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:
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
Topical products that claim to contain CBD—like shampoos, cosmetics or creams—should not cause any reaction during a drug test because they do not enter the bloodstream. In the case of CBD oils, gummies, teas or transdermal patches, the situation is more complicated. In a test of 84 CBD products obtained online, 18 contained THC.
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.
CBD will not show up in a drug test because drug tests are not screening for it. CBD products may well contain THC, however, so you can fail a drug test after taking CBD products. If you take CBD oil, you should plan accordingly if your work or activities require you to undergo drug testing.
Consumers who want to be extra-cautious and use CBD with no THC should shop for a broad-spectrum oil or a CBD product that contains pure CBD isolate. Broad-spectrum oil is refined to exclude THC, while CBD isolates contain no THC or other plant-based cannabinoids. To ensure that your CBD contains no THC, it’s important to source products from reputable manufacturers that provide a certificate of analysis from a third-party testing lab.
Oral ingestion is the most common method of CBD consumption. Administering a couple of drops of CBD oil directly into the mouth is certainly a convenient way to reap the potential benefits of this therapeutic cannabinoid. However, ingestion is not necessarily the most effective consumption method for those who want to feel the effects of CBD immediately.
A 1991 study published in Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior examined the concentration of CBD in the blood after high doses daily. Over a six-week period, the research team administered a daily dose of 700 milligrams of CBD to 14 Huntington’s disease patients. One week after the dosing ceased, the CBD remaining in the blood was just 1.5 nanograms per milliliter and was “virtually undetectable” thereafter.
Will CBD show up on a drug test?
While the time that CBD is detectable in the body will vary, we can deduce that CBD will likely leave the system after a week or two. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Studies show that when the liver metabolizes CBD compounds, they undergo what is called the “first-pass effect.” Enzymes in the liver reduce CBD concentration before the remainder is finally sent to the bloodstream and circulated throughout the body. While oral consumption of CBD has become popular for its ease of use, it can be an inefficient method of consumption compared with inhalation or sublingual administration. This is because only about 5% of swallowed CBD ends up in the bloodstream, meaning this method provides low bioavailability.
It’s important to note that, while existing evidence shows us that CBD can definitely be detected in the body for a certain period of time, most drug tests specifically look for the presence of THC. Therefore, accurate information on how long CBD stays in the body remains limited compared with information on THC.
How long does CBD stay in your system? That depends on multiple factors. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps