How Long Does CBD Stay In a Dog’s System

Illustration of Dog Sleeping after taking CBD Oil
Written by Nina Julia | Last updated: July 12, 2022

Science is clear when it comes to how long CBD stays in the human system — but what about dogs?

How long does CBD stay in a dog’s system until it gets flushed?

Since CBD is booming among pet parents, it’s natural for them to worry about potential interactions with medications, the risk of overdose, and overall side effects.

Many dogs benefit from the anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties of CBD, so in this article, we’ll help you learn about the time CBD lingers in the body so that you can use it safely with your pup.

How Long Does CBD Last In a Dog’s System?

When trying to determine the time CBD stays in one’s system, you’ll need to look at the half-life of CBD.

A half-life is the length of time needed for the concentration of a particular compound to be reduced to half of its initial dose.

Drug half-lives are important to doctors and manufacturers because they help set the optimal dosage and predict potential interactions with other substances.

If you’re looking to give your dog a form of CBD that will provide relief for the entire day, you’ll need a product with an estimated half-life of at least 12 hours.

According to a study from The Journal of Medical Chemistry, a short half-life may require more frequent dosing to maintain the therapeutic effect and avoid excess concentrations of the substance.

On the contrary, a long half-life means a prolonged accumulation and further elimination; in simple words, the substance is constantly working in the body.

The half-life of CBD in humans is 18–32 hours, so CBD may stay with you for up to a day and a half.

This applies to oral forms of CBD. Other administration methods may offer a shorter half-life.

Your body’s ability to metabolize CBD depends on several factors, such as age, your individual metabolic rate, the severity of symptoms you’re addressing, and previous experience with CBD.

In some studies, CBD demonstrated a half-life as low as nine hours, while others found it can stay in the body for up to 5 days. However, the majority of evidence points to a full 24-hour cycle as a general point of reference.

These are the numbers for humans — but what about dogs? How long does CBD stay in a dog’s system?

Evidence is humble in this regard, meaning that numbers are inconclusive. However, since CBD interacts with dogs through the same biological network (the endocannabinoid system), you can expect a similar timeframe. Dogs have faster metabolisms than us, so it should take a day or less until your buddy is clear from CBD.

In an older study from Israel, the researchers found that the half-life of CBD in dogs was 9 hours. However, in a more recent study conducted in 2018 and published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, this number is at just over four hours for our canine friends.

Studies vs. Anecdotal Evidence

Science only tells us one side of the story. In real life, the time CBD stays in your dog’s system can vary between different breeds and their metabolism.

It seems that for most pet owners, an eight-hour half-life is a standard. This involves giving one or two doses of CBD per day. The amount of CBD oil, the time at which you give it, and the type of CBD will determine its half-life and efficacy.

If you want to maintain consistent concentrations of CBD in your dog’s system, opt for smaller doses applied twice daily. Treating specific ailments may require a single, more potent daily dose.

Factors Affecting How Long CBD Stays In a Dog’s Body

Dog licking a dropper with CBD oil

Every dog breed has different genetics, so the length of time that CBD will stay in your dog’s system is affected by many factors. It can be difficult to determine how much and how frequently you should give your dog CBD oil right off the bat.

CBD’s duration in a dog’s system depends on the following aspects:

  • Weight
  • Metabolism
  • Diet
  • Frequency of CBD dosing
  • Your dog’s unique body chemistry
  • Physical activity level

While giving CBD oil to your dog seems complicated at first glance, it only takes a little experimentation until it becomes your second nature. You’ll know you’ve found the optimal amount when your dog shows signs of relief from its ailments.

How Does CBD Work In Your Dog’s Body

Dogs generally have no problems tolerating CBD, and very few side effects are reported by dog parents.

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex neurochemical network regulating functions like mood, memory, sleep, appetite, pain, etc.

CBD is a great option for a dog if you want to:

  • Improve Gut Health: CBD contributes to a healthy tummy, so if your dog suffers from a stomach upset from time to time, CBD can improve gut motility, curb inflammation, and reduce discomfort.
  • Support Cognition: CBD improves cognitive function in dogs by providing them with cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential fatty acids from the hemp extract and carrier oil.
  • Protect Joints: you want your dog to remain mobile and happy for as long as possible. CBD helps with your dog’s joints and maintain mobility on top of reducing pain and helping remineralize the bones.
  • Relieve Stress: dogs are often exposed to stressful stimuli from their environment. CBD offers soothing benefits for stressed and anxious dogs by increasing their natural endocannabinoid (anandamide) levels.

How Often Should You Give Your Dog CBD?

Now that you know how long CBD stays in a dog’s system, you may want to know how often and how much CBD oil you should give your four-legged friend.

The general consensus is that you should start with 0.2–0.5 mg of CBD per pound of bodyweight. Such doses are well tolerated and effective in smaller dogs, but they can also be a good benchmark for larger breeds; you can make adjustments as necessary.

As mentioned earlier, regular supplementation works best when split into two dosages. If you give your dog CBD oil to improve general well-being, use their optimal dose twice daily, in 8-hour intervals.

But if you’re going to treat a specific symptom, you may need to use a stronger dose — and repeat as needed.

How Long Does CBD Last In Dogs?

Close up of a dog licking CBD oil from dropper given by his master.

If you give your dog CBD oil for pain, anxiety, and sleep, the effects should be noticeable within 15–20 minutes from the administration.

They peak after 1.5 hours, and once 6 hours have passed, they should be gone.

Oral forms of CBD, such as capsules or dog treats, need more time to kick in (40 minutes to 2 hours), but when they do, they last longer — up to 10 hours. That’s because CBD is gradually released from the liver.

Is CBD Safe for Dogs?

CBD oil is safe and well-tolerated by dogs. Of course, side effects might occur, but they’re mild — with the most common being sedation and diarrhea.

Many pet parents give their dogs CBD oil daily or even three times a day, depending on their needs. Talk to a CBD-friendly vet for professional advice about dosing.

Most CBD oils come with a trace amount (0.3% or less) of THC, the cannabinoid responsible for intoxication in marijuana. While this may raise safety concerns, such low amounts aren’t sufficient to produce a high — even in a small dog.

Key Takeaways on How Long CBD Stays in a Dog’s System

The duration of most substances, including CBD, is measured in half-lives. This is the time needed by a substance to be reduced by half in the bloodstream.

For humans, the half-life of CBD is around 24 hours. The faster you introduce CBD into the bloodstream, the sooner it will leave your system.

Since dogs have a faster metabolism than humans, CBD may last shorter in their system; many per parents use an eight-hour dosing schedule, but you should closely monitor your dog’s behavior after each dose to adjust the amount of CBD and the frequency.

If you’re not sure how much and how often you should give CBD oil to your dog, ask your vet about CBD’s half-life. They should be able to point you in the right direction.

Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.

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