Stop us if you’ve heard this one, but workplace hair follicle tests are generally not checking for CBD—they’re checking for that old standby THC-COOH. So no, CBD won’t show up on a standard workplace drug test of a hair follicle. THC will, though. Any CBD you took that had trace levels of THC could leave THC byproducts in a hair follicle, where they have the potential to stick around for a while. Hair follicles can contain a months-long record of drug use, depending on the length of the hair.
One key guideline is drug-testing rules for federal employees. A federal worker will fail a drug test if their urine tests positive for any more than a trace amount of the THC metabolite (THC-COOH). And by “trace,” we mean just 50 billionths of a gram per milliliter of urine (50 ng/ml).
In the most common workplace drug screen—a urine test—employers aren’t looking for CBD, because CBD has never been found to impair judgment or motor skills. Instead, workers fail workplace drug testing for marijuana’s main active ingredient, THC, which can exist in low amounts in some CBD products and then persist in the human body for weeks.
Can stomach acid turn CBD into THC?
Here’s how drug tests work. Employers collect and send off samples—largely urine—to drug testing companies who run them through a machine that can measure trace chemicals in the liquid. Technicians look for evidence of a byproduct of THC, the main active cannabinoid in cannabis — not CBD. (More rarely, employers may test saliva, hair, or blood from their employees. We’ll get to that in a minute.)
“We are aware of a few reports of CBD users who have flunked a drug test,” said Dale Gieringer, co-director of California NORML.
THC is the most common reason a worker fails a drug test. Some 2.3% of all US drug tests came back positive for cannabis use in 2018.
“Almost all” of those specimens are tested for THC-COOH, Dr. Sample said.
CBD is fat-soluble, meaning it’s stored in your body’s fat cells rather than the water cells. Therefore, your Body Mass Index (BMI) influences how quickly it is metabolized. The higher your body mass and weight, the longer it will take to leave your system.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, has grown in popularity over the past couple of years, particularly as a supplement. However, because it contains trace amounts of THC, it’s still possible that it is detectable in drug tests or screenings.
How Long Does CBD Stay In Lab Tests?
If you take a dietary supplement or edible that contains CBD, the effects won’t be felt immediately. Your metabolism and diet can influence how soon you feel the effects. However, symptoms are often felt within an hour of digesting it.
It hinges mostly on the dose you took and your frequency of use. Typically, these metabolites can show up on a urine test anywhere between three days to two weeks after the last time taken.
If you smoke dried flower CBD or use a vape cartridge, the CBD enters your bloodstream within seconds. Therefore, brain effects associated with CBD occur the quickest in this manner.
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.
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.
Factors in CBD Oil Showing on Drug Screen
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.
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:
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.