CBD is legal at the federal level, but CBD oil can indicate the presence of THC, which is what employers are looking for. So, when we ask the question, “Does CBD show up on a drug test?”, we should be concerned less about whether CBD shows up on a drug test and more about how CBD oil can affect the outcome of a drug test.
Quick Facts on CBD & Drug Tests
- Drug testing is not designed to identify CBD specifically.
- CBD Oil & Full Spectrum Hemp Oil can lead to a person testing positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
- The likelihood of testing positive for THC from CBD usage is very low.
There Is Not Enough THC in CBD to Get You High, But There’s a Chance It Could Be Detected in a Drug Test
Since .3% is such a small number, it’s unlikely to cause an issue for anyone submitting to drug testing. Still, it’s not impossible.
That might sound pretty unfair. It should. CBD is perfectly legal. There’s no reason for it to cause issues for employment, probation, or whatever reason that would require a person to submit to drug screening.
However, fear of a positive drug test should not cause you to stop regularly using CBD or prevent you from trying it for the first time. There are just a few extra things to keep in mind. We’ve got all the information you need, so you can stay on top of any testing that may come your way.
Not Every Drug Screening is the Same
Most people undergoing a drug test will take a urine test. There are two types of urine tests, 5-panel and 10-panel, named for the five or 10 drugs they look for.
5-panel urine tests identify:
- Cocaine Metabolites
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
10-panel tests look for these, plus:
If CBD is your concern, then it doesn’t matter if you’re getting a 5- or 10-panel test. Both identify THC, by targeting a metabolite called THCCOOH. It’s very unlikely, but still possible for a test to identify THCCOOH in your urine if you regularly consume CBD.
How Long is CBD Detectable in Urine?
Not long. Especially compared to THC. For example, a urine test will detect THC in first-time marijuana users about three days after use. For weekly smokers, that will be more like five days. And for daily smokers, a urine test can detect THC around 30 days after the last use.
If you only use CBD or full-spectrum hemp oil, though, the THC will leave your system much faster since there’s so much less of it.
Common Drug Tests
Other popular tests include saliva, blood, and hair. Blood and saliva tests detect THC only up to 36 hours after use. The hair test is the “gold standard” in that it can detect THC up to 90 days after use. However, it’s most reliable for daily users, and not so reliable for people who only smoke marijuana occasionally.
How Much CBD is Too Much?
Traditional urine tests detect THC content when it’s above 50 nanograms/milliliter (ng/mL). That means, assuming a CBD product has .3% (the maximum), a person would need to take 2,000 mg of CBD to have a chance to test positive for THC. For reference, Green Lotus CBD Capsules contain 25 mg of CBD, not nearly enough to pose a risk that you’ll test positive for THC. 2000 mg of CBD is quite a bit higher than that.
All of that said, it can be tough to do back-of-napkin math, and drug tests can be finicky, so some caution is warranted.
How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?
CBD will stay in your system for around a week, after which levels will be so low that they’re virtually undetectable. This will change based on factors like a person’s metabolism and the quantity of CBD they’ve taken, but it’s safe to avoid CBD for the seven days leading up to a test.
Don’t Use a Detox Kit
Some people who are worried about passing a drug test use a detox kit, which is designed to remove THC from your body for the purposes of a urine test.
First of all, if you only use CBD, you probably don’t have to. But regardless, detox kits are a bad idea for a few reasons.
The big one is that they don’t work that well. There haven’t been any detailed studies to prove their effectiveness, only some anecdotal claims. And there are plenty of examples of failed tests following a detox.
Also, a drug screener may also be able to identify that you’ve taken a detox, and that may cause more problems for you than whatever was in your urine, especially if you’ve only taken CBD.
Exercise is Good, But Last-Minute Exercise Won’t Help You Pass a Drug Test
Lots of people believe that exercise in the days leading up to a drug test will help them pass. That’s not really true.
THC is fat soluble, which means it accumulates in the fat-stores in your body. When you exercise, fat is burned. The problem is that burned fat doesn’t result in THC leaving the body. It causes the THC to enter your bloodstream. Studies have shown this kind of last-minute exercise will actually increase THC levels.
But you should still exercise regularly. Drug test or not, exercise is good.
Our Recommendation: If You Use CBD, You’re Probably Fine
Don’t sweat things. There’s nothing wrong with taking CBD. If you want to be safe, avoid CBD for the week before a test. If you’re extra concerned, drink plenty of water. And keep in mind that you’ll almost certainly be fine.