Will taking CBD make me fail a drug test?

Will taking CBD make me fail a drug test? The answer is yes, it may cause you to fail a drug test because many CBD products on sale right now contain elements they should not. Some people also react

CBD comes from the marijuana plant so it makes sense that taking it could make you fail a drug test. Cases of people losing their jobs or being excluded from sports competitions due to failed drug tests after taking CBD products have been popping up more regularly with CBDs rising popularity.

Will taking CBD make me fail a drug test? The answer is yes, it may cause you to fail a drug test because many CBD products on sale right now contain elements they should not. Some people also react differently to CBD which could cause them to fail a drug test.

Many variables have to be considered with CBD because it depends on the product, the quality of it and how some people metabolize CBD differently, just as with any biohacking supplement.

Be cautious as there is a definite risk for failing a drug test from taking CBD. Do your research, always read the label and make sure to buy your products from trustworthy shops to minimize this risk.

How and why can you fail a drug test after taking CBD?

It’s best, to begin with, what CBD actually is.

CBD is one of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. The two most well-known cannabinoids are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol).

These two compounds share the same chemical formula but rearranged. This difference in structure leads to CBD not giving the user the ‘high’ that THC gives you.

CBD has been shown to provide many health benefits including helping with depression and anxiety and relieving chronic pain without any serious side effects or that illegal ‘high’.

Drug tests look for both THC and its metabolites, not CBD. So why can taking CBD lead to a false positive on a drug test? Trace amounts of THC are still present in the majority if not all CBD products.

This is because both the Hemp and Marijuana plant, which CBD can be derived from, contain THC. The only difference is that the amount of THC in Hemp plants is legally limited to a maximum of 0.3%, with the Marijuana plant there is no limit, rather, the plant is illegal itself. Therefore all CBD products from trusted, reputable shops are derived from the Hemp plant.

As CBD and THC are similar chemically in composition, this could give a reason for why you could test positive for THC, similarly, you can test positive for opioids after eating poppy seeds.

Worryingly, a study of a urine test for CBD found that 14 of the 15 patients who were taking CBD tested positive for a THC metabolite as well (what is tested in drug tests to judge cannabis use).

Different types of CBD

There are 3 different types of CBD all containing different things:

  • Full spectrum
  • Broad spectrum
  • CBD isolate

Full spectrum contains all of the compounds that are found in the plant they are extracted from. So, it contains CBD as well as THC, flavonoids, and terpenes.

Full spectrum is most commonly sold and found in shops as products such as edibles, oils, and topicals.

Broad spectrum similarly contains CBD, terpenes and other compounds but does NOT contain THC. This makes the product more expensive and less widely available.

Some contest that THC helps CBD to work better however and this type of CBD may be less effective in treating some ailments.

CBD isolate is only CBD, it does not contain any additional compounds like flavonoids or THC. It is again less commonly found but can be bought as a block that can be broken up and eaten. Again studies contest that CBD is less effective without THC, so this type may again not be as useful in treating ailments.

With the absence of THC in both the broad spectrum and isolate CBD, this eliminates the risk of failed drug tests if the products are truthful in what they are saying it contains. If you are worried about failing a drug test from taking CBD, try these types.

The risk is there with full spectrum due to the presence of THC (however minimal) but purchasing from trustworthy, reputable sources minimizes this risk.

How much CBD could produce a false positive result?

The recommendations for the dosage of CBD are unclear and not outlined.

Suggestions vary depending on the ailment that needs to be treated. The average is between 10 to 20 milligrams (mg) for anxiety and chronic pain but up to 300 mg daily for epilepsy.

It varies widely, but it’s suggested that up to and over 1,000 mg per day is more likely to produce a false positive.

However, there are many variables to consider: the product, the user and the condition for example. As aforementioned, purchase your products from reputable, trustworthy stores and you are minimizing the risk.

Case examples

A woman from Pennsylvania was fired from her job after testing positive for cannabinoids due to taking CBD products to help with knee pain. She is now suing the company as it advertised its products as “THC-free.

Rose Maxey in Indianapolis had been taking CBD pills for pain in her lower back, then upon taking a drug test for a temp job she failed, she is a 61 year old who’d never smoked a cigarette, let alone cannabis.

A woman from Atlanta failed to get a job following a failed drug test after taking CBD oil for her pain and anxiety.

Legality of CBD

CBD is legal so long as it contains less than 0.3% THC content. But with all the supplements you take you need to be careful.

The Hemp plant which CBD is derived from has to contain less than 0.3% in order to be legally grown and used in products. CBD is readily available for purchase on the high street or online and is easily accessible.

Purchasing from trusted, reliable sources is always recommended and always ask your doctor before taking a product to treat an ailment.

Other risks associated with CBD

Many studies have been done, and are still being done on CBD with no serious side effects shown in any so far.

The only recurring side effects include the potential for fatigue, appetite changes, and diarrhea. Long term side effects have not yet been studied as studies have only recently begun on CBD.

The most serious potential side effect discovered so far is that, like grapefruit, CBD can interfere with your body’s ability to process certain pharmaceutical drugs; specifically it inhibits cytochrome p450.

Drugs that are affected by grapefruit do have warnings so watch out for these and avoid CBD when seeing this warning.


CBD can make you fail a drug test because of various factors.

Worryingly, cases are becoming more and more prominent with increased consumption of CBD however. Especially in America, people are actually losing their jobs due to failed drug tests from consuming CBD products. This is because the testing methods are behind the current market of supplements and drugs.

Positively, however, methods are advancing every day and new, more accurate methods of testing will likely be introduced soon enough. CBD is not illegal.

There are different types of CBD you can buy, some of which do not contain THC and therefore should not pose any risk for failing a drug test, but they may be less effective in treatment.

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