Will CBD Make You Fail A Drug Test?

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Categories : Medical cannabis

Will CBD Make You Fail A Drug Test?

For daily users of CBD, the risk of failing a drug test is one they can ill afford. Given CBD's affiliation with cannabis, it will come as no surprise that many advocates are concerned about the repercussions. However, with reputable, high-grade CBD oil, it is possible to pass a drug test.

CBD use is becoming far more common among a diverse range of demographics. Shaking off the underserved, but unfortunately prevalent stigma associated with cannabis, CBD is now regarded as a highly beneficial natural therapeutic for a host of ailments.

For those who wish to take advantage of CBD, the risk of failing a drug test is a common concern, especially given how closely linked THC and CBD are. With this testing mandatory for some jobs, and an increasing number of companies implementing randomised drug screenings as standard procedure, for many, the risk is not worth their jobs—and understandably so.

The issue is further compounded by a number of EU member states performing roadside saliva swabs to test for illegal narcotics. The answer to whether CBD users would pass will depend on one significant variable, what type of CBD product are you using?


Regardless of the method of testing used, they all have one thing in common; they look to identify if THC metabolites are in one’s system. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary compound in cannabis that provides psychoactive side effects. Currently, none of the different types of drug tests look for CBD as it’s non-psychoactive and doesn’t impair functioning. On that basis, users should be safe. But there are some pitfalls.


On its own, CBD will not register on a drug screening. However, the threshold for THC is important to consider as some products contain both cannabinoids.

In the US, urine drug screening—the most common form of testing for cannabis—has to comply with SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services) guidelines. The cutoff limit for a positive test result is 50ng/ml. Those that record a positive result are then subject to a GC/MS (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry test) where the cutoff point is much lower, 15ng/ml. Fortunately, blood tests only look for THC-specific metabolites.

Europe, on the other hand, has a significantly lower threshold, part of its “zero tolerance on drugs” approach. Roadside swab tests are part of a crackdown on motoring incidents as a result of drug use. The threshold for cannabis is only 2µg/l, an extremely low limit. Any consumption of marijuana is likely to be detected up to 24 hours after use based on those thresholds. Much like the US, a positive test result will prompt a clarifying blood test before any criminal convictions and repercussions are enacted.

In theory, it is possible to fail a test on either side of the Atlantic if the CBD product you are taking contains even trace amounts of THC, depending on how much you are consuming. Many CBD oils do in fact incorporate trace amounts of THC, anywhere between 0.1–0.5%. An increasing number now offer 0% THC content.

Will CBD Make You Fail A Drug Test?


To be 100% confident you won’t fail a test, CBD products containing 0% THC are your best bet. However, let’s put those trace amounts of THC in perspective: If we assume you were using a CBD oil with 0.5% THC, to trigger a positive reading for cannabis, you would need to consume anywhere from 1000–2000mg of said CBD oil per day. If you genuinely need that much CBD to get through the day, then a failed drug test may be the least of your worries.

The caveat is that, although this would trigger a false positive when undergoing the more detailed testing process (GC/MS), the results would come back negative because they are explicitly looking for THC metabolites. By that point though, damage may already be done, especially in the eyes of an employer.

That scenario is specific to the US; however, European CBD-lovers would be throwing caution to the wind, given the incredibly low threshold limit for THC. Again, though, when it comes to having a more accurate blood test, the result should be negative.

If you are smoking CBD-rich cannabis strains, then the variable THC content would undoubtedly put you at a higher risk of a failed drug test. High-grade, reputable CBD oils with 0–0.2% THC are the best option for taking advantage of CBD’s benefits and passing a drug test.


Like any form of drug testing, the length of time compounds are detectable will depend on factors like how much you ingest as well as your metabolism. In truth though, it is tough to give a definitive answer.

There are an increasing number of CBD products appearing on the market. While this is good for the consumer, some companies may provide statistics they cannot prove as a means of getting a leg up on the competition. Our advice is to pick the best-quality, lab-verified CBD oil you can find. These products will stipulate the exact amount of THC and other cannabinoids present in the oil.