The expansion of the cannabis industry, especially in recent years, has caused CBD’s popularity to grow enormously. CBD seems to be in vogue, and due to the known therapeutic properties that this natural cannabis compound can provide, there are now all kinds of products that contain it. In addition to the popular CBD-rich hemp buds, you can find concentrates, isolates, edibles, capsules, tinctures, balms, skincare products, and many more products that you might not initially have imagined could contain this cannabinoid.

CBD is an incredible organic compound that carries a lot of potential benefits. However, as a compound that comes from cannabis, it raises the question: does CBD oil show up on drug tests?

This may be a matter of concern for some people, as in many jobs, employers sometimes subject their employees to randomised drug tests. It’s especially of concern for those who use CBD to treat conditions like epilepsy and may have difficulty finding another alternative.

The short answer is that CBD alone is not likely to make you fail a drug test. Nonetheless, in practice, the answer can be a bit more complex than this, and there are some critical factors to consider if you want to prevent a CBD product from contributing to a failed drug test. If you want to know how to avoid this stressful situation, you have come to the right place. This article explains everything you need to know and the precautions you should take when choosing the correct CBD product to avoid failing a drug test.

What is CBD

CBD is the second most predominant cannabinoid present in cannabis and one of the hundreds of natural compounds found in this plant. CBD is the most abundant cannabinoid in hemp and is currently widely popular due to the broad spectrum of therapeutic properties and potential medicinal benefits it can provide. 

Although CBD comes from cannabis, it does not have the quality of generating the psychoactive effects characteristic of THC, the more controversial and prominent cannabinoid in cannabis for which this plant is listed as an illegal substance. According to the World Health Organization, “CBD exhibits no indicative effects of abuse or dependence potential in humans. To date, there is no evidence of harm to public health associated with the use of pure CBD.” 

In fact, CBD shows enormous potential as a remedy for a growing number of medical conditions. Nowadays, there is only one medicine derived from CBD named Epidiolex, approved by NICE and United States FDA formulated to treat epilepsy-related seizures. Besides that, CBD is still under scientific scrutiny and undergoing studies to confirm all the therapeutic benefits CBD could bring to human health. 

How Do Drug Tests For Cannabis Work?

Cannabis is a complex and controversial plant. Despite the abundant evidence suggesting the wide range of medical benefits this plant could bring, many taboos and misconceptions still surround it. There are still many jobs that subject potential employees to drug tests to detect if they consume or have consumed certain substances, cannabis being one of them.

However, these restrictions are understandable for specific jobs in which mental or motor impairment could be extremely dangerous. The compound in cannabis that is most likely to generate these effects is the well-known THC. Although CBD, hemp, and medical cannabis users may be at risk, some products marked as CBD products may contain enough THC to test positive on a test.

Most drug tests targeting cannabis seek to detect the presence of THC in an individual’s bodily fluids. Different tests exist to see whether a person has used cannabis, and each type works differently. 

The drug tests that target cannabis are:

Urine test: Urine tests primarily seek to detect the presence of THC or some of its metabolites. The main THC metabolite excreted through urine is Nor-9-carboxy-THC or THC-COOH, and it usually appears when its concentration is more than 50ng / mL. THC-COOH is a metabolite that comes only from the THC metabolism process. Therefore, you have nothing to worry about if you have consumed pure CBD.

There may also be cases of false positives triggered by the consumption of hemp-seed bars, broad-spectrum THC supplements, or low-THC CBD-rich cannabis. Nevertheless, the most expensive and detailed gas chromatography and spectrometry tests can tell the difference. Some common pharmaceutical drugs known as proton pump inhibitors can also cause false positives in THC dip tests.

There is some debate as to whether some zinc-rich dietary supplements might mask the presence of THC in urine. There are some similar discussions on different internet forums. However, some researchers have disproved the theory that self-administered zinc can cause false negatives in a drug test.

Saliva drug testing: Cannabis is also detectable through oral fluid testing. Saliva drug tests do not detect the presence of inactive metabolites but of the original active components. Therefore, the detection window for Delta 9 THC is shorter. When analysing a saliva sample in the laboratory, it aims to detect THC, and the level of detection is as little as 0.5 ng/ml or up to 72 hours after ingestion. Saliva drug testing provides a reasonable alternative to other drug testing methods. However, they are not usually the first option when trying to detect the presence of THC. On the other hand, if you´re taking pure CBD, you won’t result positively in this type of drug testing either.

Blood drug test: Due to how invasive these tests can be, how difficult they are to administer, and the time it takes to get results, this is one of the less common tests. Physicians, investigators, and law enforcement agencies commonly use this type of test to investigate patients, injuries, and DUI cases, but they are extremely rare in the workplace. While the predominant component in urine is THC-COOH, and THC is dominant in saliva, sweat and hair, both may be present in blood in amounts relative to time and frequency of use.CBD is different. These types of drug testing won’t show the presence of CBD since CBD doesn’t react with the same substance as THC as it is a different compound. 

Hair drug test: Yes, you read that right. The use of cannabis is also detectable through the hair. The detection window in hair drug tests can be as low as 1pg / mg. This means that the detection window is precise enough that you could turn out positive in a drug test just by being in a room with people that are smoking, even if you didn’t smoke directly. Hair drug tests measure the presence of related marijuana metabolites in the hair shaft and eliminate external contamination as a possible source of an erroneous positive result. However, if you only use CBD with no THC in it, you don’t have to worry about failing any drug test.

What is the Half-life of CBD Oil?

When we talk about CBD or some substance, drug or compound, the term half-life refers to a measurement commonly used in medicine to determine the time it takes for 50% of the substance to leave the body. As we mentioned before, CBD, despite being one of the most predominant cannabinoids in cannabis, is a non-intoxicating compound. Therefore it cannot alter the state of mental consciousness. 

According to studies, it takes 5 to 10 days for almost any drug to be eliminated from the body. CBD oil is non-toxic and has very few side effects, even in high-consumption events. The half-life of CBD oil is usually 24 to 48 hours, but the amount depends on the percentage of cannabinoids that the product you consume contains. You may feel the CBD oil effects go away thoroughly after a couple of days. However, results and experience may vary from person to person depending on several factors such as metabolism, tolerance level, history of use, concentration and method of use, among other things.

How Long Does CBD Stay in your System?

CBD usually stays in your system for 2 to 5 days. However, this range can vary considerably and does not apply to everyone. In some users, CBD can remain in your system for weeks, depending on some factors, such as how much CBD you consume. The more CBD you consume, the longer it stays in your system, as it is with many substances.

How often you use CBD also plays a role. This is because CBD builds in your body over time. Therefore, if you only consume CBD occasionally, your body will rid itself of it much faster.

The metabolism and the variants in each person’s body can also significantly influence. Each body is unique. Factors such as body mass index and water content can affect how long CBD remains in each individual’s body.

The method of use can also the elimination time of CBD to vary as each usage method has a different bioavailability. For example, vaping CBD quickly enters the lungs, the effects work quickly, and the body quickly removes CBD. If we’re talking about sublingual CBD oil or tinctures, the body absorbs them quickly into the bloodstream, but they remain in the system for longer. When it comes to CBD edibles, metabolization effects can take longer to kick in, and the CBD stays in the system a little longer. CBD lotions and balms are also slow to completely get in and out of our system.

Does CBD oil show up on a drug test?

CBD alone will not appear in a cannabis drug test unless it is a specific test to detect CBD. However, if your CBD oil contains traces of THC, you will probably register as positive on a drug test. THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis and the controversial one responsible for generating the high. Many CBD products can contain small amounts of THC depending on the composition and quality of the products. To avoid this, you should keep in mind the type of CBD oil you choose before consuming it. The types of CBD extract that most products contain are generally summarised into these three groups:

CBD isolate: just as the name implies, it is pure CBD, separated from the rest of the natural components of cannabis. Without any other cannabinoids or terpenes. If you don’t want to fail a drug test, this may be the one for you.

Broad-spectrum CBD: Like CBD isolate, this type of CBD extract goes through a process that eliminates THC but leaves the rest of the natural components such as terpenes and flavonoids that generate a synergistic effect that boosts the performance of the extract.

Full-spectrum CBD: full-spectrum CBD extracts contain all the natural components of the plant from which it is extracted, including THC, terpenes, flavonoids, and of course, CBD. It is one of the most recommended CBD extracts if you want to experience the benefits of CBD at its maximum performance. All compounds on this type of CBD extract work together to boost the effects, generating a higher performance of each element through a synergistic effect known as an entourage effect. However, it may not be the most viable option if you don’t want to fail a drug test as it contains detectable amounts of THC.