Can I Fail a Drug Test After Using CBD?

The bottom line is: yes you can. In this article I will explain why taking CBD can risk your chances of passing a drug test and precautions you may take to reduce the risk of failing a drug test.

Cannabidiol or more commonly referred to as CBD has taken the world by storm and is available online and offline in many shops and even truck stops. CBD is legal in most parts of the world and is usually sold as a nutritional supplement and nothing more. Many people are turning to CBD as a “nutritional supplement” as it has very many beneficial properties. The problem with this is that CBD is usually extracted from the variety of cannabis sativa known as hemp. Hemp is defined as cannabis sativa that contains less than 0.3% THC. So this is where the problem comes into it, it still does contain an active ingredient that will probably show up on a drug test and that is where you will fall short. However, it is not all doom and gloom so keep reading and you will learn better ways to ensure that your system does not come into contact with THC.

Legality of CBD

CBD is legal in all 50 states of America as well as in Europe and Canada. But the legality does depend on the source of CBD. As mentioned above CBD is usually and legally extracted from the hemp plant. CBD extracted from recreational cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, is not federally legal. CBD in the United States is legal thanks to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill and now is legal to grow and process under license.

What is CBD

Cannabidiol is one of the major cannabinoids found in cannabis sativa, right next to tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC is the active psychoactive cannabinoid that is responsible for the psychotropic effects of cannabis. CBD was first isolated by researchers in the early 1960s and was firstly misunderstood as a precursor to the compound THC. Later on, when researchers relooked at CBD they realized that it was an individual cannabinoid just like the over 100 other cannabis compounds found in cannabis sativa.

Why CBD?

For the most part of the last decade, many people have been using extracts of CBD in the form of CBD oils, sprays, topicals and gel capsules due to a grey area in the law that suggests because CBD is not psychoactive it is therefore legal. The reason millions of people have turned to CBD as a nutritional, medicinal or therapeutic supplement is the overwhelming support of it helping people “balance” their bodies, their health, and wellness. The evidence of CBD helping people with a variety of illnesses and diseases is piling up and researchers are very positive about the beneficial properties of CBD. Below are just a couple of the benefits of CBD:

  1. Helps relieve pain.
  2. Can reduce anxiety and depression
  3. alleviate cancer-related symptoms
  4. Anti-inflammatory effects
  5. Many neuroprotective properties
  6. May benefit heart health
  7. Help with bone metabolism
  8. Diabetes prevention

There are many more reasons people are using CBD. Professional sportsmen and women are turning to CBD for improved performance on and off the field. Business people are also using CBD to help improve their creativity and energy during a tough day at the office. And many people are turning to CBD just to relax, unwind and get a good nights rest at home.
You see CBD works wonders on our body and connects directly to our endocannabinoid system ( ECS ) helping the body regulate and improve mood, memory, appetite, and movement. Homoeostasis is the function of our ECS and both endocannabinoids produced internally are supplemented with phytocannabinoids ( CBD ) our body has a better chance of achieving this balance.

Drug Tests at the workplace

Often you will find it is mandatory to have annual drug tests at work and may depend on your employment contract, type of work and even a pre-employment drug screen. Before considering using CBD you should check up on the requirements of drug testing at work as it could have a serious impact on your career and livelihood. Drug testing is legal at the workplace as long as it is done fairly, however it is not enforceable by law and you may choose not to partake in a drug test unless you have signed your contract agreeing to random tests.

Why does CBD show up in drug tests

CBD on a molecular level is very similar to THC and in fact, as mentioned before was so similar to THC that it was originally thought to be a precursor to THC. Because CBD is extracted from cannabis sativa there may be trace elements of THC contained within the oil and this is what will cause a positive result for a screening test. However, there are ways around this and that is by you learning and understanding the product you are purchasing and buying.

Choosing quality CBD products

There are thousands of CBD products available on the market and not all of them contain THC. With the development of technology and new improved extraction methods, many many processors of cannabis extract actually remove all traces of THC from the final CBD product. You may have come across CBD products called isolates and crystals, there are pure CBD extractions and guaranteed to have all traces of other cannabinoids removed. So it is important for you to know how and what your “CBD” product is made with. For instance, if its an oil that is extracted from hemp and its labeled “May contain traces of THC”, you know that you will be consuming THC. If the product is labeled “ Contains no THC” and is distributed by a reputable company, chances are you will never fail a drug test.

So in reality and with a little bit of homework, you will be able to take quality CBD only products and not fail a drug test. However if its a generic product that contains traces of THC you may have failed your drug test.

Case in Point

An anonymous lady from Atlanta Georgia in 2018 did a pre-employment screening test and was notified that her application had failed due to positive results for marijuana usage. She was adamant that she had never used marijuana in her life but due to her doctor’s recommendation, she tried a CBD product for pain and anxiety. The lady only used CBD for roughly two weeks.

“They expressed that I have a positive THC test,” the woman told Regan. “I have never consumed marijuana in my life.” Source
CBD won’t make you high, but the potential of it coming up positive in a drug screening test is troublesome. So throw caution to the wind if you are in a position to be routinely screened for drugs, some careers that involve regular testing are firefighters and police officers., a web-based company that tests nutritional supplements, including CBD, said up to 10 percent of users test positive for THC when using the oil.

Ways to remove cannabinoids from your system

Cannabinoids are fat soluble and will bind to fatty molecules in your body. It is suggested that even smoking a joint will leave trace amounts of cannabinoids in your system for up to 30 days. If you are a light user of cannabis or have been using CBD products it would be best to look at detoxing your system up to 2 weeks before your drug screen test. Drinking water and flushing your system is a good way to rid your body of unwanted cannabinoids.


CBD is a natural, non-toxic and non-addictive compound that may be used to positively boost your performance and supplement your bodies nutritional needs. Be careful if you consider taking CBD and are aware of up and coming drug screening tests in your workplace, alternatively find a career that will allow using a magical plant with many benefits for your health and wellness.