How long do the effects of CBD last in the system?


CBD has taken the UK health and wellness industry by storm with many reported health benefits from chronic pain, anxiety and even skincare. However, there is still much confusion and misinformation surrounding cannabidiol. One of the most commonly asked questions we are asked at ULU is, ‘how long do the effects of CBD last?’.

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors including the method of consumption, dosage body weight and lifestyle. We’ll look into those, as well as discussing how long CBD can last on the shelf.  

How long does CBD last in the body?

On average, the effects of CBD will last in the body for around two to eight hours. However, different factors change how quickly cannabidiol becomes absorbed into your body, and how long it will last. 

Methods of consumption

CBD can be taken in many different ways – whether you choose the sublingual method using CBD oil, opt for capsules or gummies, or use CBD topically. However, it’s crucial to understand that different CBD products may support different benefits

Below, we’ll take a look at four common ways of taking CBD. For each of these CBD products we’ll discuss what happens when they enter your body and answer the question, ‘how long does CBD stay in your blood or in your system?’

CBD capsules are a favourite method of consumption among people who already take a daily multivitamin. They’re clean, easy to transport and easy to use.

However, just like any supplement taken in tablet form, it takes a while to become absorbed into your body. This is because the cannabidiol needs to pass through the digestive system and the liver where it is metabolised by the enzymes in your body. This both reduces the concentration of CBD and also leads to a delay in the onset of effects.


It can take up to 60 minutes to feel any effects from CBD capsules, However the effects can then last for six to eight hours while the capsules remain in your system.

CBD oil is perhaps the most popular CBD method of consumption in the UK. Oils are easy to consume sublingually – using an oil dropper to place two to three drops of CBD under the tongue and then waiting 60 seconds for it to become absorbed.

When cannabidiol oil is taken sublingually, it is able to bypass the digestive system, absorbing into the bloodstream within an hour and staying in the system for around 24 hours. 

CBD vapes provide the quickest way to get CBD into your system. Inhaling cannabidiol vapour using a compatible vaping device enables CBD to bypass the digestive system, entering the bloodstream quickly for almost immediate effects. 

The lungs are able to absorb the cannabidiol quickly, so effects can be felt within minutes but, due to the quick uptake into the system, the effects of vaping CBD will only last for around 30 minutes to an hour. This makes vaping CBD a great option for short-term support with anxiety symptoms as a fairly immediate relaxant.

Topical CBD products come in different forms such as creams, ointments and oils and are designed to be applied externally. They are absorbed through the skin, bypassing the digestive system and getting to work locally. It takes around two hours to feel the effects of CBD skincare and this will then last for around five hours or more. 

While CBD does not enter your bloodstream topically, it may be able to target endocanabinoid receptors in the skin which unlock the benefits of your body’s endocannabinoid system. More can be learned about the endocanabinoid system here.

Doses of CBD

In addition to method of consumption, the dosage of CBD will affect how long it stays in your bloodstream or your system as a whole.

As a rule, the higher the dose of CBD, the longer it will take for your body to process and metabolise it. However, there’s no exact measurement for this, as the results really do vary from person to person.

How much CBD should you take?

The amount of CBD you take depends on a number of factors including body weight, lifestyle and the health benefits you’re looking to receive.

As with any supplement, the higher your body weight, the more you will need to take. This is also affected by your fat and muscle percentage.

In addition, individual health issues should be considered. If, for example, you’re looking for support with a long-term chronic issue such as inflammation, anxiety, chronic pain or depression, you’ll need to take a higher dose of CBD. On the other hand, for short-term, more immediate relaxation, a few puffs of a CBD vape may help.

While optimum doses of CBD vary from person to person, we recommend starting small. You should begin with around 5-10mg of CBD (regardless of product type) one to two times a day, every day for a week or two. If you haven’t noticed any benefits, slowly increase the dose over the next few weeks. It’s wise to take things slowly to find the CBD dose that works best for you. As a rule, never take more than 70mg of CBD per day unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.

Body Weight

Body weight is one of the main factors that affect how long CBD lasts in the body. This is because CBD is fat soluble and is stored in the body’s fat cells.  If you have a higher body fat percentage, CBD will stay in your system for longer. You’ll also feel the effects and benefits for a longer period of time.

In addition, your metabolic rate determines how long CBD stays in your system. If you have more muscle than fat in your body, you’ll have a higher metabolic rate. Substances like CBD will be processed more quickly and will leave the body sooner than someone with a lower metabolic rate. You’ll also feel the effects for a much shorter period. This means that people with a higher muscle to fat ratio will need to take higher doses of CBD.


A person leading an active lifestyle is likely to have a higher metabolism and metabolic rate than someone leading a sedentary lifestyle. As we’ve already mentioned, this means that your body will process and metabolise CBD more quickly.

What does CBD feel like?

It’s important to understand that CBD is classed as a non-rewarding, non-psychoactive substance. ULU CBD products do not contain CBD and will not cause a ‘high’ or any kind of intoxication.

Some users report an immediate feeling of relaxation when using CBD. However, in general the short-term effects are very subtle. CBD works by supporting your body’s Endocannabinoid System – a complex cell-signalling system responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body. So, when you take CBD it may replenish your body’s cannabinoid levels and keep your ECS working optimally.

This process works over a long-term basis, so it can take a few weeks to see noticeable benefits and effects from CBD. However, this depends on all the factors previously discussed: method of consumption, dose, body weight and lifestyle.

Vaping, for example, allows CBD to enter the bloodstream more quickly, so many users report a more immediate effect of calm or relaxation. In addition, CBD rubs and salves have been linked to short-term benefits for chronic pain and muscle aches. The feeling of CBD capsules or oils is much gentler, building up over a longer periods. 

Be Patient

It’s important to stress that you’ll need to be patient when it comes to taking CBD. Many people expect to feel an immediate effect and are disappointed when this isn’t noticeable. In addition, many people stop using their CBD product after a few days because they haven’t noticed any benefit.

CBD supports the body very subtly. And, depending on your chosen product, dose and lifestyle, it can take a few weeks to start having noticeable benefits.  It is wise to continue for an initial dose for a week or two before deciding whether to increase it.

How long do the effects of CBD last?

When using a single dose of any CBD product, the cannabidiol will only stay in your system for up to eight ours, with effects lasting around the same amount of time. 

However, longer term users can experience more long-lasting effects. CBD takes a few weeks to start working with the Endocannabinoid System. This means that any benefits and effects may take a while to build up in your body. Potentially, the longer you’ve been taking CBD, the longer it will take for the benefits to completely subside. However, long-term CBD users have reported that the effects of CBD start to subside after only a few days of stopping their regular dose.

How long does CBD last on the shelf?

Unlike other consumable items, the best before and sell by dates of CBD products are not regulated in the UK. Therefore, it’s up to the retailer to recommend expiry dates for their cannabidiol items. Be sure to check retailer guidelines carefully to ensure product freshness.

CBD products need to be stored at room temperature and out of light. All types of light can lead to significant cannabinoid degradation. Products should also be kept sealed with the lid firmly tightened to avoid oxygenation.

How long does CBD oil last before it runs out?

CBD can be expensive so it’s natural to want to know how long a product will last.

This can vary from retailer to retailer and also depends on CBD concentration (amount of CBD per drop) and product contents (number of drops per bottle.)

To work out how long a bottle of CBD oil will last, follow these steps:

  • How many mg of CBD are in the bottle as a whole?
  • How many mg of CBD are in 1 drop of CBD oil?
  • How many mg do you intend to take per dose / how many drops of CBD per dose?
  • How many doses of CBD do you take per day?
  • Then, divide the total mg of CBD per bottle by your mg per dose 

For example:

  • I buy a bottle of CBD oil with total 2000mg of CBD
  • Each drop of oil contains 1mg of cannabidiol
  • I want to take 10mg of CBD per dose
  • I want to take 2 doses per day. This is 20mg total and 20 drops.
  • 2000mg divided by 20mg is 100.
  • Therefore, this bottle of CBD oil will last 100 days

Here at ULU, we always publish our mg of CBD per drop and total mg of CBD in every bottle. 

Will CBD show up on a drugs test?

The short answer here is that no, CBD products will not show up on a drugs test.

In the UK, drug tests are designed to look for metabolites of illegal drugs – the chemicals that are left behind after a drug is broken down by the body. This can be done by testing blood, urine, hair, sweat or saliva. Different companies will test for different drugs, but the most common package is a urine test for cannabis, cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, benzodiazepine and opiates.

While CBD is derived from hemp, a plant within the cannabis family, UK drug tests for cannabis are looking for metabolites of THC – the illegal, psychoactive compound found within cannabis plants like marijuana.

In the UK, all CBD products must be derived from hemp. Always purchase from a reputable retailed and make sure the products are guaranteed less than 0% THC content. 

In conclusion

 The length of time that CBD stays in your system depends on a number of factors including product type, method of consumption, body weight, dose and lifestyle.

 Not all methods of CBD consumption will enter the bloodstream. CBD oils and vapes absorb cannabidiol into the bloodstream and will stay in your blood for up to two hours (vapes) and four hours (oils). CBD capsules are absorbed into the digestive system and CBD topicals are absorbed by Endocannabinoid receptors in the skin.

 Some users report an instant feeling of calm. However, in most cases, CBD users don’t feel any immediate effect. Many do suggest noticing long-term benefits for mental and physical health.

– The effects of CBD depend on product type, body weight, dose, lifestyle and how long you’ve been taking CBD. For a single dose, the effects of CBD will last for only a few hours. However, if you’ve been taking CBD for a few weeks or months and you stop, it can take a few days for the effects to wear off.

– The shelf life of CBD varies depending on manufacturer. Be sure to check individual product information.

– CBD will not show up on a drugs test, as long as the specific product contains less than 0% THC 

 Consider the products that best suit you and remember, if you have any questions, our friendly CBD experts are just an email away.  

As always, make sure u love u!

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