Does CBD Show Up On a Drug Test: Don't Make This Mistake

Tim Rosenberger Tim Rosenberger

January 5, 2022

Have you looked into the source of the CBD you are using? The ingredients in some unregulated CBD products might surprise you and even result in failing a drug test! If you don’t purchase CBD products that include a certificate of analysis (COA) from a testing lab, then you may end up with adulterated and a failed test.

The wellness market is flooded with mislabeled CBD products that may be contaminated with THC, or other chemicals. Legitimate CBD products are sourced from American farms and contain a certificate of analysis from a third-party testing lab. In an unregulated field, this is proof that you know what you are getting. 

Keep reading to find out how CBD might show up on a drug test.

Will CBD Show Up On a Drug Test?


Passing a drug test when you use CBD products largely depends on the purity of the product. So many CBD products you can buy on the market often contain trace amounts of THC. 

If a CBD product was sourced from a plant containing at least 0.3% THC, more than the legal limit, enough THC will be present to show up on a drug test.

CBD users who unexpectedly failed a drug test were surprised to learn their CBD contained more than 0.3% THC when there was no indication of this. As there is no regulation with the FDA, CBD labels can make all sorts of claims plus hide or lie about ingredients.

Mislabeled CBD: More To Worry About

Mislabeled CBD products have caused more panic than failed tests. Studies have been done to test what is in the CBD products on shelves at our local stores, and the results have been shocking! 

Here are three unacceptable ingredients forensic toxicologists have found in CBD product testing:

  • Dextromethorphan (DXM): an addictive ingredient in over-the-counter cough medication that may cause drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting 
  • K2/Spice: a synthetic cannabis-like chemical that is sprayed on plants. Experiences are mind-altering side effects that may raise heart rates; increasing the chances of heart attack and even death.
  • Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) at 0.3%: The active ingredient in weed that gets users high, with adverse psychotropic effects such as paranoia. Amounts greater than 0.3% are considered federally illegal, and may result in a failed drug test.

The most troublesome thing about mislabeled CBD is that it is ending up in products marketed for kids and pets, which can make them seriously ill and result in lost custody or legal action. This is why it’s so important you are only buying from a vetted supplier that has had their products lab tested.

Can CBD Lotion Make you Fail a Drug Test?


CBD lotion and other topicals soak into our skin and may provide relief from skin conditions, arthritis, or muscular pains; but they don’t penetrate the bloodstream. This makes them safe to use topically.

The efficacy of topical CBD lies within the ingredients, again, as well as the way the cannabidiol has been extracted and produced. 

There are three extraction methods for CBD in a topical:

  • Isolate: This is the process that filters out everything from the hemp except the cannabidiol (CBD). This is the purest means of extraction and has no smell or taste.
  • Distillate: This process keeps the beneficial terpenes, cannabinoids, fatty acids, and vitamins from the hemp plant but the THC is filtered out into negligible amounts. Authentic distillates will not get you high or show up on a drug test when consumed.
  • Broad-Spectrum: This process keeps the benefits of the whole plant intact – the terpenes, cannabinoids, fatty acids, vitamins- and a small amount of THC. In some states, the amount of THC in broad-spectrum is illegal and may cause a failed drug test when consumed internally.

Topical creams and lotions should not absorb into the bloodstream because our dermis is too thick for a lotion to penetrate far enough.

Does the Military Test For CBD?

The military allows drinking and tobacco use, but certainly, no use of marijuana and this includes CBD. Without a medical prescription, CBD is banned from use in the Military. 


While no test specifically looks for CBD, testing positive for THC as military personnel after a routine or randomized drug test could consequently result in military discharge. This wouldn’t be an issue if the amounts of THC in CBD weren’t so often mislabeled.

How to Cleanse Your System for a CBD Drug Test

If you are unaware of the source behind your CBD; or have used a CBD product you know has a 0.3% THC level or greater, there are some tried and true methods to detox the THC out of your body.

Here are the best three ways to cleanse your system according to CBD users:

  • Ramp up cardio activity by sweating purges toxins from the body.
  • Replenish your body’s nutrients with low-fat, whole foods and ingredients that contain invigorating antioxidants or cleansing properties (such as turmeric and activated charcoal).
  • Pee a lot! Drink two gallons of water a day, and use over-the-counter diuretics or diuretic herbal teas (dandelion, ginger, parsley, and hibiscus are user favorites). 

Users have found detoxing helps them pass a test when done at least three days in advance after CBD.

Does CBD Oil Make You Sick Before a Drug Test?

CBD oils are a very potent distribution of CBD to the body, and they sink right in; so, adulterated oils may be the cause of sickness. The poison control center has seen a rise in calls related to unexpected and undesirable effects from CBD. 

The oils sink in faster because the fatty acids of CBD closely resemble our own lipids. If these oils contain any harmful amounts of the substances DXM or synthetic cannabinoids, then there is a good chance you may be sick from them. 

Is a Urine Test Safer Than a Hair Test?

The THC metabolites that may be found in CBD products might pass out of your urine in little as three days, up to thirty days if you are a combined CBD and cannabis user. A strand of hair, on the other hand, can show trace amounts of THC from 90 days after last ingestion!

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Hair follicles absorb THC through small blood vessels, and once there, they may be permeated into your hair for good. The section of hair tested is only about 4cm from the scalp for most people and is around 90 days of hair growth time. No product can strip your hair of THC, it can only be grown out or shaved off.

A urine test is safer for CBD users because it may be easier to pass. You can prepare for a urine test by cleansing and detoxing your body, but your hair cannot be cleaned or stripped of the THC it has absorbed. Fortunately, a urine test is the most common.

Are Lab-Tested CBD Products the Best for a Drug Test?

Yes. Always buy from vetted CBD vendors. An educated consumer is a safe consumer in this unregulated industry where we are inundated with CBD products for every little thing from face masks to coffee, pet food, honey, and toothpaste – you name it! 

When searching for the CBD product that is right for you, look for products that have a certificate of analysis from a third-party lab. These are safety precautions that ensure exactly what’s in your CBD and that it’s not over the amount of THC that shows up in a standard drug test.

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