How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

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One common question we get asked a lot at our store is “How long does CBD stay in your system?” There are four main elements that affect this, and we promise we’re not trying to be elusive here, but it’s important to add that everyone’s body reacts differently, and external factors can affect the length of time CBD remains in your system. With that said, let’s dive in.


Just as different CBD formats (e.g: edibles, topicals, oil tinctures, etc) take different lengths of time to have an effect, the length of time it stays in your system also varies. This is related to how quickly they are absorbed by your body.

If you use a CBD vape (which we don’t recommend), this will enter your lungs and take effect quickly and also leave your body quickly. CBD oil is another fast-acting format if you take it sublingually, but studies have suggested that this stays in your system for longer than vape.

Since CBD edibles and capsules need to be digested and metabolized, these tend to take longer to take effect but also tend to stay in your system for longer. CBD topicals are applied to your skin and provide a targeted treatment option, but they are not necessarily in your system because it doesn’t enter your bloodstream. 


This one is fairly simple – in general, the higher dosage of CBD you take, the longer it will stay in your system. You should make sure to adhere to the serving suggestion on the label of the product you are using and find your optimal dosage slowly by a trial and error process. Listen to your body and make adjustments gradually as needed. 

Frequency of Use

For those who regularly take CBD, it will stay in their systems for a longer period of time because CBD builds up in your body over time. This is also the reason we recommend using CBD products for at least a week to see if it works for you.

If you use CBD only occasionally or intermittently, it will clear from your system faster.


All of our bodies are different and this will have an effect on how CBD moves through the body. Your overall weight and the speed of your metabolism, for example, will result in variation between different people.

Other external factors

There are several other factors that may have an impact on how long CBD stays in your body, such as what and how much you have eaten. When you take CBD on a full stomach, digestion will be slower overall, and this means that the CBD will be in your system for a longer period.

In a 2019 study done by the College of Pharmacy at University of Minnesota, researchers examined how fatty foods, and fasting affects CBD absorption. The results suggest fatty foods might help boost the body’s absorption of CBD, and this is also the reason many CBD products incorporate MCT Oil, which is high in healthy fats, as a base oil. 

Approximately how long does CBD stay in your system for?

Although the exact answer is not clear, current research suggests that CBD can stay in the system for most people for around 2 to 5 days. This won’t necessarily be the case for everyone as there are many factors which can affect this, and in some cases it may stay in your system for weeks.

How long do the effects last?

Although CBD might stay in your system for days or sometimes, weeks, this is not how long the effects will be felt. In general, across the different formats, the effects will be felt for a few hours – most likely between 4 and 12 hours.

CBD and drug testing

Since there are some concerns that CBD could be flagged during drug testing, despite it being non-psychoactive and legal in most countries, it can be useful to know how long CBD stays in the system for. As there is currently no guarantee on this, it’s always better to err on the side of caution.

The main reason CBD might show up on a drug test is if it contains trace amounts of THC. If you are an athlete or someone who might come across drug testing, you may prefer to stick to those products which do not have any THC present, such as Narrow Spectrum and CBD Isolate. 

The products we sell at Mellow, for example, all come with a Certificate of Analysis (COA) from when they have been tested by a third-party laboratory so you can see exactly what is in them, including proof of zero-THC. 

If you have any concerns or questions, email at us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.