Posted on

how long does a dose of cbd oil last

How long does it take CBD to work?

Copy article link to clipboard.

Link copied to clipboard.


  1. How does CBD interact with the body?
  2. The method of consumption matters
  3. Dosage matters
  4. How long does it take CBD to get out of your system?

So, you’ve heard about cannabidiol (CBD) oil possibly working wonders for chronic pain relief, anxiety, and many other conditions. You finally sit down, unscrew the cap from the CBD oil bottle, and prepare to set out on a soothing journey guided by this non-intoxicating cannabinoid. After taking a few drops of CBD oil or applying a CBD-infused topical to the skin, you might start to ponder the following questions:

  • How long does it take for CBD to work?
  • How long will the effects of CBD oil last?

More clinical research is required to answer these questions with unwavering confidence, but we can still look at how CBD interacts with the body to come up with well-educated estimates.

How does CBD interact with the body?

CBD interacts with the brain and body through a number of different mechanisms, creating a complex relationship that still merits further research before we can fully understand how this cannabinoid might relieve certain ailments.

Upon entering the system CBD interacts with a wide range of proteins in the body and central nervous system. A key part of this interaction takes place within the endocannabinoid system (ECS), specifically the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Unlike THC, which is the intoxicating cannabinoid that binds to these receptors and creates the stoned effect, CBD actually has an inverse effect. When cannabidiol is introduced to the ECS, it inhibits the absorption of anandamide, a natural cannabinoid that regulates pain.

When cannabidiol is introduced to the endocannabinoid system, it inhibits the absorption of anandamide, a natural cannabinoid molecule that regulates pain. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Image lightbox

CBD also interacts with other receptor proteins not directly related to the ECS, such as the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A and vanilloid receptor TRPV1. The widely perceived anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties of CBD could stem from the activation of these additional biological pathways.

The relationship between CBD and the human body is rather complicated, but it’s a bit easier to understand how this cannabinoid moves through the body, as well as how long it takes CBD to leave your system. Even this answer, however, is contingent on several factors, including the method of consumption, the quality of the CBD product, and the person consuming CBD.

The method of consumption matters

Method of consumption plays a critical role in how long it will take to feel the effects of CBD. CBD is available in many different forms, and each has an influence on the onset time, among other factors.


The most common method for CBD consumption involves administering a couple of drops directly into the mouth. It is the quickest and easiest way to reap the potential benefits of this cannabinoid. But quickly swallowing the oil also prevents CBD from immediately entering the bloodstream, sending it instead through the digestive tract and eventually on to the liver, where it is broken down before finally reaching the bloodstream.

Studies show that when CBD compounds are metabolized by the liver, it undergoes what is called the “first pass effect,” where enzymes in the liver reduce CBD concentration before the remainder is finally sent to the bloodstream to be circulated throughout the body.

CBD oil dropper

Administering a couple of drops of CBD oil directly into the mouth is the quickest and easiest way to reap the benefits Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Image lightbox

CBD oil dropper

For ingestion of CBD edibles, the same principle applies. Let’s say, for example, you’re taking CBD gummies or adding a few drops of CBD oil into your favorite recipe. It will ultimately go through the same lengthy process and reduce the total CBD concentration found in your blood stream. With ingestion, it could be one to two hours before the effects of CBD finally set in.


CBD oil can be consumed sublingually by placing a few drops of CBD under the tongue before swallowing. By using this method, CBD is absorbed by the mucous membranes located in the mouth, bypassing the digestive system and liver. Compared with ingestion, this process allows the consumer to skip over the initial metabolization process, where CBD molecules are broken down in the liver, allowing it to enter the bloodstream more quickly.


Whether you’re smoking a high-CBD strain or taking a draw from a CBD vape pen, inhalation is often seen as an effective method of delivery for CBD because of how quickly it’s absorbed in the body. When CBD is smoked or vaped, cannabinoids are sent directly to the lungs, where they are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and put into circulation throughout the body. It reaches peak concentrations within three minutes after consumption, meaning the effects can be felt shortly after use.


Topical CBD is applied directly to the skin and can be absorbed through the surface of the skin to interact with localized cannabinoid receptors. In some cases, CBD-infused topicals should be applied liberally to overcome the low cannabinoid absorption rate of the skin. When CBD is applied topically, the effect peaks at about 90 minutes. This method of administration is often used for chronic pain in specific areas.

Topical CBD is applied directly to and can be absorbed through the surface of the skin. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Image lightbox

Dosage matters

The way CBD operates throughout the body – and is inevitably excreted from the body – also depends on several factors that vary from person to person.

Body weight

The amount of body fat influences the amount of CBD needed to be effective. Someone with a larger body mass will require more CBD in order to feel the effects. Body weight and mass also affect how long CBD remains in the system. Like THC, CBD is stored in fat cells and gradually eliminated from the body through urine and feces. Does CBD have to build up in your system to work effectively? No, but it does get stored in the fat cells and can remain in the body well after the effects of CBD diminish.


The metabolic rate of the individual also has some sway over how long CBD stays in the system. The body’s metabolism determines how long it takes to break down and synthesize compounds, which affects how long it takes the body to process and metabolize the cannabinoid.

The body’s metabolism affects how long it takes to process and metabolize cannabinoids. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Image lightbox

Frequency of use

It’s not just the human body that influences how long it takes CBD to work, but also the quality of the CBD product and how often it’s used. Once the CBD oil is acquired, the next step is to find the optimal dosing regimen, including frequency of use. Perhaps you’ve wondered to yourself:

  • Should I take CBD oil in the morning or at night?
  • What’s the right time of day to take CBD?

The answers will depend largely on the type of product, amount of CBD inside it, and the specific ailment you are targeting. Most reputable manufacturers will provide instructions on how to properly utilize the product, but experimentation may be required to find the optimal dose for you and your specific needs.

CBD dosage

Settling on the ideal CBD dosage is an important part of the treatment process, and will also impact how long CBD stays in your system.

Hemp-derived CBD products are not intended to give the user a stoned buzz or intoxicated feeling, so there’s no need to be conservative with the dosage amount. Still, it’s recommended to start with a lower dosage and gradually increase it until the ideal effects are discovered.

How long does it take CBD to get out of your system?

We’ve covered the factors that determine how long it takes for CBD to work, but what about how long it takes to get CBD out of your system? Again, it depends on many of the aforementioned factors that determine the effectiveness of the cannabinoid itself.

A 2007 study states that CBD can be detected up to 72 hours after smoking. Since the effects of CBD may be felt directly after inhalation, this method is appealing for those seeking immediate pain relief. In another study, volunteers were given soft-gelatin capsules of cannabis extract containing 2.5 milligrams of THC and 1.35 milligrams of CBD. The research team found that CBD was only detectable in the blood for up to six hours after ingestion.

woman smoking joint

CBD can be detected up to 72 hours after smoking. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Image lightbox

woman smoking joint

Some people may be apprehensive to try CBD over concerns that it could cause them to fail a drug test. It’s highly unlikely that CBD would show up on most drug screenings, as most tests specifically look for the presence of THC and THC metabolites. But even hemp-derived CBD can contain trace amounts of THC, so there’s technically a chance, albeit extremely slim, of receiving a false positive test result from taking an unusually large dose (estimates range from 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams per day) of CBD oil.

For those worried about THC showing up in their system, look for broad-spectrum oil or products that contain pure CBD isolate. Broad-spectrum oil, as opposed to full spectrum oil, is refined to exclude the trace amounts of THC that may have been present in the hemp plant. Products with CBD isolate contain no THC or other plant-based cannabinoids. To find high-quality CBD, search for products that come with a certificate of analysis from a third-party testing lab to ensure that the information listed on the product label is accurate. Also, be on the lookout for products that claim to be hemp seed oil or hemp oil, which seldom contains any CBD at all.

How long does it take CBD to work? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents How does CBD interact with the body? The method of consumption matters

How Long Does CBD Last? 3 Things You Need To Know

September 9, 2019

Written By: Edward Dougherty

How Long Does CBD Last?

It’s a generic question. And, as I see it, there are three possible questions, for which you are seeking an answer. Firstly, How long does CBD last in your system? Secondly, How long do the effects of CBD last, after you take it? And thirdly, how long does CBD last on the shelf? The main focus of this article is to answer the third question: How long can you keep that bottle of CBD on the shelf without it going bad? However, the first part of this article will give a quick synopsis of the first two questions, and then give you a link to follow for more detailed information.

How Long Does CBD Oil Last In Your System?

There is probably a specific reason you are searching for an answer to this question. Most likely, you are worried that you will be subjected to a drug test. Firstly, CBD derived from hemp (or plants with less than .3% THC by dry weight) has been carved out of the controlled substance act via the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. Generally speaking, drug tests do not test for CBD, but rather THC. So, the correct question is, does my CBD product contain THC, and, if so, is there enough THC in the product and consequently in my body to generate a “non-negative” result on the THC portion of the drug test.

In order to understand the risks of taking CBD and being subject to a drug test, we must first understand the component parts of the product. As you are probably aware, there are three CBD solutions offering different terpene profiles. There are hundreds of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, and each solution contains a subset of each. These solutions are known as: Full spectrum CBD, Broad spectrum CBD, and CBD Isolates contain different sets of Cannabinoids.

Full spectrum CBD products, derived from whole-plant extracts, offer the widest variety of cannabinoids, usually including .2-.3% THC. For Example, Maku’s lines of full spectrum CBD oil tinctures contain CBD, delta-9 THC, CBD-A, CBC, and CBD-V. Broad spectrum products are similar to full spectrum, except most of the THC has been removed. Isolates, like Maku’s 500mg 30ml CBD isolate tincture , are supposed to carry only one cannabinoid, CBD, and no THC.

Despite many isolate and broad spectrum products stating that they contain no THC, all CBD products have some THC in them! But how could a broad spectrum or Isolate contain THC? It’s quite simple really, there are no industrialized mechanisms for extraction, either carboxylation (CO2) or ethanol, that can eliminate all of the THC from the product. So, how can a company claim that a product has no, or 0%, THC. It all boils down to the lab test performed on the product. If the lab testing equipment requires 200 parts per million to produce a reading (scientifically known as the Limit of Quantitation), and the contents have 199 parts per million, the test will come back with no detected THC.

The more important aspect of this analysis is, will taking a CBD product make me fail a drug test? It depends on how much THC you have taken through your CBD products, and the type of drug test being performed. At Maku, we are aware of two customers who have passed a drug test while taking our full spectrum product, and we are not aware of any who have failed a test. However, this information is only anecdotal, and we suggest that you not poke the bear.

Oh, and as for a direct answer to the question, how long does CBD stay in your system? One scientific study has broached the subject, and those scientists found that CBD is virtually eliminated from your system is about a week. More time and research are needed to give a repeatable, sure-fire answer.

How Long Do CBD Oil Effects Last?

The three main factors determining how long CBD oil effects last are the method of administration, the size of the dose, and the weight of the person. Method of administration refers to how the supplement is taken, do you inhale CBD with a vape pen, do you take it orally with a softgel or gummy, or do you take it sublingually with a tincture? Obviously, if one takes a large dose of CBD, it would be expected that the effects would last longer. And, of course, the ratio of the dose to body weight will have an effect on the longevity of the effects.

Please review our article on CBD dosage if you are interested in learning about how much CBD is getting into your bloodstream based on the method of administration. In order to feel the effects, you have to take enough of the product. Secondly, the more you take, the longer the effects will last.


Vaping is the quickest and most efficient way to get CBD into your bloodstream. It skips the “first-pass metabolism,” meaning that the CBD you take is not first broken down by the liver and gut. Consequently, it is also the fastest eliminated CBD. The effects of inhaled CBD should be almost immediate and last 2-3 hours.

Soft Gels & Gummies

Oral application is the slowest and least efficient method for getting CBD into your bloodstream. CBD taken orally is broken down by the stomach, intestines, and liver before being absorbed into the bloodstream. However, it’s the easiest method for dose measurement and actual administration. It can take as long as two hours for orally administered CBD to take effect, and the CBD effects are eliminated in 6-8 hours.


Sublingual application is effectively a mix between inhaled and Oral application. Holding CBD under the tongue allows the supplement to be absorbed by the vessels and capillaries in the mouth. The remaining CBD is then swallowed. Effects start in 15 to 30 minutes and last 4-6 hours.

How Long Does CBD Last On The Shelf?

A recent Time Magazine article detailed the confusion the average consumer has centered around “best by” and “Sell by” dates on food items. Believe it or not, the FDA does not regulate these dates, they are determined by the producer to communicate the freshness of the food product. Consumer misunderstanding perpetuates the wasting of food. In a survey, at least 84% of respondents have thrown away a product because it was at or near the aforementioned dates.

The shelf life of CBD products are based on quite a few factors: First, the type or products and the contents of the product, and second, the condition in which the products are kept.

For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the carrier component, CBD, and THC in Maku’s CBD product offering. For the longest shelf life, cannabinoid solutions should be kept at room temperature in the dark. Exposure to light (all light, not just sunlight), and oxygen can create a significant increase in cannabinoid degradation. So, best keeping practices would suggest that you keep the bottle in the pantry, and replace the dropper bottle cap after use. Here are some specific “best by” dates for our products.


Our CBD gummies consist of gelatin, sucralose, sugar, and CBD. The CBD Isolate is sprayed on the gummies. As with all CBD, its shelf life is quite long, in excess of 24 months. However, for the best flavor and customer experience, we suggest that you consume the gummies in 6-9 months.


Maku’s tinctures consist of two components MCT oil and hemp extract. Our hemp extract is principally made of CBD, CBN, various other terpenes, and a small amount of THC. For the exact specifications of each batch, please review Maku’s CBD lab tests . CBD and MCT oil have a similar shelf life of 24 months, but we recommend that you consume the content within 12 months to be on the safe side.

Vape Pens

Our vape pens contain triethyl citrate (also known as tec temper oil, cannabidiol, natural flavorings, and other terpenes. Tec temper oil is GRAS, or generally recognized as safe, by the FDA, and has a long shelf life. CBD will be the limiting factor for the shelf life, which is about 2 years. As with the other products, we suggest that you use the pen within one year.

So, How Long Does CBD Last?

Well, it depends on the subject of the question. How long does CBD oil last in your system? Well, the quick answer is that most of the CBD intake will be excreted in about a week. How long does CBD oil last on the shelf? For CBD oil gummies 6-9 months, for other Maku products 12-24 months. How long do CBD effects last? 3-8 hours depending on delivery method and dose.

How long does CBD oil last in your system? Most of the CBD intake will be excreted in about a week. How long does CBD oil last on the shelf? For CBD oil gummies 6-9 months, for other Maku products 12-24 months. How long do CBD effects last? 3-8 hours depending on delivery method and dose.