The medical industry has been exploring new ways to deal with the adverse side effects usually associated with pharmaceutical drugs in a bid to improve healthcare. Science has been exploring more natural ways to deal with diseases and various conditions. 

One of the options that is trending widely these days is the use of cannabidiol (CBD). Numerous studies are being conducted to ascertain the viability of the use of CBD in the treatment of various chronic conditions and diseases. It is already legal for use in many states, but because of its close association with marijuana, many users wonder Does CBD show up on a drug test?

This post will take a close look at this question.

What is CBD?

CBD is one of the many cannabinoids (or compounds) found in cannabis plants. Even though there are several cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most pronounced. THC is popular for its psychoactive effects that give users a high feeling and is mostly extracted from the marijuana plant. CBD, on the other hand, does not provide psychoactive effects and is becoming increasingly popular. In fact, CBD is known to counter the psychoactive effects of THC and reduce the feeling of being high. CBD is more pronounced in hemp plants than marijuana plants. Hemp plants usually contain less than 0.3% THC.

CBD is mostly ingested as an oil, tincture, capsule, cream, vape, or as an edible in gummies, smoothies, and other products. How long it takes to feel the effects of CBD usually depends on the method of consumption, with ingestion as an edible taking the longest. Taking CBD sublingually and through inhalation are the fastest ways to get CBD into your bloodstream and to feel the effects. It is believed that CBD could take up to a week to completely clear out of your system, even though the effects last only up to a few hours.

Results from initial studies have shown promising data related to potential health benefits of CBD. In 2018, the FDA announced that CBD could be incorporated in the treatment of patients with epilepsy. Though further research is needed, CBD is being researched for its potential effect on the following conditions:

  • Chronic pain and inflammation

  • Mental conditions such as anxiety and depression

  • Seizures

  • Skincare

  • Migraines and headaches

  • Nicotine addiction and withdrawal

It is important to note that research on the use of CBD in healthcare is still in progress and it is not advisable to replace your medication with CBD dosages. Only use CBD products after consultations with your doctor. 

However, with more and more employers embracing mandatory drug testing, many people are concerned about whether CBD will show up on a drug test or not. Can the use of CBD make the results of a drug test come out positive?

Can CBD make you fail a drug test?

Drugs can negatively affect the performance of users in the workplace. For this reason, most employers are trying to promote a drug-free workplace, and the number of employers who conduct mandatory drug tests on employees is increasing. One of the drugs commonly tested for is marijuana, even though some jurisdictions have legalized the use of medical or recreational marijuana. Marijuana drug tests usually test for THC and its metabolites, the compound that gets you high and can impair your judgment at the workplace. This means that CBD use won’t cause you to fail a drug test because the test is primarily for THC. Though some CBD products also contain traces of THC, the levels are so low (usually less than 0.3%) that they are unlikely to show up on a drug test.

CBD use alone is not likely enough to create a positive result on a drug test. However, prolonged use of full-spectrum CBD that contains other compounds such as THC can lead to the buildup of THC in your system and eventually a positive result on a drug test. CBD also takes up to a week to clear out of your system, so it is advisable to avoid using CBD for at least 10 days if you have a drug test coming up. 

The use of CBD is legal in most jurisdictions as it doesn’t have any psychoactive effects on users. However, what is legal does not always match up with what an employer is willing to allow.

Types of CBD extracts

The plant variety determines the levels of THC in the CBD extract. Marijuana-derived CBD products contain higher levels of THC than those that are derived from the hemp plant. The method of extraction also plays an important part in determining the level of THC, among other compounds, in the CBD. Based on the extraction method and level of refinement, CBD is usually categorized into the following types:

Full-spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD retains all the compounds, including THC, from the plant during extraction. Flavonoids, terpenes, and other compounds such as THC are present in this type of CBD. In most cases, full-spectrum CBD is extracted from the marijuana plant. If it is to be derived from the hemp plant, then the law requires the levels of THC to be below 0.3%.

Full-spectrum CBD products are the most common in the market. They can be found in CBD oils, edibles, tinctures, and even topical creams. Using full-spectrum CBD may result in a false positive during a drug test. Since not all manufacturers indicate the origin and ingredients of their full-spectrum CBD products. It is advisable to avoid using such products when you have an upcoming drug test. 

It’s worth noting that at BuyCBDProducts.com, we provide complete details about what is in every product we offer. Our products are tested at a third-party lab, so there are never any questions about what you are getting.

Broad-spectrum CBD

Just like full-spectrum CBD, this type of CBD also contains the other compounds from the cannabis plant. However, all traces of THC are removed from the extract. The absence of THC in such CBD products means that there is virtually no chance of your drug test turning out positive. Broad-spectrum CBD products are, however, not very common in the market.

CBD isolate

CBD isolate products contain pure CBD with no traces of any other compounds. CBD isolates are usually derived from the hemp plant and undergo additional distillation processes after they have been extracted. Just like broad-spectrum CBD, there is virtually no chance of CBD isolate returning a positive result on a drug test.

Types of drug tests

A negative drug test result does not necessarily mean that there are no traces of THC in your system. If you use full-spectrum CBD products, it simply means that the level of THC in your blood is below the levels that can be detected by the test. Different tests have different detectable levels to return a positive result. Some of the common drug tests include the following:

Urine testing

This is the most common drug test used by employers. If urine testing is done, THC and its metabolites will only be detected by the test if it is at least 50 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Generally, this can be detected up to 15 days after using THC. If you are a habitual user, the detection window is even longer and can even be more than 30 days.

Blood testing

Blood testing is rarely used by employers because the system usually eliminates the cannabinoids from the bloodstream quickly. After five hours, it may be difficult to detect THC in your blood samples. THC metabolites last longer though and can take up to seven days to be eliminated from the bloodstream. The detectable levels of THC when using blood testing is 5 ng/ml.

Saliva testing

Saliva testing is rarely used because there are no established detectable levels for THC. Institutions that use saliva testing mostly put the detectable levels at 4 ng/ml. It also becomes difficult to rely on saliva testing because traces of THC in the saliva usually disappear within 72 hours. Chronic users may retain THC longer in their oral fluids.

Hair testing

THC and its metabolites can be detected in your hair up to 90 days after use. Besides having no established detectable levels, this type of testing is rarely used because of privacy concerns surrounding it.

Instances when drug tests might come out positive

There have been cases of THC drug tests turning out positive for people who believe they only use pure CBD. Following are instances when the use of CBD might result in a positive drug test:

Cross-contamination

During the manufacturing process, there are chances of the CBD product getting cross-contaminated by THC. This is a possibility when CBD is kept or prepared around other substances with high levels of THC.

Secondary exposure to THC

Secondary smoking can lead to the absorption of THC into your bloodstream. While the amount of THC absorbed is usually low, continual exposure to marijuana smoke can lead to THC being detected in your system.

Product mislabeling

In general, the CBD industry is not well regulated. Few manufacturers and vendors engage third-party testing on their products to find the actual composition of the compounds. Manufacturers and vendors might indicate lower levels of THC present in their products than the actual value. To avoid this, it is always advisable to only buy your CBD products from reputable manufacturers and vendors who provide clear labeling and authentic product testing.

Final Thoughts

Certain CBD products are safer for drug tests than others. Generally, hemp-derived CBD products are safer than marijuana-derived ones. If you are purchasing CBD products, it is important to find out whether they are from the hemp plant or marijuana. For reliable CBD products that are third-party tested, trust BuyCBDProducts.com.