How long does cannabis stay in your system?
While a high might only last a few hours, cannabis can linger in your body for days after you consume it, experts say.
But exactly how cannabis works its way through your system is a complicated question. Here’s what we know.
Smoking or vaping cannabis is a “very efficient way to get the drug into your bloodstream,” said Dr. Robert Mann, a senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Studies that he is working on and hopes to publish soon find that people reach a peak level of intoxication within about five minutes of smoking cannabis. “Then THC levels will decline over the next couple of hours very rapidly, then that decline slows off for a while, and then after several hours, I think the levels in the blood are quite low.”
The Canadian guidelines for lower-risk cannabis use recommend that you don’t drive for at least six hours after smoking cannabis, as that’s about how long impairment might last, he said, though obviously if you’re still feeling intoxicated after that, you still shouldn’t drive.
A number of things could affect how intoxicated you get after smoking cannabis, said M-J Milloy, the Canopy Growth professor of cannabis science at the University of British Columbia, and research scientist at the B.C. Centre on Substance Use.
These include the specific type of cannabis — for example, if it’s high in THC, an intoxicating chemical — how much you smoke, and exactly how you consume it. While smoking or vaping cannabis has a very quick effect, he said, it takes longer to feel an effect if you eat it — up to two hours after consuming.
“Cannabis’ effect on individuals as well as its detectability really varies by what people are using,” he said. “And if they are, for example, smoking high-THC joints, that’s a different thing than if they are taking gel caps of high-CBD cannabis.”
There is a lot of variability in the peak THC levels that different people reach, said Mann, and he also attributes that partly to things like “how deeply you might inhale, how long you hold the inhalation for and things like that.”
WATCH: Critics claim roadside marijuana testing flawed
THC levels in the blood don’t correlate smoothly to intoxication the way alcohol blood levels do though, Milloy said. “The bottom line is there is no blood test, urine test, etc. for intoxication.”
Although some Canadian police forces use a roadside test to detect the presence of THC, various critics including Milloy say that a positive result wouldn’t necessarily indicate that the person was actually impaired while driving.
While legal tests for cannabis intoxication exist, Milloy said, “I would argue that they are not based on good science.” He expects many cases based on these tests to end up being argued in court.
But once you’ve stopped feeling impaired, that doesn’t mean that the cannabis is totally gone from your body.
“When you use cannabis, the THC gets absorbed into the fat in your body, and so there’s kind of a reservoir there that keeps getting released fairly slowly, so that you will find trace amounts of THC in the blood for a longer period of time, but at very low levels,” Mann said.
Exactly how long it remains, though, is still a matter of debate. An article on urine drug screening by the Mayo Clinic suggests that cannabis can be detected in urine for between three and 30 days. A literature review — admittedly of mostly very small studies — suggested it’s more like one week to 21 days, depending on what kind of THC concentration cutoff you use.
The urine drug test that Milloy uses in his lab is supposed to detect cannabis use within the last 28 days, he said.
WATCH: Is weed good or bad for you? Everything we know about the health effects of cannabis
Part of the variation comes from how frequently someone uses cannabis, Mann said. “If you’re a frequent user, there are people who use daily or several times a day, it builds up in your system. It’s in your body at higher levels for a longer period of time just because it’s building up in the body.”
A very occasional user will eliminate THC from their system much faster, the studies show.
There’s still a lot of research to be done on how cannabis is processed, though, Mann said, such as how edibles change the equation, or how long other chemicals found in cannabis like CBD can be detected.
“There’s a lot that we know. It’s not the case that we don’t know anything. But there’s a lot that’s new and a lot that’s still needing investigation.”
How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?
Someone asking this question is not necessarily afraid of failing a drug test, but maybe they plan to take medication and wouldn’t want to experience a drug interaction.
In this post, we break down everything about how long CBD might stick around in your system.
Generally, it varies from person to person because many factors determine how long CBD stays in one’s body.
(Click on this link if you want a detailed explanation of how CBD works).
Is CBD Illegal and Does It Get You High?
Even though it is derived from the cannabis plant, CBD is legal in the UK, but it is not legal throughout the world.
Note – If you are an international traveler, always spare a moment to find out whether CBD is allowed in your destination and not legal everywhere.
As the scientific community discovers new CBD benefits, more people are turning away from prescription drugs and opting for CBD for their wellness.
In the UK, the CBD industry is one of the fastest-growing, and it is projected that the market will surpass £1 billion by 2025. It’s a strong sign that people are greatly drawn to CBD.
CBD is drawn from the hemp plant, a relative of the marijuana plant, but unlike marijuana, the cannabinoid CBD cannot trigger psychoactive effects (created by THC) or otherwise cause you to get high.
THC is the psychoactive chemical compound that causes people to get high. It is present in marijuana at high levels but presents at minuscule levels in hemp.
Since CBD cannot induce a high, most people are comfortable taking it whenever they want throughout the day; also, it doesn’t affect productivity or day to day activities.
To enjoy maximum therapeutic benefits, it is vital to take CBD regularly, but then CBD products are versatile and easy to incorporate into your daily routine.
(You might also want to read this post asking “can you drive on CBD oil?”).
What If I Undergo a Drug Test?
CBD is legal in the UK, but it has a restriction: it must not contain more than 0.2% THC or under 1mg if ingested.
Drug tests (blood or urine tests) screen for THC or one of its main metabolites, THC-COOH. Cannabidiol (CBD) should not show up on a drug test, as drug tests are looking for THC content rather than CBD.
Full Spectrum products contain trace amounts of THC, marijuana’s main active ingredient.
If enough THC is present, it can show up on a drug test. This means that in rare cases, using full spectrum CBD might lead to a positive drug test.
It would be quite rare for this to happen due to the nano size particles of THC instead of full spectrum products.
Is It Possible To Have a CBD Product With Zero THC?
Yes. You would be safe with Broad Spectrum CBD products and CBD Isolate.
Broad Spectrum CBD refers to CBD that contains all the natural compounds and cannabinoids but no THC.
These natural cannabinoids and compounds mix to stimulate cannabidiol’s curative properties.
CBD Isolate is the purest form of cannabidiol. It has gone through extensive refining to eliminate most compounds and other cannabinoids.
This compound is pretty much odorless and flavorless; therefore, it doesn’t have a distinct hempy taste or smell.
Factors that Determine How Long CBD Stays In Your System
When you ingest CBD, the effects kick in relatively quickly, but once the effects fade out, it doesn’t mean that there’s no CBD in your body.
The following are some of the factors that determine how long CBD will stay in your system:
An individual’s metabolism rate determines how fast resources are expended.
CBD molecules attach themselves to fat cells, and if the metabolism is rapid, they are eliminated just as quickly.
The rate of metabolism is determined by different factors like genetics, age, and lifestyle.
An individual who doesn’t consume CBD often is going to have low CBD levels in their system as opposed to a heavy CBD consumer.
The more cannabidiol you consume, the more CBD molecules attach themselves to fat cells, increasing the count.
Most CBD products have dosage recommendations. If you’re managing a serious health problem, your dosage may be heavy.
But then the greater the amount of CBD you ingest, the more the amount of latent CBD, causing it to stick around in your system for much longer.
There are different ways of ingesting cannabidiol, and each of these methods affects the rate of eliminating cannabidiol molecules.
Both sublingual ingestion and vaping make for a rapid onset of action, but vaping can result in the quick elimination of CBD.
Consuming CBD via oral ingestion involves the metabolism of CBD and thus delayed effects. It also results in higher levels of latent cannabidiol molecules that bind to your fat cells and stay around longer.
Considering that CBD molecules hide within fat cells, it’s a no-brainer that an individual’s fat levels determine how long cannabidiol stays in the body.
A person with excessive body fat is going to have a greater surface for CBD molecules to latch on as opposed to a person with low levels of fat.
Half-life is a scientific phrase which roughly speaking means, how long does it take for half of the substance to leave your body.
The half-life of CBD oil from oral ingestion is between approximately 2-5 days for regular users of the product.
So to be safe you should allow ten to fifteen days for it to be fully processed out of your system.
How Long Does It Take to Work and How Long Do the Effects Last?
CBD doesn’t work as fast as marijuana, but then again, it doesn’t take forever for the effects to kick in.
Different factors govern the speed of onset effects.
For instance, sublingual ingestion, which involves absorbing CBD via sublingual blood vessels, makes for a rapid onset of action – practically minutes.
Whereas oral CBD ingestion might delay the effects for up to two hours.
Also, something to remember, the length of time that CBD effects last is determined by the potency.
How Long is CBD Detectable in Your Body
Generally, most of the cannabidiol clears out after a week since your last ingestion.
But surprisingly, evidence of CBD use can be detected in your body even much later.
It depends on how the tests are carried out:
In a urine test, CBD may be detected within two weeks of use. In blood tests, it may be detected within five hours. In saliva tests within three days and in hair tests, a startling 90 days since last use.
That’s it for this post asking how long does CBD stay in your system ? Thanks for taking the time to visit our blog.
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