I Take CBD Oil. Will I Pass a Drug Test?

Will CBD put you at risk of flunking your drug test?
I Take CBD Oil. Will I Pass a Drug Test?
Do employers test for CBD during a random drug screening? (photo courtesy of Sugar & Kush)

So, you want to know if you are going to fail a random drug test if you try CBD. It’s a good question. The answer is yes and no. It would be a definitive NO with the exception of a few details that we will cover. The inherent danger for consumers is the lack of regulatory oversight and unscrupulous companies that jump into the CBD industry looking for a quick cash grab. Other concerns have to do with outdated company policies and a handful of states that are still being stubborn about hemp. 

We will start from the top with the legality of hemp CBD oils on the federal level, then discuss states, and finally what sort of drug screens employers use to discriminate against employees and applicants.


On the federal level, CBD oil derived from hemp plants with a THC content of 0.3 percent or less, on a dry weight basis, is legal. Provisions from the Hemp Farming Act were included in the 2018 Farm Bill, making industrial hemp and hemp derived products federally legal after nearly 80 years of prohibition. But before you run off and start measuring out doses of CBD, that does not necessarily mean you won’t be taking a big risk. It’s tricky.

The United States federal government has legalized all hemp and hemp derived products that have .3 percent or less THC content on a dry weight basis (Image courtesy of Sugar & Kush)

The FDA has labeled CBD as a drug instead of a supplement. Last year they approved Epidiolex, a cannabis derived pharmaceutical drug to treat certain types of epilepsy. By doing so, they really confused our military branches and other government divisions.

Here’s what the FDA.gov site says:

“If a substance (such as THC or CBD) is an active ingredient in a drug product that has been approved… then products containing that substance are outside the definition of a dietary supplement.”

Due to this technicality, CBD oils remains a banned substance for a number of government jobs and some military branches, so if you work or contract for the government, make sure you are up to date on the alcohol and drug policies.


Many states have permissive medical marijuana programs, but that is not really the concern here. What matters is whether your existing employer will fire you, or potential employer will pass on hiring you if you don’t pass a drug test. In fact, Nevada is the only state where law has been enacted that prevents most employers from discriminating against people that have failed a test for THC. If you take a CBD product that contains even a trace amount of THC, and a test comes up positive, you could lose your job or not get hired in the first place. Blood, hair tests and urine tests are almost always looking for THC. So, here is the big questions. Is there THC in your CBD oil?

Is There THC in CBD Oil?

A full spectrum CBD oil may contain THC which could result in a fail on a drug test (Image courtesy of Sugar & Kush)

There very well might be some THC in your CBD oil. You might think, “Well, so what?” It’s true that a trace amount of THC will not get you high, but it could still result in a positive drug test. The federal government has deemed hemp plants with a THC level of .3% or less, on a dry weight basis, are legal. They obviously accept that small amounts of THC are ok, but that does not mean that your employer does. It is essential that when you shop for CBD oil, you look for signs that there may be THC present in the oil. Beware of any oil labeled full spectrum CBD oil.

Does CBD Get You High?

No, CBD alone does not get you high. It can help you focus and destress, which in a way is mind-altering. But high? Nope, not CBD. THC is the cannabinoid that gets you high and while both cannabinoids come from the same plants, they are actually quite different. 

THC mimics the endocannabinoids our bodies produce naturally by means of binding to CB1 receptors in our endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS). CBD doesn’t even bind to CB receptors. It actually spends most of its time preventing other molecules from binding to CB receptors, including THC, which can reduce the psychoactive effects of THC depending on CBD:THC ratios.

Does it work?

Not only are there countless testimonials about CBD reducing seizures, helping veterans struggling with PTSD, and a laundry list of other ailments that it helps, there are also many official studies out about its medicinal value. The National Center for Biotechnology Information, or NCBI, has produced many articles summarizing studies that have been conducted on the effects of CBD. There are even studies about how it may treat schizophrenia and autism.

Is There a CBD Oil Drug Test?

No, there is not a CBD oil drug test. An employer could have a CBD oil test created if they really wanted to, but it is highly unlikely. It is a biological molecule and there are certainly ways to detect its presence, but for most employers testing for CBD could be a giant waste of time. Most drug screens are looking for THC though, not CBD. That does not necessarily mean that your employer does not ban the use of CBD. You can always look at your employer’s Drug Testing Policy Statement and if they don’t have one available, just ask to ensure you are covered.

Will Taking CBD Make Me Fail a Drug Test?

Yes, because some CBD oil products may have a little THC in them, especially full spectrum products. If you check the labels on CBD products, they should tell you if there is any THC. Beyond that, there are definitely shady companies that are not being honest about the contents of their CBD oil. Keep reading about some of the shady tactics we have identified by some CBD companies.

Shady Companies

Here are the 5 top ways CBD companies falsify information to get your business.

There are many unscrupulous CBD companies that are taking shortcuts without oversight, leaving consumers to distrust the industry (Image courtesy of Sugar & Kush)
Our CBD is lab tested for purity

Third party testing is a critical component for keeping manufacturers from falsifying label information and if you stumble across a CBD brand that doesn’t have a testing certificate available for you to view from a reputable CBD testing company, then head for the hills. Some companies will photoshop lab test results and even fake the ingredients, because there is no regulatory body that can police CBD product potency.

Our CBD products are derived from the hemp plant

While putting that the CBD is hemp derived on the label might be enough to ship according to the 2018 Farm Bill, it doesn’t mean that producers listen. There has been an overproduction of cannabis across the United States and rather than destroying valuable marijuana, some producers will extract CBD from cannabis plants versus hemp plants to save money. If they are willing to cut that corner, then what other corners are they cutting? Maybe they are leaving a little THC in the bottle.

100% all-natural ingredients

While CBD derived from hemp may be all-natural, most companies neglect to mention that preservatives, flavorings and fillers may not be all-natural. If there are any additives in the CBD oil that you are taking, then there is a good chance it is no longer all-natural.

USP Certified (U.S. Pharmacopeia)

USP Certification is a paid regulatory agency that certifies ingredients are of the highest quality for consumption, the product is made in a good manufacturing environment and that what is on the label is indeed inside the bottle. Unfortunately, there is no easy way for a consumer to tell if the CBD company has paid for the verification or just slapped the logo on the bottle.

1000 mg of CBD in each bottle

Unfortunately, some producers are skimping on the amount of CBD in their bottles. There have been media exposes that uncovered an alarming number of manufacturers who either put a small amount of CBD in their formulations or none at all. Check for the third party lab’s certificate of analysis to ensure there is a CBD 1000mg dose in the bottle.

The FDA and FTC sent out letters to the three biggest manufacturers of CBD products warning them about making claims concerning the benefits of CBD and what they can say. But, that is only 3 out of what is estimated to be more than 11,000 CBD brands. 

Unfortunately there are way more dubious CBD producers that are looking to capitalize on the CBD wave, versus producing a quality hemp based CBD oil. Until there is regulation, research and reading CBD oil reviews are the only real way to find a brand that works well for you.

Feeling “Something” vs “Placebo”

Imagine you have been taking a CBD oil for a week and telling all of your friends how great it is making you feel. You are getting a great night’s sleep, you feel stress free and your back pain is not bothering you as much. Then you read an article about a CBD company that has been shutdown because it turned out that they were actually selling hemp seed oil, but telling everyone it was CBD oil. 

You continue reading and discover there is no CBD in hemp seeds. You look over at your bottle of CBD oil and see that it is from the same company. You haven’t actually put any CBD in your body for the last week as it turns out. You have been duped by the placebo effect and the shady company. 

The only way to really know if CBD is working is to continue taking it. Over time your aches, anxiety and insomnia will creep their way back into your life after the mental block begins to fail.

How much CBD Should I Take? 

How many mgs of CBD should you take? Do I take a CBD edible? How many 25mg CBD gummies should I take? Well that very much depends on your weight and the condition you are trying to treat. While some medical professionals, like Dr. Daniel Clauw from the University of Michigan, have begun to voice their opinions on dosing for CBD, but the information is thin at best.

The key is to start slowly and increase your dosages overtime until you find that perfect balance. To optimize its health effects you may need to vary doses, but the most important thing to know first is how to measure the mgs of CBD you are taking. Here is a handy dosage calculator that we created, but we aren’t doctors or pharmacists, so this isn’t a prescription, but it’s what worked for us.

Calculate your CBD dosage here!

MG to ML

While CBD is measured in milligrams (mgs), CBD oil will come in a bottle which is measured by volume or milliliters (mls). The key is to know how many mgs of CBD is in 1 ml of CBD oil, which is the capacity of most droppers when full. Then you can know how many mgs you are taking in one full dropper. By dividing it by 2 you can know how many mgs are in half of a dropper full.

How many mgs in a dropper?

The certificate of analysis for a CBD oil product should clearly tell you how many mgs of CBD are in each bottle. So, if it tells you that there are 513 mgs of CBD in a 30 ml solution, then 1 full dropper of CBD oil with 1 ml of solution will contain approximately 17mgs of CBD. The equation is: 

Total Mgs of CBD in bottle ÷ 30 mls = mgs of CBD per 1 ml or one dropperful  

If you fill the dropper half way, divide the answer by 2. Confirm the volume of the dropper bottle of oil and the dropper itself to make sure you are measuring out the appropriate CBD dosage. The equation remains the same; total mgs of CBD divided by the total mls of oil in the bottle. Adjust measurements accordingly if you discover your dropper holds more or less than 1 ml.

How Long Does CBD Stay in the System?

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Center’s site, CBD has a half-life of about 18-32 hours. That means it takes roughly a week to leave your system. 

How Do I Choose a Reputable CBD Company? 

Enough with the CBD madness! We decided to do a focus study group over a period of 30 days to see if the CBD was working for us. 

Our team here at High Times are lab rats, so we tested a bunch of CBD products just for you (Image courtesy of Sugar & Kush)

We bought 1000mg CBD oil from a grocery store, 1000mg of chronic flavor from a smoke shop, 1000mg natural from a cannabis dispensary, 1000mg of “Focus” CBD from a local gas station and a Vanilla CBD oil online to test on our staff (we are lab rats). The results were all over the place, as we expected. The only product that had a third party lab testing certificate of analysis was the Vanilla CBD we found online. Everyone seemed to agree that they like it the most too.

Here is a quick recap:

  • CBD from the gas station was the worst performer from a taste and efficacy standpoint. The fact that it was called Focus and it actually did the exact opposite, we won’t be buying anymore from the guy around the corner.
  • The Whole Foods had some nice looking CBD products, but that’s about where it ended for us. It was overpriced and there was no discernable difference in how it made some us seasoned vets feel.
  • The dispensary CBD was good. Really good. However, it is Full Spectrum and derived from cannabis, so it is a big no-no for those who might have to take a drug test.
  • The Sugar and Kush CBD tincture 1000mg not only worked, but it tasted delicious. This one is a hemp derived CBD, with the lab report on their website, so no risk of failing a drug test with this product.

How Can I Pass A CBD Oil Drug Test, Guaranteed? 

Your employer, or potential employer, should provide you with a Drug Testing Policy Statement that should include a Scope of Testing section. There you should learn what drugs they are actually testing you for, and cannabidiol (CBD) probably is not one of them. If it isn’t, then you want to make sure your CBD is made from a pure CBD isolate which would then ensure there is no THC.

Instead of a full spectrum CBD oil since it may have THC, look for a pure CBD isolate oil. The Sugar & Kush CBD product labels clearly shows cannabidiol is the only cannabinoid present (Image courtesy of Sugar & Kush)

But the most guaranteed way to make sure you don’t test positive on your drug test… 

Just buy a THC free CBD product already!

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