CBD products can still be problematic, however, when it comes to drug testing. Though drug tests screen for THC, not CBD, many CBD products contain a trace amount of THC which will be detected in your bloodstream during a drug test.
THC can be detected in a urine test for up to 15 days, depending on how often and how much you use. It leaves the bloodstream in about five hours, but substances your body makes from THC (THC metabolites) can show up for as long as 7 days. CBD tends to stay in the bloodstream from 2 to 5 days, depending on dosage and frequency. If you have been using CBD for a while, it can stay in your body for up to 30 days or more.
Factors in CBD Oil Showing on Drug Screen
The legality of CBD products can be confusing. CBD products made from certain cannabis plant varieties are legal only in states where marijuana is legal, due to the potential THC content. CBD products made from hemp variety plants are legal throughout the United States as long as they contain less than 0.3% of THC and do not make any medical claims. (A hemp plant is defined as Cannabis sativa that contains less than 0.3% THC.)
CBD has taken off as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. CBD products like CBD oil can be made from either the hemp plant or the cannabis plant, which are closely related varieties of the same cannabis species, Cannabis sativa. CBD products contain a cannabinoid—a chemical—called cannabidiol, which does not make you high. The substance in marijuana that causes a buzz is a different cannabinoid, called THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.
If you are concerned that THC in your CBD oil or other CBD product may show up on a drug test, you may be able to reduce the chance of that occurring, though there is no guarantee. Some of the factors that may increase the likelihood of a failed drug test are:
Using CBD oil from a trusted source rarely results in a positive drug test. However, there are certain cases where a CBD product will make you fail a drug test. Here’s how it may happen:
Interestingly, one study found that almost 70% of the CBD products sold online were mislabelled, causing potential serious danger to its consumers. The reason for this common phenomenon is that CBD products aren’t regulated by the FDA.
If your CBD oil makes THC show up on a drug test, this may be because you bought a product that isn’t actually sourced from hemp or contains more than 0.3 % THC.
1. Some Hemp Oils Contain Trace Amounts of THC
I did my research on isolate-based CBD gummies and came across Royal CBD, a relatively new premium brand that offers CBD in every traditional format. A few months ago, the company added CBD gummies to its product lineup.
CBD oil obtained from hemp shouldn’t have more than 0.3% THC. However, it’s quite common for retailers to mislabel their products as THC-free when in fact, it’s a product whose THC content exceeds the legal limit.
Due to being odorless and flavorless, the isolate is more versatile than full-spectrum products — you can take it as is or add it to foods and drinks. CBD isolate is also available as oils, tinctures, edibles, and vapes.
If possible, ask the customer service about extraction techniques and the possibility of cross-contamination. Most trusted companies use CO2 extraction to produce their CBD oils, which is a solventless technique that yields clean and potent products.
For instance, producers can isolate CBD compounds after the oil is extracted from the stalks and seeds from hemp plants. This process leads to pure CBD, effectively eliminating any THC and other plant-based constituents from the end product. Once isolated, the CBD can be mixed with liquid oils that contain fatty acids to improve absorption.
“Buy from reputable forms that are third-party tested that have batch numbers, lot numbers, and retained batch samples. If they claim that either that their plants are genetically engineered for no THC or they use methods that purge THC, to make sure that that’s third-party validated,” Morgan said.
But how can you tell how much THC, if any, might reside inside your CBD oil? Can you really trust everything the label on the side of the bottle? The safest bet is to look for well-known CBD products that are independently tested.
Should you worry about CBD oil showing up on a drug test?
Under the SAMHSA framework, the cutoff limit for the presence of THC is 50 nanograms per milliliter. Following these guidelines, if an extremely high dose of 2,000 milligrams of CBD oil that contains 0.3% THC was consumed, there’s a slim chance of receiving a “false positive” result on a urine screening.
While it’s possible that small amounts of THC that exist within a CBD product could accumulate and show up in a drug test, it’s still highly unlikely. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
In most cases, it’s highly unlikely that CBD oil will show up on a drug test. Most employment drug tests specifically look for the presence of THC or THC metabolites. Most employers abide by the guidelines set forth by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA), which includes detection for THC but not CBD.
There are also different types of drug tests that can be used, all of which present different detection thresholds. For instance, a hair test is made to detect habitual substance use, so it will probably not raise any red flags even if you are consuming CBD oil that has low levels of THC.