Does CBD Oil Show Up On A Drug Test? Find Out How It Affects.

Does CBD Oil Show Up On A Drug Test? Find Out How It Affects.

A drug test is not a problem if you are using CBD lotion or some other topical. CBD oil, however, even when it is made from hemp that contains the legally accepted 0.3 % THC, may show up in a drug screening. The same case applies when you ingest other CBD products, whether they are made from full-spectrum hemp oil or CBD isolate. A drug test might detect positive THC in a urine test if you had taken either cannabis oil or low THC hemp oil, especially if you had taken it in large quantities.

Will CBD Oil Show Up On a Drug Test?

Even in jurisdictions where marijuana is legal, the law usually allows landlords and employers to decide whether to keep someone who uses it. This is why drug tests are so crucial for people who use marijuana. This is the reason why passing a drug test can be so vital to the CBD user.

To understand the relationship between CBD oil and drug tests, we have to look at it within the context of a cannabis test. This test usually checks for the psychoactive elements of weed. CBD in itself is not psychoactive and, therefore, it wouldn’t be a problem even if CBD appeared in a drug test, but they don’t test for it. Under certain circumstances, the use of CBD can lead to a positive drug test, as discussed below.

Why CBD Use Might Lead to a Positive Drug Test Result

CBD Oil In A Drug Test

To understand how using CBD can lead to a positive drug test, we must have a background understanding of cannabis. Both industrial hemp and marijuana fall under the genus cannabis. The plants contain many different cannabinoids and other organic compounds in varying quantities between the two of them and across their various strains. 

CBD is one of these cannabinoids. Generally, industrial hemp contains more CBD than other cannabinoids, including THC. However, the quantity of different cannabinoids across various strains of industrial hemp also varies. This means that it is possible to have industrial hemp whose THC content is higher than the legally accepted 0.3%. When CBD oil is extracted from high-THC content hemp, it is likely to show up in the drug test of a user. 

CBD that comes from regular Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica is even more likely to return positive results from a drug test. These varieties of marijuana can contain up to 30% THC. It would be a terrible mistake to assume that you are safe because THC doesn’t make up the highest percentage of the strain. 30% is exceptionally potent. It will not only appear in your drug test but also have mind-altering effects on you.

One less known fact about CBD oil and drug tests is that it is not only high THC content that can lead to a positive drug test. There is another cannabinoid known as cannabinol (CBN), which is a metabolite of THC, and it is also psychoactive—being psychoactive means that an abundance of CBN can lead to a positive result for marijuana in a drug test.

Ordinarily, cannabinol appears only in trace amounts and in cannabis plants, but it can appear in higher quantities of it in older plants. Being aware of the CBN content in the cannabis or hemp from which your CBD was extracted is essential, especially when you are using broad-spectrum hemp extract. A broad-spectrum hemp extract or CBD oil refers to a product from which the manufacturer has extracted THC and left all the other cannabinoids. If the manufacturer extracts THC but doesn’t pay attention to obtain the CBN as well, the CBD product will probably return positive results in a drug test. This is one reason why a laboratory analysis of the contents of a CBD product is so critical.

Typically, ingestible formulations of CBD products are the ones that cause people to fail in their drug tests. This is because they get into the bloodstream and alter the chemical constitution of a user’s blood. Topicals such as CBD creams, on the other hand, are not a problem when used before a drug test since their usage is external, and it doesn’t get into the blood. As a user, you should be careful not to confuse dermal patches with topicals. When you take a hemp product through a dermal patch, it finds its way to the bloodstream, after which it may end up messing up your drug test. 

CBD products that have a THC content of as low as 0.3% can lead to a positive drug test if taken in large quantities. If, for example, you take 1500mg of CBD in a day, there is a possibility of your urine test being positive. It is, however, in scarce instances that a person can take such copious amounts of CBD oil in a day. For the CBD oil to return a positive in a drug test, it needs to have been used relatively recently before the drug test. We shall discuss the duration for which CBD remains in the body in the following section.

How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

As we have seen above, CBD products can contain amounts of THC that can mess up your drug test results. The presence of such compounds makes the duration of time when CBD remains in the body extremely important. Understanding the timeline helps you plan your intake to help you avoid positive results, especially in scheduled drug tests.

The typical length of time where CBD stays in the body is two to five days. As it is usually the case in matters of people and their different constitutions, there are instances in which the CBD may stay in a user’s body for much longer. Everyone, therefore, needs to understand how their bodies interact with CBD. The following are factors that determine the length of time CBD remains in the body.

How much CBD you use and how often you use it

Like everything else, the body takes longer to clean out more substantial quantities of CBD. The more of CBD you use, at a time, therefore, the longer it will take to leave the body, and the less you choose, the sooner it will leave the body. The frequency of your intake is also an essential factor. When you use it for a long time, CBD builds a presence in your body, and it takes longer to get removed from the body.

Physical constitution

Everyone has different physical makeup, and it determines their reaction to various substances. A person with a higher BMI may have CBD leave their body faster if they take the same quantity with somebody with a lower BMI. People with lower metabolic rates retain whatever they take into their bodies for longer than those whose metabolism is more efficient.  

The efficiency of a user’s endocannabinoid system is another aspect of a user’s physical constitution that affects how long CBD remains in the body. It is the ECS that utilizes CBD and ultimately metabolizes it. If it is efficient, CBD and other cannabinoids leave the body fast. If, on the other hand, the ECS is less efficient, it takes longer to metabolize CBD. The efficiency of a person’s ECS is determined either by genetics or how long they have used cannabis. The longer one has used it, the less efficient their ECS.


If a person takes CBD on an empty stomach, it leaves the body faster because it is metabolized quickly. If a person takes it after eating a big meal, it will have to be digested and absorbed into the body much slower since the digestive system is busy with other things. The nature of the food you take during the meal also contributes. Some foods are more difficult to digest than others, and those that are harder to digest cause the CBD to be retained in the body for more extended periods.

Intake method

CBD products come in many different formulations. Some of them get absorbed quickly into the body, and others take longer to be absorbed. The ones that get to the bloodstream also leave the body quickly.

Users typically take CBD oils and tinctures sublingually. As a result, they quickly get into the blood through the mucus membrane under the tongue. Vaping and dermal patches also get CBD into the bloodstream quickly, after which it leaves just as fast.

Intake methods in which the CBD has to first go to the stomach are different. They take much longer. When a CBD product goes into the stomach, it needs to be digested first. After digestion, the CBD must go through the liver in what is commonly referred to first-pass before it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. It is due to this long process that people who prefer to have their CBD absorbed slowly over long time use these intake methods. CBD products such as CBD gummies and other edibles, capsules, and others have to go through this process. 

How to Avoid a Positive CBD Oil Drug Test

CBD Oil Drug Test

Looking at the information above, it is possible to make deductions on some of the measures you can take to avoid testing positive of THC in a drug test. 

Avoid taking CBD

This is the most apparent option, especially if you are expecting a drug test. Your understanding will inform its success of how much time you need to eliminate all the residual CBD in your body.

Use products with low or no THC content

As earlier observed, CBD itself is not a problem in drug tests, the main problem is the trace amounts of THC found in CBD products. Using products with lower THC percentage, therefore, lowers the possibility of it being found in your sample. You can get this information by looking at the Certificate of Analysis from the third-party testing lab. 

Make certain broad-spectrum CBD products don’t contain CBN

Broad-spectrum CBD products are usually manufactured to eliminate the possibility of them containing THC, which would, in return, cause the user to fail a drug test. This can be negated by substantial amounts of cannabinol in the product. Traces of cannabinol can be identified through third-party analysis. Processors can also avoid cannabinol by not processing older marijuana plants – it is in these older plants where CBN may be found in significant quantities.

Reduce your CBD intake

When CBD complies with government regulations requiring products to have less than 0.3% THC, the only way to avoid failing a test would be to reduce intake. One can reduce the amount they take for a time before they have to go for the test.

Use intake methods that allow for quick synthesis

As earlier observed, the process of intake informs how fast the CBD will be synthesized in the body. It is therefore advisable to use intake methods such as taking it sublingually, vaping, or dermal patches, which allow for fast absorption. Processes that take the CBD product through the stomach should be avoided.

Use CBD oil with a high-fat carrier oil

CBD and other cannabinoids are fat-soluble. A carrier oil with high-fat content makes it easier for the body to absorb the cannabinoids in it.  This is why the best CBD oil is the one whose carrier oil has more fats. If the fat content of the carrier oil is low, the body doesn’t synthesize the cannabinoids as fast. This leads to more residual cannabinoids in the body, which might be picked up in a drug test. 


You can get products that are made from CBD isolate. These are products that are made from hemp extract from which all cannabinoids except for CBD. Such a product could significantly reduce the possibility of failing a drug test, but it also denies you the benefit of all other cannabinoids. CBD in itself is not a problem where drug tests are concerned, but THC and CBN are. Following whichever of the above measures that work for you may help you enjoy the entourage effects and help you stay in the clear where drug tests are concerned.

Dwight K. Blake Written by: Dwight K. Blake

Dwight was a Mental Health counselor at Long Island Psychotherapy & Counseling in Westbury, New York for more than 15 years. He believes that CBD is the prime solution to this mental illness and more-- with proper research, medical acknowledgment, and application.
Through his work at AmericanMarijuana, together with the rest of the team, he wishes to provide everyone with genuine results and high-quality product reviews for everyone to enjoy for free.

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