Will CBD show up on a drug test?

Jay Hartenbach

by, Jay Hartenbach

March 11, 2020

There are many out there who are interested in trying CBD products, but they are still worried about one big question – will CBD show up on a drug test? 

They are worried that their consumption of the popular cannabinoid will cause an issue regarding employment, and the various tests that are often associated with it. Will the enjoyment of CBD products cause an issue with conventional urine testing for marijuana?

The verbiage from the experts is that “conventional urine drug testing for cannabis targets a common metabolite of THC called THCCOOH”, meaning that the test is looking for the cannabinoid THC (1). THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the natural plant compound that is known to induce the “high” feeling that is associated with Marijuana. Both Marijuana and Hemp have THC in their natural compositions but, for the plant to be considered hemp, it must contain less than .3% THC. What sets hemp and Marijuana apart is the amount of each cannabinoid in the plant, overall.

But, when it comes to standardized testing, the question of “will CBD show up on a drug test” is obviously a legitimate one.

It is important to note this because there are some brands that may claim that there is no THC in their products, but in this current market, that isn’t always an absolute guarantee. There are some manufacturers who may not execute the same extraction process consistency, or provide the level of third party testing, that companies like Medterra does.

Grace Kroner, Lead Researcher at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center in Salt Lake City conducted a study using the traditional urine test models with various cannabinoids and found that “CBD, or cannabidiol, did not react with either of two commercially available tests used to screen for marijuana use.” Kroner goes on to describe that trace cannabinoids like CBN can cause a false positive for THC in very rare cases. (2) The good news is that these rare false positives occur only in uncommon THC tests and trace cannabinoids like CBN are not found in the isolate products that Medterra carries. 

When shopping, there are three “spectrum” descriptors found on labels that will give an indication as to what can be expected of the contents: Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and Isolate.

In hemp-derived CBD products, Full Spectrum means that the entire plant’s cannabinoid profile is included in the final product and that includes the scant amount of naturally occurring cannabinoids like CBN and THC. In broad spectrum CBD products, the THC has been removed but the remaining cannabinoids are present, including CBN. It is only CBD isolate products that have just the CBD cannabinoid and nothing more.

It is advised by anyone shopping for CBD to be sure to take a moment to read the Certificates of Authenticity. These third-party testing results are usually found on a brand’s website or through a Quick Response (QR) code on the packaging. They will lay out the exact type of cannabinoids (a.k.a. cannabinoid profile) in the product that is being considered.

If THC testing is something that is feared, most direct the consumers to choose products made with isolate CBD, as products made with this compound alone didn’t cause any test subjects to showcase positive for THC.

Be aware that most testing for substances that is executed is done to look for the compound THC. While failing a THC drug test due to CBD alone is unlikely, it’s always good to be informed on what cannabinoids are present in your favorite CBD products. 

At Medterra, we put time and research into our isolate CBD products so that you can feel confident in your choice in choosing a THC-free CBD product. With rigorous third party testing, our Certificates of Authenticity are always available and we’re glad to answer any questions that you may have. 

(1)   Hasse, Javier. 6 November 2019. Legal CBD Products May Make You Test Positive for Cannabis in Urine Drug Tests, Johns Hopkins Study says. https://www.forbes.com/sites/javierhasse/2019/11/06/cbd-drug-testing/#21ef316b4c6a

(2)   Vandergriendt, Carly. 24 April 2019. Does CBD Show up On a Drug Test? https://www.healthline.com/health/does-cbd-show-up-on-a-drug-test#cbd-types

(3)   Norton, Amy. 9 August 2019. Pure CBD Won’t Make You Fail a Drug Test, but… https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/news/20190809/pure-cbd-wont-make-you-fail-a-drug-test-but#2

(4)   McCallum ND, Yagen B, Levy S, Mechoulam R. Cannabinol: a rapidly formed metabolite of delta-1- and delta-6-tetrahydrocannabinol. Experientia. 1975;31(5):520–521. doi:10.1007/bf01932433

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