how long do cbd gummies last

How Long Do CBD Gummies Last and How Long Are They Good For?

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Even though CBD gummies may look and taste like treats, they can still be as powerful as CBD oils (the gold standard), and have the potential to relieve everyday stress, support a healthy sleep cycle, and more.

But how long do CBD gummies last, both in your system and on the shelf? Let’s explore the ins and outs of CBD gummies, including how CBD gummies work, how long it takes for them to kick in, how long it takes for them to wear off, and how long they stay good after you buy them.

First Things First, What Is CBD?

CBD is a special compound called a cannabinoid or, more specifically, a phytocannabinoid ("phyto-" meaning plant). It's found naturally in cannabis sativa and in the hemp and marijuana subvarieties. The cannabis plant contains over 100 different cannabinoids, as well as other special molecules called terpenes and flavonoids (which are responsible for the plant's color, flavor, and aroma). Another well-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound responsible for the "high" feeling associated with marijuana.

Hemp and marijuana are virtually the same plant except for one important detail — the amount of THC each one contains.

  • Hemp has high levels of CBD and no more than 0.3% THC.

  • Marijuana has high levels of THC, far above the 0.3% cut-off.

Most CBD products are made with hemp-derived CBD and will contain 0.3% THC or less. However, there are some that are made from marijuana and those can contain higher levels of THC. The focus of this article will be on hemp-derived CBD gummies.

Now, How Do CBD Gummies Work?

Now, How Do CBD Gummies Work

Before we dive into how long gummies last, it’s a good idea to get an understanding of how they work. You've probably heard accounts online or from friends about the potential benefits offered by CBD gummies. The CBD in these gummies is known to help with sleep difficulties, relieve aches and pains (caused by exercise-induced inflammation), elevate mood, and reduce everyday stress. 

So, how does CBD do these things? The answer was inside you all along — specifically, in your "endocannabinoid system."

What Is the Endocannabinoid System?

"Endo-" is a Greek word meaning "inside" or "within." Endocannabinoids are actually cannabinoid-like compounds that our bodies produce themselves. They're part of our "endocannabinoid system" (or ECS), which comprises endocannabinoids (of course), cannabinoid receptors, and special enzymes that are designed to break down cannabinoids after they've performed their functions.

When endocannabinoids bind with ECS receptors, it stimulates a variety of processes which help to maintain balance within the body's many systems. 

Thanks to its widespread presence in the body, the ECS is able to affect and help regulate a variety of functions, including mood, temperature, digestion, pain response, and more.

How Long Do CBD Gummies Take To Start Working?

Now you know why CBD gummies work, but how long does it take for CBD gummies to work? That depends. 

CBD gummies have the potential to produce significant effects in as little as 30 minutes, especially if you've been taking CBD gummies consistently. You may experience relief for achy quads after "leg day" or finally feel relaxed enough to get the good night's sleep you've been chasing all week.

As for long-term effects, like improved mood and reduced day-to-day stress, it could take several weeks after you begin your CBD gummies regimen before you notice any changes.

The moment you start chomping down on a CBD gummy, your body begins to break it down. The gummies are digested, some are metabolized, and the remaining CBD then enters your bloodstream, ready to travel to wherever the body needs it. Some of it is even stored in your fat cells (saving it for later).

The only potential downside to CBD gummies compared to traditional CBD oil (which is taken sublingually) is that, being an edible CBD supplement, they're partially metabolized by the liver before entering circulation. This is dubbed the "first-pass effect" and it applies to other substances and medications as well. After the "first-pass," what remains of the CBD (13–19%) is what actually makes it into the bloodstream.

How Long Does It Take for CBD Gummies To Kick In

How Long Does It Take for CBD Gummies To Kick In

Your physiology, lifestyle, diet, and prior CBD experience are just a few of the factors that affect how your body processes CBD and how soon you'll feel its effects. Here's a closer look at some of these factors:

Body Composition

CBD is fat-soluble, which means it dissolves easily in fat and is also easily absorbed into fat cells. A portion of the CBD you consume will inevitably end up in your fat cells to be released, bit by bit, over time. The higher your BMI, the more CBD will end up in the fat cells (instead of going directly into your bloodstream), which could delay when you first start feeling the positive effects of CBD.

The trick is to stay consistent and give CBD time. Eventually (likely within two weeks), cannabinoid levels will have built up in your system and you'll begin to experience the benefits of CBD gummies.

Body Size

Body size is another important factor to consider. It may take longer for someone with a larger body to feel the effects of a CBD gummy than someone with a smaller body.

If you want to get the most out of your CBD gummies, you should aim to take between 0.2 and 0.7 mg of CBD per pound of body weight, per day.


Your metabolism (your body's process of utilizing food, drink, and supplements) is affected by your lifestyle, muscle-to-fat ratio, genes, physiology, and other factors. The faster your metabolism, the quicker you'll feel CBD's effects and the quicker CBD will leave your body. However, this means the positive effects of CBD will wear off sooner, as well.

The Potency of the CBD Gummy

The strength or potency of a CBD gummy plays an important role in how quickly the CBD takes effect, and how much of an effect it will have. The stronger the CBD gummy, the greater the effects and the sooner they'll be felt.

The Type of CBD in the Gummy

There are three main types of CBD and the efficacy of your CBD gummies depends heavily on which type of CBD it contains.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is just as it sounds, isolated CBD. It's a pure form of CBD (typically a crystalline powder) that contains nothing but cannabidiol.

Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad spectrum CBD contains many of the other cannabinoids and cannabis compounds native to hemp. However, the THC has been removed or reduced to undetectable levels.

Full Spectrum CBD

Full spectrum CBD is similar to broad spectrum in that it contains a wide variety of cannabinoids in addition to the CBD. It also contains terpenes and flavonoids and a small amount of THC (no more than 0.3%).

The small amount of THC in full spectrum products won't get you high (not even close), but it will work synergistically with the other cannabis compounds to maximize the benefits of the CBD. This is called the "entourage effect" and it’s why full spectrum CBD is considered the most effective form of CBD.

Getting the Most Out of Your CBD Gummies

Getting the Most Out of Your CBD Gummies

The rule of thumb, when taking any CBD product, is to follow the instructions for use as provided by the manufacturer — or as your doctor has prescribed. You can easily find the recommended dosage on the label of your CBD gummies. For those who want to leverage more of the therapeutic CBD effects from gummies, here are some tips: 

Take Your CBD Gummy With a High-Fat Meal

Remember that CBD (like all cannabinoids) is very easily dissolved in fat. Available data suggests that ingesting CBD on an empty stomach, as compared with a fatty meal or on a full stomach, lowers CBD absorption to around 6%. When you eat something high in fat alongside a CBD edible, the amount of CBD that ends up in circulation is quadrupled (4X), effectively increasing CBD's potential benefits and allowing the effects to last as long as possible.1

Personalize Your Daily Dose

Every CBD gummy comes with a recommended daily dose which is a good place to start. If you're new to CBD, it's a good idea to take your dose at night, in case you experience a minor side effect like fatigue or dizziness.

Pay attention to how you feel after taking your CBD gummy. If it's going well and you'd like to experience further benefits of CBD, go ahead and increase your dose after about two weeks.

You can fine-tune your CBD regimen by continuing in this way — gradually increasing your daily dose, allowing your body to adjust each time before increasing again. Once you find your sweet spot, stay there.

You can also break up your daily dose into two smaller amounts, taking one in the morning, and the other at night. Just be sure to maintain a regular regimen by taking your CBD gummies at the same time, or times, every day.

It's important to note that taking too much CBD, too soon, may result in unwanted minor side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, and fatigue. If you've never taken CBD oil gummies before (or any type of CBD), start with half the recommended daily dose to see how your body responds before increasing to the recommended dose.

Consult With Your Doctor

There are medications that shouldn't be taken with CBD. If you're currently taking any prescription medications, be sure to consult with your doctor before taking CBD gummies (or any other CBD products).

How Long Do CBD Gummies Last in Your System?

How long CBD gummies will last depends on how much CBD you've taken, how often, and for how long. Your body composition and metabolism also play a part.

So, how long does CBD stay active in your system? Maybe you're trying to calculate how many gummies you need to buy, or you're worried about an upcoming drug test at work. Either way, the length of time CBD will remain in your system is a good thing to know.

How Long Do CBD Gummies Take To Wear Off and Leave Your System? 

As long as CBD is circulating in your system, you should continue to feel its benefits. But how long is that? To get the whole picture, you need to understand the half-life of CBD.

CBD's Half-Life

"Half-life" is the term used to describe how long it takes for a substance in the body to decrease by half. For example, if 5 mg of CBD make it into your bloodstream after eating CBD gummies, the half-life is the amount of time it takes for that to drop to 2.5 mg.

From medications and drugs to natural compounds like CBD, each has its own unique half-life. And it takes about five half-lives for a substance to fully leave your system.2

The half-life of CBD depends on how it was consumed.

  • CBD oils and tinctures that are held in the mouth and absorbed under the tongue have a half life of between 1.4 and 10.9 hours.

  • CBD that's inhaled as a smoke has a half-life of 31 hours.

  • CBD that's ingested orally long-term has a half-life of between two and five days.

If you've only eaten one CBD gummy, the CBD in your system should be eliminated by day three. However, if you've been taking CBD gummies daily for a long time, it could take 25 days or more to eliminate CBD from your system.

Will a CBD Gummy Show Up on a Drug Test?

Unfortunately, taking CBD gummies could cause you to fail a drug test. Drug tests are designed to detect THC metabolites (what THC becomes when it's metabolized in the body), and don't typically target CBD. However, many of the best CBD gummies do contain a small amount of legal THC and, if you eat them, your body will contain some THC metabolites that could trigger a positive result.3

So, you could just stick to the CBD-only gummies, right? That's gonna be a hard no. Most of these drug tests aren't advanced enough to tell the difference between the metabolites from THC and those from CBD. Even if you're extremely careful to avoid any amount of THC, you could still fail a drug test from the CBD alone.

The best advice is to avoid CBD products (and all other cannabis products) for at least a month before you take a drug test. You can also read this blog post on navigating workplace drug testing while using CBD.

How To Find High-Quality CBD Gummies

How To Find High-Quality CBD Gummies

If you're looking for a high-quality CBD gummy that's actually going to produce beneficial effects, then here's what you should do:

Only Buy Full Spectrum CBD Gummies

Due to its potential to bring about the entourage effect, full spectrum CBD edibles, oils, and gummies are considered the most effective CBD supplements on the market. By simply choosing full spectrum CBD (over broad spectrum or CBD isolate), you're getting a leg up on your wellness journey.

Only Consume Organic CBD Gummies

The hemp plant is actually used to clean contaminated soil because of its ability to absorb heavy metals, pesticides, and other toxins.4 This is great for contaminated soil, but not great for anyone who consumes the CBD extracted from contaminated hemp.

You can avoid the risk of consuming contaminated CBD by only choosing organic CBD gummies. The CBD in these gummies comes from hemp that's naturally grown in healthy soil without the use of pesticides.

The best way to know that your CBD gummies are free from toxins and contaminants is to look for a USDA certified organic seal and review the product's certificate of analysis (COA). Reputable companies will utilize third party lab testing to verify the specific cannabinoid content of each product and confirm that no contaminants or toxins are present.  

Always Check the Shelf Life and Expiration Date 

CBD tends to deteriorate and become less effective over time. While some gummies can stay good for up to two years, shelf life differs from product to product, so always check the best-by date before you buy CBD gummies.

You may be able to extend the shelf life of your CBD gummies by practicing proper storage. Store gummies in their original package, in a cool, dark place.

Purchase From Reputable CBD Brands 

The CBD industry is still relatively new and unregulated. You can avoid poor-quality products by purchasing from well-known companies with a loyal customer base. These companies will use third party testing, make COAs available on their website, and have plenty of authentic customer reviews singing their products' praises.

CBD Gummies From Cornbread Hemp

CBD Gummies From Cornbread Hemp

Cornbread Hemp offers high-quality, USDA certified organic, full spectrum CBD gummies in a variety of flavors. We combine our organic Whole-FlowerTM hemp extract with other organic ingredients to create these delicious vegan-friendly gummies in watermelon, peach, and berry flavors.

Visit our online store now to explore our entire line of full spectrum CBD products, from Full Spectrum CBD Gummies and Hemp Sleep Gummies to Full Spectrum CBD Oil and CBD Balm

About the Author
Jim Higdon, Co-Founder

Jim is a native of Lebanon, Kentucky. He holds degrees from Centre College, Brown University, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Jim published Cornbread Mafia in 2012 before co-founding Cornbread Hemp. Full author bio here.


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  2. Hallare, J., & Gerriets, V. (2023). Half Life. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.
  3. Connors, N., Kosnett, M. J., Kulig, K., Nelson, L. S., & Stolbach, A. I. (2020). ACMT Position Statement: Interpretation of Urine for Tetrahydrocannabinol Metabolites. Journal of medical toxicology : official journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology, 16(2), 240–242.
  4. Placido, D. F., & Lee, C. C. (2022). Potential of Industrial Hemp for Phytoremediation of Heavy Metals. Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(5), 595.