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  • by Nicola Boulton August 26, 2022 5 min read

    Does CBD Show up on a Drug Test?

    Drug tests evaluate the levels of THC in blood. While CBD contains low traces of THC, certain confounders could render the trace levels detectable in a drug test. This article explains the circumstances under which THC can show in a drug test.

    Cannabidiol has a lot of great advantages for many long-term health problems. But some people might worry that they will fail a drug test for CBD. How the CBD drug test turns out depends on several things. Cannabidiol doesn't usually show up on drug tests. But there are a lot of cannabidiol by-products that have traces of THC, which is sometimes something to worry about. The most CBD product contains less than 0.3% THC. So, how do you know if you will pass or fail a drug test? Below is more about cannabidiol and drug test.

    Does Cannabidiol Show up on Drug Tests?

    CBD alone will not appear on a drug test. However, if you ingest a CBD product that contains trace amounts of THC or its variations, you may fail a drug test. Hemp-based CBD extracts include up to 0.3% THC and delta-8, delta-10, and THCV, which can all be detected by a drug test. According to Anderson et al. (2017), if you covet to pass a drug test, you should stick to CBD isolate and broad-spectrum extracts.

    Drug screenings detect THC, its metabolites and variations. CBD is distinct from THC and its derivatives. When metabolized, neither 11-OH-THC nor THCCOOH is produced. It is a distinct cannabinoid with a distinct chemical structure undetectable by drug tests. Baswan et al. (2020)  stated that THC can accumulate in fat cells and hair follicles for extended periods. CBD drug screening methods contain different cut off levels for THC. If the CBD you eat contains less than the allowed percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol, you will not test positive for THC. In contrast drug tests with cut-offs of about 0.3% may result in a positive drug test.

    The relation between different types of cannabidiol products and THC

    Not all CBD products are subject to FDA regulation. This makes it difficult to determine their exact composition. Wartenberg et al. (2021)  stated that several variables influence THC levels and contamination risks. For instance, the process of THC extraction is significant in this context. Some CBD products may include more THC than others, depending on several variables. Here are the most prevalent CBD varieties and their THC contents:

    Broad-spectrum CBD

    Maayah et al. (2020)  stated that Broad-spectrum CBD products contain many terpenes and cannabinoids, similar to full-spectrum CBD products. However, THC is eliminated during the production of broad-spectrum CBD products. Therefore, it lacks enough THC to affect a drug test.

    Full-spectrum CBD

    Full-spectrum CBD extracts contain all the natural chemicals found in the hemp plant. The cannabis derivatives in the full-spectrum include THC. The amount of THC present in full-spectrum cannabidiol products may vary from product to product depending on the extraction method. While the legal limit is 0.3% THC, some manufacturers could have low quality products with higher THC levels. Elevated levels of THC could affect a drug test; you need to purchase high-quality products to pass a drug test.

    Cannabidiol Isolate

    Cannabidiol isolate is cannabidiol in its purest form. They do not contain any other cannabis derivatives except CBD. Consequently, you should not worry about failing a drug test after consuming CBD isolate.

    What are the Different Types of Drug Tests?

    THC or THC-COOH, one of the several THC metabolites, is screened for a standard CBD drug test. The federal occupational drug screening cutoff scores are determined to identify a positive drug test result. Passing a drug test does not indicate you do not have THC in your system. Negative drug test results indicate that the level of THC in your system is below the threshold. Several drug testing procedures have distinct detection windows and cutoff values. Here is a look at various THC drug tests to facilitate comprehension:

    Urine Test

    This is one of the most prevalent ways of drug testing techniques. The THC-COOH content in your urine sample must be at least 50 nanograms per milliliter for a positive test result. Anything below that threshold is difficult to detect in urine. Depending on the frequency and dose of CBD use, the detection window of urine tests may vary significantly. After consuming CBD, the THC metabolites typically remain detectable in the urine for three to fifteen days. If you use CBD too frequently, the metabolites may remain in your urine for up to 30 days, expanding the detection window for a urine test.

    Saliva Test

    Unlike Blood and Urine tests, oral drug testing does not have a defined cutoff threshold for detecting THC positivity. However, about four nanograms per millimeter is detectable in saliva. THC can be identified in oral secretions for up to 72 hours following CBD administration. The detection window may be extended further if you are a chronic and severe cannabis user.

    Hair Test

    Rarely is this kind of screening employed. Similar to saliva testing, there is no federal restriction for hair testing. The business sector, however, considers one picogram per milligram to be the cutoff number for a hair test. THC molecules remain detected in hair follicles for up to 90 days.

    Blood Test

    This method of occupational drug testing is uncommon because the THC metabolites have a short half-life in the blood. However, tracing is possible through plasma, as metabolites remain for up to seven days. Blood tests are typically administered to detect present impairment, such as driving after using marijuana or other THC-containing substances. Your blood sample must have a THC concentration of at least one ng/ml, 2 ng/ml, or five ng/ml, depending on the state where you reside, for a positive drug test result.

    Can CBD Convert to THC in the Body?

    There are various arguments on this specific element. Some claim that CBD could transform into THC under certain conditions. On the other hand, some argue that the assertion has not yet been proven.

    One of the primary justifications is that CBD can be converted into THC in an acidic stomach. However, studies found no medical proof of CBD effects comparable to THC.


    To avoid testing positive in a drug screening, avoid CBD products containing more than the allowed quantity of THC. The majority of positive drug tests result from elevated levels of THC.CBD products made from marijuana or hemp may include trace amounts of THC. While purchasing CBD products, ensure they come from reputable brands with high-quality products. CBD isolates or broad-spectrum products do not show in a drug test. Therefore, avoid full-spectrum methods to ensure a negative drug test result.


    Anderson, C. L., Evans, V. F., DeMarse, T. B., Febo, M., Johnson, C. R., & Carney, P. R.    (2017). Cannabidiol for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy in children: current state             of research. Journal of Pediatric Neurology, 15(04), 143-150.

    Baswan, S. M., Klosner, A. E., Glynn, K., Rajgopal, A., Malik, K., Yim, S., & Stern, N. (2020).             Therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD) for skin health and disorders. Clinical,             cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 13, 927.

    Wartenberg, A. C., Holden, P. A., Bodwitch, H., Parker-Shames, P., Novotny, T., Harmon, T. C.,              &Butsic, V. (2021). Cannabis and the environment: What science tells us and what we    still need to know. Environmental Science & Technology Letters, 8(2), 98-107.

    Maayah, Z. H., Takahara, S., Ferdaoussi, M., &Dyck, J. R. (2020). The molecular mechanisms     that underpin the biological benefits of full-spectrum cannabis extract in the treatment of             neuropathic pain and inflammation. Biochimica et BiophysicaActa (BBA)-Molecular             Basis of Disease, 1866(7), 165771.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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