CBD has been gaining popularity in recent years and has become popular among consumers in the United Kingdom. CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is one of the cannabinoids – a family of molecules found mostly in the plant species Cannabis sativa and its subspecies and cultivars.
Due to the historically controversial nature of the plant from which it comes, CBD is a concern to many people who may have to undergo mandatory drug tests. Others are just curious as to how long the beneficial effects will last, and how long CBD will stay in your system.
The effects of CBD oil are said to last from three to four hours in the human body. This means that CBD will be acting on your endocannabinoid system at this time. CBD will be interacting with the C1 and C2 cannabinoid receptors in the brain and at sites all around the body, exerting the effects it has been taken for.
The upshot of this is that the user may need to take CBD supplement three to four hours after the previous dose has been taken. As is the same with many supplements and medicines, how long CBD causes its effects in the system will depend on the weight, age, metabolism, and other attributes of the user.
Although it is well-known that CBD only acts on the cannabinoid receptors for three to four hours, a number of studies have been carried out to check the length of time that CBD stays in the system as a whole. Some users also wish to know the length of time that CBD will be detectable, even in trace amounts, in the human system.
One study determined that cannabidiol stays detectable in the system for three to four days. The CBD is not as biologically active at this point but if specifically tested for, it will appear in the results. CBD, as it is non-psychotropic, is not generally tested for. Using large chronic doses over a long period, another study demonstrated that the CBD stayed in the system for up to five days.
Bearing in mind, this was with extremely high doses of CBD – most practitioners will recommend around 300 mg daily, for most problems. The study illustrated used 700 mg doses daily, over six weeks, to see how the system responds to large chronic doses. It is generally accepted, therefore, that CBD will stay in the system for no more than a week, and this is at a very high dosage rate.
Exactly how long CBD will stay in your system is not such a relevant question in regard to mandatory drugs testing: CBD will not be tested for, as it is not psychoactive. Nor is CBD a controlled substance in most jurisdictions. When drug tests are carried out, employers or other bodies test for illicit, recreational drugs such as heroin, cocaine, MDMA, and others including THC – the psychoactive ingredient in the cannabinoid family that occurs in Cannabis sativa.
CBD, being non-psychoactive and non-recreational, is not then screened for. In many CBD products in the UK, there are trace amounts of THC also. This is because when ‘hemp oil’ is extracted from the plant, most of the other cannabinoids come out, although CBD is by far the largest fraction of the mixture. Some chemical processes have been developed whereby the CBD is extracted in its pure form and sold as such, or added to products.
Such products will state that they contain pure CBD oil and can usually be trusted to not contain THC. The legal limit for THC in cannabis oil is either 0.2% or 0.3%, depending on country and jurisdiction. This amount will never cause impairment. Possible impairment in work is the major reason for organisations to test for drugs, so there should be nothing to fear.
If CBD oil containing trace amounts of THC is used and flagged in a urine or other test, the test should then be confirmed by gas chromatography or similar – and this will confirm that the amount of THC was minuscule and naturally occurring in some types of CBD oil.