As an athlete, it’s essential to keep your body in tip-top shape. In addition to regular exercise and healthy eating, many athletes are relying on CBD to boost their overall wellness and vitality. 

Whether you’re adding a few drops of CBD oil to your mid-morning protein shake or using a CBD topical lotion to help your muscles recover after a tough workout, CBD can provide many benefits to your full-body health and wellness.

But, how long does CBD stay in your body, and will it show up on a drug test before a competition? While the type of CBD you use will determine if it’s likely to show up on a drug test, CBD typically stays in the body somewhere between 2 days and 2 weeks, or possibly longer. 

Read on to explore the factors that contribute to how your body processes CBD, which include your body composition, the type and amount of CBD you use, and how frequently you use it.

Key Takeaways

  • The length of time CBD stays in your system is dependent on how it’s metabolized by your body, your body size, and the amount, type, and frequency of your CBD use.
  • The effects of CBD may linger for approximately 2-6 hours, but it may stay in your system for between 2 days and 2 weeks, or more.
  • If you use full-spectrum CBD, it might show up on a drug test.

Factors that Determine How Long CBD Stays in the Body

When hypothesizing how long CBD will stay in your body, it’s important to consider the four main factors that influence how CBD interacts with your body:

  • Body composition and metabolic rate 
  • Type of CBD you use
  • Amount of CBD 
  • Frequency of use 

Body Composition and Metabolic Rate

When answering how long does CBD stay in your system, it’s important to consider your body’s unique composition and processes. To that end, there are a few factors to take into account, including:

  • Your body composition – If you’re heavier, your body will take longer to process the CBD. This means it may take longer to feel the effects and for CBD to exit your body fully.
  • Your metabolic rate – A fast metabolic rate means you’ll feel the impact of CBD more quickly. But, the CBD will also flush out of your system faster than it would for someone with a slower metabolism.
  • Food intake – If you eat larger meals right before or after you consume CBD, your digestion will be slower and CBD will remain in your body longer than if you used it on an empty stomach.

Along with these factors, any medications you take can also impact how quickly your body processes CBD. To that end, if you’re on medications, check with your doctor before taking CBD.

Type of CBD 

The type of CBD found in the product you use will also impact how long it stays in your body. Generally, CBD products are made with either full-spectrum or isolate CBD:

  • Full-spectrum – If you purchase products containing full-spectrum CBD, you’re getting all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids, including THC, that is found in the plant. Additionally, full-spectrum CBD also contains some essential oils and terpenes. Since full-spectrum CBD is stronger than other types of CBD, it may stay in your body for a longer amount of time. 
  • Isolate – If you want to be certain your CBD product contains no THC content, then you’ll want to purchase those that only contain CBD isolates. A CBD isolate is a pure form of CBD. Generally, it takes a higher dose of CBD isolate to feel its effects, which can affect how long it stays in your body. 

Full-spectrum CBD is more potent. Therefore, you might feel a more immediate effect. However, conclusive research is unavailable to indicate whether it also stays in your system longer than the isolate form, especially considering that isolate requires a higher CBD dosage to reap the full benefits. 

To that end, it’s important to experiment with CBD to see how it best interacts and works with your body. 

Amount and Frequency of Use

Lastly, the amount of CBD you use and how often you use it determines how long it remains physically present in your body. 

If you take larger doses of CBD, it’ll take your body longer to metabolize it and flush it out of your system. The same is true of frequency. If you regularly use CBD products, they won’t exit your system as quickly because you’re constantly adding more. CBD will build up in your body, and take longer to completely exit once you stop using it. 

How Does Your Body Metabolize CBD?

The primary factor that contributes to how long CBD stays in the body is your metabolic rate.

If you think of your body as a tunnel with gates in place that monitor which items can pass through, it might be easier to understand how your body metabolizes CBD. 

For example, if you’re ingesting a CBD product orally, the first gate is your mouth. However, it’ll have to be processed by many more systems before entering your bloodstream to deliver its health-promoting effects throughout your body.

To that end, how quickly and how long you feel the effects of CBD depends on how you ingest or apply it to your body. Generally speaking, some methods will have higher bioavailability, meaning some methods are more effectively absorbed into the body than others. 

Oral Ingestion

So, how long does CBD take to work? Whether in the form of oils or gummies, when you consume CBD edibles, there are many “gates” it must pass through before it enters your bloodstream and begins to instruct your nerves to send signals to the rest of the central nervous system and endocrine system:

  • Step one – CBD passes through the digestive tract.
  • Step two – CBD enters the stomach.
  • Step three – CBD goes through the hepatic portal to the liver.
  • Step four – The liver metabolizes the CBD. 
  • Step five – The metabolized CBD goes into the bloodstream.
  • Step six – CBD is carried to the receptors in your central nervous system for full-body relaxation, calmness, and health.

As you can imagine, this process can take a while and by the time it’s passed through all of these gates, less CBD remains. On the plus side, although it can take an hour or more to feel the CBD side effects, the impact of the CBD may last a little longer once it kicks in.

Since CBD is fat-soluble, it’s difficult for the body to absorb. To that end, when passing through the digestive tract, the majority of CBD is destroyed by digestive acids and enzymes. To that end, oral ingestion may be less effective than other application methods, and will typically not last as long within your body. 


CBD is also sold in an oil or tincture format that gets placed under the tongue with a dropper. This allows the mouth’s mucus membranes to absorb the CBD. 

You’ll need to place the product under your tongue and leave it for up to a minute before swallowing. If you swallow right away, it goes into the digestive system and must pass through all the gates mentioned above.

However, when it goes into the mucus membranes, it bypasses the digestive system. This allows it to get to the bloodstream more quickly—in as little as 15 minutes. You’ll also receive a stronger dose this way as it hasn’t been metabolized by the liver first.

So how long does CBD oil stay in your system? It’s largely dependent on your body composition, but because sublingual CBD is absorbed more quickly, the appropriate CBD dosage might also pass through the body faster than with CBD edibles.

CBD Oil vs. CBD Tincture

CBD oils and tinctures are actually two different products, although they are consumed in the same sublingual manner. 

  • CBD oil – This product is typically a mixture of CBD extract and oil, which acts as a carrier. Sometimes flavorful extracts are added to give the oil a specific taste.
  • CBD tincture – Instead of oil, tinctures use high-proof alcohol as the base. The alcohol is used to extract the CBD from the cannabis plant. Then sweeteners and flavors are added to make it more palatable. 

Smoking or Vaping

Like sublingual applications, vaping and smoking produces more fast-acting effects. Inhaled CBD smoke is absorbed directly into the lungs and can take effect within three minutes. However, because it’s absorbed swiftly, it’ll also leave the body more quickly. 

Topical Application

When applied to the skin, CBD topicals, such as creams or lotions, absorb slowly into the body. This is because CBD is fat-soluble and the water-soluble layer of skin often repels the cannabinoids. To that end, topical CBD enters the bloodstream gradually and therefore may be present in your body days after applying it to your skin. 

The Difference Between Physical Presence and Effects of CBD

As we’ve discussed, the exact amount of time CBD will remain physically present in your system varies widely depending on many factors. However, it’s estimated that CBD can stay in the body from as little as 2 days to as long as 2 weeks, sometimes more. 

The length of time you’ll actually feel the effects of CBD is much shorter. Typically, you can expect them to linger for between 2 to 6 hours, although that’ll depend on the amount and type of CBD you use.

This range is also reliant on how you define “system,” or what’s being evaluated for the presence of CBD. The means of detecting CBD can include testing your:

  • Blood
  • Hair
  • Urine
  • Saliva

Each will produce a different time frame for which CBD is detectable.

Will CBD Cause You to Fail a Drug Test?

If you use a full-spectrum CBD product that contains trace amounts of THC, it may cause you to fail a CBD drug test. This depends on how much you took, how recently you took it, and how often. 

If you’re worried about failing a drug test before a big competition, make sure you’re only using CBD isolate products that don’t contain any THC content.

Stay Active With Resilience CBD

The length of time CBD stays in your body varies, depending on your body size, metabolic rate, and the type and frequency of CBD use. The way you consume CBD products will also heavily impact how long it lasts. 

Understanding how CBD affects your body is essential when incorporating it into your lifestyle. If you’re looking for premium CBD products that promote recovery and restore your body, look no further than Resilience CBD.

We offer effective CBD products to help you reach your highest potential. Each of our offerings is made with quality ingredients so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body. 

Become resilient with Resilience CBD.

Michael TatzWritten by: Michael Tatz | Linkedin

Michael Tatz is the Co-Founder of Resilience CBD,  and a passionate leader in the health & fitness world helping others rise to and crush their wildest goals.  A former Division 1 college wrestler,  Army Officer,  and investment manager at Goldman Sachs,  he has pushed his body and mind to the limits on the mats, dressed in camo,  and in the boardroom.

Today, he spends his time leading Resilience CBD to develop the absolute best recovery products for athletes everywhere.  Resilience was founded after CBD personally impacted Michael’s life,  and the brand was built to partner with everyday athletes in pursuit of conquering their most difficult challenges,  rebounding after their toughest performances,  and rising to their goals that once seemed impossible. 



Discover Magazine. How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?

Frontiers in Pharmacology. A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans.

Medical News Today. What to Know About CBD Oils and Tinctures.

Discover Magazine. Yes, CBD Creams May Relieve Pain. But Science is Still Learning About the Benefits and Risks.

FDA. What You Need to Know About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-Derived Compounds, Including CBD.

Healthline. Isolate vs. Full Spectrum CBD: Which One is Right For You?

NIH. A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans.

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