Does CBD Show Up in Drug Tests?

Does CBD Show Up in Drug Tests?

Does CBD Show Up in Drug Tests?


There are a lot of reasons why you might need to take a drug test.  If you consume CBD products, you are most likely concerned if CBD will show up in the test results. Perhaps you are applying for a job, are required to complete a drug screening due to a workplace accident, maybe it’s a requirement of your parole or because you play organized sports. The short answer to this question is that no, CBD is typically not screened for in the most commonly used drug tests.


You’ve also probably heard stories about innocent people who failed a drug screening while consuming non-THC CBD products.  As a consumer, you have every reason to be concerned. In this article, I will explore the different reasons why a CBD product could cause a person to fail a drug screening and what you can do as a consumer to protect yourself.  I will also examine the different types of drug tests that you may be subject to and the differences between each one.


Will CBD Oil Fail a Drug Test?

Most drug tests, or drug screenings as they are sometimes called, do not screen for the CBD compound found in hemp oils and other CBD products.  Drug tests that screen for marijuana screen for the compound Tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC.


THC is the compound responsible for the “high” you may feel when consuming marijuana.  Basically, THC is the culprit here (if you are wondering – will CBD Oil fail a drug test?). If you are consuming CBD products that contain zero THC, generally you should have no reason to be concerned. However, if you are not purchasing your CBD or hemp oil from a reliable source it may either be contaminated or have the ingredients incorrectly listed, which could present you with some issues.


Does CBD Oil have THC in it?

This question should be simple to answer, but it can be somewhat complex.  CBD oil from hemp-type cannabis plants should contain no more than a maximum of .3 % THC. That being said, this means that there is a small amount of THC in a full spectrum, unprocessed and unrefined CBD Hemp Oil.


While this amount will most likely not cause you to feel “high,” if you are a frequent user of full-spectrum CBD oil, you may have a small risk of testing positive on a drug test.  Otherwise, if your CBD oil is extracted from a marijuana-type cannabis plant, there is most likely a higher concentration of THC in your CBD oil. 


So does CBD oil have THC in it? It might – the key is to be an informed consumer and know exactly what it is you are ingesting.


Which CBD Products Should I Look For?

If your primary concern is to pass a drug test, and you do not want to stop consuming CBD, look for the following types of CBD products to minimize your risk of a false positive on a drug screening.


  • Products made using CBD isolate, or CBD isolate powder.  CBD isolate is a pure form of CBD and contains no other cannabinoids.  Everything, including residual plant matter, oils, any trace of THC and all terpenes and flavonoids have been removed.  CBD isolate powder is readily available on the market. It is perfect for adding to foods, beverages or simply dissolving under the tongue. 



Which CBD Products Should I Avoid?

If you want to minimize any chance that THC should accumulate in your system, be sure to avoid the following CBD oil products:


  • Full-Spectrum CBD oil.  Full-Spectrum CBD oil, even when produced from hemp-variety cannabis, can contain trace amounts of THC.  Blind studies have found that even products labeled as containing no THC, sometimes do contain a minimal amount (but one that could potentially produce a false positive on a drug test).  In one study, more than 20% of the products tested contained THC despite the manufacturer’s claims of being THC free.


  • Any CBD oil produced from a marijuana-type cannabis plant.  CBD products made from marijuana type plants most often include THC. 


Read the Labels and do Your Research

The most important thing you can do as a consumer is to read your labels and do your research on any CBD product you are considering consuming. 


All responsible manufacturers include on the label whether the product is derived from a c. indica or c. sativa variety of cannabis.  Remember, if it comes from an indica variety, it most likely has THC and should be avoided if you want to minimize your risk of failing a drug test. 


Be sure to pay attention to the type of CBD the product contains; full-spectrum, broad-spectrum or isolate. 


Spend time researching the company to make sure that they offer high-quality products and do not have any registered complaints or violations for mislabeling or misleading advertising. 


If you are really worried about passing that drug test but do not want to give up the benefits of your CBD oil, paying a little extra for a high-quality guaranteed product may make all the difference.


How Long Does CBD Oil & THC Stay in Your System?

If you have recently consumed a CBD product that contained or may have contained THC, you might be wondering how long it will stay in your system.  CBD and THC are both lipid-soluble, which means that they are stored in fat cells within your body. 


THC has a much longer half-life than CBD, meaning that it is detectable for a much longer period.  Depending on your level of consumption and what you are consuming, enough THC (from supposedly non-THC containing hemp products) can accumulate in your system in as little as four to six days and be detectable in your system for up to 30 days.


CBD, while immediately detectable in the body, is practically undetectable through a specialized screening after just one week of discontinued use.


A Word About Drug Tests and How to Pass Them

Facing a drug test can be a scary situation, especially if you feel like you might be at risk for failing it, and the potential consequences that might carry.  But, remember, knowledge is power. By educating yourself, and knowing what to expect, you can confidently face a drug screening. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that CBD metabolites are generally not tested for in drug screenings. Reflected in the previous question regarding how long does CBD oil stay in your system, there are steps you can certainly take to avoid testing positive for those unsavory items that might cause you some problems in your life.


There are a few different kinds of drug tests that exist on the market, and how to pass them:


Urine Screening

Urine screening is considered a good option by workplaces and law enforcement because it can indicate the chronic use of a substance. This is the most frequently used drug test for pre-employment screening, after a workplace accident, or by law enforcement. 


THC can be detectable, even in small amounts, for up to 30 days in a urine screening.  Usually, drug testing companies implement a “cutoff” level for THC detection. If your test results show a THC level of less than 50 nanograms per milliliter, the results will be considered “negative” for current or recent use. Remember, standard Urine drug tests DO NOT typically screen for CBD.


If you are a casual consumer of THC containing products, your best bet is to stop consuming at least two weeks for your THC levels to drop below the cutoff point.  If you are a moderate to heavy user, give yourself at least a month to let the THC work its way out of your system. 


Remember, your THC dose does not need to be a high daily dose for it to accumulate to levels that are greater than the cutoff amount.  Consuming a very high dose of full-spectrum CBD oil daily could lead to accumulated levels of THC. Switch to a broad spectrum CBD oil or CBD isolate at least a month before your drug test to decrease your chances of a false positive.


Saliva Testing

Saliva testing is considered a less invasive form of drug screening.  These tests are becoming more popular in the event of workplace accidents or by law enforcement when there is an immediate need to prove or disprove if a person was very recently under the influence of a drug. 


Studies suggest that THC will only show up on a saliva screening if a person orally consumed a THC containing product within 4-10 hours before testing.


If you are facing a saliva test, be sure to abstain from any THC containing product at least one day in advance of the drug screening.


Hair Testing

Hair testing is preferred by some employers and law enforcement because of its long detection window.  Hair tests can detect current and former use of a particular drug, going back up to 90 days. This means that you cannot just abstain from your THC containing CBD oil for a few days and hope to pass the test.  Hair testing can identify how long a drug was used for and even when its use was discontinued.


Hair testing has fallen out of favor with a lot of employers because of the irrelevance of the test results combined with the high costs associated with the testing process.


If you have to participate in a hair screening drug test and have been consuming broad-spectrum CBD oil or any THC containing product over a period of time, be sure to disclose this usage at the time of the sample collection.  Depending on the current laws of your state or country, your CBD usage may not cause you to fail the drug test.


Blood Testing

Blood testing is most commonly used by insurance companies, law enforcement, and professional sports testing.  It is considered the most accurate way to detect a wider variety of drugs in a person’s system, including THC. 


Blood testing, however, is also the most expensive drug test available and the results are not immediately available.  This makes blood screening one of the less common forms of drug testing.


If you have to take a blood test, keep in mind that THC will be detectable, only while it is in your bloodstream.  The best way to avoid failing a blood screen drug test is to simply not consume any THC containing products for at least one day before the test.


Sweat Testing

Perspiration testing is a relatively new method of testing for drug use.  This method is most often used in legal cases where a person needs to be monitored over a period of time such as parole or child support cases, or for individuals who are undergoing treatment for drug addiction.


Drug testing via sweat screening requires the placement of a patch or collection strip on the body of the person being tested.  The patch absorbs anything and everything that your body excretes in its sweat over the course of a given time (up to 14 days). Much like with the urine testing, a small amount of THC can show up on a sweat screening, and still result in a negative test result due to regulated cut off levels.


Patches have been shown to pick up environmental contamination (being exposed to second-hand smoke), so if you are concerned about passing a sweat test, be sure to avoid consuming all THC containing CBD products and environments where you might be exposed to secondhand smoke for at least a couple of days before the patch is applied. 


This testing method is gaining popularity because it is relatively inexpensive.


 At Home Drug Testing

At home drug testing kits can provide you with peace of mind as you prepare for a drug test.  If you are concerned about a potential false positive, a simple do-it-yourself drug screening can eliminate any doubts you may have before you have to submit a sample for a real drug test. 


Over the counter drug testing kits are easily available in pharmacies and online.  They can range in price from as little as $10 to nearly $100, depending on the brand and type of test you would like to take.  There are marijuana-specific tests that check exclusively for THC and give results immediately. There are also panel-type tests that check for other illicit drug compounds.  Be sure to read the label carefully to know exactly what you are purchasing.


Marijuana specific tests will usually only give positive results if the THC readings are over the 50 nanogram per milliliter cutoff.  Some tests offer up to 99% accuracy. 


 Why Would I Want a CBD Product that Also Contains THC?

You might ask yourself, why would I want to consume a THC containing (even if it contains only trace amounts) product? 


It is helpful to understand that CBD, as a medicinal compound, works most effectively because of what is known as the “entourage effect”.  This refers to the newly discovered relationships between CBD, THC and other compounds found in the marijuana plant. THC, even in trace amounts, boosts the beneficial effects of CBD and vice versa.


This is why many proponents of CBD often advocate for using a full-spectrum oil based CBD product.  Studies show that THC containing CBD products are simply more effective than a pure CBD product. 


If you work in a field where drug testing is a normal or standard procedure or find yourself in a legal position where you may be subjected to a drug test, you may have no other option than a THC-free CBD product.  However, if your job or legal situation does not require standard drug testing, you can enjoy THC containing CBD products worry-free.


In Conclusion

Having to face a drug test can be a stressful situation.  Knowing what to expect and how to prepare for the screening can be a huge relief.  If you have to regularly face drug screening for your work or legal reasons, you can now make an informed decision about your best options for the legal consumption of CBD products.  Consuming CBD should not be a stressful experience! By being informed you will be able to enjoy the benefits of CBD oil and CBD based products worry-free.


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