Americans are expected to spend $5.3 billion on hemp CBD in 2021 — growing to $16 billion by 2026. So, it’s safe to say that the new kid on the block is here to stay. But with hundreds of thousands of Americans enjoying the many benefits of CBD, it’s time to address the elephant in the room.
Does CBD oil show up on drug tests? Let’s find out.
CBD and drug tests
CBD (cannabidiol) itself is a cannabinoid, a class of chemical compounds found in cannabis. Standard drug tests don’t check for CBD, and there’s no such thing as an exclusively CBD oil drug test. However, full-spectrum CBD oil contains both CBD and trace amounts of THC — the chemical that produces the euphoric effects we expect from cannabis use.
THC is the controversial compound, but given that hemp CBD products can’t legally surpass 0.3% THC and are often much less concentrated, there’s no chance of feeling high. Despite this, there’s still a marginal chance of a positive showing on a drug test.
What do drug tests look for?
Cannabis drug tests look to detect THC metabolites 11-OH-THC and THCCOOH, which stay in your body longer than THC.
The average American drug test isn’t designed to detect CBD products specifically. Also, there’s no real reason why your employer or the authorities would worry about your ability to drive or work due to a non-intoxicating compound.
How does drug testing for cannabis work?
Drug tests aren’t pleasant. There’s sometimes urine, sometimes blood, and always an element of worry involved. Here’s what to expect from each kind of cannabis drug test.
Urine drug test
They can be awkward and a little bit embarrassing, but urine tests are the most common type of drug test. They can detect concentrations of THC as low as 50 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter). To put this into perspective, you’d have to consume around 2,000 mg of CBD a day to reach this level, and a bottle of our elixir contains 250 mg. THC metabolite detection windows can range from one day to more than 30 days for frequent users.
Blood drug test
If you’ve got a fear of needles or blood, you might not like this one. Authorities often request blood tests to indicate current impairment, as THC doesn’t stay in the bloodstream for around three or four hours.
Saliva and hair drug tests
They may not be as common, but oral fluid and hair drug tests can detect immediate and long-term THC use, respectively. THC is detectable in saliva for around 72-hours. Considered less invasive and more sensitive, hair tests can detect THC metabolites for up to 90-days.
How long does CBD stay in your system?
So, if testing can detect THC in the body for more than a month, how long does cannabidiol stay in the system? According to one source, CBD can linger in your system for weeks, although that number fluctuates according to various factors.
Let’s say Sally ingests a full-spectrum hemp product multiple times a day for a month and her brother Josh uses a CBD lotion or gel a few times a month. CBD will likely stay longer in Sally’s system, given her frequency of use and dosage.
The THC content is where it gets trickier. THC can build up in the system over time and take longer to eliminate.
Will CBD lotion show up on a drug test?
There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that CBD lotions, creams, and gels won’t show up on a drug test, but given the presence of THC in full-spectrum products, it’s impossible to guarantee. It’s reasonable to feel some hesitation if your employment status is dependent on a clean reading — so proceed with caution.
Will CBD test positive for THC?
It’s easy to get them confused — we don’t blame you — but CBD and THC are different compounds. While THC and CBD are both major cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, one is psychoactive and intoxicating, and the other isn’t. Both compounds interact with the body’s cannabinoid receptors in different places.
THC acts upon the brain to produce psychoactivity, whereas CBD bonds with cannabinoid receptors outside the nervous system. So, with a product like pure CBD isolate that doesn’t contain any THC, there’s no chance of testing positive to THC.
How to avoid a positive CBD drug test
We’re going to be straight with you — the only guaranteed way to avoid a positive CBD drug test is to refrain from using CBD products within a detectable window of time. While choosing broad-spectrum and isolate products with undetectable THC concentrations may, in theory, be less risky in terms of testing, this is not always the case.
CBD products advertised as broad-spectrum or isolate could have THC in them due to the prominence of mislabeling. A study found that of 84 CBD products available online, 42% had a higher level of CBD than labeled, and 26% contained less. It also revealed that 21% of the products contained THC, with concentrations of up to 6.43 mg/mL. That’s definitely enough for some people to feel intoxicating effects if the CBD content was low enough. Conversely, because CBD acts as an antagonist against low concentrations of THC, it has the potential to reduce the intoxicating effects of THC.
Weighing up the risks
Even if you’re sure you’re getting a THC-free product, there are questions to be raised about the effectiveness of these products. CBD isolate also removes the wide range of phytonutrients such as cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds hemp oil naturally contains.
Full-spectrum CBD products, such as Ojai Energetics’ Full Spectrum CBD Hemp Elixir, use the whole range of hemp oil compounds to produce the entourage effect. This theorizes that these elements are more effective together than they are alone. Combine this with our unique water-soluble technology, and the benefits can be felt in less than 30 seconds.
Start your CBD oil journey today
Here at Ojai Energetics, we take your CBD oil experience seriously. That’s why we have perfected and patented the only water-soluble, full-spectrum, certified organic CBD oil. From our versatile Hemp Elixir to our CBD Coconut Oil and CBD Sports Gel, we’ve developed a range of high-quality, eco-friendly and responsibly made CBD oil products. Get in touch with our expert team or shop online to start your CBD journey today.
Dr. Craig Brandman
This article has been reviewed and approved for accuracy by Dr. Craig Brandman. Dr. Brandman is a cardiologist with more than 20 years of experience. He received his MD from the SUNY-Downstate Medical Center in NY and his postgraduate training in cardiology at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in LA. With a passion for helping consumers make informed health decisions, Dr. Brandman founded StepOne Personal Health, advocating for empowered healthcare consumers. Dr. Brandman has been bringing his knowledge of medicine to health care organizations for decades.