Since the rise of CBD into the mainstream, people have had multiple questions. One of those questions is, “Does CBD show up on a drug test?” That's a great question, and given CBD’s association with cannabis, many people make the mistake of thinking CBD is marijuana. They are completely wrong. There’s a difference between hemp CBD and marijuana. The marijuana plant has the highest levels of THC and is usually only available for states that have legalized it. CBD is federally legal due to the 2018 Farm Bill act that states all hemp products must contain 0.3% THC or less on a dry weight basis. Knowing the difference between these two will help people not make the mistake of thinking CBD is the same as marijuana.
Will CBD show up on drug tests? The answer to this is not as straightforward as black and white. For us to answer this really depends on the type of CBD extract product that you decide to use. Let’s take a deeper look at how CBD could affect a drug test and how you can potentially avoid it.
Does CBD Show On A Drug Test?
The only way that CBD could show up on a drug test is if the drug test itself is designed to screen for the cannabinoid CBD. This is unheard of and not something that employers or law enforcement are exactly looking for. Drug tests are usually looking for illegal substances such as THC, steroids, cocaine, opiates, and other narcotics or hard drugs.
CBD is federally legal and is known not to impair or improve athletic performance, so there is absolutely no reason an organization should be testing for CBD. It is frankly a waste of money and time.
How To Not Fail A Drug Test Using CBD?
As we know, CBD is not the problem with drug tests, and the problem is the THC that might be in your CBD product. Hemp CBD products can legally contain up to 0.3% THC, and there are plenty of THC-free products on the market.
You will have three options for CBD products and the THC content they may hold: full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate.
All three of these CBD products will be fundamentally different from each other. Let’s take a look at them.
Full spectrum is essentially the use of the whole plant. Manufacturers will extract and retain all the cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plant. There will be some loss of compounds during the extraction, but overall the diversity remains the same.
All of the compounds in the plant extracts are vital for what we would call the “entourage effect”; this is where all the cannabinoids and terpenes synergistically act together. They all complement each other to create a full spectrum of effects. Most people prefer CBD products that contain full-spectrum extract.
Full Spectrum will contain up to 0.3% THC due to the use of all the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant. If you want to avoid failing a drug test, it is best to stay away from full-spectrum CBD products. Knowing what full-spectrum means now gives you the knowledge of what to avoid if you have a drug test coming up.
As you can tell by the name, CBD isolate is the total opposite of the full spectrum. The only thing that is in CBD isolate is CBD, and there are no other cannabinoids in this type of extract. CBD isolate is 99.9% CBD; since this type of extract is only CBD, the other cannabinoids and terpenes are left out, so you won’t get the entourage effect.
Isolates are less effective than full-spectrum, but many people prefer isolates because it contains no THC. Using CBD isolates will not cause you to fail a drug test. Isolates are usually flavorless and some people mix them into their favorite drinks and food.
Broad-spectrum can be described as a happy medium between full-spectrum and CBD isolate.
Similar to the full-spectrum, the broad-spectrum oil extraction process aims to extract all the cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plant material while leaving out all the THC from the extraction. With broad-spectrum extraction, you will get all the compounds without THC and get the entourage effect feeling as well, and it’s the best of both worlds!
People have described the broad spectrum's flavor profile as “hempy” or “earthy” tasting. Some may or may not like this taste. Some broad-spectrum CBD oils will contain some mint oil that will help mask the taste of the hemp.
Using broad-spectrum CBD products will not cause you to fail a drug test since there is no THC in them.
Factors That Can Lead To A Positive Drug Test With CBD?
Unfortunately, in today’s CBD market, the industry lacks regulation and that means labels can be deceiving, and some companies will cut corners or intentionally leave out information. Some will often use very flashy labels to distract you from reading any important information that may be on the label. These marketing techniques can be very deceiving. You will have to watch out for these types of companies and learn how to read labels carefully and know what to look for when reading labels. Knowing your product is key to knowing if there will be THC in it.
Companies can go through all the proper extraction methods, and yet they will ship out a product with detectable levels of THC. There are three ways this can happen to a CBD product:
Using A CBD Product That Has THC
It is very important to always read the label of the CBD product that you are using. If the label, for example, says that the product is full spectrum, it will contain trace amounts of THC or up to 0.3%. Even trace amounts of THC can cause a positive test result (fail) in the drug test.
A lot of manufacturers will claim that their product is THC-free, so it is absolutely crucial that you buy from a reputable company. Reading the reviews of company can be key in telling if they are reputable and trustworthy.
Mislabeling On CBD Products
When the FDA ( Food and Drug Administration) tested a batch of CBD products, they found that roughly 70% contained more or less CBD than advertised, and even some products had no CBD. What is worse is that some of the products contained high levels of THC.
Taking products with false advertising can cause you to fail a drug test.
As many may know, certain U.S. states have legalized the use of marijuana, and for cannabis advocates, this is a positive, but this can also be a double-edged sword and be problematic for hemp producers.
The mass amount of cannabis growers in certain states leads to problems where high-THC plants accidentally cross-pollinate with hemp plants. Cross-pollination can happen in many ways. Outdoor plants will pollinate through the wind, or insects like bees will pollinate other hemp plants. Indoor plants might be too close to each and this can also cause cross-pollination.
The cross-pollination or contamination of high-THC plants and industrial hemp plants will result in the hemp plants producing higher amounts of THC. The hemp producers will now have to get rid of their entire contaminated crop by selling the crop to a state that has legalized marijuana, or they have to destroy the crop completely.
How Can You Make Sure That A CBD Product Does Not Contain THC?
There are several things you can check for before buying any CBD product. Once you know what to look for, it should be a piece of cake!
Check The Label
Checking the label is one of the most important things you can do. Read the label carefully and look for the descriptions such as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or pure CBD isolate. If you see that it only mentions CBD but doesn’t mention full or broad spectrum, most of the time, it will likely be CBD isolate. Some labels will have the THC and CBD content written out.
Check For Third-Party Lab Reports
All CBD companies should have their products tested and checked by a third-party lab. They must provide lab reports on all their products, and if they don’t have this, it’s a red flag, and you should not buy from them. Never ever buy from companies that don’t have proof of what they are selling.
Having COAs (certificates of analysis) is very important for a CBD or hemp company to have. This will legitimize their business and their products. Providing a COA will give the company transparency and will help them gain the customer's trust.
Make sure the Third-party lab test comes from a well-known company that does these types of testing for purity, contamination, and overall quality. Read the lab report and check the name of the lab where the report is from. A quick internet Google search will tell you right away if the lab is legitimate or not.
Buy From A Reputable Company
The CBD market is like the wild west. It is not regulated, and we have to have faith that companies are selling what they say they are. Shopping with a reputable company will ensure that you are buying quality products and products that have your best interest. Also, make sure the brand is trustworthy.
What you should look for when looking for a reputable company:
- They have updated third-party lab reports or COAs
- They use a C02 extraction
- Their products are USDA Certified Organic or organically grown
- No chemicals or pesticides in their products
- Grown locally or in-house, or they buy from reputable farms
- Sustainable farming
- They are THC-free
How Much CBD Will Make Me Fail A Drug Test?
There is no amount of CBD that will cause you to fail a drug test unless the drug test is designed for CBD. The likelihood of a drug test testing for CBD is very slim to none. What will cause you to fail a drug test is THC if you happen to use a full-spectrum product. By understanding what type of CBD product you are taking and the type of extraction, for example, full-spectrum will contain trace amounts of THC up to 0.3%. You can avoid all full spectrum CBD products to avoid testing positive (failing) in a drug test.
How Long Is CBD Detectable In Blood?
The likelihood of getting a blood test type of drug test for CBD is unlikely. But according to certain studies, highly purified CBD and the elimination half-life in the bloodstream is about 14 to 17 hours. Since it takes roughly five half-lives to completely get rid of a drug in the human body, it is said the CBD may stay in the system for about 85 hours or roughly 3.5 days. These studies are still considered anecdotal.
How Long Is CBD Detectable In Urine?
It is shown that CBD in urine will have a similar detection period as it would in blood. Some compare CBD’s time period in the body to THC, which could mean CBD can last anywhere from three to thirty days. Factors that will determine this will vary from person to person, such as metabolism, body type, size, body fat, and more. All of this is anecdotal, so you must be cautious about when your drug test will be.
How Long Is CBD Detectable In Hair?
A hair test for THC is known to have the longest detection period and could last for up to three months. As for CBD, this is still relatively unknown, and there have not been many studies on this. A hair test is a very rare drug test as it costs money and time. It is very unlikely that an employer or business would test you for CBD, let alone do a hair follicle test.
Some Tips For Passing A Drug Test on CBD
To determine if you would fail a drug test depends on the CBD product that you took. If you take a product that is full-spectrum, it should contain a THC level of 0.3% or less. Now how to calculate how long this will take for your body to get rid of this will vary depending on your body type, metabolism, and how often you are using it.
There are a few tips we can give you to increase your chances of passing a urine drug test if you use CBD:
- Stop using all CBD products two to three weeks prior to your drug test
- Find out the type of drug test you are getting
- Take a home test to track your THC levels
- Exercise and burn fat. THC metabolites reside in your fat.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink plenty of water on the day of your test
- Consume drinks and food known for their antioxidant properties example: green tea and cranberry juice
- Look for detox kits; there are a bunch online. Make sure you read reviews to see if they work.
- Go to saunas to help sweat out toxins.
All of this may or may not help you, depending on you and your situation. It may take longer, so be cautious of when your drug test is, and if you can, stop using CBD products as soon as you can.
Final Advice: Does CBD Show Up On A Drug Test?
For the most part, a workplace drug test is designed to detect narcotics and THC, so the odds of a test looking at CBD only is in your favor. Asking your HR department what type of drug test it will be can be like walking on a tightrope. If you are comfortable enough to ask in a respectful way, it will definitely be helpful information.
If you know that the drug test will be testing for THC, you should avoid all CBD products that are labeled as full-spectrum. The full spectrum will contain trace amounts of THC and that can cause you to fail a drug test. If you are not sure if the product has THC in it, look for third-party lab reports or COAs on the website where you purchased the product. If they don’t provide a third-party lab report, stay away from it, don’t buy it!
Knowing ahead of time when your drug test is and if you happen to already be taking CBD products will increase your chances of preparing to get it out of your system. Try out all the tips on how to get CBD out of your system. Take an at-home test to see where your THC levels are at and hopefully; you will have gotten all the THC out of your system.
For some reason, you do get tested while you are taking CBD oil; make sure you have a good plan to speak to your HR department and your medical physician. Save all your receipts on your legal CBD oil purchases as evidence. Finally, ask your employer to test you with the CBD/THC Ratio Test from LabCorp or Test #701907.
We hope this information has been helpful, and we encourage you to do your own research! Note that we do not intend any of this information to be against the advice of your medical physician or doctor, and we do not claim any health benefits.