How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

As the legalization of cannabis and cannabis-derived products spreads across the United States, you would think that the days of worrying about how long these substances stay in your system are dead and gone. And yet, drug tests are becoming more and more sophisticated and are picking up even the finest traces of chemicals and substances.

Whether you live in a state with tight cannabis controls, your employer regularly performs randomized drug tests, or you are a competitive athlete, you will need to understand how long cannabidiol (CBD) stays in your system.

Specific CBD oil drug tests in themselves are infrequent, but CBD use could get picked up by a wider spectrum check.

Why does CBD get flagged on a drug test?

Most drug tests are checking for THC, the psychoactive element of marijuana that makes you feel high. CBD oil should only contain the tiniest traces of THC (industrial hemp cannot legally contain more than 0.3% of THC), and yet, these small amounts are still enough to show up in your system. With drug tests becoming increasingly advanced year on year, even a very small dose of CBD oil could provide you with enough THC to raise a flag.

The lack of regulation of CBD products means that it’s hard to guarantee the purity or concentration of a given product. This is why at Green Door CBD, we have hand selected all of our products to ensure that only the most trusted, reputable brands find their way into our store!

Always do your research. If you are unsure, check the brand for certificates of analysis. This will tell you exactly what is in your CBD oil, including the THC concentration. Brands can claim whatever they want on their packaging. Third party lab testing and certificates of analysis do not lie!  

How long does CBD stay in your system?

The truth is, it’s not entirely clear. But there are some general principles to consider if you want to be sure CBD has cleared your system:

  • CBD stays in your system beyond the time you’re enjoying its effects. Most people find that CBD oil is effective for up to four hours but it will be in your system for some time beyond that, so bear that in mind if you have any CBD oil drug tests coming up.
  • Some research has suggested that it can take up to 5 days for CBD to completely leave your body. But more often than not, the substance that will trigger a drug test failure is THC. While CBD’s half-life is not affected by gender and age, THC’s is. THC can be detectable for 1-30 days after use. It has even been found 90 days after use. Fortunately, the more THC used, and the frequency of use can play a big role in this timing. Given that CBD oil contains only trace amounts of THC, it should be processed by the body relatively quickly.
  • Most people allow a full week before being confident that the CBD has left the body. If you regularly have CBD oil drug tests, a week is likely enough time. But if your livelihood depends on passing a drug test, be very careful about CBD oil use.

How to avoid testing positive

There are a few steps you can take to make it more likely that you will pass a drug test.

For starters, do your research. Find out who is making the CBD oil and where they have sourced the hemp they are using. Avoid a CBD product that is sourced from cannabis and not hemp.

You can also look into CBD isolates, which are pure CBD, containing no other cannabinoids or compounds. These products will be completely THC-free.

Reasons for Failing a CBD Drug Test

There are four main reasons that CBD products could lead you to fail a drug test:

  1. The CBD oil contains traces of THC. This can happen particularly with lower quality CBD oils. Some brands may claim to be THC-free and this claim is not always factual.  
  2. Cross contamination. Depending on the supplier’s production processes, CBD products can become cross-contaminated with THC in quantities that are high enough to show up on a drug screening. Be sure to check how your CBD oil is extracted and manufactured, and whether this is done in isolation from THC or traces of it.
  3. Inaccurate labeling. The CBD industry is currently unregulated. It’s not at all uncommon for some CBD producers to mislabel their oils and tinctures. It’s easy for us to say ‘read the label’, but what if the label isn’t giving you the whole picture? Try to establish that you’re buying from a reputable manufacturer, with high-quality oils extracted from organic industrial hemp.
  4. Secondhand exposure to THC. Passive smoking of THC or direct contact with marijuana can lead to a positive test result for THC. For example, in a drug test that used a sample of your hair, you could test positive if someone who’d been in direct contact with marijuana has recently touched your hair.

CBD oil is a fantastic product if you are looking for a possible alternative to traditional treatments for depression, pain, anxiety or inflammation.

But always do your research before buying, particularly if you are someone who faces regular drug testing. CBD oil drug tests shouldn’t pose a problem if you follow the dosage and leave several days between usage and testing. The more research you do into the manufacturer and the product you’re buying, the more confident you can be about any potential tests.