“We are aware of a few reports of CBD users who have flunked a drug test,” said Dale Gieringer, co-director of California NORML.
You won’t fail a drug test for CBD, but you could potentially fail a drug test for any residual THC in that CBD product.
Can you fail a drug test for CBD oil ? Not really, but sort of
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.
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.
“Any time THC enters the body, you have the possibility of having it stored in the fat cells and slowly released,” said Sample.
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 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.
Factors in CBD Oil Showing on Drug Screen
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.)
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.
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:
THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis and is intoxicating. CBD does have some psychoactive effects, which is why researchers are studying its potential in treating mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. However, it does not have the same intoxicating properties as THC.
THC binds to receptors in different parts of the brain. These receptors normally attach to the endocannabinoids, which are natural compounds that the human body produces.
If a test detects a drug under this concentration threshold, it will return a negative result. If a person tests positive on the screening test, they may have to undergo a follow-up test.
One study in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology demonstrated that people exposed to passive, or second-hand cannabis smoke, can test positive on a saliva drug test.
This occurs because THC is soluble in fat the body stores it in the fat compartments of the body. As a person burns or recycles this fat, it slowly releases the THC, and the kidneys eliminate it and its metabolites.