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  • by Nicola Boulton September 01, 2022 4 min read

    Does CBD Show up on Drug Tests

    Even if the label claims that the package satisfies zero THC, there is no way to verify this because CBD products are regulated by the government.

    A drug test does not detect CBD. However, CBD can become contaminated with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which may show on a drug test if its concentration is higher. This is likely to occur if you purchase CBD produced from marijuana rather than hemp-derived CBD. The THC content of hemp-derived CBD must be less than 0.3 percent by law, yet everyday consumption of large amounts may accumulate THC, enough to show on a drug test.

    What is CBD

    Cannabis sativa is an adaptable plant that may be grown for food, building materials, medicinal or recreational use. More than 400 chemical compounds have cannabis plant, with roughly 80 of these being physiologically active. Cannabinoids are the most significant physiologically active components unique to the cannabis plant. THC is the principal mind-altering substance in marijuana and is highly intoxicating. Evans (2020) showed that CBD's can treat mental issues like depression and anxiety However, the studies are inconclusive due to psychoactive properties of THC traces in CBD.

    How Much THC Can Show Up in a Drug Test?

    An absence of THC or THC-COOH in a sample does not give positive results for a drug test. Below, we have outlined the varied detection windows for each testing method.


    Saliva testing uncommon; there are no cutoffs for detecting THC in saliva. It is recommended that a cutoff value of 4 n/ml be used, according to recommendations published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology in 2017. THC can be detected in oral secretions for up to 72 hours, but chronic, heavy use can leave it detectable for considerably longer periods.


    Blood tests are unlikely to be employed in workplace drug screenings. This is partly due to the rapid elimination of THC from the body. THC is only detectable in plasma for a maximum of five hours, although its metabolites remain in the system for seven days. If you're suspected of driving under the influence, your doctor will order a blood test to determine your level of impairment. The impairment threshold in places where cannabis is legal is 1, 2, or 5 ng/mL of THC in the blood. Zero tolerance rules are common in most states.


    Cannabis urine testing is a regular practice, particularly at work. One's urine must contain at least 50 nanograms of THC-COOH per milliliter (ng/mL) to be considered positive. The dose and usage frequency have a significant impact on detection windows. On average, THC metabolites can be detected in urine for 3 to 15 days following usage. On the other hand, frequent usage can result in extended detection windows – up to and including 30 days.


    There are still no set cutoff levels for THC metabolites in hair. Among the thresholds set by the private sector is a picogram of THC-COOH per milligram (pg/mg). Up to 90 days after use, the metabolites of THC can be found in hair.

    How Long Does CBD Stay in the System

    CBD oil's potency and frequency of use determine its duration in your system. You may be able to keep CBD oil in your system longer if you use it frequently. Taking CBD oil that contains trace amounts of THC could give a positive result on a drug test. According to Marinotti & Sarill (2020), broad-spectrum CBD oil is the best method to avoid this. While a little amount of THC may be present in some full-spectrum CBD oils, broad-spectrum products have no THC.

    Is It Possible to Fail a Drug Test Using CBD

    If someone consumes CBD oil containing THC, they may fail a drug test. Most CBD products are made from either cannabis or hemp, which include a complete range of cannabinoids like THC. For instance, Lachenmeier et al. (2021) showed that 2.5 milligrams per day of food with THC can results to intoxication  Notably, tobacco and THC can be falsely detected in urine drug tests if people use other medicines such as dronabinol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen, pantoprazole, and Efavirenz.

    According to Niedbala et al. (2004), those exposed to passive cannabis smoking can test positive for drugs in a saliva test.

    Is Cannabidiol (CBD) A Drug

    CBD is a drug containing different cannabis compounds. Moltke & Hindocha (2021) observed that CBD can give psychoactive effects, or alter certain body functions. Hence, CBD is a drug.


    CBD does not have adverse effects and is not a restricted substance in many countries. Notably, CBD is not screened for during drug testing. Users may, however, fail a drug test for consuming CBD-containing products with elevated levels of THC. Drugs other than marijuana may also cause a false-positive urine test. Users who don't want to fail a drug test should buy CBD products from reputable vendors who can guarantee the product quality.


    Evans, J. (2020). The Ultimate Guide To CBD: Explore The World Of Cannabidiol. Fair Winds Press.


    Lachenmeier, D., Habel, S., Fischer, B., Herbi, F., Zerbe, Y., & Bock, V. Et Al. (2021). Are Adverse Effects Of Cannabidiol (CBD) Products Caused By Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)Contamination? F1000research, 8,1394.

    Marinotti, O., & Sarill, M. (2020). Differentiating Full-Spectrum Hemp Extracts From CBD Isolates: Implications For Policy, Safety And Science. Journal Of Dietary Supplements, 17(5), 517-526.


    Moltke, J., & Hindocha, C. (2021). Reasons For Cannabidiol Use: A Cross-Sectional Study Of CBD Users, Focusing On Self-Perceived Stress, Anxiety, And Sleep Problems. Journal Of Cannabis Research, 3(1), 1-12.


    Niedbala, S., Kardos, K., Salamone, S., Fritch, D., Bronsgeest, M., & Cone, E. (2004). Passive Cannabis Smoke Exposure And Oral Fluid Testing. Journal Of Analytical Toxicology, 28(7), 546-552.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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