Cannabis Science, CBD

Does CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?

Does CBD Show Up on a Blood Test?

You might have heard the buzz about CBD from your friends, family and the internet. The question is, can you fail a drug test Due to CBD? Does CBD show up on a drug test?

CBD stands for cannabidiol and it’s just one of the many compounds found in marijuana. According to the Word Health Organization (WHO), CBD is a 21-carbon terpenophenolic compound that is developed after the decarboxylation from a cannabidiolic acid precursor. If you’re using CBD or planning to use it but may have to do a drug test soon, you might be a bit worried. Let’s first look why people opt to use CBD before diving in.

Why Do People Use CBD?

People use CBD, in a variety of forms, for multiple reasons. For example, CBD has been lauded for its ability to reduce or stop seizures completely in childhood epilepsy diseases such as such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). CBD also helps with pain management. According to WHO, some symptoms or diseases that may be helped by CBD are: nausea, cancer, depression and inflammation. Although more research is needed, marijuana looks promising in many aspects. 

How to use CBD

CBD, according to Healthline, may be used in the following ways:

  • oils and tinctures
  • pills and capsules
  • edibles
  • vaping
  • creams and lotions

After entering the body using on these methods CBD binds to one of the cannaboid receptors naturally found in your body. The endocannabinoid system regulates things like mood and appetite. The liver then breaks it down and removes it from the body. According to Drug Bank, CBD (and THC) are metabolized by several cytochrome P450 isoenzymes, including CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6 and CYP3A4.   

How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

According to Healthline, CBD can stay in your body between 2-5 days. However, the article stated that this may not apply to everyone and some people may have CBD in their system for weeks. 

Factors Affecting How Long CBD Stays in Your Body

According to Healthline, the following are the factors affecting how long CBD stays in your system. 

How Much You Use

The higher the dose, generally the longer it can stay in your body. That is not unique to CBD though, THC and other substances behave in the same way. 

Frequency of Use

If you’re an occasional user, the CBD will clear much more quickly than if you’re someone that uses it frequently. CBD does have the ability to build up in your body and so it would take a longer time to be completely eliminated. 

Method of Delivery 

When CBD passes through the digestive track, it takes a little while to be metabolized which is a big contrast to vaping. Vaping CBD is the quickest way it can be absorbed as well as metabolized. However other methods like oils and tinctures tend to have CBD lasting longer in your body. Healthline stated, “Oils and tinctures placed under your tongue are absorbed into the bloodstream faster and linger longer.” In addition to that, when CBD is absorbed through creams and lotions, it tends to last longer in the body as well take a longer amount of time to be absorbed when compared to the other methods. 

Your Diet

Taking CBD on an empty stomach means it can be absorbed and metabolized quickly. That is why what, when and how much you’ve eaten affects metabolism.

Your Body

Factors like your BMI and your metabolism are just some factors that affects the length of time CBD stays in your body.  

Does CBD Show Up On a Blood Test?

By all accounts, blood tests and other drug tests look for THC and not CBD. Therefore, technically, it shouldn’t show up in the tests and you should get a negative result. So why can you fail a drug test due to CBD? However, unfortunately there might be some THC in the CBD product you use and depending on the amount you may fail your test. THC metabolites can be detected up to 7 days after you use a product that contained it while some sources say 36 hours. If CBD is legal in your state, it’s unlikely your employer will ask to test for it.

Will CBD make you Fail A Drug Test?

There are several reasons why you could use CBD and fail your test. Here are the reasons according to Medical News Today and Healthline. 

 Type of CBD Product  

Healthline reports that there are three types of products that contain CBD:

  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Broad-spectrum CBD
  • CBD isolate

If you want to avoid THC, your safest bet is using CBD isolate products because they only contain CBD. Full spectrum CBD products have all the compounds of marijuana so THC would be present. However, full spectrum product that’s made from hemp should have less than 0.3% THC by law. The broad spectrum CBD products shouldn’t have THC because it should have gone through a process to remove THC.

Medical News Today mentioned a 2019 analysis in Germany where 25% of 67 foods that had CBD present tested positive for THC. The amount of THC found exceeded the 2.5 milligrams-per-day dose that is usually associated with intoxicating side effects. 

Many products make health related claims even though they aren’t legally allowed to do so, according to Healthline. Therefore, you should be careful and do you research before buying.

Cross Contamination

If the CBD products come into contact with THC whether at your home or at the manufacturer’s factory then, according to Healthline, cross contamination may occur. 

Use of Other Medication

According to Medical News Today, the use of the following medication could lead to false positives in urine tests. 

  • dronabinol
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and sulindac
  • pantoprazole
  • Efavirenz

Product Mislabeling 

Unfortunately, sometimes products aren’t labelled correctly. According to Healthline, there could be some inaccurate information on the labels since CBD products aren’t consistently regulated. Healthline reported that in 2017, Netherlands tested 84 products labelled CBD only and found THC in 18 of them. 

Second Hand Smoking

If you’re using CBD only products and get back a test positive for THC maybe it is second hand smoking. There are talks that second hand smoking may cause THC to show up in your drug test. However, the potency of the marijuana being smoked by the other person matters, as well as size and ventilation of the area. The studies primarily focused on urine tests and so it’s not clear if it would show up in blood tests. 

How To Ensure Your CBD Product Doesn’t Contain THC

A great way is to take note of the type of CBD product. Remember that full spectrum isolate would have traces of THC and CBD isolate products shouldn’t have any 

According to Healthline, it’s best to research the product and look for words like CO2-extracted, lab-tested, no additives and no preservatives. It’s worth noting that there is no easy you can prove that manufacturers weren’t lying but it’s worth a shot. If you really must know, Healthline suggetss looking for a lab test results from the manufacturer. 

If you’re looking for hemp based CBD products, Healthline suggests that you look for products from Colorado and Oregon because they rigorous testing guidelines and have older industries. 

Healthline also says you can look for the amount of CBD in the product. They warned that the more concentrated ones would be more expensive. They suggest starting with a lower dose product and to bear in mind that concentrations differ based on method of delivery anyway. 


CBD itself won’t show up on your blood test if they’re not specifically testing for it and they usually aren’t. However, you may still fail your blood test or another drug test if you’ve taken a CBD product. The reason that happens is that some of the products may contain some THC that may show up. The best way to avoid that is to do your research about the CBD product you’re purchasing. The products may be mislabelled or just contain inaccurate information. All you can hope for is better regulation of CBD products in the future. 


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].