What about Tests for Cannabis Abuse and CBD? - Glow Bar London

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  • September 29, 2022 5 min read

    What about Tests for Cannabis Abuse and CBD?

    Can CBD be misused? What is the type of test done on cannabis abuse and CBD? How can you prevent positive CBD and cannabis drug tests? And what are the symptoms of misusing cannabis and CBD oil? This article explains more about cannabis abuse and CBD trials by answering the above queries.

    The food and drug administration has not regulated most cannabis products, including CBD oil. Identifying products contaminated by psychoactive compounds like delta-8 and delta-9 THC is difficult. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a famous compound highly associated with a feeling of highness in marijuana users. The compound is illegal in many USA states alongside the growth and selling of marijuana cannabis strains. Cannabis products containing THC above the recommended mark, if taken regularly, can quickly appear in your drug testing. There is various method of testing the presence of THC and misuse of CBD, and each technique identifies the product depending on the onset time and frequency of use.

    Can CBD Be Misused?

    According to Steele et al. (2019), CBD may be legal under USA federal law if only manufactured from the hemp plant, but three types of CBD oil have different results when overdosed;

    • CBD isolate- contains only the CBD compound with no traces of other cannabinoids. Even if how much you take, it will never make you feel high or have mind-altering effects. Misusing the supplement can only appear in the beam test.
    • CBD full-spectrum- contains all cannabinoids in the cannabis plants, including traces of THC. The presence of THC, if not regulated, can make the supplement appear in any cannabis test.
    • CBD broad spectrum – comprises CBD has the prominent compound and other minor cannabinoids except for THC. It only appears in the beam and blood test if misused but has no psychoactive effects, even how much you take.

    What Is the Type of Test Done on Cannabis Abuse and CBD?

    When you use any drug, your body antigens react with the medication and help tackle the problem. However, when you overdose or misuse, the body's system gets overwhelmed, and the drug is stored in the body's fats. CBD and cannabis products like marijuana are not exceptional; since most cannabis compounds like THC and CBD are fat soluble, they are easily incorporated into the fatty cells when misused, which will trigger a positive test. Passing a drug test doesn't mean that you have no traces of THC present in your bloodstream, but a negative test indicates there is no THC below the cut-off value. Most cannabis tests indicate the presence of THC, but some drug tests can easily identify overdosing on CBD.

    Urine Testing

    This is a common test for people in a specific workplace or organization. When you regularly take Cannabis products with a THC level above the recommended mark, the cannabinoid is incorporated in your kidney and can appear in urine tests. To trigger a positive urine test, THC must be presented in the urine at a concentration of 50 ng/ml ( nanograms per milliliter). Depending on your body chemistry and frequency of use, THC metabolites can be detected after approximately 3 to 15 days of consumption. Misuse of CBD cannot be detected by urine test since CBD is not easily stored in the kidney walls. Learn more about why does cbd taste bad?

    Blood Testing

    A blood cannabis test is less common than urine screening and, therefore, unlikely to be used in working areas. Furthermore, both CBD and THC are easily eliminated from the bloodstream. Any cannabinoid is detectable in the blood for approximately 5 to 24 hours after consumption, depending on your blood renewal system. THC is detectable in plasma for 5 hours while CBD is less than 2 hours, though both of them if misused frequently, are detectable for a week. Arkell et al. (2021) explained that in the USA, where cannabis is legal, you could be considered impaired to drive if THC blood concentration is between 2 to 5 ng/ml and a CBD concentration of 200ng/ml, which is rare.

    Saliva Testing

    One of the common side effects of using cannabinoids like CBD and THC is dry mouth, whereby the cannabis products decrease saliva production. In most states where THC is illegal, traffic police tend to know if you are under the influence of marijuana by telling you to spit on a bowl. Afterward, if suspected, you will go for a saliva screening. Mishra et al. (2020) stated that saliva testing is similar to blood screening, but it is more efficient is it can show the presence of THC up to 3 days of intake, and the noticeable level can be as low as  1 ng/ml.

    Hair Testing

    It is not common and is mostly practiced when other drug testing methods have been done for confirmation. However, it can show as low as 2 picograms per milligram (pg/mg) of cannabis content. Additionally, hair testing depends on the length of your hair, whereby 1.5 inches is the maximum. This allows the test to figure out the presence of misuse of cannabis for up to 90 days, and if your hair is shorter, the detection period is below 90 days. Learn more about what percentage of cbd is good?

    Beam CBD Testing

    According to British Medical Association (1997), the beam test is specifically for testing misuse of hemp CBD oil, which Dr. Beam introduced in 1911. He discovered that CBD gives a purple color when administered in bases. The test is simple and cheap; therefore best suited for the domestic level in determining if you are overdosing on CBD. It involves taking a blood sample or urine and placing it on a mix of potassium hydroxide ( any basic solution) and ethanol. The solution will turn purple or violet in places of CBD molecules. The test does not react to THC; therefore not suited to determine marijuana misuse.

    How Can You Prevent Positive CBD and Cannabis Drug Tests?

    CBD is safe to use and exhibits a variety of benefits to your overall health. However, you may test positive depending on the CBD type you misuse. To avoid positive tests, consider:

    What Are the Symptoms of Misusing Cannabis and CBD Oil?

    Most cannabis products like marijuana are addictive and intoxicating to the body. CBD is good for your body, but if abused can render some dangerous side effects

    Side Effects of Cannabis Misuse

    • Problems learning and working due to memory loss
    • Distorted perceptions
    • Bloody and blurry eyes
    • Constant cough
    • Hypertension
    • Rapid heartbeat
    • Dry mouth
    • Paranoia and tension
    • Anger issues
    • Sometime depression

    Side Effects of Overdosing on CBD

    • Diarrhea
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Drowsiness and impaired drive
    • Loss of appetite
    • Dry mouth and dizziness


    In scientific theory, testing positive on blood or urine test for cannabis is relatively impossible from consuming pure CBD oil containing THC levels below 0.3%. However, it is not always the case since full-spectrum CBD, when misused by, accumulates enough THC to render you a positive cannabis test. Sometimes, cannabis products are not regulated by the FDA; therefore, you cannot guarantee pure CBD without traces of THC. There are various cannabis tests to determine if you have abused cannabis products; they include blood, urine, hair, saliva, and beam CBD testing.


    Arkell, T. R., Mccartney, D., & Mcgregor, I. S. (2021). Medical Cannabis And Driving. Australian Journal Of General Practice, 50(6), 357-362.

    British Medical Association. (1997). Therapeutic Uses Of Cannabis. CRC Press.

    Mishra, R. K., Sempionatto, J. R., Li, Z., Brown, C., Galdino, N. M., Shah, R., ... & Wang, J. (2020). Simultaneous Detection Of Salivary Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol And Alcohol Using A Wearable Electrochemical Ring Sensor. Talanta, 211, 120757.

    Steele, G., Arneson, T., & Zylla, D. (2019). A Comprehensive Review Of Cannabis In Patients With Cancer: Availability In The USA, General Efficacy, And Safety. Current Oncology Reports, 21(1), 1-12.