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Does CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?

Posted on June 27th, 2020

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid, a compound that is found in all cannabis plants, including the marijuana, and hemp strains of the plant. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is another cannabinoid, found in large concentrations in marijuana plants. This cannabinoid is associated with the psychoactive high you experience when you take marijuana. CBD, on the other hand, gives you many of the same reported benefits of THC use, but without the psychoactive effects. CBD is therefore legal for sale, purchase, and use across the United States. Now, let’s take a deeper look at answering the question: “Does CBD show up on a drug test?”

Does CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?

Studies suggest that CBD does not show up on drug tests. However, the issue is a little more complicated. If, for example, you extract CBD from a marijuana plant, other cannabinoids in that plant could produce a positive drug test. The two most common cannabinoids responsible for positive drug tests are THC and CBN (cannabinol).

Does CBN Show Up On A Drug Test?

Unlike THC, CBN has only mild psychoactive properties. And, like CBD, using CBN has been linked to certain health benefits, including mild improvements in sleep disorders. But CBN use can be complex.

That’s because CBN won’t show up on drug screening tests that are used to detect antibodies in your body. It may, however, show up on tests used to screen for certain compounds. Remember, drug screening tests are not conclusive. If you receive a positive result in a screening, you’ll likely be given a second drug test that detects THC. And CBN will not be detected in these confirmatory tests.

Does THC Show Up On A Drug Test?

Drug tests are designed to detect THC, even a small amount will produce a positive result in both screenings and in other drug tests that can distinguish between THC and the other compounds contained in marijuana.

THC is the reason why marijuana is still considered a controlled substance and is illegal for non-medicinal uses in many states. It is this issue of the legality of THC vs. CBD that makes the question of drug testing even more complex.

The Legal Limit For THC In CBD Products

As mentioned above, CBD will not trigger a positive drug test. However, this is only true when you’re dealing with pure CBD products. But full-spectrum CBD products do contain trace amounts of THC. Currently, the legislation allows CBD products to contain a concentration of no more than 0.3% of THC.

Most CBD products are not entirely pure but are produced within the bounds of the legislated THC concentration. This allows additional cannabinoids to work with the CBD to maximize effects in your body. So, a full-spectrum product is best for your CBD experience. But, even this tiny amount of THC may be detected in both screening and drug tests. So, if your employer conducts regular drug screenings, or if you are a professional athlete, be sure to discuss CBD use before taking any tests.

Some CBD users have found themselves in positions where they’ve been disciplined or even dismissed by an employer due to a positive drug test. Although CBD (with a concentration of less than 0.3% THC) is legal, its use can still be considered grounds for dismissal due to a positive drug test.

While this seems unfair, the reason is this: employees who are using marijuana recreationally can simply say that they are using CBD products. Drug tests cannot discriminate between legal CBD use and illegal marijuana use, so employers may struggle to implement policies and procedures that differentiate between the two.

Now, our full-spectrum, Tanasi CBD products are produced within legislated concentrations of THC. What does that mean for you? The trace amounts of THC may be detected in drug tests and screenings. So we recommend discussing CBD use and your employer’s policies before using any items from our online CBD store. Employers that conduct regular drug testing may not allow for the use of legal CBD products, and it’s best to follow company policies regarding drug use to avoid disciplinary action due to a positive drug test.

Now, if you aren’t subject to regular drug tests, you may still be able to enjoy full-spectrum CBD products. But another factor to consider is how long CBD stays in your body.

How Long Does It Take for CBD (THC) to Leave the Body?

After being consumed or smoked, CBD, CBN, and THC are all broken down, absorbed by your body, and then expelled. This process takes time and the compounds can only be detected in saliva, urine, or blood samples during this process.

Typically, we believe that it takes between 2 and 5 days for these compounds to be entirely metabolized, leave your body, and not show up on a drug test. However, research has shown that this is not always true. Some people simply metabolize the CBD and THC slower than others and it can take weeks before all traces leave their bodies.

It may also depend on the delivery system. Edibles (CBD products that you consume), like pills, gummies, and other consumable sources need to pass through your digestive tract before they can be expelled. This process can take much longer than compounds that are absorbed through the skin, such as CBD oils, ones you consume under the tongue, like CBD tinctures, or like vape juices, which you absorb into the lungs.

The compounds will also disappear from saliva, urine, and blood at different rates. Commonly, saliva will be the first to be clear of CBD and related compounds, whereas blood and urine samples will take longer to be free of cannabinoids.

Which brings us to an important discussion: the type of test being used to detect illegal substances such as marijuana in your body.

What Tests Detect Marijuana Use?

There are a wide variety of tests available that are designed to detect THC. These tests all have one major pitfall in common: they cannot determine the degree of intoxication. This is an important factor when it comes to CBD use, where a positive test may be well within the legal limits of 0.3% for CBD but still trigger a positive test result.

On the other hand, the accepted methods of testing can detect other factors such as the time elapsed since the drug was used as well as the extent of use. These factors can play an important role in differentiating between illegal or recreational marijuana use and legal CBD use.

Saliva Testing

Saliva testing is widely considered to be an acceptable alternative to other forms of drug testing or screening. However, these tests have a limited window on the time that has elapsed between use and testing. Lab testing is only considered to be reliable within a 72 hour period after use . Saliva tests can detect minute concentrations of THC within this time frame. Tests may need to be confirmed with one of the other types of drug testing methods.

Urine Analysis

Urine samples can be tested for THC or THC metabolites. Urine testing can detect THC concentrations between 2 and 5 days after use. However, heavy use can be detected up to 2 weeks after use and chronic use up to 30 days or 1 month later. Although urine tests can detect minute concentrations, they are not reliable for determining use volume, or whether your drug use was a one time experience or for an extended period of time.

Blood Tests

Blood testing is considered to be invasive and is therefore the least common form of testing for THC. The tests are further limited because the compound leaves the bloodstream relatively quickly after use when compared with saliva, urine, and hair testing. Blood tests for THC are usually accurate for 24 to 72 hours after use but can detect THC for up to 7 days depending on an individual’s blood renewal system. On the other hand, these tests are accurate and are unlikely to produce a false-positive as is the case with saliva testing and urine analysis. It is unlikely that a blood test will be used to detect marijuana or CBD use.

Hair Testing

Hair testing has grown in popularity as the preferred method of drug detection. The reason for this is that it provides accurate results for a period of up to 3 months when testing a sample of just 1.5 inches in length.

Accuracy is also key, as false-positives are rare with this testing method. While extremely small concentrations can be detected, the hair test, like other testing methods, can not confirm the concentration of THC levels at the time of use. Still, it does provide a fair evaluation of regular drug use. The testing methods exclude environmental contaminants.

Summary

Although CBD will not show up in a drug test, products that contain the regulated amount of 0.3% THC may result in a positive test. With advocacy, we hope that drug tests will become more accurate, detecting relative concentrations of THC to allow you to enjoy legal CBD without fear of repercussions. In the meantime, however, you should speak with an employer before using CBD products; you may also choose a CBD isolate, confirm that it contains no THC, so you can avoid failing a drug test and dealing with the consequences of those unwanted results.

Does CBD show up on a drug test? Studies suggest that CBD does not show up on drug tests. However, the issue is a little more complicated.

How long does CBD oil stay in your system?

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Contents

  1. How long does CBD oil stay in your system?
  2. How long do CBD oil effects last?
  3. Will CBD show up on a drug test?

You’ve probably heard about the therapeutic relief that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating compound found in the cannabis plant, may offer for various conditions, from chronic pain to anxiety issues. While many people could benefit from using CBD, they may be reluctant to try it due to the fear of failing a drug test or the general stigma that still surrounds cannabis in some places.

While CBD does not produce the same intoxicating effects as THC, it does get stored in the body. Most cannabis drug tests only screen for THC, but some people may still want to know how long does CBD stay in your system?

Despite the legalization of hemp-derived CBD products in the U.S., there is still a need for further research into how CBD interacts with the body. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Despite the legalization of hemp-derived CBD products in the U.S. thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, there is still a need for further research into how CBD interacts with the body, as well as the amount of time it remains detectable in the body after use.

However, using existing research on CBD and its interaction with the human body, we can attempt to better understand how long CBD oil stays in the system.

How long does CBD oil stay in your system?

The time that CBD remains detectable in the body will depend on several factors:

  • Metabolism: A person’s metabolism plays a prominent role in how fast the CBD is metabolized and eventually excreted from the body. Another aspect that could impact the effects of CBD is whether it’s taken with food or on an empty stomach, as certain foods could enhance bioavailability and increase overall CBD concentration in your body.
  • Frequency of Use: How often CBD is used will also influence the amount of time it remains in the body.
  • CBD Dosage: The amount of CBD taken at a time will influence how long the cannabinoid remains in the system.
  • Method of Administration: Both the effects and presence of CBD in the body are also contingent on how the cannabinoid was introduced into the body. For instance, smoking or vaping CBD allows it to take effect almost immediately, while ingestion will delay the onset for an hour or two.

In a randomized, double-blind, controlled 2005 study published in “Therapeutic Drug Monitoring,” volunteers were given cannabis extract with 2.5 milligrams of THC and 1.35 milligrams of CBD. The research team found that CBD was only detectable in the blood for up to nine hours after ingestion.

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.

A 2018 review of existing CBD studies found that the estimated half-life of CBD was two to five days for those who took a daily oral dose. Other delivery methods delivered varied half-lifes.

While the time that CBD is detectable in the body will depend on the aforementioned factors, we can deduce that CBD will likely leave the system after a week or two. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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While the time that CBD is detectable in the body will depend on the aforementioned factors, we can deduce that CBD will likely leave the system after a week or two.

That provides some insight into how long CBD remains in the blood, but there is little research on how long is CBD detectable in urine. In a 2016 study reported in the “Journal of Pain,” participants were given different types of CBD-rich cannabis products, including oils, capsules, and flower. Two hours after administration, urine samples from all 15 subjects tested positive for CBD. The researchers followed one participant after the last day of administration and found that CBD was no longer detectable in the urine after 24 hours.

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 cannabis drug tests specifically look for the presence of THC. Therefore, accurate information on how long CBD stays in the body remains limited compared with THC.

How long do CBD oil effects last?

Consumption method plays a crucial role in determining how long it will take to feel the effects of CBD and how long they will last.

Ingestion

Ingestion is the most common method for CBD consumption. Administering a couple of drops of CBD oil directly into the mouth is certainly a convenient way to reap the 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. Swallowing the oil prevents CBD from entering the bloodstream right away, sending it first through the digestive tract and eventually onto the liver, where it is broken down before finally reaching the bloodstream.

Studies show that when CBD compounds are metabolized by the liver, they undergo what is called the “first pass effect,” where 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’s a rather 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.

With ingestion, it could take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours before the effects of CBD finally set in. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Whether you’re ingesting CBD oil or CBD-infused edibles, it ultimately goes through the same lengthy digestive process and reduces the total CBD concentration in the bloodstream. With ingestion, it could take anywhere from one to two hours before the effects of CBD finally set in.

Sublingual

The sublingual method is considered to be more effective than ingestion. CBD oil can be consumed sublingually by placing a few drops under the tongue and holding it for two to four minutes, then using the tongue to rub it into the inside of the cheeks before swallowing the remainder. Using this method, CBD is transferred to the bloodstream via the mucous membranes located in the mouth, completely bypassing the digestive system and liver. Sublingual consumption leads to higher bioavailability compared to oral ingestion.

Inhalation

Inhalation is also an effective delivery method for CBD due to its rapid absorption and the efficiency of the lungs at transferring CBD into the bloodstream (better bioavailability). Whether you’re smoking a high-CBD strain or taking a draw from a CBD vape pen, the interaction with the body remains the same. When CBD is inhaled, the cannabinoids are sent directly to the lungs, where they are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and put into circulation.

Existing evidence suggests that CBD reaches peak blood concentration within three minutes after inhalation, meaning the effects can be felt shortly after use. Accordingly, this method is appealing for those seeking immediate pain relief.

Topical

Topical CBD comes in many forms: infused into lotions, creams, salves, and other health and wellness products. It can be applied directly to the skin where it may be absorbed through the surface of the skin and interact with localized cannabinoid receptors. In certain cases, CBD-infused topicals should be applied liberally to overcome the low cannabinoid absorption rate of the skin.

Topicals can be applied directly to the skin where it’s absorbed through the surface of the skin to interact with localized cannabinoid receptors. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Will CBD show up on a drug test?

In most cases, it’s highly unlikely that CBD oil will cause a positive test result in a drug screening. Most drug tests are developed to look specifically for the presence of THC or related substances. On top of that, employers generally abide by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) guidelines, which include detection for THC but not CBD.

Keep in mind that even hemp-derived CBD products are legally allowed to contain up to 0.3% THC. This could cause hesitation in some CBD-curious consumers who don’t want THC in their system or to risk a false positive result on a potential drug test. However, the chances of failing a drug test from using hemp-extracted CBD oil are extremely slim. You would need to take an exorbitant dosage of full-spectrum CBD oil (estimates range from 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams per day) to risk a positive drug test result.

For those who want to be extra-cautious and utilize CBD with no THC, a broad-spectrum oil or products that contain pure CBD isolate should do the trick. 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.

For those who want to be extra-cautious and utilize CBD with no THC, look for broad-spectrum oil or products that contain pure CBD isolate. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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There are different types of drug tests with varying detection thresholds for THC. The most commonly used drug screening method is the urine test, which typically has a lower threshold for detection. Under the SAMHSA framework, the cutoff limit for the presence of THC is 50 nanograms per milliliter. A nanogram is one-billionth of a gram.

In the rare case that you test positive for THC after taking CBD oil, you can always try to explain the situation to your employer or request another test.

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