How Long CBD Stays In Dog’s System: How Long To Work & See Results?

How long does CBD stay in a dogs system

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How long does CBD stay in a dog’s system? How long does it take for CBD to work on dogs? How long will the effects of CBD oil last on my dog?

These are three of the most common questions dog parents have about CBD for dogs. First off, the answers are not as straightforward as you might think. Several variables affect how fast or slow dogs absorb CBD and how well it works once it’s inside your dog’s body.

This post breaks down everything you need to know about CBD’s interaction once it’s in your dog’s system. From how long it lasts, factors affecting working effectiveness, and how results vary depending on certain variables. Let’s get started!

What Is CBD?

CBD has become extremely popular nowadays. But, the term CBD gets thrown around by people without knowing much about it.

According to Grand View Research, the global CBD market size was valued at $2.8 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand to $13.4 billion from 2021 to 20281. CBD is here to stay. So what is it?

CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana).

It is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana, by itself, it does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans and animals, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential… to date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”2,3

Many people have used CBD products for their pets because of their anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact, and even possible anti-cancer benefits4.

Click Here to Learn All About CBD Oil For Dogs

How Is CBD Absorbed By Dogs?

As more people use CBD products for their dogs, it’s important to understand how pets absorb them.

Below are some common delivery methods for dogs, they are absorbed, and which CBD product type has the fastest absorption rate.

  • Tinctures (oils): These are often referred to as CBD oils for dogs. They usually come in a bottle with dropper and are typically administred orally by placing a dose under your pet’s tongue, into their throat, or on their favorite food. When given sublingually (under the tongue), it’s absorbed through your pet’s mucosa. CBD oils have the fastest rate of absoprtion and efficacy because the oil enters the bloodstream directly when applied orally.
  • Treats: Just like humans who want to take CBD in the tastiest way possible, pets love CBD treat too. Because CBD treats have to be digested in the stomach and liver, this prolongs the time of absorption and the time it takes for CBD to have an active effect. In other words, CBD treats take longer to absorb and experience results than the oil method.
  • Topicals: Some of the most popular categories of CBD products for pets are topicals (i.e, pet CBD shampoos, sprays, balms). Topicas are absorbed it through their skin. But, contrary to other CBD oil and treats, CBD topicals does not penetrate deep enough into the skin to pass through blood-brain barriers and enter the bloodstream. However, it does provide localized effects when applied through topical means since it absorbs through the pores and hair (fur), working with the CB2 receptors underneath the skin and hair follicles.19

How Long CBD Takes To Enter A Dog’s Bloodstream

Generally speaking, CBD is absorbed into the human bloodstream within 20 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the method of delivery7. Other factors like the dosage, type of CBD, consistency, dog size, and quality can also play a role in how quickly your pet begins to feel the benefits of CBD.

With that being said, keep in mind that how long it takes for CBD to work will vary dramatically between oils, treats, and topicals.

This brings us to our next question. You are probably wondering which CBD product provides the fastest results.

How Long Does It Take For CBD to Work On Dogs?

How long it takes for CBD to work on dogs depends on the type of CBD product and the treated condition.

According to Honest Paws (a well-known pet CBD oil manufacturer), how long until CBD Dog Treats work will depend on factors such as type of health condition, breed, and body weight. CBD edibles are absorbed through the stomach and could take between 45-90 minutes to work. CBD oil that has been administered sublingually (under the tongue) will take 20-60 minutes to kick in. CBD topicals (creams, shampoos) take about the same time as oils to take effect.

Remember to be patient when giving your dog CBD. For some dogs, the effect of CBD oil kicks in quite quickly. For others, it can take a bit longer for the results to show. It’s also important to give your dog CBD regularly to see results.

How Long Does CBD Stay In A Dog’s system?

How long CBD stays in your dog’s systems largely depends on the CBD concentration being administered. However, other key factors also play a role. We cover those later in this section.

Before we get to the nitty-gritty, you must understand the term “half-life.” In simpler terms, the half-life is the time required for half of the drug to be metabolized and eliminated from the body.14 For example, if the half-life of a given drug is 2 hours, then, we can estimate this drug will be out of your dog’s system in 4 hours.

So, what is the half-life of CBD oil for dogs?

A few studies can help us understand how long CBD lasts in a dog’s system. One study proved that CBD administered (45 and 90 mg doses) through an IV has a half-life of 9 hours.16

Another study in 2019 showed that administering CBD, with a CBD concentration of 2mg to 10mg, resulted in a half-life of 4 hours.20 Another study on the clinical efficacy of cannabidiol treatment in osteoarthritic dogs revealed the half-life of CBD was 4.2 hours.17 This last study used a CBD concentration of 2 and 8 mg.

Based on the evidence, we can conclude that CBD has an average half-life of 4 hours when the CBD concentration is 2 to 10 mg. So, we can expect CBD to stay in your dog’s system for 8 hours based on that concentration.

However, that range doesn’t apply to every dog on CBD. The time CBD remains in your dog’s body will vastly be affected by the CBD concentration in your treats, oils, or topicals. A clear example of this is the study where they administered a CBD concentration of 45 to 90 mg through an IV (9-hour half-life). The larger concentration meant a longer half-life; hence the longer it would take for the CBD to be out of the body. In this case, it would probably take 18 hours to be out of the dog’s system.

To simplify this even further, if you administer 5mg of CBD oil to your dog. Based on the research above, it will take roughly 8 hours to be out of your dog’s system. If you administer 20mg, you would expect CBD to last longer than 8 hours.

CBD Oil Half-Life & Dosage In Dogs

Understanding the half-life of CBD is key for manufactures and dog owners because it helps them determine the correct dosages.

As a dog owner, you want to know when CBD is out of your dog’s system so you can safely administer the next dosage.

The Journal of Medical Chemistry explains, a short half-life “may require more frequent dosing to maintain desired exposures and avoid unnecessarily high peak concentrations.”15 Why does this mean? Shorter half-lives mean the substance is out of the system a lot quicker and requires more frequent dosing to keep the effects going.

On the other hand, an overly long half-life can create a prolonged “accumulation and subsequent elimination,” This means a substance with a long half-life will typically last a lot more in the body, which may pose accumulation problems if frequent dosing occurs and/or affect interaction with other substances in the body.

Most pet owners advocate for an eight-hour dosage, which is a good rule of thumb because it aligns with what research indicates regarding CBD duration in your dog’s body.

However, when and how much CBD will depend on the purpose of your dog’s CBD treatment. To better understand the dosage and better assess how much CBD your dog really needs, read our CBD dosage for dogs guide.

Factors That Affect How Long CBD Stays In Your Dog’s System

Every dog and breed is different. The amount of time the CBD stays in your dog’s system depends on several elements.

Here are some factors that will determine how long CBD will stay in your dog’s body.

1. Method of Intake (CBD Type)

There are many ways to consume CBD. Each of these methods has a different result on how much and how quickly CBD gets absorbed into your bloodstream.8 This is called bioavailability. Understanding this is key in figuring out which CBD product is best for your dog to see the fastest results, as each type of CBD product takes different amounts of time before starting working.

The quickest and most bioavailable way for dogs to feel the benefits of CBD is a sublingual oil or tincture, followed by ingestible products like treats or capsules, and then topicals9. Why is this?

  • Oils (tinctures):CBD oil avoids first-pass metabolism by going straight through the capillaries under your tongue. This makes it the most effective method of delivery for pets, which means they’ll feel it quicker.
  • Treats, Pills, and Capsules: Because CBD treats, pills, and capsules have to travel through your dog’s digestive system, they have what’s known as a first-pass metabolism. This means that it’ll take longer to feel the effects of the CBD, or in medical terms – the bioavailability rate.

  • Topicals (creams, balms, shampoos, and sprays): This form of absorption is the slowest. The CBD in topical form has to pass through 7 cell layers of the epidermis before it can get into the bloodstream, allowing only topical absorption.
  • 2. CBD Quality & Type (Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs Isolate)

    There are three main types of CBD that you’ll hear about.

    1. Full Spectrum CBD Oil: Full-spectrum CBD contains small amounts of all components of the cannabis plant. That means it can have trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Federally legal full-spectrum products will always have less than 0.3 percent THC.

    2. Broad Spectrum CBD Oil: This type of CBD does not contain THC. It does contain other components of the cannabis plant so that it won’t be 100-percent CBD alone. Consider it the middle child of the three CBD choices.

    3. Isolate (CBD): This is a pure CBD product. Isolate contains no other compounds found in cannabis except for the CBD itself.

    Many pet owners choose full-spectrum CBD because their pet may get what’s known as the entourage effect10. The entourage effect says when multiple components of cannabis work together, the benefits are substantially better. If you want to maximize the benefits of cannabis, full-spectrum CBD might be your best option.

    3. Biology

    Body Weight:

    Like most cannabinoids, CBD is fat-soluble. Dogs who weigh more tend to have more fat cells in their body. This means that they’ll absorb and store CBD for longer periods of time in their body. Dogs with more fat cells in their body will most likely need more time to adjust. Another thing to think about is the higher your dog’s body mass, the longer it takes for CBD to work.11


    While a dog’s metabolism does include burning calories, it also affects how his body breaks down.12 Metabolism can function at different rates depending on age, lifestyle, digestive system, and genetic composition. This is what we call a metabolic rate – and every dog has a different one.

    If you have an active dog with a high metabolism, they’ll likely feel the effects come on faster; but it will also wear off more quickly. On the other hand, if they have a slow metabolism, you’ll notice that it takes longer to feel CBD coming on; and it will stay in their body for longer.

    Endocannabinoid Balance

    CBD is part of a unique set of compounds called cannabinoids. These compounds interact with a biological system found in almost all animals. It’s called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), and its cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the entire body. Research suggests that the ECS is responsible for many biological functions like mood, sleep, appetite, and pain response.13

    If your dog’s ECS is imbalanced, he could experience a large range of negative symptoms as a result. While this subject is still being researched, CBD could help to alleviate these symptoms by attaching to the receptors and rebalancing your pup’s system. The more the endocannabinoid system is imbalanced, the longer it will take to feel the effects.

    4. Dosage & Potency

    The amount of CBD your dog takes every day will affect how fast he feels the effects. In general, the more they are taking, the quicker they’ll feel it. So how much CBD should you give your dog? Choosing the right CBD dose for your dog can feel overwhelming. First off, each company’s dosing guidelines can vary widely because the concentration of CBD differs in the products they make. The dosage can also differ depending on the ailment you’re trying to treat. For example, higher doses are typically needed for more serious health conditions and lower doses for occasional anxiety or general well-being.

    The best advice we can give you is to start small and ease into the manufacturer’s dosing guidelines for their specific products. Companies that formulate their own high-quality CBD typically give you detailed instructions on how to dose their various products.

    5. Frequency & Consistency

    For some dogs, the CBD benefits come right away. You may notice that they’re experiencing less stress or less pain after just one dose of CBD. Other owners may not notice any signs of improvement for a few weeks. If this happens to you, don’t give up and be patient!

    Seeing positive results may come gradually. People can get impatient and give up after a few CBD doses because they think it doesn’t work. The key to getting the most benefits out of CBD is consistency! A consistent, daily dose can eventually restore balance to your pup’s ECS, and you’ll be glad you stuck with it.

    How Long Do The Effects of CBD Last On Dogs? When Will I See Results?

    It varies based on the same factors that influence how long CBD stays in your dog’s system.

    Form, dosage, and body composition all play a role in determining how fast CBD kicks in, lasts and what effect it has on your pet.

    There is no one answer to this question, as many dogs need CBD for different reasons. For instance, anxiety-related CBD oil typically takes anywhere from thirty to sixty minutes to start up and calm your dog. So results are almost immediate, you could say.

    On the other hand, if your dog needs CBD for pain or inflammation-related issues, it may take up to 1 to 2 weeks to get constant, optimal results. For more serious conditions like cancer, arthritis, and chronic pain, you may start seeing results in 2 to 4 weeks.

    The effect of CBD usually lasts and provides relief for up to 8 hours.

    However, this number varies, as we explained in the section above. The effects are most noticeable during the first hours after absorption. After CBD has exited your dog’s system is time for another dose. Frequency and proper dosing are key for long-term results.

    As we know, dogs can consume CBD sublingually or through food. These methods of consumption can very well affect how long your pet experiences relief from the CBD supplement. If you’re applying the oil directly to your dog’s mouth or gums, you should allow 20-60 minutes for it to begin working. When you drop CBD oil into your dog’s food, allow up to ninety minutes for it to begin to work. 

    Dogs That Should Not Consume CBD

    CBD in dogs is known to be well tolerated. The biggest concern is any possible interaction between CBD and other medications18. CBD can affect the metabolizing of the other medications in your dog’s system. This can alter the effectiveness of these other drugs, either by enhancing their activity or hindering the desired activity. Studies with humans have shown that this interaction has impacted drug concentrations in the blood.

    These medications are blood pressure medications, cholesterol medications, anxiety drugs, antihistamines, corticosteroids, and antibiotics. On the bright side, other medications can have an enhanced effect when combined with CBD. Anti-seizure medications may be more effective, for one. CBD may also give pain relief, allowing users to rely less on NSAIDs and opioids. Also, when CBD was combined with chemotherapy, cancer treatments were more effective. However, you should always address these issues with your vet before treating your pet or combining medications with CBD.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How long does CBD oil last for anxiety in dogs?

    Anywhere up to 8 hours.

    How long does it take for CBD treats to work on dogs?

    CBD edibles are absorbed through the stomach and could take between 45-90 minutes to work.

    How long does a dose of CBD oil stay in a dog’s system?

    CBD remains in your dog’s system for approximately 8 hours when the CBD concentration is between 2 to 10mg.

    How long does it take for CBD oil to work for pain relief in dogs?

    Anywhere from 2-4 weeks

    CBD Effectiveness & Benefits

    CBD drops for dogs or CBD dog treats can ease several conditions your pup may suffer from either occasionally or chronically, including anxiety, stress, moderate to severe pain, chronic inflammation, arthritis & joint pain, digestion problems, nausea, symptoms from cancer, and more.

    To learn all about CBD oil for dogs, the benefits backed by science, and the best CBD oil product in the market, be sure to read our reviews of the best CBD oil for dogs and the best CBD dog treats.

    As always, before using CBD, always consult your veterinarian.

    Sources & References: [1] Grand View Research, [2] World Health Organization, [3] Harvard, [4] AKC, [5] Frontiers in Pharmacology, [6] Todays Veterinary Practice, [7] Molecules, [8] Molecules, [9] British Journal of Pharmacology, [10] BJP: Taming THC, [11] Frontiers in Veterinary Science, [12] Nutrients, [13] The Royal Society Publishing, [14] Stat Pearls Publishing, [15] Journal of Medical Chemistry, [16] PubMed, [17] FVS Pharmacokinetics CBD, [18] Health Status [19] cbdMD [20] MDPI

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