Does CBD Show up on Drug Tests?

Does CBD show up on a drug test? In simple words, no, it does not. However, once we start digging deep, doubts begin emerging quite abruptly. For starters, the authenticity of drug tests, the questionable status of unregulated CBD products, and the testing disparities between THC and CBD.

So, where does this leave employees who wonder whether CBD gummies show up on a drug test or not? Or else youngsters who wish to join the military. While most American citizens purchase CBD in the wake of hemp legalization, people have also lost their jobs and faced legal penalties.

Right now, the answer to this question might look like an unsolved riddle. But here’s what experts from Online Medical Card (a clinic based in Santa Ana helping patients access medical cannabis through detailed consultations) have to say about why CBD might show up on a drug test. 

Will CBD Show up on a Drug Test or Not?

To be honest, the method used to determine whether CBD will show up in a drug test or not is in question here. Here’s a befitting example, to put things into perspective, a study published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology in 2012 revealed a few technological errors.

The study reported that certain testing methods can easily mistake CBD for THC, and here’s why. First and foremost, labs utilize trifluoroacetic anhydride (TFAA) as the main chemical agent. Unfortunately, the method is not only outdated but has led to the misidentification of CBD.

While many labs utilize advanced technologies, a large percentage of laboratories in the US depend on TFAA. Thus, it is quite common for CBD to show up on a drug test, even when it has a different chemical structure from THC. 

The worst part is that the problem does not end here. Lack of research and CBD regulation, too, are major hurdles.

Other Factors Related to a CBD Drug Test

The issue with specific drug testing is that it leaves a lot of room for confusion. If an individual mistakenly tests positive for consuming CBD, the chances are they will either face jail time or unknowingly break the law.

Since the gravity of the situation is quite high, regulatory bodies such as the FDA come naturally into play. For most US citizens, products approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hold more authenticity. Perhaps why most prefer purchasing regulated products.

Unfortunately, CBD is an unregulated compound. The FDA does not guarantee the safety of CBD consumption. One of the biggest loopholes for companies to use as they will. For example, falsely labeled CBD products. When in reality, the products either contain more than 0.3% of THC or have more than the required concentration.

Either way, for anyone to test positive for a CBD drug test becomes quite evident. Thus leaving room for more questions like:

  • Will CBD ruin a drug test?
  • Will vaping CBD show up on a drug test?
  • Can I fail a Drug test due to CBD gummies?

The obvious answer is that CBD will not show up on a drug test. However, the chances are if you buy CBD from an untrusted source, it may or may not contain more than 0.3% of THC. Or else, in rare lab tests, you might end up testing falsely positive.

Does that mean buying broad-spectrum CBD from trustworthy sources is a haven?

Can Broad Spectrum CBD Show up on a Drug Test?

So far, we are clear on three things:

  • Traces of THC in a CBD product will make you fail a drug test.
  • CBD regulation is so poor that you might end up purchasing higher concentrations of THC or CBD than promised.
  • The chances of failing a CBD drug test are quite high because of lab discrepancies.

As for broad-spectrum CBD, yes, it is the purest form of CBD, and it will not show up on a drug test. Provided, of course, you have a third-party lab report to clarify the claims made by the seller or manufacturer.

What About Full-Spectrum and Isolate CBD?

If we go by the term itself, full-spectrum CBD contains compounds other than CBD. As a result, you are guaranteed to find terpenes, flavonoids, and THC in a full-spectrum CBD oil. In contrast, CBD isolate does not consist of external compounds. It is completely isolated from the plant during extraction.

The only exception, in this case, is the cannabis family. You see, CBD is derived from both hemp and marijuana. Naturally indicative of the fact that hemp-derived CBD contains fewer traces of THC than marijuana-derived. 

To recognize the difference, you can check the packaging of your product. In fact, you can even ask your budtender to make an informed decision. Overall, it is safe to say that isolated and broad-spectrum CBD is your best bet on passing a drug test.

Moving on, here’s another important factor that will help you understand whether you can fail a drug test due to CBD or not.

How Much THC Can Make You Fail a Drug Test?

As a thumb rule, the cut-off value to detect the presence of THC in urine, blood, and hair samples varies. Each method comes with a threshold. You will test negative only if you fall below the determined value.


Because it is the most recognized form of drug testing, the cut-off value is closed at 50 nanograms per millimeter. Any urine sample found with more than 50ng of THC-COOH or THC will test positive.

You should also keep in mind that factors like frequency of use, amount of days before you took it, and the quantity of dose also play a major role.


Your hair is the most welcoming host. In other words, if you consume CBD containing traces of THC, the detection window will remain open for up to 90 days.

Even though regulatory bodies do not have a defined cut-off value, unless you’re buying products from a reputable source, you will definitely fail a CBD drug test.


Blood tests are not common. You will most likely undergo a urine test for drug screening rather than blood. Unless, of course, you are driving under the influence of THC. If it’s the latter, the concerned authorities will declare impairment after conducting a blood test.

Also, note that you need to keep your blood free of THC metabolites that are ideally detectable for up to 7 days.


This is another uncommon example of drug screening. And the interesting part is that there is no universal cut-off limit. The only thing that you need to keep in mind is the 72-hour window.

Final Words

The confusion surrounding CBD drug testing will prevail until we have a concrete drug-testing system in place. Not only this but we also need proper regulation of CBD products and in-depth research. As for now, we suggest that you stay away from CBD consumption because the chances are that it will show up on a drug test.

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