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Does CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?

by Pankaj Kumar 23 Apr 2021

Like THC, CBD is a cannabinoid and can be found in both the marijuana plant and in hemp, although at a very low level. Does that mean CBD can show up in a drug test? If it does, will it mean that you fail the screening?


Drug Tests Do Not Check for CBD

First, understand that drug tests do not screen for CBD. So, it will not show up on your drug test no matter how much you take. Some CBD products may contain some level of THC, which is tested for, and may be of a high enough level to show up on your drug screening.


What about CBN?

While researchers have found that CBD does not show up on most drug screenings, a similar cannabinoid does – CBN. This is a derivative of THC, though, and is usually only problematic in products that contain higher levels of THC.


How to Choose the Right Product

Ultimately, being able to enjoy the benefits of CBD while also passing drug tests requires knowing a little more about the various CBD products on the market.


  • CBD Isolate – Any CBD product labeled as “pure CBD” or “CBD isolate” contains only one cannabinoid from the plant: CBD. There will be no THC or CBN, meaning that you have no worries about passing a drug test. However, pure CBD may be less effective than full-spectrum CBD, which includes a wide range of other cannabinoids and terpenes.


  • Full Spectrum CBD – Any CBD product labeled as “Full Spectrum” contains all the compounds that occur naturally in the plant they were extracted from. This includes the CBD alongside terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids such as THC. A Full Spectrum product is necessary if you want to experience the full scope of health benefits. Research has shown that THC and CBD work better when taken together than they do when taken alone. This is referred to as the “Entourage Effect”, and this is why you always want a little amount of THC in your formulation to help “jumpstart” the CBD. Check to make sure there is no more than .3% THC in your CBD product, as this is the maximum amount legally allowed Federally, and it is low enough to not produce a “high.”


  • Broad Spectrum CBD – Any CBD product labeled as “Broad Spectrum” contains all of the compounds that occur naturally in the plant they were extracted from with the exception of THC. While a Broad Spectrum CBD product is more effective than a CBD Isolate product, it is still not as effective as a Full Spectrum product because there is no “Entourage Effect” without the THC. Even so, for those who take drug tests regularly, like pilots, law enforcement professionals, and others, Broad Spectrum CBD is a better option than CBD Isolate.


  • Marijuana-Derived – Any CBD product sourced from marijuana will have higher levels of THC. These will show up on your drug test, even if you are only taking the product for the CBD content. If you live in a state where this is legal, you have nothing to worry about, but that’s not the case for everyone.


  • Hemp-Derived – Hemp is a close cousin of marijuana but contains a tiny fraction of the THC in the other plant. Any CBD sourced from hemp in the United States will have less than 0.3% THC, as that is the legal limit, and it will not show up on your drug test.


So, to enjoy the full benefits of CBD legally, opt for a full-spectrum product sourced from hemp.

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