One of the biggest questions surrounding CBD is: Will CBD show up on a urine drug test—or any drug test, for that matter? The short answer is that cannabidiol, which is the name for CBD, should not show up on a drug test.
That being said, many CBD products contain trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the main active ingredient of marijuana. If enough THC is present in the product you ingest, this will show up on a drug test. This can make a random drug screening turn into a positive drug test, but this is going to depend upon the quality of the product.
Why Would Only Some Products Possibly Contain THC?
Most CBD products are not regulated by the FDA, and this makes it difficult to know what’s truly in them, even those that are legal. Certain types of CBD are far less likely to have THC in them compared to others.
Different Types of CBD
As CBD comes from cannabis, a family of plants, these plants contain naturally occurring compounds including terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids. Depending on their strain and variety, the chemical composition varies. Marijuana and hemp products both come from cannabis plants, but they contain different THC levels. This is largely due to the way in which they are made.
Marijuana plants usually contain THC in a variety of concentrations. The THC produces the “high” that people look for when smoking weed. Hemp products, however, are required to contain less than 0.3% THC, which makes them less likely to come up on a drug test.
How Much THC Would Show up on a Drug Test?
The cutoff values for drug tests were established so that trace amounts that would trigger a positive test would not be considered. Passing the test doesn’t necessarily mean that you have 0% THC in your system; it just means that the amount that you test positive for is below the cutoff value.
There are different testing methods to consider, and different methods have very different cutoff values and detection windows. Let’s take a look:
A lot of workplaces test for cannabis with a urine test, and the concentration must be present at 50 nanograms per milliliter to be a positive test. The THC is present in your urine for 3 to 15 days after use, so if your workplace drops randomized drug testing, you could still fail a drug test two weeks after use. For those who use cannabis more frequently, there are longer detection windows of up to thirty days or more for some.
Most drug screenings are done with urine and are less common for blood testing. This is because THC is eliminated faster from the bloodstream. It’s only detected in plasma for five hours, though the THC metabolites are actually detectable for up to a week.
Urine tests are common in the workplace, but blood is taken when impairment is suspected, such as with those driving under the influence. Some states have zero tolerance when it comes to THC levels in the blood, and others have a cutoff.
It’s not common at all to test the saliva for THC, and as such, there are no cutoff limits for detecting THC in saliva. In oral tests, it can be detected for up to three days, but heavy use may pick up THC far longer than three days.
Other Reasons a Test Could Pick up CBD
There are plenty of reasons that test results could show a positive read on CBD, and these include the following:
In the process of manufacturing CBD, cross-contamination is a possibility—even when the THC is only in the tiniest amounts. Cross-contamination is likely for manufacturers that prepare CBD-only products, THC-only, or a combination of the two.
Secondhand Exposure to THC
It’s not likely at all that you could test positive for CBD after being around marijuana smoke; however, there is still a very small possibility of it happening. This only happens with extremely potent marijuana, though, and it also happens in areas that are not well-ventilated.
Inaccurate Product Labeling
CBD is not legal in a lot of states, which means that there are no consistent regulations. With no third party to test the composition, there’s every chance you could buy CBD products that state that there is no THC, and instead there is a slight inaccuracy in the labeling.
CBD can show up on a drug test if THC is present in more than 0.3% amounts.
To avoid accidentally purchasing a product that claims to contain “0% THC” on it’s label, but actually contains over the legal amount of THC (0.3%), always do your research on the CBD oil you are considering purchasing. In most cases, there are two things you want to research:
- Reviews from Other Customers or Professional CBD Review Sites – When in doubt, it’s always best to cross-reference your findings with those of previous customers or professional CBD review websites. If there are reviews available for the product, previous reviews will likely reveal if the product is mis-labeled. If you’re not sure what a proper CBD review appears like, here’s a great review of the 43CBD Oil Tincture by the guys at FindHempCBD.com: 43CBD Review
- The Product’s Third Party Lab Testing Results (if they are available… if they aren’t avoid that product like the plague) – the product’s Certificate of Analysis (COA) will disclose the cannabinoid content detected within the product. Unless the brand has altered or forged their lab reports, the lab report will disclose the accurate amount of THC detected in the bottle of CBD.
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