Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabinoid found in cannabis Sativa. You can find it whole hemp flower used for brewing teas or smoking, hemp extract oils, capsules, gummies and other edible treats.
Many people are interested in using CBD for its potential health benefits, but some may be worried about whether it will appear on a drug test.
The short answer to whether CBD will make you test positive on a drug test is no. CBD is not a compound these tests are looking for because it's not an illegal compound. However, THC levels in certain products may cause a positive result.
This article will explore how drug testing works and how you can avoid false-positive results.
How Does Drug Testing Work?
Drug tests are used to detect illicit substances in one's system for certain occupations, sporting events, health insurance, drug rehabilitation, or parole programs.
The most common drug screening test is the urine test, as it's non-invasive, inexpensive, and fairly accurate. Other forms of drug testing may include blood testing, saliva tests, and hair sample testing. But they're surprisingly not as reliable for detecting cannabinoid levels, and they're much more costly.
Urine drug testing looks for a variety of substances, including:
- Alcohol (but it's not a good indication of intoxication levels. Breathalyzers are much more accurate for this)
- Amphetamines (Meth, MDMA, and ecstasy)
- Opiates (codeine, heroin, morphine)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
How Do You Take A Urine Drug Test?
Urine drug testing most commonly occurs at the testing facility—This is considered best practice for accuracy. The drug test subject will be provided with a specimen cup, led to the bathroom, and instructed to provide a urine sample up to the indicated line (45 mL).
The facility will likely ensure the subject doesn't bring any other items to the bathroom that may contaminate the sample. In some special cases, the person undergoing the drug test may be supervised by a nurse or technician to secure the sample's integrity.
Once the cup is filled to the line, you'll place a lid on the cup and deliver it to the technician, and both the subject and the technician should maintain visual contact with the specimens until it's labeled, sealed, and properly packaged for testing.
How Long Does It Take To Show A Positive Drug Test?
Urine drug tests can take 1–5 business days to confirm a positive or negative result. Based on our research for popular drug and alcohol testing clinics, several factors can affect the length of time a test can take to confirm the results, including the result of the screening:
- Hydration levels
- How long ago did the person use the substance
- How much of the substance was used
If there were no detected substances in the sample, the test is considered complete. For positive test results, confirmatory tests may be conducted to ensure the accuracy of the result, eliminating false positives, which is why it can take additional days of testing.
Urine Drug Testing: CBD Drug Test
The urine drug test works by analyzing the presence of metabolites in the urine.
When testing for marijuana use, lab tests are looking for THC consumption. The metabolite from cannabis use that triggers positive test results is THC-COOH. THC content and the cannabinoid derivatives (delta-8,9,10)—no matter where it comes from (legal or illegal) will metabolize into THC-COOH.
Since CBD is not an illegal compound, drug tests don't look for it. However, not all CBD products are made the same. Marijuana-derived CBD or full-spectrum CBD from hemp, for example, may contain THC levels that produce a positive drug test, so it's important to know.
Marijuana-Derived CBD Will Produce A Positive Test Result
Cannabidiol is one of the main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant (hemp and marijuana). In the eyes of the law, the distinction between hemp and marijuana is their THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content.
Any plant with over 0.3% THC by weight is considered a marijuana plant, and it's still federally illegal in the United States. Although some states have legalized some medical marijuana programs or legalized recreational use altogether, some employers, rehab programs, and sporting events will still test for THC use.
CBD-derived from marijuana plants may have higher concentrations of THC, which can produce intoxicating effects and be detected in your system in drug tests.
When shopping for CBD products, you must shop for hemp-derived CBD with a certificate of analysis conducted by an accredited third-party lab to verify its cannabinoid content.
CBD Drug Test & Likelihood To Test Positive On Drug Screenings
CBD products from hemp plants are available in three different extract types:
- Full spectrum CBD (Whole plant extract)
- CBD Isolate
- Broad Spectrum CBD
1. Full Spectrum CBD (Small risk of a positive drug test)
The cannabis plant contains over a hundred phytochemicals (cannabinoids and terpenes) that lend to their wellness benefits. Full spectrum or whole plant extract is the least processed type of hemp extract. Its production involves careful measures to preserve heat and light-sensitive compounds for an extract that's rich in terpenes and cannabinoids.
Since hemp plants can contain up to 0.3% THC, full spectrum hemp products may contain these trace amounts that can be stored in your system, triggering a positive result on drug testing—however, it's very unlikely.
0.3% THC in an extract is not enough to produce any intoxicating effects, but the presence of other cannabinoids including THC, CBG, and CBN may help to amplify and balance the overall effects of CBD in a phenomenon called the entourage effect, which is why many people enjoy using full spectrum products.
People who use full spectrum products at high doses of CBD oil long-term may have higher levels of THC built up in their system that get detected on sensitive urine drug tests. If you're worried about failing drug tests, you should look at THC-free broad spectrum extracts or CBD isolates instead.
2. Broad Spectrum CBD (Not likely to show up on a drug test)
Broad spectrum extracts start as full spectrum and undergo another process to isolate and remove all THC compounds while maintaining other non-psychoactive cannabinoids and terpenes.
These products aren't likely to produce a positive test result. However, the only way to make sure you're getting a genuine THC-free product is to reference the third-party lab reports. Ensure the cannabinoid report reads "ND" (not detected) or 0% for THC levels.
3. CBD Isolate/ Pure CBD (Not likely to show up on a drug test)
CBD isolate only contains one cannabis compound, cannabidiol, in the CBD product. All other cannabinoids and terpenes have been completely removed, leaving behind up to 99.9% pure CBD that's then mixed into various products like oils, capsules, and gummies.
Unless the product has been cross-contaminated with extracts that contain THC, this should be a safe bet. It's important that you shop for products from a reputable company that prides itself on quality control and safety and always read the third-party lab report.
CBD Industry Product Mislabeling
Although government bodies try to regulate the cannabis industry, the fact is that the CBD industry is simply young, and regulations and enforcements are difficult to maintain. For instance, it's surprising that third-party lab testing isn't mandatory for selling hemp products.
Only reputable brands opt for these tests for quality control and provide their customers with transparency in their business practices. This product information is the only way to verify the cannabinoid profile of your product and to ensure there was no cross-contamination of THC in the process. The tests should be conducted with every product batch to ensure the accuracy of what you're getting.
Product mislabeling is fairly common in the industry. In some cases, people purchase CBD-only products only to discover that they also have traces of THC.
Can CBD Lotion Make You Fail A Drug Test?
Topical CBD products alone will not result in a positive drug test, even if it has higher levels of THC. This is because cannabinoids applied to the skin do not enter the bloodstream, as the skin is quite an effective organ at protecting us from our environment.
Instead, the cannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors in the skin tissue that help maintain homeostasis of the skin organ's function. Topical CBD products like CBD rub, cream, salve, and lotion are better suited for providing local support to the skin, muscles, and joints and will not affect the central nervous system.
The Takeaway: Can CBD Products Make You Fail A Drug Test?
If CBD shows up on drug tests, it could result from cross-contamination of THC or product mislabeling because drug tests do not screen for it.
Drugs can also cause a false positive result from urine drug screen results. One surefire way to avoid testing positive THC on a drug test is to purchase CBD products from reliable sources. All Neurogan CBD products are made from Farm Bill compliant hemp crops that do not contain more than 0.3% THC.
We believe in the power of cannabis phytochemicals working together to produce a more well-rounded and potent effect, which is why we provide full spectrum CBD products and THC-free broad spectrum products for those who want the hemp compound synergy without the THC. You can access the third-party lab tests by scanning the QR code on your product label or on our Lab Reports page on our website to view the report on your batch of products.
For more information on the safety and effective use of CBD products, you can read up on our blog or subscribe to our Insider Scoop email list for exclusive discounts and industry news sent directly into your inbox.
Does CBD Show Up On A Drug Test?
CBD is not detected in drug testing because it is not an illicit ingredient. However, not all CBD products are created equal. THC levels in marijuana-derived CBD or full-spectrum CBD from hemp, for example, may yield a positive drug test, therefore it's crucial to know whether THC concentration and cannabinoid derivatives (delta-8,9,10) will convert into THC-COOH regardless of where it comes from (legal or illegal).
Does CBD Lotion Show In Drug Test?
Even if the THC content is higher, topical CBD products will not cause a positive drug test. Because the skin is a superb organ for insulating us from our surroundings, cannabinoids applied to the skin do not reach the bloodstream.
Can Full Spectrum CBD Show Up On A Drug Test?
Full spectrum hemp products may include tiny levels of THC that can be stored in your system and cause a positive drug test result because hemp plants can contain up to 0.3% THC. However, 0.3% THC in an extract is unlikely to cause intoxication, but the presence of additional cannabinoids including THC, CBG, and CBN may serve to magnify and balance the overall effects of CBD in a phenomenon known as the entourage effect.
Does CBD Oil Show Up In Drug Test?
People who take full spectrum CBD oil at large dosages for an extended period of time may accumulate higher levels of THC in their system, which can be detected on sensitive urine drug tests. If you're concerned about failing a drug test, look into THC-free broad spectrum extracts or CBD isolates.