If you are concerned that THC in your CBD oil or other CBD product may show up on a drug test, you may be able to reduce the chance of that occurring, though there is no guarantee. Some of the factors that may increase the likelihood of a failed drug test are:
Topical products that claim to contain CBD—like shampoos, cosmetics or creams—should not cause any reaction during a drug test because they do not enter the bloodstream. In the case of CBD oils, gummies, teas or transdermal patches, the situation is more complicated. In a test of 84 CBD products obtained online, 18 contained THC.
CBD products can still be problematic, however, when it comes to drug testing. Though drug tests screen for THC, not CBD, many CBD products contain a trace amount of THC which will be detected in your bloodstream during a drug test.
Factors in CBD Oil Showing on Drug Screen
CBD has taken off as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. CBD products like CBD oil can be made from either the hemp plant or the cannabis plant, which are closely related varieties of the same cannabis species, Cannabis sativa. CBD products contain a cannabinoid—a chemical—called cannabidiol, which does not make you high. The substance in marijuana that causes a buzz is a different cannabinoid, called THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.
THC can be detected in a urine test for up to 15 days, depending on how often and how much you use. It leaves the bloodstream in about five hours, but substances your body makes from THC (THC metabolites) can show up for as long as 7 days. CBD tends to stay in the bloodstream from 2 to 5 days, depending on dosage and frequency. If you have been using CBD for a while, it can stay in your body for up to 30 days or more.
The legality of CBD products can be confusing. CBD products made from certain cannabis plant varieties are legal only in states where marijuana is legal, due to the potential THC content. CBD products made from hemp variety plants are legal throughout the United States as long as they contain less than 0.3% of THC and do not make any medical claims. (A hemp plant is defined as Cannabis sativa that contains less than 0.3% THC.)
CBD will not show up in a drug test because drug tests are not screening for it. CBD products may well contain THC, however, so you can fail a drug test after taking CBD products. If you take CBD oil, you should plan accordingly if your work or activities require you to undergo drug testing.
While some CBD oils claim to be isolates, they may be full spectrum oils and actually contain more cannabinoids (such as THC) than they claim.
If you take CBD oil, there are measures you can take to try to prevent failing a drug test.
1. Using Product With THC
Cannabis is the umbrella term describing hemp and marijuana plants—two different varieties of the cannabis genus. Both marijuana and hemp can be described as cannabis plants; however, it is important to note that they are still two separate plants.
A more likely secondhand exposure scenario is a positive marijuana hair test, resulting from direct contact with marijuana paraphernalia or from another person having THC on their hands.
CBD is one of many active chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. One reason it’s gaining momentum in popularity is because it is said to lack the component of the plant that causes a person to get high, which is called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Tiny amounts of THC in material CBD is extracted from could end up in the CBD product in high enough amounts that would trigger a positive drug test. This is more likely to occur when the CBD product is bought from a cannabis dispensary in locations where cannabis is legal.
There are a few reasons why you’d fail a CBD drug test.
In rare cases, a false positive test could occur from CBD oil breaking down in small amounts of THC in your stomach. It’s theoretically possible for you to have traces of THC metabolites in your stomach acid when you ingest “less-purified CBD productions.”
Reasons for Failing a CBD Drug Test
CBD oil that comes from the hemp plant isn’t supposed to contain more than 0.3% of THC. But, it’s not uncommon for products to be mislabeled by sellers as THC-free hemp, when they’re really low-quality oil that does contain THC because they’re extracted from marijuana.
The American Family Physician (AAFP) published an article showing the federal government is the entity that sets the levels of drug concentration for urine drug screening. If the test does detect a drug under this concentration threshold, the test comes back “negative.”
When the antibodies do identify a drug, they’ll generate a signal showing the test as “positive.”
The urine test is most commonly used for cannabis testing. It’s an “immunoassay test” that uses antibodies made for latching on to certain drugs or their metabolites (like the presence of THC as well as its metabolites).