Can CBD Cause You to Fail Your Drug Test?

The prospect of facing a drug test can be daunting. Being ordered to undergo testing, particularly from an employer, can send the mind into a chaotic cataclysm of fear and doubt in the pondering of the unknown. For CBD users, these “what-ifs” slowly bubble and churn within the confines of the mind, crescendoing to a boiling point where anxiety overtakes rational. Receiving the news that you’ve failed a drug test, though certainly upsetting, is arguably less stress-inducing than the progressively encroaching date of the test itself. As the date looms on the horizon, those who are cautious will take heed in avoiding any substances that they believe may cause a failed drug test result. But what-if those beliefs aren’t sound? What-if I’ve consumed something that I believe to be perfectly legal, but still somehow manages to trigger a failed result? And thus, the bubbles continue to churn….

CBD (Cannabidiol) is a substance that has taken the nation by storm. Until recently a substance unknown to the general public, CBD is now available for legal purchase in many areas including your local grocery store.

Because of its association with marijuana, a substance commonly tested for in most drug panels, users of CBD may understandably feel a degree of apprehension when faced with these types of tests. This apprehension is only further buttressed by the fact that both CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary psychoactive constituent of marijuana) are derivatives of the cannabis plant.

We seek to relieve you of that apprehension by providing you with the most up-to-date and current knowledge available surrounding the subject of CBD and drug testing. Our hope is that this information is beneficial for you and others who may be pondering the same questions.

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Will CBD show up on drug tests?

The legality of marijuana varies state-by-state, and even if you happen to live in a state where its consumption is legal (for either medicinal or recreational purposes), this does not mean that you won’t be evaluated for the presence of THC. But what about CBD?
We thought it would be best to contact several drug-testing laboratories, through which a litany of different drug tests are sent to for analysis, to answer this question.

All of the laboratories we contacted (ARCpoint Labs, Health Street, Drug Testing Seattle, Quest Diagnostics, American Diagnostics) stated that there were no drug panels they evaluate for that include testing for CBD. However, it is important to note that this applies to CBD specifically and so this information should be taken with a grain of salt.

Will CBD cause me to fail a drug test?

Most CBD products contain a trace amount of THC. This even includes products that are marketed towards individuals who are looking for a pure CBD experience without the psychoactive effects of THC. Legal CBD products are derived from the hemp plant, a derivative of the cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% THC. However, CBD can also be derived from the marijuana plant (also a derivative of cannabis).
Although both marijuana and hemp are derived from the cannabis plant, the primary distinction between them is in the level of THC present. Marijuana products, some of which are sold legally, will contain higher levels of THC than CBD products derived from hemp. However, these same products will also oftentimes contain CBD as well.
Because many drug tests search for the presence of THC, there lies the possibility for a CBD product containing even trace THC levels to show up positive on a drug screening. Your test could give off a false positive. Because even though you are not using THC, your CBD oil or tincture contains trace amounts of it.

How can I make sure I’m safe?

To know which products are safe, you must first understand the difference between CBD isolate and full spectrum CBD.

Full Spectrum CBD contains cannabinoids in the hemp plants other than CBD. It often includes trace amounts of THC that could trigger a positive for cannabis on a drug test. Even though it only contains THC in small amounts, high doses of CBD could cause a build-up of enough THC over time that would cause a positive test result of a urine drug test. Consuming full-spectrum CBD oil that isn’t confirmed as THC-free puts you at risk for triggering a positive drug test.

CBD isolate is the CBD molecule in it’s isolated form, which is over 99% CBD content. This has no chance of triggering a positive result on a drug test. If it is imperative that you pass a drug test, then you MUST use CBD oil made from an isolate.

It is important for you to conduct your own due diligence regarding the contents of your CBD product. Make sure your CBD product contains, ideally, zero percent THC. If your product contains trace amounts of THC, then its important to be aware of how long THC stays in your system, thereby avoiding detection on a drug test. Also, make sure your CBD brand is a high-quality, reputable source that provides verified third-party lab test results. You need to know exactly what you are consuming since there is currently no government-mandated regulations or FDA safety checks.

Although the time it takes for drugs to be fully metabolized and eliminated from the body varies per individual, for the average individual who is consuming CBD products with less than 0.3% THC, it should take less than two weeks maximum for any trace of THC to be eliminated.

Should I stop using CBD oil before

If your goal is to be absolutely sure you will not test positive due to a potential THC reading, then yes, it is most safe to refrain from using all CBD products temporarily. For most individuals, CBD takes approximately up to one week to be fully metabolized and eliminated from the body.
This means that if you want to make sure your safe, no chances taken, it may be of benefit to stop using all CBD products one week from testing.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, if you are a consumer of products containing purely CBD, it is highly unlikely for this alone to result in a failed drug test. However, it is important to take account of the nuance surrounding this subject, and to prepare yourself accordingly.