Will CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?

Jay Hartenbach

by Jay Hartenbach

November 29, 2020

There are many out there who are interested in trying CBD products, but they are still worried about one big question:

Will CBD show up on a drug test?

It’s an understandable question to have. When it comes to CBD, THC, and how drug testing actually works, confusion abounds. Employees almost can’t help but wonder if the enjoyment of CBD products could cause an issue with conventional urine testing for marijuana.


According to the experts, “conventional urine drug testing for cannabis targets a common metabolite of THC called THCCOOH,” meaning that the test is looking for the cannabinoid THC (1). THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the natural plant compound known to induce the infamous “high” associated with Marijuana. While both Marijuana and Hemp contain THC, hemp contains far less THC and far more CBD. For hemp to be legally classified as hemp, in fact, it must contain .3% THC or less.

And while many brands claim that there’s no THC in their products, consumers can’t always be sure. A recent FDA report found that many CBD products did in fact contain more THC than their labelling listed. Not all manufacturers may have the same extraction process consistency, or provide the same level of third party testing, that companies like Medterra do.

Grace Kroner, Lead Researcher at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center in Salt Lake City, conducted a study using the traditional urine test models with various cannabinoids and found that CBD “did not react with either of two commercially available tests used to screen for marijuana use.” Kroner goes on to describe that trace cannabinoids like CBN can cause a false positive for THC in very rare cases. (2) The good news is that these rare false positives occur only in uncommon THC tests; besides, trace cannabinoids like CBN are not found in the products that Medterra carries.


When shopping, there are three “spectrum” descriptors found on labels that will give an indication as to what can be expected of the contents: Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and Isolate.

In hemp-derived CBD products, including CBD Oils, Full Spectrum means that the entire plant’s cannabinoid profile is included in the final product, including trace amounts of THC and CBN. In broad spectrum CBD products, the THC has been removed but the remaining cannabinoids are present, including CBN. Only CBD isolate products contain just CBD and nothing more.

If you’re on the hunt for a premium CBD product, be sure to take a moment to read its COA, or Certificate of Authenticity. This third-party test result is usually found on a brand’s website or through a QR code on product packaging, and it lays out the specific cannabinoid profile of the product in question.

While failing a drug test due to CBD alone is unlikely, it’s always good to be informed on what cannabinoids are present in your favorite CBD products.

At Medterra, we put time and research into our CBD products so you can feel confident in your choice. We subject our products to rigorous third-party testing…our Certificates of Authenticity are always available online…and we’re always glad to answer any questions that you may have.

(1) Hasse, Javier. 6 November 2019. Legal CBD Products May Make You Test Positive for Cannabis in Urine Drug Tests, Johns Hopkins Study says. https://www.forbes.com/sites/javierhasse/2019/11/06/cbd-drug-testing/#21ef316b4c6a
(2) Vandergriendt, Carly. 24 April 2019. Does CBD Show up On a Drug Test? https://www.healthline.com/health/does-cbd-show-up-on-a-drug-test#cbd-types
(3) Norton, Amy. 9 August 2019. Pure CBD Won’t Make You Fail a Drug Test, but… https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/news/20190809/pure-cbd-wont-make-you-fail-a-drug-test-but#2
(4) McCallum ND, Yagen B, Levy S, Mechoulam R. Cannabinol: a rapidly formed metabolite of delta-1- and delta-6-tetrahydrocannabinol. Experientia. 1975;31(5):520–521. doi:10.1007/bf01932433

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