Does CBD show up on a drug test?

does CBD show up on a drug test

Beginner’s 101

While CBD is often used as part of a daily routine for general wellness, there are some common and very legitimate concerns amongst professionals, regarding the question: does CBD show up on a drug test? 

One of the many misconceptions surrounding CBD is that it’s also psychoactive like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). For this reason, some may be put off when considering using CBD products because of how it may affect their employment if they are subject to drug testing. 

Although some businesses and industries are ahead of the curve when it comes to CBD, and have adjusted to make room for its employees to take it. Many are still unaware of its uses and benefits.

We understand the concern. So, we thought we’d answer the often asked question, ‘does CBD show up on a drug test? So, can you understand why false positives might occur and make an informed decision on whether CBD is right for you

We can’t give medical or legal advice as to whether it is safe for you to take CBD products if you are subject to drug testing.

In this article we’ll cover: 

  • Does CBD show up on a drug test?
  • Why does CBD oil show up on a drug test?
  • How to choose CBD products without THC?
  • The takeaway

Does CBD show up on a drug test?

Does CBD show up on a drug test

Many professions have a zero-tolerance drug policy that also includes the use of cannabis. In careers such as teachers, military personnel, and police officers, where they are required to partake in regular drug testing, taking CBD might seem out of the question if you don’t know the facts.

Conventional drug tests are generally looking for traces of THC or more specifically THC COOH. While CBD is not tested for – due to it not being psychoactive. There is still a chance if your CBD is derived from hemp that it could show up with a false positive. 

Why does CBD show up on a drug test?

While CBD is not the main subject of drug testing. There are a few reasons why a test may show a false positive. Here we’ll explain some of the factors that might contribute to this. 

Where CBD oil is derived from 

Not all CBD products are made from hemp so it’s important to check the label to see if your products are derived from high THC strains of cannabis – which will have more THC.

Choosing products derived from hemp does reduce the risk of a positive result, but doesn’t eliminate it completely as there are still trace amounts of THC found in full-spectrum oils.

Traces of THC in hemp

CBD products derived from hemp – especially full-spectrum CBD products, still has small traces of THC at 0.2-0.3% (which is the legal amount in most places). It might not be enough to make you high or have any mind-altering effects, but some tests can detect even small amounts.  

Mis labeling and poor manufacturing practices 

The CBD industry is wholly unregulated, this means companies may get away with mislabeling products and poor extraction practices which can lead to unreliable levels of THC in your products.

This is most common amongst cheap products as there aren’t many rules when it comes to CBD production, some products are mislabeled to make them sound more appealing, and there could be more THC than is advertised.

Always look for clearly labeled products, if the ingredient list or packaging seems misleading or confusing it could potentially not be telling the truth about what’s inside. 

How THC is Metabolized

While your CBD hemp products may only contain tiny amounts of THC, this doesn’t always mean it won’t be picked up by drug tests. Once in the blood, THC is bound to blood proteins and carried throughout the body. 

After which it is either absorbed into your body tissue, in the brain, heart, and fat cells or transformed by the liver into the water-soluble metabolites and excreted through urination.

Over time THC can be stored in your fatty tissue, and with constant use, over time it can be stored faster than it can be eliminated. This could potentially lead to an excess build of THC being present in the body.

Most THC is eliminated within 18-30 hours, however, it can take longer, up to 1-21 days after use, depending on amounts taken and repetition of use.

How to choose THC free CBD products

how to choose thc free CBD products

The fact is, when it comes to CBD, the products you choose make all the difference, although no product is completely without risk as each brand has its own unique manufacturing practices.

Here are some things to consider when searching for CBD without THC.

So, let’s take a look at what to look out for.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate also known as CBD crystals is a pure, crystalline powder that contains 99% pure CBD and zero THC. Some brands use this powder mixed with a carrier oil to make CBD oil. This form of taking CBD has the lowest risk for drug testing. 

Broad-spectrum 

Broad-spectrum oils have had THC removed but still contain the other beneficial components of the hemp plant, including minor cannabinoids like CBG and CBN, terpenes and flavonoids.

Its purpose is to mimic the benefits of full-spectrum CBD oil but without the THC. This form of oil also has a lower risk than full-spectrum.

Beware of full-spectrum 

Many CBD products on the market will say that they are ‘full spectrum’. This means the co-factors of the hemp plant, such as terpenes, flavonoids, plant waxes, and other cannabinoids, are left in during extraction.

While this is beneficial as it possesses the ‘entourage effect’. Full-spectrum CBD products also contain trace amounts of THC which can sometimes give false-positive results.

Check the ingredients list

As mentioned above, hemp has many beneficial components including essential fatty acids and low saturated fats. Hemp seeds may contain only very minute amounts of THC compared to their fragrant flowers, however, THC can still be found in its oil. So, when searching for CBD products this is also something to consider.

Look for 3rd party lab reports

As previously mentioned, the CBD industry is majorly unregulated. This means that more often than not it’s the responsibility of the consumer, to ensure that the CBD products they buy are reliable and contain the ingredients advertised.

One way to do this is to ask your CBD company to provide you with 3rd-party lab reports that contain information on the quantities of cannabinoids.

This way, you’ll be sure that your product contains the correct amount of CBD, and THC or any other extras.

When buying your next CBD product, maybe consider if you can check these three boxes if you need to take a drug test:

CBD checklist

Is the CBD oil made from CBD isolate and not full-spectrum extracts?  
Does it contain hemp seed oil?  
Does it have a detailed ingredients list?
Do they have 3rd-party lab reports that show cannabinoid content?  

The Takeaway – Do thorough research 

Before buying CBD, always do your research. CBD Isolate contains zero THC and is one of the low-risk ways to avoid THC, however, some brands do mislabel products so always choose a reputable brand that is transparent about the cannabinoid content of their products with published 3rd party lab results. 

This is not a surefire way to ensure your products are THC free. And while we do not recommend nor deter people from using CBD products. It should be noted that if you do take CBD it’s at your own risk, we can’t give legal or medical advice. But if you are obliged to take a drug test at work, please be aware of the risks.

Do you have any worries about taking CBD? If you have any questions about Endoca products, don’t hesitate to reach out to us via the web chat icon on our website.

Jada Lynton

Our in house copywriter is an avid holistic health and cannabis advocate. Her passion for cannabis grew after experiencing the positive effects CBD has first hand. Over the past two years, while working for Endoca her knowledge and experience of cannabis has grown and she continues to spread the word about the amazing effects of cannabis and cannabinoids.

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