Drug tests do not test for CBD but you could still fail a drug test. Here’s how.
Drug tests typically only screen for THC — the compound in cannabis that gets you “high” — or one of the compounds created when your body metabolizes it. CBD products can only contain up to 0.3% THC, by law.
Different types of drug tests have different detection thresholds. The most common is the urine test. To pass a urine drug test, the amount of THC in your body must be below 50 ng/mL. That’s the cutoff recommended federally by the National Institutes of Health and clinically by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
To hit 50 ng/mL of THC, you’d probably have to consume upwards of 2,000 mg of CBD products that contain 0.3% or less of THC, which is much higher than the average person is likely to take. Even in clinical trials and research studies, people are usually only administered 100-800mg/day.
THC is fat-soluble. When ingested, especially via edibles or a drop of oil under the tongue — it’s absorbed along with other fats and can be stored in your body’s fatty tissue.
Depending on how much CBD (which reads as THC on a drug test), you consume, how often you consume it, your body weight and your diet, it’s possible for THC to accumulate in your body in as little as four to six days and trigger a positive drug test. Research has found that THC can be detectable in your system for up to 30 days, but it’s usually only present in heavy cannabis users after the first week.
There is also a chance that certain CBD products contain more than the legal amount of THC. Penn Medicine researchers bought CBD products online and then analyzed their ingredients, they found that about one in five contained up to 6.4 mg/ML of THC — high enough to cause impairment.
A 2018 study by the CDC found that that more than 50 people in Utah were poisoned by CBD products that actually contained synthetic marijuana commonly known as Spice and K2.
There is no way to guarantee that you will either pass or fail a drug test depending on CBD usage. The best way to ensure you will pass a drug test is to abstain from CBD.