CBD & Drug Testing: What to Know

CBD 101
CBD & Drug Testing: What to Know

With the potential for so many benefits, many people want to try CBD for themselves. However, CBD may appear on a drug test as a hemp product, which can be an issue for employment drug testing. Pre-employment drug testing has become an accepted part of American culture. Statistics have found that 56% of American employers require prospective employees to undergo drug tests before starting a job, at an annual cost of more than $3.7 billion per year. If you currently use CBD products, you should be aware of how this could possibly impact you on a pre-employment drug screening. 

The bottom line is this: If you are a frontline worker, in construction, or employed somewhere with rigid drug-testing policies, even THC-free CBD products have the possibility of showing up on a drug test, depending on the testing method. 

If your employer or organization is not as rigid about testing or specifies that CBD is allowed (it is federally legal after all) it's good to have an understanding of the language around CBD, THC, and delivery methods so you know what you can take. Below we’ve broken down the CBD drug test guide and explained which products you want to avoid if you’re drug tested regularly.

cbd products drug tests

Does CBD show up on drug tests?

Most urine drug tests are developed to flag any THC metabolites from cannabis use.¹ CBD on its own won't appear on drug tests, as the tests themselves aren't designed to find CBD. So, CBD alone will not trigger a positive result. However, many hemp-derived CBD products, even ones that fall below the threshold that allows it to be a "THC-free" labeled product, contain trace amounts of THC. It can stick around in your system for several days after you stop ingesting TJC. All it takes is a trace amount of THC to fail for THC metabolites in standard urine, saliva, blood, or hair tests. Current tests do not make a distinction between testing positive for THC based on CBD usage or marijuana usage.

There is no uniform result that will warrant a positive drug test result since there are many different thresholds based on the lab and type of test (urine, hair, or blood) that your employer uses. For a standard urine screening, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommends that the cutoff is 50 ng/ml to pass a drug test. However, some employers use labs with a 20 ng/ml cutoff, and some occasionally use labs with a 0 ng/ml cutoff.

How Long Does CBD Stay In Your System?

So, how long does it take CBD to leave your system? There are several factors to consider. On average, CBD oil can stay in the body for two to five days.² However, it’s important to remember that every CBD user may react differently or have a unique timeline depending on the product. What does CBD feel like when you take it? It all depends on the type and strength of the product you choose. A broad spectrum CBD oil, for example, can vary in strength, which will likely impact the recommended dosage. In addition to the potency, frequency of use is another contributing factor. It’s important to note that each body may react slightly differently depending on the use and the frequency of use.³

That's where shopping for the right products comes into play. Regardless, when trying out a new hemp CBD oil product, the best thing you can do is to read the labels to ensure that they do not have high levels of THC content as this could greatly impact the results of a drug screening. You will also want to know the difference between full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate.

Full Spectrum VS. Broad Spectrum VS. Isolate 

When looking at CBD products, there are typically three primary formulations available: full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate. 

Full Spectrum CBD: 

These formulations contain all the essential oils, fatty acids, cannabinoids, and terpenes naturally found in hemp plants. That being said, you will get everything—the entire essence—of the hemp plant. Many believe this is the most effective CBD formulation, as it could benefit from the entourage effect, where the cannabinoids and terpenes naturally work together to amplify the other's effects.⁴

However, it's essential to remember that while hemp plants are best known for producing CBD, they also have small amounts of other cannabinoids—including CBN and THC. Full spectrum CBD products aren't ideal for those concerned about failing drug tests, as their CBD serving size could contain up to 0.3% THC—which is more than enough to show up on a drug test.⁵

Broad Spectrum CBD: 

These formulations contain the full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and whole-plant materials, with the key difference being they’re THC-free. Broad spectrum CBD undergoes an extra refinement process to remove THC from the oil, but can still benefit from an entourage effect since there are many other minor cannabinoids and terpenes still involved. That's not to say that broad spectrum CBD is safer than full spectrum CBD when it comes to a drug test, though. Broad spectrum products may also contain high levels of CBN—which is just a “degraded” form of THC. CBN metabolizes much like THC and can show up on a drug test.⁶

CBD Isolate: 

This is the safest CBD option for passing a drug test. Many drug testing companies will specify that pure, CBD isolates, won't trigger a positive result. These formulations are fully refined and contain nothing but CBD in its most pure form. No other cannabinoids, terpenes, or plant materials remain after it's broken down—so it doesn't offer the benefits of the entourage effect. However, as it doesn't contain any other cannabinoids, the "pure CBD" formulation could be the safest bet for those who want to experience the potential benefits of CBD without failing a drug test.

Thc free cbd

Is it worth taking CBD that isn't full spectrum? 

While full spectrum CBD might be more effective than the others thanks to the entourage effect, CBD is CBD. Isolates still have several potential benefits, simply due to how CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system. CBD binds to receptors in the ECS to support the body in finding balance for things like inflammation or anxiety, even without help from other cannabinoids.⁷⁻⁸

Additionally, every single plant on earth naturally contains terpenes. You might be able to create an entourage effect within your body by taking CBD isolate with healthy meals containing fruits and vegetables.⁹ While it won't affect the synergistic nature of the entourage effect with multiple cannabinoids involved, you may still feel better potential effects when you take CBD isolate with food. 

Do topical CBD and CBD oil show up on drug tests? 

The short answer is again, yes, it can. You're probably wondering exactly which CBD products produce a positive test result from a drug test––but there are so many ways to introduce CBD to your system that it varies. You can eat it, take it sublingually in the form of an oil tincture, smoke or vape it, or apply it topically. After reading that CBD oil may cause a positive result on a workplace drug test, you may be wondering if CBD is safe. And yes, it's totally safe. However, it is critical that you do your research before selecting your CBD product, whether that be a CBD oil tincture, CBD oil capsules, or CBD gummies. Not all hemp-derived CBD products are made the same. Make sure you know exactly what you're getting before using hemp products.

Full spectrum and broad spectrum will show up on a drug test regardless of how you take it, and though it's THC-Free, it's certainly still possible CBD isolate will too. The good news is, we have a third-party batch test every product we make to ensure THC levels are accurate. Consult the test results, or you can always talk to our customer care team to ensure you're getting a product that's safe for you.

Many people fail drug tests with topicals unknowingly, thinking that application to the skin won't cause it to show up in their system. In the past, many topicals weren't strong enough to penetrate through the skin and be absorbed into the bloodstream. But these days, most CBD topicals are transdermal—meaning they can flow into the bloodstream.¹⁰ Make sure you play it safe and check each product's third-party test results before purchasing a product.

What To Look For If You Don't Want To Fail A Drug Test

Whether you’re shopping for CBD edibles or topicals, familiarize yourself with what you’re looking for in CBD before purchasing any products. Avoid full spectrum products that contain THC and opt for CBD isolates. However, you can potentially still use broad spectrum products if you ensure they're free of both THC and CBN. 

Keep in mind that many products advertised as isolates free of THC and CBN have still tested positive for them—so it's critical you take a look at the lab results for a guaranteed analysis. It’s the only way you can ensure you're not getting anything that could cause you to fail a drug test. Make sure you only buy CBD from brands that make lab results readily available, so you don't wind up with a falsely-advertised product that could get you in trouble at work!

And remember, you can find all test results from the lab for each of our products.

Lazarus Naturals Product Guide 

Our CBD products come in two varieties: full spectrum and THC-free. Most importantly, all of our testing info can be readily found on our website—so you can make sure the products you choose to enjoy are free of THC via lab results.

Just keep in mind that we don't really recommend using CBD products at all if you're concerned about failing a drug test. Whether you're doing a blood, hair, or urine test, trace amounts of THC may still linger in your body and cause you to fail. It's crucial to do your research. Check out the Product Guide for Lazarus Naturals products below. 


Full Spectrum 

Broad Spectrum 

CBD Isolate

Cannabinoids Included 

  • CBD 
  • CBG
  • CBN
  • THC 
  • + Other minor cannabinoids and terpenes 
  • CBD 
  • CBG
  • CBN 
  • + Other minor cannabinoids and terpenes 
  • CBD

Will you fail a drug test? 


Yes (if it has CBN)


Lazarus Naturals Product Examples  

  • N/A