How Long Do THC & CBD Stay In Your System?

Evidence based

How Long Do THC & CBD Stay In Your System?
THC and CBD may be effective...but they’re also easily misunderstood.  Many CBD oil users wonder how long the CBD they’re using will stay in their system for. They might wonder the same thing about their CBD’s trace THC content. Will this THC stay in their system? Will it make them fail a drug test? In this article we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the pharmacology of both CBD and THC.

How long does CBD stay in your system?

CBD typically stays in one’s system for between two and five days. This range, however, doesn’t apply to everyone — some people report that CBD stays in their system for weeks! This variability depends on all sorts of factors, including:
  • How much CBD you use
  • How often you use CBD
  • What format your CBD comes in
  • Whether you take CBD with anything else

How much CBD you use

The more CBD you use, the longer it will tend to stay active. Most natural substances work this way — cannabinoids are no exception!  Larger amounts of CBD also have a longer-lasting effect on your body’s endocannabinoid system, which means they confer lasting benefits. [1]

How often you use CBD

The frequency of your CBD use also plays a role in how long the CBD will stay in your body.  Taking CBD very frequently may result in a buildup of both CBD and endocannabinoids (internally produced cannabinoids), since CBD inhibits the breakdown of the endocannabinoids your body produces. [2] If you use CBD less frequently, on the other hand, it may be cleared out of the body more quickly by your liver enzymes. [3]

What format your CBD comes in

CBD comes in all different shapes and sizes: Why’s your CBD’s delivery method so important? Because different CBD products stay in your body for different amounts of time.  Vaping CBD may kick in fast, but its effects are also most transient. Oils and tinctures, on the other hand, are metabolized by the liver and essentially time-released over a longer period of time. [4 CBD topicals are also very slow to enter and exit circulation — if they get into the bloodstream at all. 

Whether you take CBD with anything else

Taking your CBD alongside a fatty meal has recently been shown to boost its total absorption and even reduce onset time. [5] Taking CBD in tandem with terpenes may also help the cannabinoid kick in faster. At Medterra, our products are loaded with pro-metabolic fats and beneficial terpenes as it is. These components may very well help your CBD stay active for longer. 

Other factors

Factors as diverse as your age, weight, health status, metabolic rate, and liver function can also affect how long CBD stays in your system for. 

Will CBD show up on a drug test?

CBD and THC stay in your system long enough to potentially impact your drug test results.  How long is CBD detectable in urine? A single dose of CBD should be gone within a day or two, while consistent CBD users may have detectable CBD levels for several weeks. According to the experts, “conventional urine drug testing for cannabis targets a common metabolite of THC called Carboxyl-THC,” meaning that the test is looking for the cannabinoid THC. [6]  THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the natural plant compound known to induce the infamous “high” associated with Marijuana. While both Marijuana and Hemp contain THC, hemp contains far less THC and far more CBD. For hemp to be legally classified as hemp, in fact, it must contain .3% THC or less.  And while many brands claim that there’s no THC in their products, consumers can’t always be sure. A recent FDA report found that many CBD products did in fact contain more THC than their labeling listed. Not all manufacturers may have the same extraction process consistency or provide the same level of third-party testing that companies like Medterra do. Grace Kroner, Lead Researcher at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center in Salt Lake City, conducted a study using the traditional urine test models with various cannabinoids and found that CBD “did not react with either of two commercially available tests used to screen for marijuana use.” Kroner goes on to describe that trace cannabinoids like CBN can cause a false positive for THC in very rare cases. [7]  The good news is that these rare false positives occur only in uncommon THC tests. Now that you have the data behind CBD & THC and your system, shop for the best CBD & THC products on the market with Medterra.
How Long Do THC & CBD Stay In Your System?


Millar, S. A. (2019). A systematic review of cannabidiol dosing in clinical populations. PubMed.

Leweke, F. M. (2012, March 20). Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. PubMed.

Perucca, E. (2020c). Critical Aspects Affecting Cannabidiol Oral Bioavailability and Metabolic Elimination, and Related Clinical Implications. PubMed.

Bartner, L. R. (2018). Pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol administered by 3 delivery methods at 2 different dosages to healthy dogs. PubMed.

HealthDay. (2019, August 16). A Fatty Meal Might Affect How You Absorb CBD. WebMD.

Hasse, Javier. 6 November 2019. Legal CBD Products May Make You Test Positive for Cannabis in Urine Drug Tests, Johns Hopkins Study says.

Vandergriendt, Carly. 24 April 2019. Does CBD Show up On a Drug Test?

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Written by:

Jay Hartenbach
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