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Forms of CBD That Show in a Drug Test

Written by Caleb Summeril

CBD is steadily gaining popularity and interest for many claimed benefits ranging from casual consumption to purely medical. This increase has led to more of the public encountering and using CBD throughmany different products that are now widely commercially available. A common area of general concern is whether the use of CBD may show up in a drug test administered for professional, legal or medical reasons.

Speaking in broad terms, CBD should not show up in most drug tests; however, due to products having some traceable amounts of THC and other cannabinoids, it is possible it can influence test results to some degree. For these levels to rise above most acceptable limits, consumption of CBD rich products has to be abnormally high. One study showed that a common hair sample test using a GC/MS-MS method with test subjects using 4-128mg/day of CBD showed negative test results for THC[1].THC was detected in only one sample of this same study at or below acceptable cut-off and CBN was not seen at all.

Many CBD products remain unregulated and therefore can have varying levels of other cannabinols that may influence drug test results. Most drug tests use a standard set of guidelines such as the SAMSHA to set acceptable levels of cannabinols within the human body. SAMSHA sets a failed test at greater than 50 ng/mL for THC metabolites which would translate into a dose of 1000-2000 mg of CBD to generate a failed result, an unusual and uncommon dosage.

Full spectrum CBD products are higher in terpenes and other cannabinoids including CBG, CBN, THCV and THC. These additional compounds are beneficial and ideal for many medical purposes however they can be identified in drug tests and as mentioned above, high doses may lead to a positive test result for THC. In most instances CBD products have less than 0.3% THC by volume, a generally acceptable level that should not cause a positive test result. Due to varying methods of testing and production it is often difficult to adhere to an exact THC percentage through full spectrum products. Caution should be used amongst CBD consumers mandated for drug testing as positive results are possible. CBD isolate is an option and available to those looking for strictly CBD products.

[1]Rodrigues, A., Yeagles, M., et all. Forensic Sci Int. 2018 Nov;292:163-166.


About the author

Caleb Summeril

Caleb Summeril writes creative copy, stories and songs from the mountains of Colorado. When not working on words, he can be found on global gallivants which fuel future endeavors. Learn more about his writing services at

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