Find out if you can fail a drug test dues to hemp oil or CBD (cannabidiol) supplements. Plus info on how much THC is in hemp oil and CBD products. ConsumerLab.com's answer explains. The DOT prohibits the use of marijuana for CDL drivers. But this begs the question: Does hemp oil show up on a drug test? Read this guide to find your answer. Cases of CBD oil users failing drug tests are on the rise. Learn more about why this happens and how to avoid it.
Can hemp oil or CBD (cannabidiol) supplements cause me to fail a marijuana drug test?
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It is possible to fail a drug test for marijuana based on THC in a hemp oil, hemp seed, or hemp seed extract — the ingredient in many CBD oils and supplements. Unusually large amounts of hemp oil or hemp seed would normally be required to cause a positive drug test.
However, with hemp extracts, i.e., CBD oils, there is roughly a 10% chance of failing a drug test with low to moderate doses of CBD, and this will be influenced by individual variation in how THC is absorbed and metabolized. As dosage increases, the risk increases: one study found a 50% of testing positive with daily use of a moderately high dose of CBD. Note that some products contain very little THC and are, essentially, THC-free. For details, including the amounts of THC that ConsumerLab.com detected in specific products, see the What CL Found section of the CBD Oils & Hemp Extracts Review.
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Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Positive Drug Test
If you’re a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) driver, you probably already know that the use of certain drugs, including marijuana, will disqualify you from driving a commercial vehicle. But what about oils made from cannabis, such as hemp oil and CBD oil? Does hemp oil show up on a drug test? Read on to learn more.
What Is Hemp Oil?
Hemp oil is made from the hemp plant, a species of cannabis. There are two main varieties of hemp oil: hemp seed oil and cannabidiol (CBD oil). Hemp seed oil is made from the seeds of the hemp plant and contains little to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and no active CBD. Hemp seed oil is usually used for nutritional purposes, as it contains vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. CBD oil differs from hemp seed oil, but the two terms are often used interchangeably. CBD oil is made from the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant. It contains a higher percentage of CBD than hemp seed oil does, and it can be used for medical and recreational purposes.
Does Hemp Oil Show Up on a DOT Drug Test?
Now that we’ve defined hemp oil, we return to our original question: Does hemp oil show up on a drug test—in particular, a Department of Transportation (DOT) drug test? The DOT does not allow the use of cannabis with over 0.3% THC. However, hemp oil generally contains under 0.3% THC, and it doesn’t affect a person unless taken in extreme amounts, making its use acceptable in the eyes of the DOT. Unless taken in extreme quantities, hemp oil—including CBD oil and hemp seed oil—does not usually show up on drug tests. This is because drug tests test for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana; the level of THC in hemp oil is much lower than in marijuana—generally too low to be detected.
It’s important to keep in mind, however, that CBD manufacturers cannot always guarantee their products’ THC levels are below 0.3%. Thus, if the hemp oil you’re using contains any THC, there’s always a slight chance you’ll test positive for marijuana. Use hemp oil at your own discretion, and if you’re concerned about testing positive, consider taking a non-DOT drug test to confirm that your THC levels aren’t too high.
As a CDL driver, you must always be careful to avoid substances the DOT doesn’t allow because the consequences of a violation are serious. Be prepared for a random DOT drug and alcohol test whenever you’re on duty. And remember, if you need help managing your DOT random drug and alcohol testing compliance, Labworks USA’s drug and alcohol testing consortium is always happy to help.
Will CBD Oil Result in a Positive Drug Test?
Sherry Christiansen is a medical writer with a healthcare background. She has worked in the hospital setting and collaborated on Alzheimer’s research.
Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.
Femi Aremu, PharmD, is a professional pharmacist with experience in clinical and community pharmacy. He currently practices in Chicago, Illinois.
CBD (cannabidiol) oil is a popular product for everything from pain control and anxiety to promoting sleep. However, there can be concerns about failing a drug test after taking CBD.
CBD should not show up on a drug test. However, some products may contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the component of marijuana that can cause people to feel high. Drug tests check for THC. While CBD oil is typically THC-free, it can contain 0.3% of THC by law. In some people, that may be enough to make you pop positive.
This article explains why CBD products may show up on a drug test as THC. It also details what to look for in CBD products so you can prevent a positive drug test.
Does CBD Oil Contain THC?
The active chemical in marijuana that gets detected in a positive drug test screening is THC. Most people are under the impression that CBD oil is THC-free, which is generally true. But not always.
As it turns out, depending on the source of the cannabis that is used to produce the CBD oil, some products do contain traces of THC. This includes low-quality isolates and many full-spectrum tinctures. A full spectrum oil contains other active plant compounds in addition to CBD.
Cannabis is the umbrella term describing hemp and marijuana plants—two different varieties of the Cannabis genus. Both marijuana and hemp can be described as cannabis, but they are two different plants.
CBD is one of many active chemical compounds in cannabis plants. One reason it’s becoming more popular is that it’s said to lack THC.
The primary difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp is nearly void of THC. In fact, a cannabis strain must contain less than 0.3% THC to be classified as hemp. This is why hemp can be legally sold in various products.
Most CBD products are made from hemp, not marijuana.
There are many distinctions between marijuana and hemp that relate to CBD oil. Marijuana contains both THC (the “high”-inducing element) and CBD. Hemp contains CBD and only trace amounts of THC.
Hemp also contains many cannabinoids, which is a name for the compounds found in cannabis. CBD is only one example.
There are several techniques for extracting CBD oil from the cannabis plant. The extraction method determines whether the CBD oil is an “isolate” or a “full-spectrum oil.”
A CBD isolate is a pure compound with no other active compounds or cannabinoids. The full-spectrum compounds may include other active chemicals, such as cannabinol and cannabis terpenes (the part of the plant that gives the plant its aroma).
Study of CBD Oil
While some CBD oils claim to be isolates, they may be full-spectrum oils and actually contain more cannabinoids (such as THC) than they claim.
A study conducted at the internationally known Lautenberg Center For Immunology and Cancer found that CBD was more effective at treating inflammation and pain when used with other cannabis plant compounds.
These compounds were derived from a full-spectrum product rather than a CBD isolate product alone. This is one reason that full-spectrum products (those containing THC) are popular.
However, the distinction between full-spectrum oils and isolates makes all the difference if you are being tested for drug use.
Reasons for Failing a CBD Drug Test
There are several common reasons a person can test positive for THC after taking CBD.
Using Product With THC
The most common reason for a failed CBD drug test is that a person is using a CBD oil product that contains THC. This may be a full-spectrum product. Sometimes, though, it could be a low-quality isolate product that contains a small amount of THC.
Although most manufacturers claim their products do not contain THC, this is not always the case.
Cross-Contamination of THC
Very small amounts of THC present in the material that CBD is extracted from can get into the CBD oil in high enough amounts to result in a positive drug test. This scenario may be more likely to occur when CBD oil is purchased from cannabis dispensaries in places where cannabis is legal.
Mislabeling of Products
CBD oil extracted from hemp is not supposed to contain more than 0.3% THC. However, it’s not uncommon for sellers to mislabel their products as THC-free hemp when, in reality, it’s a low-quality oil extracted from marijuana. And marijuana does contain THC.
In fact, one study discovered that almost 70% of the CBD products sold online were mislabeled. This caused “potential serious harm to its consumers.” The reason for this widespread mislabeling is that CBD products are not strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Secondhand Exposure to THC
Inadvertent exposure to marijuana (via secondhand smoke) is unlikely to be enough for a person to get a positive drug test result. But it is possible. Being in a room with heavy pot smokers for several hours may cause the inhalation of enough THC-containing smoke to result in a positive test result.
A more likely secondhand exposure scenario is a positive marijuana hair test. This results from direct contact with marijuana paraphernalia or from another person having THC on their hands.
For instance, say that someone who had direct contact with marijuana then touched your hair. You could feasibly receive a false positive on a drug screening that tests your hair.
CBD Oil Breakdown in the Digestive System
Some sources report that in rare cases, false positive test results have come from CBD oil that breaks down into very small amounts of THC in the stomach. Other studies, however, have refuted this finding.
The conclusion is that it’s still theoretically possible for traces of THC to be present in stomach acid when “less-purified CBD productions” are ingested.
How to Avoid a Positive CBD Drug Test
If you take CBD oil, you can take steps to try to prevent failing a drug test:
- Do thorough research to ensure the CBD product you’re using is pure and that the company is legitimate.
- Look for manufacturers that have been accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
- Ensure that the CBD oil is an isolate product extracted from a viable industrial hemp supply. It should not be a low-quality tincture.
- Ask questions about product processing techniques and the possibility of cross-contamination.
- Avoid secondhand exposure to marijuana use via pot smoking or hair contact from THC users.
CBD oil is usually marketed as THC-free, but that’s not always the case. Full-spectrum CBD oils contain other cannabinoids, which may include THC. Isolate products may be contaminated with THC, as well.
You have to be proactive to avoid failing a drug test if you’re taking CBD oil. Most important: Ensure that you’re using a pure product made by a reputable company.
A Word From Verywell
In theory, getting a false positive on a drug test from CBD oil should be relatively impossible from pure CBD oil containing less than 0.3% THC. However, because CBD oil is not well regulated, there is no guarantee that a product contains pure CBD oil or that its concentration is safe or effective.
Use the utmost caution and do your research when purchasing a quality CBD oil product to ensure its purity, especially if you need to undergo a drug screening.
Frequently Asked Questions
Drug tests look for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the element in marijuana that causes a high. CBD oils can have trace amounts of THC even if they’re labeled “THC-free.” The FDA does not regulate these products, and mislabeling is common.
Yes. If the products contain THC, you could test positive. If you know you’ll need to take a drug test, avoid full-spectrum CBD products that may contain small amounts of THC. Be sure you purchase products from a reliable source. And be wary of online retailers; researchers have found that 21% of online CBD and hemp products were mislabeled.
Drug tests do not typically measure CBD. Most tests check for THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana. Depending on the frequency of use, THC can be picked up on a test anywhere from a few days for a single use or over a month for heavy daily pot smokers.
CBD edibles take about 30 to 60 minutes to start to take effect. They last five to six hours, depending on your metabolism and dose. However, CBD has very mild effects, which you may not notice.
A CBD edible may show up on a drug test as THC metabolites for three days. However, if you frequently take CBD edibles, it can take up to 15 days to have a clean urine test.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration strongly advises against taking CBD or THC products while nursing. Cannabis products can be excreted through breastmilk and are not safe for the baby. Cannabinoids can stay in your milk for up to six days, so pumping and dumping may not be a good option.
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Huestis MA. Human cannabinoid pharmacokinetics. Chem Biodivers. 2007;4(8):1770-804. doi:10.1002/cbdv.200790152
Nahler G, Grotenhermen F, Zuardi AW, Crippa JAS. A conversion of oral cannabidiol to Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol seems not to occur in humans. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017;2(1):81-86. doi:10.1089/can.2017.0009
Bonn-Miller MO, Loflin MJE, Thomas BF, Marcu JP, Hyke T, Vandrey R. Labeling accuracy of cannabidiol extracts sold online. JAMA. 2017;318(17):1708. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.11909
Crippa JA, Guimarães FS, Campos AC, Zuardi AW. Translational investigation of the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a new age. Front Immunol. 2018;9:2009. Published 2018 Sep 21. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2018.02009