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Does CBD Really Show Up in a Blood Test?

CBD products are gaining in popularity and with its numerous potential health benefits, this rise in demand is no surprise.

While recreational marijuana use remains illegal for most of the country, certain types of CBD have become a staple for consumers looking to avoid the guesswork of legality. However, are there instances in which chowing down on some scrumptious CBD Gummy Bears will result in a positive drug test? 

CBD formula written on cannabis leaves

What Is CBD? 

CBD, also called cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. A cannabinoid refers to the hundreds of various chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD, a cannabis derivative, is known for having various medicinal and healing effects.

Though there are hundreds of cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, only few are adequately studied. Two of the most studied chemical compounds in cannabis are CBD and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). However, unlike THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical compound, meaning it cannot produce any feelings of intoxication. 

CBD is highly versatile in use and can be infused into many types of products. The most common form of CBD comes in oils, tinctures, gummies, and lotions. However, CBD has also been put into skincare products and even clothing items. CBD is a natural substance and is considered a phytocannabinoid.

Phytocannabinoids are produced by the trichomes of the cannabis plant, which is a hair-like structure that covers the plant. Because CBD will not provide users with the feeling of being “high”, it is a good choice for those who wish to reap some of the many benefits of cannabis without any unwanted effects of intoxication.

Furthermore, CBD is a non-addictive substance and can work seamlessly with the body's natural endocannabinoid system to improve the functionality of some of our natural processes.  

CBD, like other cannabinoids found in cannabis, interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This complex system is responsible for many main functions throughout the body, including:

  • Hormone function 
  • Balance of metabolism 
  • Muscle stamina 
  • Bone health
  • Gastrointestinal function and protection 
  • Boosts immune system function 
  • Brain health 

The endocannabinoid system in the body is responsible for many vital functions and needs to stay in balance. When this natural system fails, we can begin to feel it in the form of pain or even disease. This is when supplementing our endocannabinoid system with CBD and other various cannabinoids can come in handy.

CBD has numerous healing and preventative properties, including antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits. Though marijuana continues to be surrounded in controversy, CBD has proven to be among the safest cannabis derivatives as it is both non-addicitive and non-psychoactive. Some benefits CBD may provide consumers with include: 

  • Anxiety management: CBD has shown promising results in reducing symptoms of anxiety for both humans and animals. This is because researchers believe CBD alters your brain’s chemistry and, more importantly, its interaction with serotonin, which in turn improves overall brain function. For those who suffer with anxiety and even other mental health issues, CBD is becoming a popular natural solution.
  • Pain relief and management: Incredibly famous for its pain-relieving properties and potential, CBD is an anti-inflammatory and has been known to relieve symptoms of inflammatory disease. This includes issues such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain.
  • Help with acne prone skin: These days, more topical beauty and skincare products are including CBD into their recipes. This is because CBD has shown positive results in treating or reducing acne and other inflammatory skin diseases.
  • Aid those in cancer treatment: CBD has worked wonders for some cancer patients for numerous reasons. Perhaps most popular with the management of pain that comes with cancer, CBD has recently been tested as a method for slowing the growth of cancer cells. Due to its anxiety-relieving potential, CBD is also great for improving the mental health of those with cancer.
  • Neurological issues: CBD has shown some positive signs for helping those with neurological disease, such as epilepsy. In fact, only one cannibis-derived drug has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and it is for certain types of epilepsy.
  • Regulate gut function: Due to the anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can potentially help those with inflammatory stomach issues, such as IBS or Crohn’s. Furthermore, CBD can potentially regulate appetite. 

Types of CBD 

When it comes to types of CBD available on the market, there are three main kinds: 

  • Full-spectrum CBD 
  • Broad-spectrum CBD
  • CBD isolate 

Full-spectrum CBD contains all cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. While having all extracts of the plant in your products may provide higher potential health benefits, this type of CBD does contain THC. THC is the cannabinoid present in cannabis that is mainly responsible for that “high” feeling.

However, the amount of THC in a full-spectrum CBD product should still be very low, 0.3 percent or less. This is generally not enough to provide psychoactive effects, but each consumer is different so the effects of a full-spectrum CBD product ultimately depends on the individual. 

Broad-spectrum CBD contains most of the other cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, but no THC. Due to the presence of other cannabinoids, it is believed this type of CBD can offer more potential health benefits with a higher guarantee of being THC-free. 

CBD isolate, also known as "pure CBD", should only contain CBD and no other cannabinoids. For those worried about being affected by THC, CBD isolate may be the best choice. Because it is free of all other chemical compounds found in cannabis, it also has no taste or smell unless it is added by the manufacturer. 

Despite specifics of CBD classification, the ultimate chemical makeup of your product will be determined by the plant strain and method of extraction. Furthermore, CBD can be produced from either marijuana or hemp. However, CBD derived from marijuana falls under state jurisdiction whereas hemp-derived CBD is widely legal.

Hemp is a type of cannabis plant falling under the Sativa classification. Hemp has almost no THC and contains CBD in high concentrations, making it a good choice for manufacturing CBD products. From the three main types of CBD, various types of products can be made. This great versatility is just one reason CBD is so popular.

You may be well aware that CBD can be made into oils, tinctures, and candies such as gummies. But did you know CBD can also be made into vape products and even luxurious sugar scrubs

Types of Drug Tests

You may be worried that the use and consumption of CBD products will show up in your blood test, but what about the numerous types of other drug screenings, as well?

Since you never know what type of drug screen you may be given, it is a good idea to be aware of the different types, how they are administered, and their potential outcomes. 

Saliva test 

A saliva test involves swabbing the mouth and can also be called an “oral fluids test”. These types of tests are becoming a standard practice alongside urine analysis due to the ease of administration. Furthermore, it guarantees a more accurate test since it can be administered on the spot and provides rapid results depending on the substance of interest.

This option is also inexpensive and is easily accessible for at-home testing. However, this is not a preferred choice by places of employment or probation officers since a swab test will only pick up substances used within the recent past and can read false positives or inaccurate results due to cross contamination. 

Urine Analysis 

Urine drug tests have long been the standard due to the wide range of drugs they are able to test for as well as their accuracy. Urine tests can be instant or lab-based, the latter taking several hours to even several days.

However, a rapid positive test will require another lab-based confirmation. This type of test is notorious for being easily scammed by those being tested and is slowly becoming replaced by other methods.  

Blood Tests 

The blood test method of drug testing is not common as it is highly invasive and requires a needle for blood extraction. While this may sound less than ideal for those being tested, it is a quick process.

This method is not ideal as any substances taken by an individual will likely be metabolized and completely gone from the blood in just a few days. Therefore, a blood test is usually reserved for those interested in what is in the system at the time of testing. 

Hair Tests 

Hair tests are not a common procedure as the process is lengthy and expensive. However, it is a great option when needing to test back several months as our hair traps any substances from our bloodstream over an extended period of time. This method is not good when wanting to test recent use as the substance won’t appear in the hair strand for several weeks after use. Furthermore, the sample of hairs must be considerably large with at least 100 individual hairs needed for testing. 

a vial of blood on a cannabis leaf

Will CBD Oil Show Up in a Drug Test? 

The good news is, while most drug tests can detect numerous types of substances, test results will likely not report any presence of CBD since it is not a substance that inhibits your ability to perform tasks. This is especially true when using topical CBD treatments, like shampoos and lotions, since they do not enter the bloodstream.

CBD specifically is not likely to cause you to fail a drug test. However, if consuming CBD products orally, such as CBD oils, there may be some things you should know. As previously discussed, there are three main types of CBD products: full-spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate. The potential results of your drug test depends mostly on the type of CBD you consume.

Since full-spectrum CBD does contain trace amounts of THC up to 0.3 percent, there is a slight chance it can register on a drug test. However, it would take a large amount of CBD consumption for THC to be present on a drug test, so in most cases CBD consumers do not ingest enough THC to yield a positive test result.

In other instances, the THC amount labeled on a CBD product may be inaccurate, leading to mistakenly ingesting a higher amount of THC than intended, though this can usually be avoided by purchasing higher-quality products. In the case of blood tests, once again, it is highly unlikely CBD will result in a failed drug test.

This is because drug screenings are not testing for CBD. If you were going to be tested for CBD, it would have to be a specialized test, which is an extremely rare occurrence. However, CBD use can result in the detection of THC by blood drug tests.

THC is usually only detectable in the blood for one to two days depending on the individual. However, heavy use of THC, usually via marijuana rather than CBD products, can cause THC to be present in blood work for much longer.

How to Find Good Quality CBD

The FDA has warned that a lot of CBD products offered in-store provide consumers with false ingredient claims. This is especially worrisome when needing to know the THC content of your CBD products.

But don't feel discouraged! The online market for CBD is a great place when looking for high-quality products that are easily researchable. Some things to look out for when determining the quality of an online product include: 

  • Products that use third party lab tests
  • Websites that are free of bogus health claims 
  • Locally-sourced hemp plants
  • Transparency about extraction, farming, and manufacturing
  • High bioavailability, meaning it is easily digested 

How Long Does CBD Stay in The Body? 

CBD specifically does not stick around in your body for very long. While how long the effects of CBD last depend on dosage and the individual, your body will rid itself of CBD and its byproducts in just a few days. The amount of time CBD is in the body also depends on method of usage.

However, if you’re worried about a drug test, CBD is usually not the chemical compound to be concerned with when using cannabis products. As we have discussed, the trace amounts of THC that can be found in some CBD products can show up on drug tests. While the effects of THC typically only last for a few hours, it can be stored in your system as THC metabolites for up to a month.

However, when using CBD products with small levels of THC, it is likely you will not feel the presence of the chemical yet it can still be present in a drug screening. Drug tests do not test for THC directly, but instead THC metabolites since they stick around much longer.

In cases such as a hair strand test, the THC you ingest can deposit trace amounts of THC in your hair that can be detected for up to three months. 

Can You Take Too Much CBD?

CBD is incredibly safe, non-addictive, and non-psychoactive. However, while it is unlikely that a CBD user will experience adverse effects, it is still possible. In the case that CBD users do take too much, the results of an over-ingestion are usually mild.

Be aware that taking too much CBD, while it may not result in adverse effects, can result in a positive drug test due to the presence of THC. Potential effects of ingesting too much CBD include:

  • Dry mouth 
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue

Conclusion

CBD is a highly versatile chemical compound extracted from the cannabis plant. As the laws on recreational marijuana remain strict in some places, those looking to experience the health benefits of cannabis may look to hemp-derived CBD for relief.

However, as CBD is a cannabis-derivative, some consumers may be justly concerned when faced with drug screenings. While the cannabinoid CBD is no cause for worry when facing drug screenings such as blood tests, consumers who enjoy large amounts of full-spectrum CBD or have purchased a low-quality, mislabeled product, may have reason for concern.

This is because full-spectrum and low-quality products do have a chance of resulting in a positive drug test due to the THC content. If you’re worried about your CBD use triggering an unwanted test result, try using high-quality CBD isolate products, such as this unflavored pure CBD oil.

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