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  • by Nicola Boulton September 05, 2022 5 min read


    CBD may or may not show up in drug tests. As this article shows, many factors come into play in how CBD affects drug tests, including the CBD formulation you go for, the product you opt for, the THC percentage in the item, and how much CBD product you take.

    One thing many people would like to know before trying any cannabis product is how it will affect drug tests. Will CBD show up in drug tests? Modern tests look for THC and its metabolites in your system, and consuming CBD products with THC may make you fail drug tests. Still, many factors determine the effect of CBD products in drug tests, including the THC percentage in the product, the CBD formulation of the CBD product, how much of the product you take, and the type of CBD product you choose. Why not peer into this blog to understand how each of these factors will affect your drug tests?

    Understanding CBD

    Before delving into the implication of CBD products in your drug tests, you must understand CBD for what it is. CBD consumption rate is fast growing but not every fully understands CBD. According to Mascal et al. (2019) and Kicman & Toczek (2020), CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis plants, although it is mainly hemp-derived. Cannabinoids refer to the active chemical compounds in cannabis products that vary in properties, although some share characteristics. For instance, while CBD is defined as non-psychoactive, Schlienz et al. (2018) pointed out that THC is psychoactive and that its use makes you high. Many people are attracted to the non-psychoactive nature of CBD, making it grow in popularity. Yet, that’s not all for CBD. Watt & Karl (2017) reported that CBD is therapeutic, another reason CBD fans opt for it.

    Types of CBD

    Whether CBD will appear in drug tests depends on many factors, including the type or formulation. There are three types of CBD you must choose from, regardless of the product you are buying. None of the three is better than the other, and they only mirror CBD composition, allowing you to enjoy CBD in the forms that best meet your needs. Here are the three types of CBD you can explore;

    1. Full-spectrum CBD; is the mostly sought CBD type, featuring the cannabinoid with extra compounds like THC, flavonoids, and terpenes. VanDolah et al. (2019) stated that the many compounds in this form of hemp extract oil give it a full entourage effect, which is the main reason people go for it.
    2. Broad-spectrum CBD; features as many compounds as full-spectrum CBD but does not have THC. It makes a great alternative for CBD users who want to enjoy the non-THC full entourage effect.

    CBD Products You Can Explore

    The effects of CBD on drug tests also depend on the product you want. The human cells cannot directly absorb CBD, so it must come in compounds the body will benefit from. There are many CBD products for you to tap into, including;

    1. CBD oils and tinctures; are the primary way to take CBD since they promise high bioavailability. You can take them orally, sublingually, or add their drops to your meals and drinks.
    2. CBD edibles; include CBD gummies which allow you to enjoy CBD with flavor and taste, although they delay CBD effects.
    • CBD capsules; if you find CBD oil too bitter and edibles too sweet, you can take CBD caps that mask CBD bitterness perfectly, although they have no taste.
    1. CBD topicals are ideal if you want to apply CBD to the skin.
    2. CBD vapes are the fastest way to deliver CBD since you only inhale them.

    How Does CBD Affect Drug Tests?

    CBD may or may not show up in drug tests, and many factors are key to this. One person may test negative for the drug tests while another may fail them. Modern tests use saliva, hair, urine, and blood as the specimen and aim to detect THC or its metabolites in your system. Here are the factors determining whether or not you will fail drug tests;

    CBD Formulation

    Full-spectrum CBD has THC traces and will likely show up in drug tests, while isolate and broad-spectrum CBD stand a chance of not showing in drug tests.

    CBD product quality

    Although isolate and broad-spectrum CBD virtually have no THC and should not make you fail drug tests, shopping for them from non-reputable sources increases the chances of them showing up in drug tests.

    THC percentage in the CBD product

    It seems like any type of CBD formulation can have THC, especially if bought from low-quality sources. Still, the THC percentage is key in determining whether you will fail drug tests; the more the THC, the higher the chances of getting high.

    The Nature of the CBD product

    Ingesting or vaping CBD will show up in drug tests if the product has THC. However, CBD topicals do not let the cannabinoids go past the top skin layer into the bloodstream and will not show in the tests, however high the THC percentage.

    How Much CBD You Take

    The more CBD you take, the higher the chances of failing drug tests if the product you are taking has THC since it accumulates in the system. Learn more about how to get rid of a hangover?

    The Frequency of CBD Intake

    The more the number of times you take a CBD product with THC, the higher your chances of failing drug tests. Learn more about is cbd psychoactive?

    Does CBD Make You High?

    CBD fans would also like to know whether the cannabinoid makes one high. Do you get high from using CBD products? According to Schlienz et al. (2018), THC is psychoactive in action, and behind the high effect one feels after smoking weed. Meanwhile, according to Mascal et al. (2019), CBD is non-psychoactive and does not make you high. Still, you must know that what you feel after taking CBD products largely depends on the THC concentration in the product. The more the CBD in the product, the higher chances of feeling high. However, CBD topicals will not make you high, regardless of their THC concentration since they do not allow the cannabinoids in them to interact with the bloodstream.


    If you are contemplating joining the CBD regime, you must know how CBD products will affect drug tests. The effects of CBD on drug tests vary; it can make you fail or pass the tests. If there are THC traces in the CBD product you are using, you will likely test positive for the test. Still, the THC percentage, how often you use the product, its formulation, and the dosage affect the drug tests results. Still, topicals with THC will not make you fail drug tests since they do not allow the cannabinoids to go past the top skin layer.


    Kicman, A., & Toczek, M. (2020). The effects of cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating compound of cannabis, on the cardiovascular system in health and disease. International journal of molecular sciences, 21(18), 6740.

    Mascal, M., Hafezi, N., Wang, D., Hu, Y., Serra, G., Dallas, M. L., & Spencer, J. P. (2019). Synthetic, non-intoxicating 8, 9-dihydrocannabidiol for the mitigation of seizures. Scientific reports, 9(1), 1-6.

    Schlienz, N. J., Lee, D. C., Stitzer, M. L., & Vandrey, R. (2018). The effect of high-dose dronabinol (oral THC) maintenance on cannabis self-administration. Drug and alcohol dependence, 187, 254-260.

    VanDolah, H. J., Bauer, B. A., & Mauck, K. F. (2019, September). Clinicians’ guide to cannabidiol and hemp oils. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 94, No. 9, pp. 1840-1851). Elsevier.

    Watt, G., & Karl, T. (2017). In vivo evidence for therapeutic properties of cannabidiol (CBD) for Alzheimer's disease. Frontiers in pharmacology, 8, 20.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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