Many people have heard of CBD and how people are saying it is the answer to a lot of medical issues we are facing. We’re talking about things like chronic pain, anxiety, depression, sleeping problems, epilepsy, and many others. But one thing that many law-abiding citizens worry about is trying out CBD products and turning positive on a drug test.
So is CBD really detectable in urine and will it show up on a drug test?
NO. CBD DOES NOT SHOW UP ON A DRUG TEST, BUT…
Cannabidiol or CBD is not detectable and should not show up on a urine test. However, the CBD oil or CBD product you are using may have trace amounts of THC in it, especially if you are using a full-spectrum CBD product. And if there is enough THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) present in your system, it will show up on a drug exam.
THC is the main psychoactive and mind-altering component of cannabis or marijuana. This is the compound that causes a high and that can have addictive effects.
What does this mean? Simply put, it means that if you are using a CBD product for the treatment of a medical issue, but that CBD product contains a significant amount of THC in it – even if it doesn’t get you high at all – you can still get a positive result for your drug test.
What You Need to Know About Your CBD Product
While your CBD oil, tincture, capsules, or vapes may claim to be 100% pure, there may be some components that are present there but are not disclosed in the label or packaging. So, yes, your CBD may contain THC. Sure, a trace amount of THC is not harmful per se, but it may exceed the amount allowed by your government and you may just not know it!
In many countries where CBD is already legal, CBD extracts are actually permitted to contain THC as long as it is less than 0.3%. Anything beyond that and you may get in trouble at work or with authorities.
You need to keep in mind that cannabis plants do contain THC in various concentrations. The THC content depend on the plant strain and variety used. There are cannabis varieties with very high concentrations of THC, and there are those with very low concentrations. Other than that, the harvesting, refinement, and extraction methods used by the company can also change these concentration levels. Some would completely process out THC in order to come up with isolated CBD.
This is why it is very important to know your CBD product and to make sure you get it from a reliable company. A reliable brand labels its CBD extract properly and honestly. It also gives you assurance (and proof!) that the CBD you are buying from them has been lab-tested by a third-party. Lab tests will not only ensure that the product you are getting does not contain contaminants and heavy metals and that they are safe for use, but they also ensure that every compound present in the CBD product is accounted for.
Check out our article on how to find the best CBD retailer and products here.
How to Know if Your CBD Has THC
You can tell from the label whether your CBD extract has THC content. (Provided, of course, that your CBD is from a credible company).
The purest form of cannabidiol is CBD isolate – which is cannabidiol in it’s purest form (The entire compound isolated). So if you want no THC, no terpenes, no flavonoids, and no other cannabinoids, you get CBD isolate.
If the label on your CBD extract says it is “Full-Spectrum CBD,” that means that your CBD contains all of the natural compounds found in cannabis. Aside from the large concentration of CBD, it also contains other cannabinoids, as well as terpenes and flavonoids. It may also contain THC in varying amounts. But, again, legally speaking, the THC content should be less than 0.3%.
Broad-spectrum CBD products contain CBD, as well as terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids. However, for this type of CBD extract, all of the THC content has been removed.
How Much THC Can Drug Tests Detect?
Authorities have already set the cut-off values for trace amounts of THC to avoid the possibility that this would trigger a positive result. This means that passing a drug test does not automatically prove there’s no THC present in your system. Rather, a negative drug test may just mean that the level of THC in your body is below the cut-off value.
You should note that there are different drug testing methods used by labs to find out whether a person is using drugs. There’s urine testing, blood testing, saliva testing, and hair testing. These testing methods have different detection windows and cut-off values.
A urine test is the most common testing method to check for cannabis. Urine drug tests can also detect the presence of other substances in your system, including alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and benzodiazepines.
This kind of test can detect THC for three days after one-time use and more than 30 days after heavy use of the substance. However, for THC to be seen in your urine and for it to trigger a positive result, it has to be at a concentration of 50 nanograms per millilitre.
Blood tests are not as commonly used as urine tests for drug screening, especially in the workplace. This is because THC gets eliminated from your bloodstream more quickly. In fact, THC is only detectable in your plasma for up to five hours. THC metabolites, however, can be detected for up to seven days.
More often, blood tests are used to find out current impairment, such as in DUI (driving under the influence) cases. In places where cannabis is legal, a THC concentration of 1, 2, or 5 ng/mL in the blood suggests impairment. Other places, meanwhile, exercise a zero-tolerance policy.
Saliva and Hair Testing
Both saliva and hair testing are not common drug screen methods.
THC can be detected in your oral fluids for about 72 hours. However, it could be detected for a longer period if you are a chronic, heavy user.
In the U.S., it is suggested that saliva testing has a cut-off value of 4 ng/mL.
Hair testing, meanwhile, has no established cut-off limits for THC metabolites. Private industry cut-offs include 1 picogram per milligram (pg/mg). THC metabolites can be detected in hair for up to three months or 90 days.