Does CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?

To put things super simply, CBD is awesome. 

Longtime users and novices alike have noticed that CBD is almost predictably great for improving sleep, regulating mood, reducing inflammation, and boosting overall health. 

But other aspects of CBD use are a little more mysterious — or even downright confusing. For example, does CBD show up on a drug test? Will it make you fail a drug test?

Keep reading to learn more about CBD and drug testing. We’ll do our best to clear up the confusion surrounding this important topic! 

CBD drug test basics

Most drug tests work by using antibodies to react with substances in the urine. The antibodies in these “point-of-care” tests are usually accurate — but they’re not perfect. [1]

Lab testing of Cannovia's CBD products.

The specific antibodies used in a drug test for cannabis are designed to look for THC and its metabolites, not CBD. (Many employers don’t want their employees getting high from THC all the time.)

CBD drug test: how it works

Unfortunately, the antibodies used in point-of-care tests sometimes confuse CBD for THC. 

“Conventional urine drug testing for cannabis targets a common metabolite of THC called THCCOOH,” explains cannabis expert Tory Spindle, Ph.D., meaning that the test is looking for the cannabinoid THC. [2

While both cannabis and hemp contain THC, hemp-derived CBD products contain far too little THC to cause a legitimate positive drug test. 

Here’s some good news: hemp-derived CBD is fully legal on the federal level, and employees at all levels are free to take it. [3]

Now for the bad news: the flaws of point-of-care drug tests can make it look like CBD users are doing something illegal (or at least against company policy) — i.e. ,using cannabis. 

This type of error is called a false positive drug test. If you generate one as a result of your CBD use, don’t worry! We’ll cover what to do about it next. [4

CBD drug test tips & advice

CBD users who generate a false positive on their initial point of care test shouldn’t worry. 

Instead, they should just ask for confirmation testing. This second set of drug testing uses far more advanced methods, like HPLC (high-pressure liquid chromatography), to correctly distinguish between THC and CBD. [5]

Does CBD show up on a drug test?

The simple answer is not really. CBD itself does not show up on a drug test. 

However, CBD can be falsely identified on a drug test as THC — but this is super rare. Roughly 95+ percent of CBD users never experience this kind of false positive.

And with CBD continuing to grow in popularity and acceptance, the designers of point-of-care tests seem to be making their tests more accurate regarding THC vs. CBD.  

Does CBD show up on a drug test? The top factor

Several factors go a long way towards determining whether or not CBD will show up on a drug test. The biggest factor is dosage. Those who use high or super-high CBD doses are much more likely to have their CBD misidentified as THC. (Or, more accurately, have their urine’s CBD metabolites misidentified as THC metabolites like THCCOOH.) 

People who take over 100 milligrams of CBD per day may want to talk to their employer before their next drug test or temporarily reduce their dosage if possible.  

Does CBD show up on a drug test? Factor #2

Some people’s slower metabolisms mean their bodies use CBD at a more gradual rate than others. This scenario may see excess CBD get prematurely broken down in the liver — then turned into those pesky metabolites we mentioned earlier. 

In other words, people who take more CBD than their endocannabinoid system and general metabolism can handle may be more likely to encounter a false positive. 

Does CBD show up on a drug test? Factor #3

Another factor to keep in mind is how long it’s been since you last took CBD. Bloodstream CBD levels peak only a few hours after ingestion, and urine levels peak only a few hours after that. [6]

If you wish to minimize your chances of experiencing a false positive, consider going without CBD for a day or two prior to your drug test. Then, your endocannabinoid system should be able to retain all the benefits that came with your CBD use earlier. 

Summing things up: Does CBD show up on drug tests?

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No. CBD is not tested for on standard point of care drug test. It can, however, mistakenly show up as THC. This result is called a false positive.

Can CBD make you fail a drug test?

The short answer is yes — it can. 

But this type of situation is very rare. As we mentioned earlier, the vast majority of CBD users will never fail a drug test because of their CBD use. 

Can CBD make you fail a drug test? The biggest factor

Taking more CBD than your body’s endocannabinoid system can ‘handle’ may increase your risk of failing a point of care drug test. Consider microdosing CBD to find your minimum effective dose, as small doses are extremely unlikely to trigger a false positive. 

Can CBD make you fail a drug test? Other factors

Taking more CBD than you need to improve your health, taking CBD immediately prior to a test, and taking low-quality CBD products (some are high in THC) can all increase your chances of failing a drug test. 

Will CBD oil show up on a drug test?

Can it? Yes. 

Will it? Probably not. For many of you reading this, definitely not. 

Does CBD make you fail a drug test?

No. Saying CBD makes you fail a drug test would be a gross exaggeration. CBD can cause you to have a false positive, but only in rare cases. But even then, it’s not the CBD’s fault — it’s the test’s antibodies.  

How to take CBD and pass a drug test

At this point, you’re probably wondering how to take CBD and pass a drug test. 

Thankfully, this type of scenario is totally possible — and easy! 

The first step is to make sure you have a premium CBD product, like  Cannovia’s CBD line, containing 0.3% or less THC. 

The next step is to find your ideal dose. Many people do the best, beginning with a very low amount of CBD then ramping things up slowly until symptom relief is achieved. [7]

If you want to be extra safe, the third step is to stop taking CBD for a few days prior to your test. 

Also, consider educating yourself about point-of-care tests and how they work (rereading this article should help with that!). 

And even if you do have a false positive, don’t panic. You’re not in trouble. Just insist on confirmation testing, and your employer/tester will see what you were actually taking: 

Pure, untainted, low-THC or no-THC CBD


Does CBD show up on a drug test?

Drug tests identify THC or its metabolites. And if CBD products contain low quantities of THC that could theoretically make a person fail a drug test. Many factors can influence the result. For example, your physical size and the length of time that you’ve been consuming CBD products.

If you are concerned about taking a drug test while using CBD, your best choice would be selecting a CBD product that has no THC, such as an isolate or broad spectrum CBD product.

What is the best time to do a CBD Drug Test?

There is no ‘best time’ for a drug test. If a drug test is a concern, for employment, or other major factor, then you should choose a THC-FREE CBD product, like an isolate or broad spectrum.

Will CBD make you fail a drug test?

Federally legal CBD products must contain less than 0.3% concentration of THC. Even at these low levels, depending upon things like your weight, level of physical activity and amount of time you have been taking CBD, it is possible that THC may show up on a drug test. Current tests for THC do not define the concentration of THC, just whether or not it is present in your system.

If a drug test is a concern, for employment, or other major factor, then you should choose a THC-FREE CBD product, like an isolate or broad spectrum.

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