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

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.