Does CBD Oil Show Up on a Drug Test?

by: cbdMD
Does CBD Oil Show Up on a Drug Test?

Can you test positive from CBD oil in a drug test? This question might be the most common one we get at cbdMD. If you’ve ever been employed in the United States, you’ve taken a trip to a little clinic somewhere, been handed a clear plastic cup, and asked to do your business up to the line – sometimes with the door open. Urine tests are the most common form of drug screening because they are cheap and useful, but will CBD oil show up on a drug test? As always, the answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no. 

A purple gloved technician performs a urinalysis drug screening using reactive strips

Unfortunately, It Depends    

Will CBD oil show up on a drug test? The short answer is: it depends on the CBD oil. A drug test can detect small amounts of THC, so you need to know what type of CBD oil you’re taking. Granted, that’s not terribly helpful, but trust me, I’ll unpack this a lot more for you. Let’s take a look at CBD oil and drug tests to understand if one affects the other. 

CBD Oil by Itself Will Not Show Up On a Drug Test

When you’re worried whether CBD oil will show up on a drug test, what you’re concerned with is how much THC is in it? By itself, CBD oil will not show up in a drug test, period. The tests are not designed to look for it, and it is not an illegal substance. 


When it comes to CBD oil and drug testing, if CBD oil is contaminated with THC, that may cause you to fail a drug test. Whether or not your CBD oil contains THC is dependent on a variety of factors. The two most important of these are hemp quality and extraction methods. Our CBD oil buyer’s guide that can help you know what to look for when buying CBD oil.

The sun shines brightly in a clear sky through a mature hemp plant

CBD Starts With Hemp

In the United States, industrial hemp does come from the same family of plants as marijuana, Cannabis sativa L. The critical difference is the THC content. By federal law, no hemp in the U.S. may contain more than 0.3 percent THC. You could smoke a whole truckload of hemp, and it wouldn’t do the trick. That’s not why it's cultivated. 


Industrial hemp in the U.S. is grown to make consumer goods, parts are produced to supply physical hemp products like cloth, rope, or several other things. Companies like cbdMD, take industrial hemp and extract all the helpful cannabinoids and terpenes to make CBD oil products like tinctures, gummies, or topicals. 

A dark liquid swirls inside a round bottom flask as part of a scientific apparatus

Will CBD Oil Show Up On a Drug Test? The Extraction Process Is an Important Factor

When trying to figure out if CBD oil will show up on a drug test, it’s important to look at the extraction method. For CBD oil tinctures and other products, there are two main types of CBD oil. The first is a full spectrum oil, and the second is broad spectrum. When talking about CBD oil and drug testing, it’s essential to know the difference. Check out cbdMD’s blog and other resources for answers to questions like what is CBD and more.

Full Spectrum

Full spectrum CBD oil contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds naturally present in the plant, including THC. That’s why it’s known as a pure extract. While a full spectrum extract does have potential benefits, there are definite drawbacks. 


The presence of THC in a full spectrum CBD oil is enough for you to fail a drug test in some cases – even if only at 0.3 percent. You may want to avoid full spectrum CBD oil if drug tests are a part of your everyday life.  


While some believe the presence of THC has some benefit, the risks far outweigh any minimal difference in effects between full spectrum and the next type of CBD oil, broad spectrum. 

Broad Spectrum

Broad spectrum CBD oil is made by extracting all the most beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, and additional compounds without any THC. While there are several ways this can be accomplished, at cbdMD, we have developed our own. 


We call it Superior Broad Spectrum. For us, we wanted to deliver a THC-free* guarantee, so we needed a process to precisely provide the same level of accuracy every time. We start by creating a CBD extract, pulling just the CBD from the hemp plant. 


We then take the other beneficial terpenes and cannabinoids and add them back to the extracted CBD to produce a CBD oil that retains all the best properties hemp has to offer, without the risk of THC. This method allows you to take CBD oil and makes drug testing no problem. 

An amber, viscous liquid is stretched off a flat metal plate with a special tool

The Big Difference

If you’ve been taking or wanting to try broad spectrum CBD oil, then you will almost certainly be just fine when it comes time to take your drug test. However, if you’ve been taking full spectrum CBD oil, you should know how drug tests work, how they detect THC, and what to expect. First, though, why would you need a drug test?

A black ball point pen lays on top of a drug test results form by a prescription pill bottle

Why Am I Being Drug Tested?

You Want a Job

If you want a job, your employer wants to know whether your habits will affect their bottom line. This decision might be because the position involves heavy machinery or requires that you operate a vehicle. 


The employer wants to know if you pose a risk to your safety or the safety of others. In other cases, the position may require you to have access to sensitive information, and a drug screening is an effective way for them to measure what they see as your trustworthiness. 


So, before they start sending you your monthly subscription fee, they want to peek at your pee. And broad spectrum CBD oil won’t show up on a drug test.   

You Want to Compete

Athletes, especially those at the top of their game, are subject to drug screening as well. Performance-enhancing drugs such as human growth hormone and steroids were once rampant in the upper echelons of sports. 


Many professional athletic organizations have instituted mandatory drug screenings for all their athletes to make things a little more competitive. The NFL, the NBA, MLB, and the NHL all do drug screenings at random points during the year. Luckily, THC-free* CBD won’t show up on a drug test and is used by a full roster of cbdMD Athletes for performance, recovery, and beyond.


So, next time you’re standing over a toilet holding a cup, remember that LeBron has been in the same position and try not feeling too bad. 

You Need Help

If someone has had issues with drugs or alcohol in the past, they might seek help in the form of a rehabilitation program. Considering what they came there for, it shouldn’t be surprising that these facilities consistently drug test their patients to ensure they are clean and sober, at least while they are there. 


If the rehab program is court-ordered, then those drug screenings may continue for some time after a person has completed their therapy to make sure they stay on the straight and narrow. 

What Are Drug Tests Looking For?

There are a couple of different drug tests, but they all look for the same thing. Drugs, obviously, but which ones? Urinalysis can test for a wide range of substances, including: 

  • Alcohol
  • Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Methamphetamine
  • Opioids
  • PCP


So, while urine tests for illegal substances are simple, they are also very comprehensive in what they are trying to find. As a bonus, they can also detect nicotine and cotinine, which is the substance made when the body breaks down nicotine. So, your health insurance knows whether you checked the non-smoker box truthfully. Also, they might see the CBD oil in a drug test, but without THC, you won’t test positive. 

A blue gloved hand holds up a testing tray with the results of a drug screening urinalysis.

Types of Drug Tests

In some cases, drug testing can also involve a blood test, but those are more commonly done as toxicology screenings in hospitals for specific medical reasons. The two most common types of drug screening that you’ll see are differing urinalysis tests. 

Immunoassay Testing

The first is called an immunoassay (IA) test. It is the quickest and most cost-effective test. The IA test simply uses antibodies to detect the presence of drugs in the urine. It does not, however, identify how much is present. Any amount of a drug in your system will show up on this test. This type of analysis is less accurate and can result in potential false positives, but CBD oil won’t show up in this drug test.  

Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Testing

The second type of urinalysis is called a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry test (GC-MS). It is considered the standard for drug screening as it is incredibly accurate and can detect a broader range of drugs than a simple IA test. 


It works by separating a chemical mixture and identifying its parts at a molecular level. These tests are used more rarely because they are more expensive to conduct and take longer to get results. An analysis that is so granular tends to be pretty accurate but can still deliver false positives due to interfering compounds. Thus, science will know if you’ve taken CBD oil with this drug test, but it won’t count as a positive result.  

A blue gloved hand holds up a common urinalysis collection cup with a red lid

The Cut Off

Both urine screenings use a cut off level. If an amount of a compound is below a certain threshold, it does not trigger positive results. In the case of IA screenings, antibodies will not react with compounds below a certain level, unless they mistakenly mix with something else in your system to create a false positive. If compound interaction is suspected of having caused a false positive, the GC-MS test will be useful for more accurate results. 


For the GC-MS test, if detected compounds are below a certain level, they do not count as a positive result, even though the analysis detected them. Many things that have nothing to do with drugs can interfere with drug testing results. 


If you’ve eaten something that contains a narcotic like compound, poppy seed chicken is the most common example; then it could potentially give you a positive result on your screening. Full spectrum CBD oil in drug tests might deliver a false positive due to the low levels of THC.

Detection Times

The length of time that something has been in your system also affects whether or not it will appear in a drug test. Several factors come into play to determine how long something will stay with you and show up.


  • Your body mass
  • Hydration level
  • The acidity of your urine
  • How long ago you took it


As for the amount of THC that is in full spectrum CBD oil, drug tests may detect it because frequent use has the potential to build it up in your body and remain detectable for longer. CBD oil that does contain THC can show up on a drug test anywhere from 3 to 30 days, depending on how heavily you’ve been taking it. CBD oil in a drug test by itself will not be detected, the analysis is not looking for it, and it is not an illegal substance. 

A clear testing strip shows the results of a THC test

You’re Not the Only One

Remember, whenever you are asked to take a drug test, you aren’t alone or the only person who may be feeling nervous about it. The last thing you want is CBD oil adding to drug-test anxiety. It’s supposed to do the opposite. 

Test samples sit in black capped glass vials inside a centrifuge

Try to Relax; We’ve All Been There

If your CBD oil does not contain THC, it will not cause you to test positive for marijuana in a urine drug screening. I’ve often found that education reduces anxiety. Hopefully, having more information about CBD oil and drug tests, like how drug screenings work, and exactly what they are looking for will help calm your nerves if you find yourself going in for screening. 


Drug testing is very common. We’ve all been there at one time or another. CBD oil is meant to bring you the best beneficial properties of hemp without the risks involved. By understanding that THC-free* CBD oil will not show up in a drug test, you can enjoy the benefits CBD offers without adding to your stress. 

Disclaimer: The cbdMD page contains general information about health, diet, lifestyle, and nutrition. Any information provided should not be considered or treated as medical advice and always consult a medical professional before making any lifestyle changes. Products and information mentioned on the cbdMD blog are not intended to be used as a substitute for medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Any links to third-party websites are provided as a convenience only and cbdMD is not responsible for their content.


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