test tubes and a sample jar in a lab

Can CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?

Even though CBD has become more popular than ever, there are still concerns among consumers that they could get “high” from taking products like CBD oil, gummies, soft gels, capsules, and more. 

Most consumers know that CBD and THC are the two main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, but what they might not know is that there’s a big difference between products that are derived from hemp versus products that are created from marijuana. 

While both plants are varieties of the cannabis plant, one has higher THC levels than the other, and those high levels can cause users to experience a psychedelic “high” feeling. 

The best way to confidently go forward in your CBD regimen is to learn all that you can about cannabis, how cannabis drug tests work, and what researchers say about CBD use potentially leading to a positive test result. 

How do Drug Tests for CBD Work?

Drug tests for CBD work by detecting THC, and not CBD. Typically, these immunoassay tests analyze urine for chemicals that look like the breakdown product of THC. These types of tests are inexpensive and yield quick results. 

While it’s common for urine, saliva, and hair to be used in a drug test, typically, most tests do not require a blood sample. In order for CBD to be detected in the bloodstream, someone would have to specifically order a specialized blood test. 

Sometimes, an additional confirmatory test is needed because immunoassay tests can give both a false positive and a false negative. Confirmatory tests use something called mass spectrometry to accurately detect the presence of a drug in the urine or the blood. 

Mass spectrometry tests can detect chemical compounds based on their chemical structures. However, these types of tests are both time consuming and cost prohibitive. Moreover, results can take days or weeks to obtain. 

Can CBD Cause You to Fail a Drug Test?

A bottle of CBD oil is held in front of a microscope

CBD can cause you to fail a drug test, especially if you have taken a marijuana-derived product. Any type of marijuana-based product will have higher levels of THC, and thus, will cause a positive test result. However, even though hemp-based products contain low levels of THC, it’s still possible for a false positive to occur. 

Drug tests can detect THC for up to three days after someone uses CBD just one time. Additionally, these tests can detect the cannabinoid for more than 30 days after someone has heavily used a CBD product over time. 

The reason for this is because THC can be stored in a person’s body fat for extended periods of time. When someone consistently uses THC, it accumulates in the fatty tissues before the body slowly releases it into the bloodstream over time. 

So while marijuana-based products will definitely show up on a drug test, there is a chance that a false positive can occur with hemp-based products as well. 

False positives are more likely to happen if there is:

  • Cross contamination
  • Secondhand exposure to THC
  • Mislabeling of products

Does it Make a Difference Which Type of CBD You Use?

A woman in profile drops CBD oil under her tongue

Truthfully, the type of CBD you use can make a difference. As we just stated, hemp-derived products that naturally contain low levels of THC may cause a false positive to happen on a drug test. If you have concerns about THC, or are subjected to routine drug testing, then you may want to use a different variety of CBD. 

There are three types of CBD products: full-spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate. While full-spectrum and broad spectrum products contain all of the good stuff that the hemp plant has to offer like terpenes, cannabinoids, and phytonutrients, full-spectrum CBD also contains small amounts of THC. 

So if you have concerns, then you may want to opt for broad spectrum products. You can also just choose to go with CBD isolate products, which are specially made to contain only 99% pure CBD. 

How Can You Pick CBD Oil That Will Not Show Up on a Drug Test?

three CBD bottles stand on a table in front of a seated woman

There are many things you can do to ensure that you successfully pick a CBD oil that will not show up on a drug test. 

You can look at the following when choosing a CBD oil:

Type of CBD

If you want to avoid THC, then you can pick a broad spectrum, or even better, a CBD isolate oil over a full-spectrum product.

Potency

The overall potency of the CBD can matter as well. If you have concerns, then you may want to pick potencies like 300mg or 600mg over 1200mg and 2400mg strengths. 

CBD Product Labeling

Never choose products from brands that don’t list how much THC is in them. Instead, always go with products from respected brands that clearly list the percentage of THC. When reading the product label, look for the concentration of CBD per dose, and if possible, start with a low-dose product. 

CBD Oil Derived From Hemp

Currently, only hemp-based CBD products are federally legal to buy and sell across the United States. CBD oil that’s derived from hemp also contains low levels of THC. Some states, however, do have laws in effect with regards to medicinal and/or recreational marijuana, however, these products will have high levels of THC in them. 

Factors That Might Cause a CBD Oil Positive Drug Test

Sometimes, there are factors that might cause a CBD oil positive drug test. In order to avoid this, the main goal is to be very careful about the types of products that you’re choosing. 

Some of the factors that can cause a CBD Oil positive drug test are: 

Consuming a CBD Product that has THC

Because some drug tests can show both false negatives and false positives, you may want to use products that don’t contain any THC in them at all. Therefore, broad spectrum and CBD isolate products are a great option. 

Mislabeling of a CBD Product

When you go with a lesser-known brand, there’s a good chance that the CBD product can be mislabeled. Sadly, these brands also cut corners in the making of their products. So while it’s super alluring to find cheaply priced CBD products, you’ll be using cleaner, more potent, and more effective products when you spend a little more money on products made by trusted and respected brands. 

Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination can happen during the CBD manufacturing process, regardless of whether the product is hemp-based or marijuana-based. This typically happens with CBD isolate products. Also in stores and at home, if the CBD oil is near other products that contain THC, then cross-contamination can happen. 

What are Some Additional Options for Taking CBD Oil?

 

A woman holds an armful of CBD products and smiles

If you’re concerned about taking CBD oil, then there are additional options that you can explore


Some other product options are as follows:

CBD Salve

CBD Salve is a topical product that is massaged into the skin. It works to help soothe and calm down areas of discomfort on the body. Along with CBD, salves can also have essential oils in them as well as other heating and cooling elements like menthol, or camphor. 

CBD Cream

Like salve, CBD cream is also topically applied. Creams can be found in different varieties and potencies. 

CBD Gummies

CBD gummies are an easy, quick, and convenient way to get in your daily dose of CBD. One of the best things about CBD gummies is that they are pre-dosed, so you won’t have to worry so much about finding that “sweet spot” as you have to do with CBD oil. 

FAQ

Is CBD a Drug?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found within the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant contains over 100 other cannabinoids, along with terpenes and phytonutrients. 

Is CBD Legal?

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-based CBD is legal to buy and sell across the United States. These types of products must also contain less than 0.3% THC.

How Much THC Does it Take to Get a Positive Drug Test?

Federal workplace drug testing cut-off values were created in order to avoid the potential for trace amounts of THC to cause a positive test result. Therefore, negative test results mean that the amount of THC is below the cut-off limit. However, different testing methods have different detection windows and cut-off values. For example, in urine, the cut-off is 50 nanograms of THC per milliliter, in saliva, the cut-off value is recommended to be 4 nanograms per milliliter, and for hair, there isn’t a cut-off value, however, private industry cut-offs are 1 picogram per milligram of THC. When it comes to blood, a concentration of THC of 1, 2, or 5 nanograms per milliliter suggests impairment.

Does CBD Contain THC?

In trying to figure out if CBD has THC, it helps to think about the different product varieties. If you’re buying a full-spectrum product derived from hemp, then there will be low levels of THC in it. However, broad spectrum and CBD isolate varieties should have no traces of THC at all. 

What are the Different Types of CBD?

The three main varieties of CBD are full-spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate. When it comes to product types, you can find these varieties in creams, salves, oils, gummies, soft gels, capsules, and much more. 

How Long is CBD Detectable?

CBD is detectable in the body for different periods of time depending on what is being tested and how long you’ve been using the CBD product for. Additionally, different methods of taking CBD can also have an impact on how long the effects of CBD last in general. THC metabolites are detectable in urine for about 3-15 days after use and more than 30 days with heavier use, while THC is quickly eliminated in the bloodstream. With saliva, THC can be detected for up to 72 hours, but may be detectable for longer periods with heavier use. Lastly, THC can be detected in hair for up to 90 days.

Is it Possible for CBD to Turn into THC in the Body?

If you are overly acidic, then CBD can turn into THC in the body. Researchers think that this may potentially happen in the acidic environment of the human stomach.

How to Check for THC in CBD Products?

In checking for THC in CBD products you should:

  • Read the product information
  • Choose products that list how much THC is in them
  • Know where the brand sources its hemp from
  • Do your own research
  • Steer clear of products that make wild health claims
  • Go with products that are: organic, CO2 extracted, solvent-free, lab tested, and that don’t contain any preservatives, additives, pesticides, or herbicides

Will CBD Show up in Blood Tests?

CBD  will show up in blood tests in plasma for up to five hours and in the blood for up to seven days. 

Is it Possible to get Fired for Consuming CBD?

Anything is possible. Therefore, it is possible to get fired for consuming CBD if your workplace has policies regarding this in effect. 

Summary on CBD and Drug Tests

If you use hemp-based CBD, then it probably won’t show up on a routine drug test. Having said that, false positives can and do happen with testing. Also, the CBD industry isn’t consistently regulated, so it can be hard to know exactly what you’ll get when you buy a CBD product. 

If you want the best outcome to occur, then you should buy products from respected brands and also choose broad spectrum or CBD isolate products over full-spectrum ones. Going with reliable brands that can confirm the THC levels in its products will help you avoid testing positive for THC on a drug test. The bottom line is, if your job depends on passing drug tests, CBD may be a risk you would be better off avoiding. Speaking to your doctor about this could help you make the best call for yourself and your wellbeing.