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September 04, 2019 3 min read

With CBD oil being so new to the mass market, there are a lot of questions surrounding its effectiveness, most notably, how long does it take to work, and how long do the effects last? In short, it depends entirely on the specific product you are using, but it’s good to have a general idea of how CBD works inside your body, so you can dose in the best way possible for you. 

How long does it take to work?

There are a lot of factors that contribute to the bioavailability of CBD, and how long it will take to start working for you, depending on the specific reason you are using it. These include: how much of the product you consume, what particular product you are taking, and when you consume the CBD oil. 

Much like traditional medicines, you should expect CBD to be fully interacting with your system within around 20 minutes of its consumption, but whether or not you actuallyfeel the effects of this depends on a lot of these varying factors. For many people, the effects are only recognisable through continued daily use. 

How long will it stay in your body?

Like a lot of other substances, the length of time CBD oil stays in your body depends on how much you take initially, and whether you top it up. To understand more accurately how long CBD stays in your system, it’s important to understand the biological elimination half-life, which is essentially the time it takes for half of the substance to be eliminated through natural biological processes. 

It is thought that for CBD, the biological elimination half-life is somewhere between 18-32 hours. As an example, assuming 100% bioavailability, if you take 10mg of CBD then it should take around 18 to 32 hours for that amount to reduce to 5mg, and the same length of time again to reduce to 2.5mg. Things like metabolism come into play here, so of course it varies depending on your biological makeup, but this is the general rule of thumb. 

Studies have shown that at this rate, for most moderate users of CBD, it would take around 4 or 5 days for their system to be completely free from the product, and would probably stop feeling any effects around 12 hours later. This is why many people take a dose in the morning and then again in the evening. 

Will CBD oil show up in a drug test?

One question that comes up a lot is whether or not CBD oil will be detectable in a drug test. Some job roles and other activities require drug testing, and will insist that the results be completely free from any and all prohibited substances. If this is the case for you, it’s normal to be curious about whether or not your little dropper of CBD oil in the morning is going to put a big red line under your name. 

Studies have shown that cannabidiol stays detectable in the system for 3-4 days, and even though it is nowhere near as biologically active after several days, if specifically tested for, it can appear in the results of drug testing due to potential trace amounts of THC, the primary active ingredient in cannabis. Though cannabis has a controversial history and may still be tested for, CBD is non-psychotropic, and is not usually something specifically searched for in a drug test. 

At the end of the day, everything comes down to “it depends”. On the quality of the CBD oil, the amount taken, the time at which it is taken, your biological makeup, and a whole host of other factors. It is important to figure out your optimum dosage of CBD oil through trial and error, as each person is so different. 

If you have further questions on this and want to chaton Instagram then please do get in touch - I’d love to hear from you. 


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