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CBD Guides

How Long Do the Effects of CBD Last? How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

graphic how long do the effects of cbd last


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’s still a lot of confusion and misinformation around cannabidiol. One of the most commonly asked questions we get asked here at ULU is, ‘how long do the effects of CBD last?’ or even, ‘how long does CBD last?’

The answer to this questions depends on a number of factors. So firstly, we’ll talk about how method of consumption, dosage, body weight and lifestyle affects how long CBD lasts in the body.

Next, we’ll cover the question, ‘what does CBD feel like?’ as well as ‘how long do the effects of CBD last?’ Then, we’ll go on to cover ‘how long does CBD last on the shelf?’  ‘How long does CBD oil last before it runs out?’ and end with ‘Will CBD show up on a drugs test?’


How long does CBD last in the body?

Firstly, it’s really important to note that everyone is different when it comes to CBD (cannabidiol). In general, the effects of CBD will last in the body for around 2-8 hours. However, there are lots of different factors that affect how quickly cannabidiol becomes absorbed into your body, and how long it will last. It also depends on the person taking the CBD!

So, let’s take a look at some of these factors that affect how long the effects of CBD will last in the body.


Methods of consumption

There are so many different ways to take CBD nowadays! In fact, you can find almost any CBD product to suit any need! However, you should understand that different CBD products come with different benefits, but also different characteristics. The method of consumption you choose can actually affect how long CBD stays in your system.

Below, we’ll take a look at 4 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

ULU relax 10mg CBD capsules displayed with packaging

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 onset of effects.

So, it can take up to 60 minutes to feel any effects from CBD capsules, however the effects can last for 6-8 hours. This is also how long the CBD capsules will stay in your system.


CBD oil

A girl showing how to use an ULU CBD oil bottle with a pipette, CBD products

CBD oil is perhaps the most popular CBD method of consumption in the UK. They’re also incredibly easy to consume – simply use the oil dropper to place 2-3 drops of CBD under your tongue and then wait 60 seconds for it to become absorbed.

So, what happens next?

Well, when you take cannabidiol oil sublingually, (under the tongue) it’s actually able to bypass the digestive system. This means that it will become absorbed into the body’s bloodstream within 30 minutes to an hour. So, then how long does CBD oil stay in your blood?-  It should stay in your system for around 2-4 hours.


CBD vapes

A girl holding in her left hand 3 tubes of ULU 5% CBD e-liquid and vape oil

CBD vapes are the quickest way to get CBD into your system. You simply inhale the cannabidiol vapour using a compatible vaping device. Once again, this method of consumption allows CBD to bypass the digestive system and quickly enter the bloodstream for almost immediate effects.

Your lungs are able to quickly absorb the cannabidiol, so you could feel the effects within minutes – but then how long does the CBD stay in your blood? Well, 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.


Topically-applied CBD


Topical CBD products are designed to be applied externally – usually to the skin or hair. They also come in many different forms such as creams, ointments and oils.

So, how long do CBD effects last for topically applied products – and how long will it take to notice an effect?

Well, topical CBD products are absorbed though the skin. This means that the cannabidiol is able to bypass the digestive system and is able to get to work locally. It will take around 2 hours to feel the effects of CBD skincare and this will then last for around 5 hours or more before.

Whilst Topical CBD does not enter your bloodstream, it is able to target Endocanabinoid receptors in the skin which unlock the benefits of your body’s Endocannabinoid System. Learn more about the Endocannabinoid System and why it’s so important to your health!


ulu guide to cbd bioavailability graph


Doses of CBD

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

As a rule, the higher the dose of CBD you consume, 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, different doses of CBD are better suited to different heath issues. For example, if 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 are likely to help.

Whilst 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)  1-2 times a day, every day for a week or two. Then, if you haven’t noticed any benefits, slowly increase the dose over the next few weeks.

Don’t worry, you can’t overdose from CBD! However, it’s best to take things slow to find the CBD dose that works best for you. As a rule, you should never take more than 70mg of CBD per day unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.


ulu guide to doses of CBD


Body Weight

Body weight is another one of the main factors that affect how long CBD lasts in the the body. This is because CBD is fat soluble and is stored in the body’s fat cells. 

This means that 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, how long CBD stays in your system is affected by your metabolic rate. If you have more muscle than fat in your body, you’ll have a higher metabolic rate. Therefore substances like CBD will be processed much 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.



Lifestyle is another of the factors that affect how long CBD stays in your system. For example, if you lead an active lifestyle, your metabolism and your metabolic rate will usually be higher than someone leading a sedentary lifestyle. As we’ve already mentioned, this means that your body will process and metabolise CBD more quickly.


people running a marathon


What does CBD feel like?

It’s important to understand that CBD is classed as a non-rewarding, non-psychoactive substance. This means that it does 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 targeting your body’s Endocannabinoid System – a complex cell-signalling system responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body. So, when you take CBD it replenishes your body’s cannabinoid levels and keeps 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 again depends on all of the factors we discussed previously: method of consumption, dose, body weight and lifestyle.

For example, vaping CBD enters 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 period.




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.

However, CBD actually works very subtly. Furthermore, depending on your chosen product, dose and lifestyle can take a few weeks to start having noticeable benefits. So, as we’ve already mentioned, keep going with your initial dose for at least a week. Then, if you can’t feel or notice any benefits, slowly increase the dose over the next few weeks.

As long as you’re taking a high-quality CBD product regularly, over a long-term period and at a high enough dose for your body weight and lifestyle, you are likely to notice some benefits.


How long do the effects of CBD last?

Regardless of the type of cannabidiol product you’ve used, how long you’ve been taking CBD also plays a role in how the CBD effects last.

If you use a single dose of any CBD product, the cannabidiol will only stay in your system for up to around 8 hours and the effects will last about the same amount of time. However, what happens if you’ve been using CBD for a few weeks or even months? How long do CBD effects last in this case?

Well, once again, this depends on your body, your lifestyle and the dose you usually take. However, CBD takes a few weeks to start working with your Endocannabinoid System. This means that any benefits and effects will take a while to build up in your body. Therefore, 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.


ulu cbd absorbtion guide and how long body retains cbd


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. So, always make sure to check retailer guidelines carefully to ensure product freshness.

However, in general, how long a product lasts depends on how you store it, as well as the quality of ingredients.

CBD products need to be stored at room temperature and out of light. This is because all types of light can lead to significant cannabinoid degradation. You should also keep your CBD product sealed with the lid firmly tightened to avoid oxygenation.


How long does CBD oil last before it runs out?

Another concern for UK consumers is, ‘how long does a bottle of CBD oil last?’ CBD can be expensive. Therefore, it’s natural that customers want to know how many uses they’ll get out of a standard CBD oil bottle.

Again, this can vary from retailer to retailer. It 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 you’ll need to work out these simple factors:

  • 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. So, you can easily work out how long our products will last!




Will CBD show up on a drugs test?

A major concern for many UK customers is ‘will CBD show up on a drugs test?’ After all, nobody wants to be caught out by failing a drugs test accidentally.

The short answer here is that no, CBD products will not show up on a drugs test and will not cause you to fail, but let us explain a bit more about why that’s the case:

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.

Whilst CBD comes from hemp – a plant within the cannabis family, UK drug tests for cannabis are actually looking for metabolites of THC – an illegal, psychoactive cannabinoid found within cannabis plants like marijuana.

So, if you’re wondering ‘will CBD show up on a drugs test?’ The answer is no! However, only as long as you’re buying CBD products from retailers that can guarantee less than 0% THC content.


In conclusion

Phew! There was a lot of information to take in here! So, let’s summarise the answers to the most important questions in this article:

So, how long does CBD stay in your system? – 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.

how long will CBD stay in your blood? – Not all methods of CBD consumption will enter the bloodstream. CBD oils and vapes  ensure that cannabidiol becomes absorbed into the bloodstream and will stay in your blood for up to 2 hours (vapes) and 4 hours (oils). However CBD capsules are absorbed into the digestive system and CBD topicals are absorbed by Endocannabinoid receptors in the skin.

What does CBD feel like? – Some users report an instant feeling of calm. However, in most cases, CBD users don’t feel any immediate effect. They do however notice long-term benefits for mental and physical health.

How long do the effects of CBD last? – This also product type, body weight, dose and lifestyle. It also depends on 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.

How long does CBD last on the shelf? This varies depending on manufacturer, so always remember to check individual product information!

Will CBD show up on a drugs test? Nope! As long as the product contains less than 0% THC you won’t fail a drugs test.


For more interesting CBD information, or to read some answers to other common CBD questions in the UK, check out our recent blogs below!





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