The kinetics of stable species has been studied in situ in pulsed CF4/H2 radio frequency discharges by means of time resolved quantum cascade laser absorption spectroscopy. The absorption spectra were usually recorded with a time resolution of 5 ms and required a multi-species analysis, because of interfering complex absorption features of CF4 and C3F8. For this reason, measurements were carried out at two different spectral positions. High resolution spectroscopic data were established by calibrating effective absorption cross sections and their relative temperature dependences for the relevant low pressure conditions (10 Pa). During the discharge a decrease in the CF4 density by ~12% was observed. The off-phase was characterized mainly by the gas exchange. The C3F8 density in the off-phase was found to be of the order of the detection limit (3 × 1013 cm-3). Spectra acquired during the plasma-on phase showed a rapid temperature-induced increase in the absorption signal and, additionally, suggested the influence of a short-lived broadband absorbing species. The reasonable assumption of the presence of CF4 hotbands has not yet enabled a further quantification.