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Does CBD oil show up in a drug test?

More and more of us are introducing cannabidiol (CBD) from the hemp plant into our lives, however, could adding it into our daily routines affect a drug test result, could it make you test positive for an illegal substance? This could be a worry for those of us whose jobs carry out randomised drug tests or maybe you just want to ensure you are safe, well we are here to try and answer any questions and calm any anxieties you may be having about this.

First of all, there will be no false positives when it comes to CBD and drug testing, because there is currently no such thing as a CBD drug test, and this cannabinoid is legal in the UK. Although CBD is legal it does come from cannabis which remains illegal to possess, distribute, sell or grow. Therefore, although there is no such thing as a CBD drug test, there is such a thing as a cannabis drug test.

The cannabis drug testing carried out in the UK, looks for the illegal substance tetrahydrocannabinol THC. Therefore, if the CBD oil or cannabis product you are using does not contain THC, then you will not fail a drug test.

Factors that could make you fail a drug test

There are some less reputable CBD products out there that may contain THC, the cannabinoid that remains illegal in the UK. Some rumours and speculations have made their way around regarding an allowance of THC in CBD products, usually that they can contain up to 0.2% of the intoxicating cannabinoid- however, this is untrue. It is illegal to have any amount of THC in a CBD oil, but because of this rumour, people believe they are buying products that are within the confines of the law.

Another reason you could fail a drug test is by being exposed to THC through second-hand smoke. If you have unintentionally been exposed to THC by being around a group of people or person who smokes marijuana regularly then it is possible to show up in a drug test. This exposure to THC is more likely to appear in a hair follicle test compared to a urine or blood test- however, this can still cause a positive result on a drug test.

How long does CBD stay in the body?

Although research continues to be carried out into CBD, there is not a vast amount of substantial evidence thus far, therefore there is not an exact length of time that can be stated as being how long CBD will stay in the human body.

Although there has been some research that suggests CBD can last in the body for around a week. If you are consuming CBD at an average amount of 20-70mg per day, traces of the cannabinoid should be out of your body after a week, whereas in the hair it can be present for up to three months, although hair tests are uncommon.

On the other hand, THC has a lot of research behind it, and it has been found that depending on how regularly a person consumes THC the amount of time it lasts in the body differs. For instance, a user who consumes THC irregularly can eliminate the cannabinoid within a couple of days. However, those consumers who use it regularly can take up to a month or even longer for their bodies to remove it from their system.

Another complication when it comes to a cannabis drug test is that hair tests will be able to detect any chemicals you have ingested, a urine test may not be able to detect THC in the body- however, the hair test can, even after 90 days, or a month of abstaining from THC. A hair test is also able to get positive results for irregular THC users, including those who have only used it once.

How are drug tests performed?

There are different types of cannabis drug tests, and their thresholds will all differ slightly in terms of the amount of THC that they can detect. However, the most common cannabis test is the urine test, although the other ways to test for the presence of THC are by testing the saliva, sweat, hair and blood.

In general, drugs are present in a urine test for four days after the last use of most narcotic drugs. However, when it comes to cannabis, which is known to metabolise at a slower pace, it can still be detected up to two weeks after regular and consistent use. Urine tests are also able to detect drugs such as cocaine, opiates, benzodiazepines and amphetamines.

The other methods of testing are;

●    Saliva Drug Test- Conducted on oral fluid, this method can only detect THC up to 24 hours after use.

●    Hair Drug Test- Conducted on a hair follicle, this is an uncommon method, however, it can produce a positive test for up to 90 days after exposure.

●    Blood Drug Test- not often used as it has a small window of time to detect THC, usually only three-to-four hours after use, while THC is still in the bloodstream.

Finding the best CBD oil for you

So it has been established that the way CBD oil will make you fail a drug test is if the product you are using contains illegal levels of THC. It is possible that some poorly-extracted CBD products could produce a positive drug test, the best way to avoid this is by using products that are made by credible and trustworthy companies.

CBD oil can be made using different carrier oils, for example hemp seed oil or MCT oil. The carrier oil should have no side effects nor affect the results of a drug test, regardless of the dose of CBD.

For some people, a positive drug test could be disastrous to their lives, jeopardising their careers or life by using an illegal and cheap CBD product.

Look out for trusted companies who can provide third-party lab test results, this will go a very long way in ensuring the product you buy is what it says on the label. There are many potential benefits when it comes to CBD, but you need to do your own inquiries into the products you buy and consume, as research demonstrates so far that CBD will not make you fail a drug test- so enjoy the benefits of CBD by buying a credible and legal product.

To summarise, if you are worried about failing a drug test these are the three things to keep in mind:


  1. Find a high quality CBD oil, either broad-spectrum, narrow-spectrum or no-spectrum (isolate) which any legal CBD oil in the UK should be.
  2. Make sure you research the CBD products that you are buying, ensure that the products have third-party lab test results.
  3. If you’re anxious that your oil contains THC, you can seek medical advice or speak with a drugs and alcohol specialist. In addition you can take extra precaution by stopping your intake of that CBD oil for up to a week before the drug test.