The Big Question: Will CBD Show Up in a Drug Test?

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With all the talk out there lately, you’ve probably heard something about “CBD” at some point or another. If you suffer from a chronic condition like anxiety or pain, the chances are that someone has recommended you try it. Despite its popularity, many people are still not quite sure about what CBD is and what it is used for. Some people are still not sure if it's even legal and others find themselves stuck with the question: “Will CBD show up in a drug test?”

This is a valid concern. Most people will go to great lengths to improve their health. But not so many are willing to risk their jobs or even their reputations to achieve this.

CBD (or cannabidiol) oil has become a popular product that can help people with various issues ranging from pain to chronic anxiety.

Nevertheless, there is a rising concern about whether CBD will show up in a drug test.

Continue reading to find out why using products containing CBD will not make you fail a drug test.

Will CBD Show Up in a Drug Test?

Now, you may have heard stories about people like famous sports players or employees who have received positive drug tests after using cannabis products.

What you may not have heard is that these tests were most likely used to pick up THC, and not CBD.

It is highly unlikely for CBD to show up in a drug test.

You may be wondering how drug tests work. You see, on a drug test, drug-specific antibodies will only react with the metabolites of a specific drug or compound.

The thing is that your average drug tests are not designed to detect CBD or, for that matter, any of the other compounds found in cannabis apart from THC.

The most commonly used sample for testing is a random urine specimen. Sometimes, saliva can also be used, and other types of samples include blood as well as hair samples. [1]

Drug tests are aimed at picking up on marijuana use, which is less than desirable in the workplace and in most professional settings.

During a drug test, the active chemical contained within marijuana that they will be looking for is THC or THC metabolites.

If you need to take a test for employment, they will probably be screening for that.

Since CBD is distinct from THC chemically, pure CBD should not be detected in drug tests designed specifically to detect THC.

What is CBD and Why Do People Use it?

Cannabidiol or CBD is one of the very many active compounds that are found in the Cannabis sativa plant that give the plant its long list of therapeutic benefits.

It is not addictive.

These days, its therapeutic properties are being tested, and numerous scientists and health care professionals from around the world are beginning to recognize its health benefits.

A lot of research has been done on CBD over the past few years, and the results have been quite promising.

The fact that CBD has such potent health effects, as well as the fact that it is non-intoxicating, makes it quite appealing as a treatment option for people who are a little cautious about trying out a cannabis product for the first time.

CBD can be taken easily in the form of CBD oil which makes it a convenient addition to a healthy lifestyle.

Why Don’t People Get Tested For CBD?

People who will require you to take a drug test are, generally speaking, not after CBD. This compound has a good reputation, and it should not be considered hazardous in any way. 

Truth be told, there are still a few things we don’t know about CBD as the research in this field is still, basically, in its infancy.

Even though there is limited knowledge concerning the long-term effects of using CBD or about the interactions that it may have with other types of medications, CBD is generally considered to be safe and well-tolerated.

This is true even when it is taken in relatively high daily dosages. In fact, through extensive evaluations, researchers have discovered that it has essentially zero side-effects. [2]

The World Health Organization has concluded that, to date, they haven’t found any evidence pointing to the recreational use of CBD.

They also stated that they are not aware of any public health-related concerns associated with the use of products containing pure CBD.

Unlike the psychoactive compound, THC, CBD has no mind-altering effects, and it will not make you feel “high.”

This is due to the fact that these compounds act differently on different receptors throughout the body and in the brain. [4]

Clearly, there is no reason why CBD should be tested for.

It is, however, important to keep in mind that the risk connected to CBD products might not have anything to do with pure CBD.

The biggest issue lies with the unknown composition and the quality of the product itself.

Special attention should be paid to possible contaminants and incorrect or misleading labeling. [5]

Isn’t CBD the Same Thing as Marijuana?

CBD is not the same thing as marijuana. The term “cannabis” is the go-to term for describing marijuana as well as hemp plants.

These two types of plants are, however, not the same. The main difference between the two is that marijuana contains both CBD and THC while hemp is nearly void of THC.

In fact, for a cannabis strain to be considered as hemp, it has to contain virtually no THC (less than 0.3 percent).

In general, employees want to implement strict drug policies that ban the use of marijuana.

This relates especially to health and safety within the workforce.

The THC found in marijuana can affect depth perception, coordination, reaction time and other motor skills. It can also create sensory distortion.

And if you think about it, for someone who has to operate heavy machinery at work, these effects are very dangerous.

It has also been found that marijuana use by employees could lead to decreased productivity, lawsuits and other issues. [6]

Baring all of this in mind, you should be able to understand why drug tests are performed to detect marijuana use.

And considering that CBD will not have the same effects as THC, it should be clear why it doesn’t warrant any testing.

Does CBD Oil Contain THC?

Cannabidiol oil or CBD oil is, in essence, a concentrated solvent extract that is made from the flowers or leaves of the cannabis plant.

Basically, it is obtained by dissolving these flowers or leaves in an edible oil like sunflower oil, hemp oil or olive oil.

CBD oil should, for all practical reasons, not contain any THC (or at least negligible amounts of THC).

Oil has become a popular mode for administrating cannabinoids.

With CBD oil you won’t risk getting intoxicated. The CBD that is present in oils and other edible products are generally derived from the fiber-type varieties of cannabis known as hemp.

These are naturally richer in CBD than the drug-type varieties like marijuana.

Reasons Why You Could Get a Positive Drug Test by Accident

People are told that they can go ahead and consume CBD-containing products on a daily basis without ever having to worry about getting a positive drug test. Unfortunately, this is a little misleading.

As it turns out, there is a small risk that you may fail a drug test when you enjoy using products that contain CBD.

The overall interest in CBD products has spiked over the last few years. However, enough is still not being done to oversee and regulate products containing CBD which may lead to issues with drug tests. [7]

Let’s look at a few reasons why you could end up getting a positive drug test after using CBD products.

Using Products With THC

One of the most common reasons why people using CBD products fail drug tests is that they use products that also contain THC. This might even happen if you are not aware of it.

There are various techniques that can be used for extracting CBD oil. It is this extracting method that will determine if the oil will be classified as a “full-spectrum oil” or as an “isolate.”

In simple terms, an isolate will contain pure CBD with no other active compounds or any other cannabinoids. However, a full spectrum oil will contain additional active compounds which may include THC. [8]

Full spectrum oils (that do contain larger concentrations of THC) are very popular for a number of conditions as they may be more effective for helping you cope with pain and inflammation.

Seeing as some researchers out there believe that a little bit of extra THC could enhance the effects of CBD, you should be sure not to buy products with added THC if you have to “pass” a drug test.

Another issue is that the amount of THC that is legally allowed in hemp products can vary. In fact, it can be acceptable for CBD products to contain residual THC levels of as high as 5 percent. [10]

If the product you are using contains sufficient levels of THC, depending on how much you use, the possibility exists that you could fail a drug test. Again, it will pick up the THC and not the CBD.

You should be careful when you purchase your CBD products. Always read the label and make sure that what you are buying is pure CBD.

Mislabeling of Products

Some manufacturers claim that their CBD oils are isolates, while they may, in fact, be full spectrum oils. As a result, these oils actually contain more THC than they claim.

While the CBD oil that is extracted from hemp is supposed to contain less than 0.3 percent THC, products containing higher levels of THC are commonly mislabeled.

This is especially true for low-quality oils that are extracted from marijuana that is actually high in THC.

One study made an astonishing discovery that nearly 70 percent of CBD products found online were labeled improperly. The main reason? Lack of regulation.

Not only can misleading labels be harmful to your health, but it can also result in a positive drug test. You may be caught off guard without any of it being your fault.


Even though it is very unlikely, small amounts of THC (that is present in the material from which CBD is extracted) can end up in the oil. In rare cases, this could lead to a positive drug test. 

What Can I Do to Avoid Getting a Positive Test?

There are of course ways in which you can ensure that you don’t get a positive drug test.

The key to avoiding a positive drug test for cannabis when you use CBD products is to be as vigilant as possible. Make sure that you do your research. Check to see if the CBD product you intend to use is pure and also find out as much as you can about the manufacturer. Only purchase CBD products from reputable dealers.

Quality is another aspect that you should be certain about before buying CBD oil. You need to be sure that the product is extracted from good quality industrial hemp.

Don’t be afraid to ask the supplier questions about the things you are concerned about. Ask about the techniques they use for processing and find out if there is any possibility of cross-contamination.

Read labels and online reviews. Find out if the CBD oil is an isolate instead of a full-spectrum oil. Keep in mind that you are the one who needs to make an informed decision.

Will CBD Oil Show Up In A Drug Test - Pinterest

Don’t Fret: Pure CBD Will Not Show Up in a Drug Test!

Good quality CBD oil is widely available for the conscientious consumer.

These are people who read labels, research brands and who understand that you need to include CBD as a healthy addition to a healthy lifestyle.

The health benefits of CBD are seemingly endless, and new possibilities are constantly being realized.

It is understandable that some people are bothered by the question: “Will CBD show up in a drug test?” Nobody wants to be surprised by a positive drug test.

But, you can rest assured as long as you take special care to source out high quality, pure CBD products you have nothing to worry about. CBD will not be picked up in a drug test!


  2. Machado Bergamaschi, M., Helena Costa Queiroz, R., Waldo Zuardi, A., & Crippa, A. S. (2011). Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent. Current drug safety, 6(4), 237-249.
  3. Cannabidiol (CBD) pre-review report (Internet). World Health Organization website, 2017.
  4. Russo, E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid‐terpenoid entourage effects. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1344-1364.
  5. Hazekamp, A. (2018). The trouble with CBD oil. Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids, 1(1), 65-72.
  7. Corroon, J., & Kight, R. (2018). Regulatory Status of Cannabidiol in the United States: A Perspective. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 3(1), 190-194.
  8. Pavlovic, R., Nenna, G., Calvi, L., Panseri, S., Borgonovo, G., Giupponi, L., ... & Giorgi, A. (2018). Quality traits of “cannabidiol oils”: cannabinoids content, terpene fingerprint and oxidation stability of European commercially available preparations. Molecules, 23(5), 1230.
  9. Gallily, R., Yekhtin, Z., & Hanuš, L. O. (2015). Overcoming the bell-shaped dose-response of cannabidiol by using cannabis extract enriched in cannabidiol. Pharmacol Pharm, 6(2), 75-85.
  10. Edmonds, B. Cannabidiol and Drug Tests. Quest Diagnostics.

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