Does CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?

Drug testing is more common than you might think. It’s not just done at the police station; it may also be a part of a private institution’s policy. For example, your employer, school, sports administration or even extracurricular club might do drug testing on its employees or group participants.

Sometimes you know about these drug tests in advance. At other times they’ll be a complete surprise, and if you have something in your system that shouldn’t be there, the consequences could involve being cut from the team, losing your job or even a criminal conviction.

But does this apply to CBD? Most people report that CBD does not show up on a drug test, but are you willing to stake your reputation on that? 

It’s true that CBD should not show up on a drug test, and you should be fine taking it. But it’s important that you understand the ins and outs of CBD drug testing and what you should do if you’re drug-tested regularly.

CBD’s Composition

To understand whether or not you’ll pass a drug test when under the influence of CBD, you need to know how CBD is made. This substance is a product of industrial hemp, which is cultivated to be high in CBD and low in THC.

Using a special extraction process called CO2 extraction, the CBD is taken from the hemp plant and put into a supercritical liquid. It’s usually mixed with MTC oil like coconut oil for consumption. The THC may be completely stripped from the oil, or up to 0.3 percent may remain.

To be true CBD, there cannot be more than 0.3 percent THC. However, there are some cannabis oils that mix CBD and THC in higher concentrations. Although this is cannabis oil and not CBD oil, sometimes the products are improperly labeled, and you might end up with a higher concentration of THC that will show up on a drug test.

It’s essential that you read the label carefully and understand which CBD products you’re dealing with to avoid failing a drug test. 

THC and Drug Testing

Drug tests are not magical chemical strips that can sense if there’s a foreign substance in your body. It doesn’t work that way. A drug test can only tell you what’s in your system if it tests specifically for that chemical.

A standard drug test is formulated to look for certain drugs, including: 

  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Methamphetamines
  • Opiates
  • Nicotine
  • Alcohol

Some drug tests may only search for a few of those substances, while others will test for most or all.

When it comes to hemp- and cannabis-based products, you need to be worried about the THC content in what you took. Marijuana and cannabis oil will show up on a drug test because it contains high levels of THC. 

What Could Cause You to Fail a Drug Test? 

According to Dale Gleringer, co-director at California NORML, there have been “a few reports of CBD users who have flunked a drug test.” What might have caused these failures? 

According to one study from the University of Health Sciences Center in Salt Lake City, CBD is not part of most drug tests. However, it’s possible for a test seeking THC to report a false positive when tested in urine that has CBD. 

Researchers in this study added CBD, CBN and two other cannabis compounds to a urine sample to see if it would show up on a drug test. All cannabinoids passed the test except CBN, which reacted with one of the tests being used.

Upon further inspection, they discovered that the test was positive because it was an immunoassay test, which is unable to distinguish THC from other compounds. A second test should be ordered at this point to get a more accurate reading, but that first test result can be alarming.

Additionally, some CBD strains contain up to 0.3 percent THC. These are full-spectrum CBD strains that don’t have all the THC removed. In most cases, that’s not enough THC to show up in a drug test. However, sometimes your body can turn regular cannabinoids into THC, and if you add that to the THC present in your system, it could trigger a positive result.

Broad-spectrum and isolate CBD strains are best if you’re drug-tested regularly because there’s absolutely no THC in them.

What to Do If You Fail a Drug Test When Taking CBD

If you know that you should have passed a drug test because you’ve only been using CBD, challenge the test results. Ask for a second test or ask them to use the same urine with a different test.

If you’re facing severe consequences because you tested positively when you only had CBD in your system, and they refuse to do a second test, consider hiring an attorney to represent you. You should not face the loss of your job or legal punishment if you’re legally consuming CBD.

How Long CBD Stays in Your System

If you’re worried about testing positive on a drug test, the best solution is to keep CBD out of your system leading up to the test. CBD does not stay in your system forever. In fact, it can be out of your bloodstream in as little as 24 hours.

If you took CBD through an inhalant, it will likely be out of your system within 24 hours. CBD that has been ingested usually takes about 36 hours to leave your system, but a large dose may take up to five days to work its way through your system. If you take CBD daily, it may also take longer to rid your system of the substance.

You might choose to abstain from CBD during the week leading up to the drug test to ensure it has fully left your system. 

Getting Quality CBD

The quality of the CBD you get is essential to ensuring it doesn’t show up on a drug test. All CBD is not created equally, and there are several things to understand. 

First of all, there are three types of CBD: isolate, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum. Isolate and broad-spectrum CBD do not contain THC, while full-spectrum CBD can contain up to 0.3 percent THC. It’s not likely that this minuscule amount will show up on a drug test, but a particularly sensitive test might show a positive. 

You should also carefully check where the CBD has been manufactured and distributed. If it has come into close contact with other THC products, there’s a chance that trace amounts of THC might make its way into your CBD, polluting your bloodstream with enough to show up on a drug test. At Penguin CBD, we make sure that all of our products are absolutely THC free.

Finally, it’s important to note that not all CBD companies are ethical. They might claim to have accurate levels of CBD and THC, though their products are imprecisely measured. You’ll want to research ethically sourced CBD and read all third-party lab reports associated with your CBD products of choice to ensure they are clean and free from drug-testing risks.