Does CBD show up on drug tests?

CBD and drug tests - 2

Many people who are hesitant to try CBD are worried about the relationship between cannabidiol and ‘recreational’ cannabis. As a result, people fear that they may fail a drug test if they are taking CBD. 

Many drug screenings test for marijuana compounds, this mainly refers to THC but can also include other cannabinoids.

Do these concerns have grounding? In this article, we will go through the available information regarding the relationships between CBD products and drug tests. We will touch on the composition of CBD products alongside how long CBD may stay in your system…

Keep reading for more information! 

So, what exactly is CBD? 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring chemical compound that is extracted from the cannabis plant. 

Another compound of the cannabis plant is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Prior to CBD, THC was the most well-known cannabis compound. It is extremely active and can have strong psychological effects, contributing to a ‘high’ that makes it very popular for recreational drug users. 

Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. It does not produce a high or psychologically alter the person who has taken it. 

CBD has, however, been known to have countless benefits for health and wellness- including easing chronic pain and aiding insomnia. In the majority of states, CBD is completely legal. 

In theory, taking CBD should not ‘show up’ as a positive drug test. However, many CBD products do contain trace amounts of THC. This should not be a cause for direct concern, as federal laws state that all CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC (which is essentially trace). 

However, CBD is not approved nor regulated by the FDA. This means that some CBD products (from dubious sellers) may fall outside of the regulated guidelines of THC. 

This means that in rare cases, when there is enough THC inside of an unregulated CBD product, it may lead to a positive drug test. 

How long does CBD stay in your system?

After a single dose, CBD may remain in your system for up to 5 days, but it could be longer than this. There are many different reasons that can affect how long CBD remains in your system for.

Your metabolic system is in charge of converting the food you eat into energy for your body. When you consume CBD, your metabolic system will absorb it in the same way as food. This means that the duration of time CBD spends in your body is very much down to the efficiency of your metabolism. 

The method of consumption can definitely affect how long your body retains CBD. Digestible CBD such as gummies will take longer to absorb, but less CBD will make it into your bloodstream. Sublingual consumption of CBD may have a higher risk of showing on a drug test as it is one of the most effective ways of absorbing CBD into the bloodstream. 

Additionally, how often you use CBD will affect how long it remains in your system. If you take CBD as a part of your daily routine, you’ll have higher levels of CBD (for longer) than those who take it sporadically. 

Furthermore, the dosage of CBD will influence how long the compounds remain in the body. Higher doses will remain in your system for longer, and it has been said that very high doses of CBD have a higher risk of showing as a positive drug test. 

Extraction methods may pose different risks

In addition to different delivery methods and concentrations, there are also different extraction methods when it comes to CBD. These different methods of extractions have varying results for the finalized product, these differences can pose different risks in relation to CBD showing up on a drug test or not.

Firstly, we have CBD isolate. CBD isolate is a refined version of CBD, wherein the molecules have literally been ‘isolated’ from all other chemicals found in the hemp extract. Some people refer to CBD isolate as ‘pure CBD’, as it does not contain any other natural compounds or essential oils. 

As a result, CBD isolate does not contain any THC. As a result, there is virtually no risk of CBD isolate showing as a positive drug test. However, there are drawbacks to using CBD isolate. Research has shown that it is less effective and does not provide as many benefits as when the different compounds are used together.

In comparison, full-spectrum CBD contains all of the natural cannabinoids that are present in the hemp plant. As a result, full-spectrum CBD has been hailed as more effective than CBD isolate. 

However, full-spectrum CBD will contain THC. Although, as we mentioned earlier, the legal limit is 0.3%. Whilst this is certainly not high enough to have any physical effect, there is a small chance that this THC may be picked up on a drug test.

In sum, it is very unlikely CBD would trigger a positive drug test. However, due to the inclusion of THC in some CBD products, it is not entirely impossible. Buying your CBD from a dubious seller or taking very high doses of CBD may increase your chances of having a positive drug test.

If you’re in doubt and need to take drug tests for your place of work, we would always recommend being open and honest to your employer about taking CBD.

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