CBD itself is unlikely to show up on a drug test.
However, some CBD products contain THC, which is the psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. If enough THC is consumed, it will show up on a drug test.
In the US, federal law stipulates that any CBD product with a THC content of more than 0.3% is illegal. This also applies to many other parts of the world. Anything over this level could show up on a drug test.
Most CBD products won’t lead to a failed drug test, but there are some exceptions. There several different types of CBD to consider (CBD isolate, full-spectrum, and broad-spectrum CBD). We’ll cover all of these types and their risk of causing a failure on a drug test later on.
If you’re worried that consuming CBD will cause you to fail a drug test, we’re here to put your mind at ease and explain everything you need to know.
Quick Answer: Why CBD Itself Won’t Show Up on a Drug Test, But Some CBD Products Might
While CBD hasn’t yet been approved by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), it’s not considered an illegal substance. Therefore, most corporations, government agencies, and sports leagues won’t test for CBD.
Drug tests look for another compound instead — called THC. This is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana plants.
CBD products that are made from hemp (low-THC) are very unlikely to trigger a failure on a drug test. However, trace amounts of THC in a full-spectrum CBD oil could still trigger a failure in a small percentage of people.
Industrial Hemp-Derived CBD vs. Marijuana-Derived CBD
The 2018 Farm Bill defines industrial hemp as cannabis plants that do not contain more than 0.3% THC — anything above that means the plant is classed as marijuana, which is illegal under federal law.
Industrial hemp is currently grown throughout the US and the rest of the world and used to produce legal CBD products. If your chosen CBD product is derived from industrial hemp, you can be confident the THC levels are very low. Much too low to trigger a failed drug test in most cases.
Marijuana contains varying concentrations of THC. If you live in an area where it’s legal for recreational use, you may find that some marijuana-derived CBD products also contain varying concentrations of THC. If yours contains more than 0.3%, it may show up on a drug test.
Different Types of CBD
There are different ‘types’ of CBD available, which is important to note as this can affect whether it will show up on a drug test or not.
In this section, we’ll explain the difference between industrial hemp-derived CBD and marijuana-derived CBD, as well as the three different types of CBD extracts available on the market.
1. CBD Isolate
CBD isolate is exactly what the name suggests: CBD that has been isolated from all the other compounds in the cannabis plant. It’s made in a laboratory to ensure 99.99% purity.
All CBD isolates are completely free from THC by their very definition. Since drug tests don’t look for CBD, they look for THC, these products are the safest for preventing a failure on your test.
If you have to take drug tests for work and use CBD oil for pain, anxiety, or other health conditions — a CBD isolate is your safest bet.
2. Full-Spectrum CBD
Full-spectrum CBD contains all of the compounds in the cannabis plant — not only all of the 100+ cannabinoids but also all the terpenes and flavonoids.
This is the most popular type of CBD product because they’re thought to be the most effective. All the ingredients in the plant work together to produce a stronger result overall. This is referred to as ‘the entourage effect’ — meaning they all work in synergy to provide maximum health benefits.
Full-spectrum CBD contains a small amount of THC.
The vast majority of people using these oils will not fail a drug test. The THC content is too low.
However, it’s still technically possible for the test to detect THC or its metabolites, so if you’re worried about an upcoming test, it’s worth avoiding full-spectrum oils.
3. Broad-Spectrum CBD
Broad-spectrum CBD products contain isolated CBD that’s been mixed with other cannabinoids or terpenes. Usually, this doesn’t include THC.
If THC is included, however, the same rules apply regarding industrial hemp vs. marijuana and the 0.3% maximum level.
Always check to make sure you’re CBD products explicitly state it’s THC-free if you’re worried about a drug test. Broad-spectrum oils are almost always THC-free, but there are some exceptions.
How Can I Ensure My CBD Product Doesn’t Contain More Than 0.3% THC?
It’s becoming increasingly common for CBD companies to provide up-to-date lab test results and certificates of analysis (COAs) for each of their products. The tests are used to indicate the content, purity, potency, and overall quality of a CBD product.
A CBD product’s THC level will be clearly stated, so you can double-check that it’s not more than 0.3%. And if there are no test results or COAs available, look for a different company — there are plenty out there that are happy to be completely transparent about what their products contain.
If your chosen CBD product does contain less than 0.3%, then you’re good to go — and you don’t have to worry at all about it causing you to fail a drug test.
Final Thoughts: Why CBD Is Unlikely to Make Me Fail My Drug Test
As CBD isn’t classified as an illegal substance, consuming it won’t cause you to fail a drug test.
It’s not to be confused with THC — the intoxicating compound found in cannabis plants. If your CBD product is full-spectrum it may contain small amounts of THC. While the THC content in these products is so low it’s unlikely to show up on a test — it’s still a possibility.
If you’re worried about an upcoming drug test, go for THC-free products like CBD isolates or broad-spectrum oils instead.
Double-checking the THC level of a CBD product before you consume it is easy — just look at the third-party lab test results and COAs that should be easily available to view. Most companies will also explicitly state that their oils are THC-free on the product page as well.