Will CBD show up on a drug test

People grow cannabis for numerous purposes, and it contains over 400 chemical compounds, 80 of which are biologically active. Cannabinoids are the most important biologically active compounds. Cannabinoids include THC, CBD, CBG, CBN, and CBC.

Drug tests, used in the UK, identify THC and its metabolites. THC is the psychoactive compound, and it is intoxicating. However, researchers are more interested in CBD, which is non-psychoactive and has numerous health benefits. CBD is especially useful for anxiety relief and has many metabolic effects.

As a rule, the tests do not screen for CBD, but some regulated CBD products in the UK contain low amounts of THC. It means that theoretically, you may fail a drug test.

If you consume CBD oil and you are afraid to be tested positive for cannabis on a workplace, follow these easy tips:

  • When purchasing a CBD product, choose only a regulated seller.
  • Check the amount of THC in the product and ask for lab results for it. Usually, full-spectrum CBD extracts contain all of the compounds that can be found naturally in the plant, including terpenes, flavonoids, and THC.
  • If the oil contains some traces of THC, it should be below 0.2 %.
  • If the product does not produce any noticeable effect for you, it is present in your system, and it does not mean the test does not see it either.
  • Prefer entirely THC-free oils.
  • Do not bring CBD products from abroad and choose only reliable manufacturers, preferably located in the UK, or products produced in better-regulated markets like other EU nations, Israel, and so on. It is vital to understand that products imported from the US might have higher THC, as the US FDA has a limited role in regulating the CBD market.
  • Remember about detection window that varies by the dose and frequency of product intake. THC metabolites can be detected in urine for approximately 3 to 15 days after use. THC is detectable in saliva for around 72 hours, but it may be detected for much longer if a person is a chronic heavier user.
  • There is potential for cross-contamination during the CBD manufacturing process, even if THC is present in tiny amounts.

What to do if your test declares you used cannabis? Obviously, it depends on the employers’ drug and alcohol policy. In most cases, your boss will not take into consideration why you took it and what medical problems you have. In the UK cannabis is a class B drug, and it can lead to severe penalties for possession and supply1. It is challenging to predict what will happen next.

If you take CBD products, the only advice is to be careful and use only regulated CBD oil purchased in the UK. Then, any workplace drug tests will not bring you unnecessary stress and anxiety, and you will be able to focus on job tasks.


  1. Drugs penalties. GOV.UK. Accessed November 10, 2020. https://www.gov.uk/penalties-drug-possession-dealing

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