify the ingredients and potency of the product.
What is the Half-Life of CBD?
After the effects of edible CBD wear off, it’s important to remember that CBD may still be in your body depending on the CBD’s half-life.
A half-life is a term used to describe how long it takes for a substance to break down into one-half of its original amount or potency. Regardless of the substance, knowing the half-life will help you predict how long it will remain active.
While there are very definite half-lives for certain substances, CBD is a little more varied. The average half-life of CBD is somewhere between one hour and five days. That said, the half-life can vary depending on a variety of factors, such as:
- Type of product – Oils, sprays and other CBD products typically have a shorter half-life than those consumed orally. This means edibles will take longer to break down in your body.
- Potency – Stronger products are likely to stay in your body longer. Quality CBD edibles should be transparent about their potency and clearly display how many milligrams of CBD are in each product.
- Source – Ultimately, the half-life of any CBD product is related to the hemp plant that the CBD was originally sourced from. If you’re purchasing CBD edibles from a reputable company using US-grown hemp like Zebra CBD, you may have a better idea of precisely what’s going into your product. This may provide useful information to determine how long the product may stay in your system.
It may take four to five half-life cycles for edible CBD to leave your system. For example, if the half-life of a product is one day, it may be four to five days before your body eliminates it. Fortunately, CBD is unlikely to show up on a drug test, unless it contains a high THC level.
How Is CBD Stored in Your Body?
Once ingested and digested, CBD edibles will move through your bloodstream to your brain and elsewhere in your body. While half-lives generally refer to how long a substance may stay in your bloodstream, there is another aspect of CBD retention to consider: CBD is stored in fat cells.
Fat cells work to:
- Store energy for later use
- Insulate the body
- Support vital organs
- Assist with protein and carbohydrate synthesis
Fat cells also retain certain chemical substances, including CBD. If you consume edible CBD, some amount will likely end up in your fat cells. CBD stored in fat cells is detectable for longer periods and could remain in your system for two to three weeks, depending on how much you consume.
What Factors Can Impact CBD Metabolization?
When measuring how long edible CBD remains in your body, what you’re really examining is the process of metabolization. Metabolization is a chemical reaction in your body that transforms food into the energy it needs to perform necessary biological functions.
Because edible CBD is bound to oils and fats, your body breaks down CBD as it would food. That said, several factors can impact CBD metabolization, including:
- Frequency of use – Daily CBD users and those eating CBD edibles for the first time may have drastically different experiences. As mentioned above, there is a tendency for CBD to build up in fat cells over time. People who use CBD edibles more regularly may have a larger build-up of CBD in their system. As such, it will take longer for CBD to completely exit their body compared to a first-time user who has minimal CBD build-up in their fat cells.
- Dietary practices – What you eat matters. Not only is nutrition important for your general well-being, but it may also play a role in how your body responds to CBD. Your diet may have an effect on CBD metabolizing and leaving your system. For example, eating foods high in fat may help your body absorb CBD edibles more easily. Learn more about CBD for appetite stimulation.
- Personal factors – Your age, gender, activity level and other genetic factors can influence your metabolism. Metabolic rates vary drastically between individuals, and your specific metabolism will be a major determinant of how long CBD stays in your body. A faster metabolism will move CBD through your body more quickly than a slower metabolism.
That said, you may be able to increase your metabolic rate through physical activity. Not only is exercise good for your overall health, but a regular regimen may also allow CBD and other substances to move more swiftly through your system.
Is CBD Legal?
If you’re worried about CBD in your system, you may have uncertainty about the legal ramifications of CBD use. While state laws pertaining to CBD may change, CBD is federally legal in the United States.
The 2018 Farm Bill created new legal precedent regarding:
- Hemp growing – Before 2018, hemp plants were broadly classified as cannabis, making them illegal to grow. The Farm Bill has declassified hemp as a controlled substance. Today, hemp and hemp-derived CBD oil can be produced safely and legally, so long as it abides by government standards.
- THC content – The standards set by the 2018 Farm Bill require all legal hemp plants and products to contain no more than 0.3% THC per section. Any plants or products containing greater quantities of THC are not federally legal.
- USDA farming regulations – To support the growing demand for hemp and CBD products, the United States Department of Agriculture has enacted several programs to assist hemp farmers and ensure that plants grown in the US abide by the highest quality standards. Farmers and consumers benefit from a regulated hemp-growing process that ensures accountability and transparency.
Different states have enacted laws concerning the sale, use and possession of CBD. Consider looking into the laws in your area to determine what CBD products are safe to use. Additionally, though CBD is federally legal, private businesses and institutions may enact their own policies and regulations regarding the substance.
Does CBD Show Up on Drug Tests?
Concerned about an upcoming drug test? In the US, CBD and THC laws are constantly changing. Between state laws, local ordinances and new national regulations, it can be difficult to ascertain whether or not CBD will show up on a drug test.
That said, standard drug screenings do not test for CBD.
However, some unregulated CBD products may contain THC levels over the legal limit, which may appear on standard drug tests. As such, it’s critical to be vigilant about the reputability of the CBD company you’re using, as well as the three types of CBD products on the market:
- Full-spectrum – For those anticipating a future drug screening, full-spectrum CBD is not recommended. Full-spectrum CBD products contain CBD, additional cannabinoids and up to 0.3% THC. While this amount of THC doesn’t typically cause inebriating effects, it may trigger a positive drug test. That said, full-spectrum CBD is anti-inflammatory and may help support muscle recovery.
- Broad-spectrum – Much like full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD products also contain additional cannabinoids, but they do not contain any THC metabolite. Broad-spectrum CBD may help ease mental anguish, stress, and feelings of unease.
- Isolates – Typically found in pure, crystalline forms, CBD isolate products offer pure CBD and nothing else. Again, this form is THC-free and a popular option for those looking to ease physical aches or discomfort.
If you’re anticipating an upcoming drug screening, it’s recommended to avoid full-spectrum CBD products and opt for broad-spectrum or isolate CBD edibles instead to ensure your body is THC-free.
Zebra CBD: Your Source For Quality Edibles
How long CBD edibles stay in your system will depend on a variety of factors, including your body composition and metabolism rate, as well as the potency and half-life of the CBD you’re using. That said, it’s generally believed that CBD can stay in your body for a few days up to a few weeks.
For high-quality CBD edibles that come with their own Label Accuracy Guarantee, look to Zebra CBD.
Stock your pantry with Zebra CBD.
Healthline. How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System? https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-does-cbd-stay-in-your-system
Forbes. How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System? https://www.forbes.com/health/body/how-long-does-cbd-stay-in-your-system/
USDA. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. https://www.usda.gov/topics/hemp