The Burning Question: Does CBD Show Up On A Drug Test?

We should preface this blog by saying that this piece is purely for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical or legal advice.

With that said, we’re going to try and answer the burning question so many prospective CBD users have: Does CBD show up on a drug test? 

The short answer: Yes.

CBD will show up on a drug test if the product is full-spectrum (whole-plant.) Here’s the catch though— the tests are looking for THC, not CBD.

What Is CBD?

From our post: What is Cannabidiol?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of 113 known cannabinoids— chemical compounds— present in cannabis plants. Cannabidiol is one of the best-known cannabinoids, second only to THC. 

The real differences between cannabidiol and THC are their effects on users. While THC cannabis is famous for THC and it’s euphoric and intoxicating effects, cannabidiol is non-psychoactive. 

That means consuming cannabidiol by itself won’t get you high. This lack of intoxication has even led the World Health Organization to state, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential….”

It’s important to note that there are three different types of CBD that we’ll be talking about in this post.

Full Spectrum

Extract from the entire hemp plant. Full-spectrum CBD contains all cannabinoids present in the hemp plant at the time of harvest, including trace amounts of THC. Examples include hemp flower, and full-spectrum CBD oil.

Broad Spectrum

Very similar to full-spectrum CBD, without the THC. Broad-spectrum CBD does require more processing and specialized equipment, both factors make this type of CBD harder to find and more expensive.


“Pure CBD.” CBD isolate is essentially just crystalized cannabidiol separated from all of the other cannabinoids present in the hemp plant.

Why Does Full-Spectrum CBD Show On a Drug Test?

THC, even in the trace amounts that are legally allowed to be present in full-spectrum CBD products can still show up on a drug test. As of now, all CBD hemp plants contain some amount of Δ9THC and THCa (which later turns into Δ9THC) 

That means the trace amounts of THC present in the following CBD products can show up on drugs tests:

Hemp Flower

CBD hemp flower is the big one. You’ll never find CBD flower that’s completely THC-free. The genetics simply don’t exist yet. You may be able to find CBG flower that has nearly zero total THC.

CBD Concentrates (CBD kief & shatter)

CBD concentrates are generally derived from CBD hemp flower. For example you have to dry sift CBD flower to harvest CBD kief. It stands to reason then that nearly all CBD concentrates are full-spectrum and contain a certain amount of THC.

Full-spectrum CBD Tinctures

Most tinctures will indicate whether or not they are full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or made with isolate as there are pros and cons to each. Full-spectrum tinctures are very effective, but they do contain trace amounts of THC.


Not all CBD edibles are made with full-spectrum extract, as many think it adds a bit of a hemp-y aftertaste. Sunset Lake’s CBD Chocolate Fudge does contain full-spectrum hemp extract meaning that it contains trace amounts of THC.

Do Full-Spectrum CBD Topicals Show Up On Drug Tests?

An exception to the full-spectrum rule— full-spectrum CBD topicals that contain small amounts of THC should not lead to a positive drug test. These external products should be safe to use because the cannabinoids will never actually enter your bloodstream.

Does CBD Isolate Or Broad-Spectrum CBD Show Up On a Drug Test?

Fortunately, because of advancements in cannabis science, we can make CBD products that have had all traces of THC removed. How do they do it? Check out our blog on Broad Spectrum vs. Full Spectrum CBD  

Most products that have had their THC removed will read “broad-spectrum” or “made with isolate.” The former means that just the THC has been removed while other active cannabinoids like CBD and CBG are still present. If a product is made with CBD isolate it only contains CBD and no other cannabinoids.  

There are a few drawbacks with broad-spectrum and isolate products such as effectiveness and price, but regarding our burning question— does CBD show up on a drug test— no, these products shouldn’t.

How To Find Out if Your CBD Shows Up on a Drug Test?

Still cautious about where you buy your CBD? That’s for the best. A good way to figure out if a product in question contains any THC is via a third-party certificate of analysis. All CBD vendors and retailers are required to have them on their products. Find Sunset Lake’s third-party tests here. 

Learn more: How to read a Certificate of Analysis

It will look similar to this:

Cannabinoid table of a certificate of analysis

Near the bottom of the cannabinoid profile you’ll see “Total THC” & “Total CBD.” We’re more interested in the former. If you’re worried about whether or not your CBD will show up on a drug test, definitely look for products that contain no “Total THC.”


  1. “CANNABIDIOL (CBD) Pre-Review Report.” Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, World Health Organization 10 Nov. 2017
  2. “Farm Bill.” USDA, United State Department of Agriculture, 2018,