CBD is an incredible compound that so many of us love to use. However, there can be some confusion surrounding CBD in a drug test since it comes from the same plant family as marijuana – an illegal drug.
So the question is – will CBD show on a drug test? In short, CBD will not influence a drug test, but THC (another cannabinoid) will.
At Honest Hemp, all of our CBD products are 100% THC-free. In this article we will discuss exactly how CBD and THC can influence different types of drug tests, and how you can ensure you are safe.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol. It is one of more than a hundred cannabinoids first found in the hemp plant (a variety of Cannabis). After further study, it was found that Cannabinoids also exist in many other places including the human body. Each Cannabinoid has its own special and unique effect and in many cases could provide health benefits.
People take CBD in the form of oils, gummies, e-liquids, and more. The top reasons that people use CBD are to help with pain, sleep, mood (e.g. anxiety), stress, and general wellbeing. Because of CBD’s association with Cannabis/ Marijuana (an illegal drug in the UK), some people wonder whether CBD will show up on a drug test and whether it will negatively affect the result.
How do drug tests work?
Drug tests aim to look for specific types of ‘metabolites’ that form in the body as a result of taking certain substances. Depending on the substance and the type of drug test, they may be able to detect these metabolites in the system up to 90 days after taking. The four types of drug test are urine, saliva, hair, and blood.
This is the most common form of drug testing. It typically screens for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, PCP, opiates, and more. (1) Urine drug tests can detect substances for up to 30 days after taking (depending on the drug taken and a variety of other factors). (2)
This test involves taking a swab from inside the mouth – this type of test is much easier to administer than the alternatives. This test screens for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, PCP, opiates, and more. (1) However, saliva tests can only detect drugs for up to 72 hours after taking. (2)
Hair tests are supposedly the best at indicating repeated drug use as they can detect drugs for up to 90 days after taking. It involves taking a small sample of hair away for testing. These tests screen for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, PCP, opioids, and more. (1)
This type of drug test is much more invasive and extreme than the others – it is usually only used when it’s suspected that a person is actively under the influence of drugs. These tests can only detect substances for up to 4 hours after use. (3)
Will CBD show up on a drug test?
CBD will not flag up on a drug test. CBD is a completely legal and non-psychoactive substance and will therefore not affect the results of a drug test. However, THC – another cannabinoid – will show up on a drug test. THC has psychoactive properties which is why some people smoke Cannabis in order to experience a ‘high’. In the UK, this is not legal.
Some CBD products will contain small amounts of THC. In the UK this must be below a certain limit – this means it is unlikely to show up on a drug test, but not impossible.
Can you fail a drug test from CBD?
As we mentioned above, CBD in itself will not cause you to fail a drug test. However, if your CBD product contains THC then there is a very small possibility that this could be flagged up and cause you to fail.
What is THC?
THC is an active chemical – or cannabinoid – also found in Cannabis. It’s one of the oldest psychoactive drugs known to man. THC is the defining point for Cannabis plants – a plant containing less than 0.3% THC will be classed as hemp, whereas a plant containing more than 0.3% will be classed as marijuana. This seemingly tiny difference creates a huge divide in legality and stigma between 2 very similar varieties of plant.
How much THC must be in my system to fail a drug test?
Drug tests are designed to ignore trace amounts of THC… so what is the cut-off point for an amount considered ‘too much’? This actually depends on the type of drug test used. In a urine test, the THC must be present at a concentration above 50 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml) to trigger a positive test. (A nanogram is about 1-billionth of a gram). In saliva tests, the cut-off is said to be about 4 ng/ml, and in blood tests, it’s said to be about 1 ng/ml. In a hair test, a THC concentration above about 1 picogram per milligram of hair is said to be too high. (A picogram is about 1-trillionth of a gram). (4)
As you can probably see, it’s very difficult to determine how much THC will be present in your system if you use a CBD product that contains THC. If you are someone that has to take drug tests, then you should only buy CBD products that are 100% THC-free.
How do I know if there is THC in my CBD product?
There are 3 different types of CBD extract – full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. Out of these 3, the only one that contains THC is full-spectrum extract. So, if you want to avoid CBD products that contain THC, then always avoid buying products made with a full-spectrum extract.
Additionally, you should look for cannabinoid testing lab reports before buying a product. These lab reports will show how much of each cannabinoid is contained in the product. This is a sure-fire way of seeing exactly how much (if any) THC is contained in the product.
At Honest Hemp, we use broad-spectrum CBD extract or CBD isolate to make all of our products with. We also provide lab reports on our website for your viewing.
Shop our full THC-free product range.