Will CBD Oil Result in a Positive Drug Test?

Let's cut right to the chase: if you are unwilling to accept some risk of a positive drug test, then you should not use any CBD product.
That may sound extreme but it's the honest truth. Now to clarify, the risk in most cases is low. Not everyone tests positive. In fact, most successfully pass a drug screen even after prolonged use. But just as you accept some risk every time that you get behind the wheel of a car, there is always going to be some risk of a positive drug test with every CBD product.
We run the largest CBD oil group on Facebook so we hear from thousands of users every day. We've heard plenty of stories from users who have tested positive on a drug test from using CBD oil. This includes full spectrum CBD oil products with trace amounts of THC as well as broad spectrum and isolate products that are marketed as having zero THC.
Many of those people were told by companies or people on social media that there was zero chance of testing positive, especially if they used a "THC free" product. But if someone tells you there is no risk, they are either uninformed or being dishonest.
With that out of the way, let's answer some of the most commonly asked questions about CBD oil and drug testing.

Why Would CBD Oil Make Me Fail a Drug Test?

Drug tests are typically looking to detect the presence of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in addition to other controlled substances. CBD products available online and in local stores are derived from hemp. By law, they must have less than 0.3% THC. Unlike marijuana that has high levels of THC, hemp is high in CBD but has only trace amounts of THC. This is why there is no "high" associated with hemp-derived CBD products.
But even trace amounts of THC are enough to possibly trigger a positive test.

What Factors Affect The Risk of Testing Positive on a Drug Test?

  • Product type - Full spectrum products will carry the most risk because they contain the detectable amounts of THC. Broad spectrum and isolate products contain minimal levels of THC that were undetectable based on the manufacturer's testing and carry a lower risk.
  • Metabolism - Body chemistry will affect how long any THC and other cannabinoids remain in your system. Those who metabolize the CBD oil quicker than others will have a lower risk of testing positive.
  • Dosage - Those taking an average daily dose of 25-50 milligrams of CBD per day will have a lower risk than those taking much higher doses.
  • Duration of use - Those who just recently started using CBD oil will have a lower risk than those who have been taking it for a prolonged period. Depending on your metabolism, THC levels can build up over time.
  • Sensitivity of the test - According to SAMSHA, a user would test positive for THC if there are 50 nanograms of THC per milliliter in their sample. Different testing methods show positives at different rates, including as low as 15 nanograms per milliliter.

What's the Real Meaning of THC Free in the CBD World?

Just because a CBD product is marketed as "THC free" or "zero THC" doesn't mean there aren't trace amounts of THC in it. It means that levels of THC were below the manufacturer or testing lab's limits of detection. The limit of detection is the minimum amount of a substance that can be detected by the lab's testing equipment.
A product that shows a THC level of 0.0%, "ND" (none detected) or "The trace amounts of THC in a "THC free" product that weren't detected by the company testing can still be detected by a more highly sensitive drug test. It may not be probable when the user is taking average daily doses, but it is possible.

How Long is THC Detectable in a Drug Test?

According to research gathered by Healthline.com, the amount of time that THC is detectable depends on the type of test being administered.

Urine testing
Occasional users (up to three times a week): 3 days
Moderate users (four times a week): 5 to 7 days
Regular users (daily): 10 to 15 days
Heavy users (multiple times a day): more than 30 days

Blood testing
Up to 25 days

Saliva testing
Occasional users: 1 to 3 days
Heavy users: 1 to 29 days

Hair testing
Up to 90 days

Can You Do Anything to Get THC Out of Your System Quicker?

Based on suggestions that we've heard from users, drinking lots of water, exercising, and eating healthy may help speed up the process. But ultimately, the amount of time that it takes to leave your system is based on various factors that are specific to the individual.
There are "cleanse" and "detox" kits available that may also help. But there are no guarantees offered with these either.

Another Person Passed When Using the Same Product - I'll Pass Too, Right?

Not necessarily. People metabolize CBD differently. Other variables such as dosage, duration of use and type of drug test also vary by individual. So again, there are no guarantees that you won't test positive just because someone else didn't.

What Brands Will Guarantee That I Won't Test Positive?

No reputable CBD company or salesperson would guarantee that you won't test positive on a drug test. If a company or salesperson makes you this guarantee, ask them to put that in a legally-binding document that will make them liable for damages if you fail. You'll be met with silence to that request for a reason.

But My Home Test was Negative!

Do-it-yourself drug test kits are available at many drug stores and discount stores. Taking a home drug screen may give you some indications. But it won't necessarily give you the same result as the more sophisticated drug tests typically used by employers. Additionally, all of the factors mentioned above come into play every time that you are tested. So a negative drug test today does not guarantee that you won't positive tomorrow.

I Tested Positive on an Employer Drug Test - What Now?

Incorrect interpretations of positive drug tests are not uncommon. Poppy seed pastries can trigger a positive test for opium in a person that has never used opiates. Similarly, CBD products can trigger a positive test for THC in a person that has never used marijuana.
If you test positive after using CBD oil, you can request a retest. You may also want to tell the testing party that you are a CBD user to explain why you may have tested positive. If your doctor is aware of your CBD oil use, you can also ask them to write a note substantiating that fact.
Being upfront about your CBD use may help change the interpretation of the positive result.

Summary of CBD and Drug Testing

Not everyone who uses CBD oil will test positive on a drug test. But it can and does happen, even with products that claim to have zero THC. If you're using any CBD product, you should be aware of the risks and make the decision that is right for you.
The level of risk is dependent on a number of factors including the type of product you are taking, your body chemistry, dosage, duration of use and the sensitivity of the drug test.
For those who have drug testing concerns but are willing to accept some risk, broad spectrum and isolate CBD products are the best choice. They carry a lower risk of testing positive on a drug test than full spectrum products.

What Are Terpenes In CBD Oil and How Do They Work?
When it comes to plants, it's often the scents that we notice first. But the different scents and flavors are not just a way to tell them apart. It also determines what kind of medicinal role that each plant has to offer. When you smell a plant, what's giving off that scent is something known as a terpene. And it has more to offer than just a distinct smell. Terpenes play an important role in the effects that a CBD product has on you.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are natural essential oils found in all plants, flowers, vegetables and herbs. When you smell the fragrance of peppermint and lemons, you're actually smelling the terpenes limonene and myrcene. The cannabis plant is no exception. CBD products made from full spectrum hemp extract have natural terpenes in them as well.
Each individual terpene has its own unique properties. While still in the plant, they help protect the plant from various threats, like fungus and insects.. Although more than 200 types of terpenes have been identified, not all of them have the same kind of value or effects. Only a few have risen to the top of the list as having useful therapeutic properties. Because of their potential therapeutic value, terpenes have become one of the biggest areas of interest for cannabis researchers.
How Do They Work?
When combined with CBD, the therapeutic properties of terpenes can benefit users by binding to neurotransmitters and receptors in the brain. They can increase dopamine activity or enhance norepinephrine activity. Some terpenes can help us relax and others can help boost our energy. Research has found that terpenes directly affect the brain's neurotransmitters in many different ways.
The medical cannabis industry is interested in seeing how to use this new information to improve results with cannabis products. One of the benefits of terpenes in high-THC cannabis is that they can help balance the psychoactive effects of THC and decrease the anxiety associated with it.
The much talked-about "entourage effect," in which all of the natural compounds from the plant work together, was long thought to be associated only with high-THC cannabis. But more recently, researchers have found that the extract from hemp plants can also produce the entourage effect and a wide spectrum of health and wellness benefits.

CBD Oil Made from Hemp vs. Marijuana: What's the Difference?
With so much false information spread online about CBD oil, one of the most common questions we receive from consumers relates to the difference between CBD oil from hemp and from marijuana. There are, indeed, many differences between hemp-derived and marijuana-derived CBD oil in terms of its cannabinoid profiles, effects, and legality.
However, before we dive deeper into this subject, we'd like you to get a better understanding of what cannabis, hemp, and marijuana are and how they're different from each other. Let's get straight into it.

Difference Between Hemp And Marijuana

What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is an annual herbaceous plant with two primary classifications - Indica and Sativa. Marijuana and hemp are members of this plant genus; hemp belongs to the Cannabis sativa species only, whereas marijuana can be a member of either Cannabis indica or C.sativa species. Because both marijuana and hemp come from Cannabis sativa, they share certain traits. However, marijuana and hemp are not the same things. Below we highlight several distinct differences between these two plants.

What is Hemp?
Hemp is a cannabis plant that is harvested commercially for its seeds, stalks, and flowers. Because it grows sturdy and tall - up to 2 to 4 meters in height - it's typically cultivated outdoors.
Different parts of the plant are used for different uses:

  • Seeds are often used in food and cosmetics.
  • Stalks are the source of fiber used in building materials and clothing.
  • Flowers, on the other hand, are harvested for its cannabinoid content.
  • The cannabinoid content of hemp is where it differs the most from marijuana.

Namely, hemp comes with high concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive cannabinoid, but it carries almost no THC (below 0.3%). It's the THC content that gives marijuana its psychoactive effects.
Unlike marijuana, hemp has been excluded from the Controlled Substances Act with the introduction of the 2018 Farm Bill. According to the new act, hemp can be commercially grown and manufactured into CBD products for sale to the public.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a cannabis plant that is harvested for its euphoric, relaxing, and psychoactive properties. As opposed to hemp, the seeds and stalks of marijuana aren't used commercially as a food source, or in the textiles industry. Instead, the plant is cultivated for its highly resinous flowers containing an abundance of cannabinoids. The THC content of marijuana is much higher than it is in hemp.

  • Who shouldn't take CBD products?
  • How long does it take to feel the effects of CBD?
  • What are the health benefits of CBD?
  • What delivery systems are your CBD Formulas available in?
  • Will CBD make me feel high?
  • What is the difference between hemp and marijuana?
  • How to choose a CBD product?
  • Will CBD interact with my other medications?

Medical researchers are in general agreement that CBD is safe and non-addictive. We regularly hear from users who tell us that CBD helps them manage conditions like anxiety, chronic pain and insomnia.
But CBD is also known to have the potential to interact with some medications, especially those that are metabolized by the liver. So if you are taking any prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications, we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor before trying CBD oil.
The purpose of this article is to discuss some of what is known about CBD interactions with medications. We also provide some links to resources that can help you do your own research. But there is no substitute for professional medical advice that is tailored to your own unique situation.

How Does CBD Interact With Medications?

The main concern stems from the fact that CBD is metabolized by the same liver enzymes as about 60% of clinically prescribed drugs. This family of enzymes is called cytochrome P450, or CYP 450. Some research suggests that CBD can act as an inhibitor to the P450 enzyme. This means that CBD can affect the body's ability to break down some prescription drugs when they are taken together.
If this was to occur, more or less of the prescription drug can enter your system than when it is taken on its own. The change in medication levels brought on by the interaction could lead to adverse side effects or a reduction in the effectiveness of the medication.
Some common medications that may be altered by CBD use include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Antihistamines
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Benzodiazepines (benzos)
  • Blood thinners
  • Blood pressure medications

This is NOT an exhaustive list so it's important that you speak with your doctor about CBD use if you are taking any prescription medication. They will be able to help ensure that your CBD dosage levels and schedule are safe if there are any potential interactions.
A very useful resource for doing your own research before meeting with your doctor is the cannabis drug interactions page on Drugs.com. Since CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant, drug interactions with cannabis are a good proxy for drug interactions with CBD.

The Grapefruit Warning

If your medication has a grapefruit warning, that is a good indication that there may be an interaction issue with CBD. This is because grapefruit and grapefruit juice can inhibit the P450 enzyme in the same way as CBD. Again, you should speak with your doctor before taking CBD oil if your medication carries this warning.

Does CBD Oil Have Any Side Effects?
Anyone who has taken pharmaceutical medications has seen the lists that come with the first filled prescription. It explains the many possible side effects that the medication can produce. Most current studies indicate that CBD has almost no significant adverse side effects on the human body, even when taken frequently and in large doses. But there are a variety of possible effects, depending on the person taking it.
A principal reason for this is that the body already contains a naturally occurring endocannabinoid system, with two receptors that control normal functions, CB1 and CB2. CBI receptors, which are primarily found in the brain, affect movement, coordination, appetite, moods, and memory, among other things. They're the receptors that process THC. CB2 receptors, which deal with inflammation or pain, are mostly found in the immune system. Both receptors are located in multiple locations in the body.
Rather than working against problems in the body, CBD intensifies the body's own ability to combat physical problems. It boosts the functions of natural biological processes.
Potential Side Effects When Starting CBD Oil
It's not uncommon for beginners to experience some unwanted side effects when first starting CBD oil. These can include headaches, nausea and a general worsening of symptoms.
This is typically a result of taking too much CBD. Lowering the daily dosage can alleviate these effects. CBD microdosing is a popular method of finding your "sweet spot" dosage that will produce benefits without side effects. It involves starting with very low doses (as little as one drop) and slowly increasing over time as needed.
Studies On The Side Effects Of CBD Oil
Clinincal studies examining side effects of CBD oil in treatment have appeared in professional journals in the medical community for over 40 years. They investigate the usefulness and side effects of CBD treatment for a wide variety of problems. These trials have tested CBD's effectiveness on both human and animal subjects.
A 2017 review of the clinical studies on CBD added findings from more recent investigations to a previous literature review published in 2011. The survey concludes that, generally, all the studies they examined reported a "favorable safety profile of CBD in humans." While they conclude that use is safe, they also found evidence of some side effects in the surveyed reports.
The three most commonly observed side effects were fatigue, diarrhea, and weight loss or weight gain. The authors point out that while these side effects may occur, CBD actually has a "better side effect profile"-meaning that it has fewer adverse effects on the body-than pharmaceutical drugs.
Fatigue is the most common side effect reported by the authors. However, in the case of weight loss or weight gain, they point out that there are many factors that could affect whether a person gained or lost weight, such as their diet and the individual's genetic predisposition. Other possible side effects mentioned in the studies they describe include nausea, dry mouth, vomiting, and dizziness.
However, a 2012 paper in the Journal of Pharmacology reports that CBD actually has anti-emetic and anti-nausea properties. So side effects of nausea or vomiting found in other studies are unlikely to be caused by CBD.
In 2018, the FDA approved the drug Epidiolex (cannabidiol), a CBD product to treat two rare kinds of early-onset epilepsy, that could be administered to children older than 2 years old. In clinical trials, CBD was found to significantly reduce seizures in patients with these two forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and Dravet syndrome. The FDA report concludes that the benefits of Epidiolex far outweigh the potential damages.
The one particular side effect they found was liver damage. But they also say that the subjects for this study were primarily people with serious health issues, and that possible liver damage is easily avoided with patient education, appropriate dosage, and regular testing to spot potential adverse effects.
Other side effects were also found in some patients in this clinical trial, including irritability, lower appetite, infections, sensitivity issues such as rashes, gastrointestinal problems, problems with breathing, or reduced urination. But as the report notes, the symptoms might have had other causes.