With a vast array of potential health benefits and increasing mainstream adoption, it’s hardly surprising usage of CBD in the UK continues to rise.
Nevertheless, the question “does CBD oil show up on a drug test in the UK?” is still frequently asked – and given CBD’s derivation from the cannabis plant, this isn’t unexpected.
It’s important to note CBD, itself, is legal in the UK – with the exception of CBD flowers. Indeed, CBD oil has been legal in the UK for several years and therefore should not be a major concern to those required to take a drug test in the UK.
However, while the CBD molecule itself is legal (in a variety of forms, including oil) many CBD products will contain trace elements of other cannabinoids, such as THC. The presence of THC in the body may result in a positive drug test.
In this blog we look in-depth at the question “Does CBD oil show up on drug tests in the UK?” and what factors might impact it showing up or not.
Does CBD oil show up on a drug test in the UK?
Drug tests in the UK can detect a wide range of substances but it’s almost unheard of for one being used to identify the CBD molecule, given its legal status.
Nonetheless, as mentioned above, numerous CBD products contain THC.
THC causes the psychoactive effects of consuming cannabis and is prohibited under the Misuse of Drugs Act. In the UK, CBD products cannot contain more than 0.2% THC.
This might sound a tiny amount – certainly, it isn’t enough to have any noticeable or measurable bodily effect – yet even trace levels of THC can result in a positive drug test.
Therefore, CBD oil may show up on a drug test in the UK if it contains any amount of THC.
Is THC always found in CBD oil?
THC isn’t present in all CBD oils.
There are three commonly sold types of CBD products: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum and isolates.
Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products, as their names suggest, contain more than simply CBD. THC is always present in full-spectrum CBD oil and may sometimes be present in broad-spectrum products in spite of them being processed to remove it.
CBD isolate is the purest form of naturally occurring CBD (and contains no THC whatsoever). The purity of CBD isolates means that they will not lead to a positive drug test.
The choice between these types of CBD products is down to personal preference
Unfortunately, getting a negative result on a drug test in the UK is not quite as simple as consuming a CBD oil labelled as containing 0% THC.
The CBD industry is in its infancy and is not highly regulated. Consequently, cases of mislabelling and THC contamination have been reported. Likewise, there can be significant discrepancies in production processes between suppliers.
With this in mind, we recommend carrying out your own due diligence before consuming any CBD product.
Any reputable CBD oil producer will engage a third-party laboratory to test the THC level of their product. Lab reports should be accessible to consumers via their website or on request.
Ensure you review these reports prior to purchase in order to consume with confidence and – if using an isolate product – without the risk of registering a positive drugs test.
What other factors affect whether CBD oil will show up on a drug test in the UK?
As discussed, the type of CBD oil (full-spectrum, broad-spectrum or isolate) and the quality and reliability of the supplier will impact the THC level of CBD oil and thus whether it shows up on a drug test.
It’s worth also noting that the length of time CBD remains in the system depends on a range of variables including body weight and type, dosage and diet.
This means that while CBD oil (if THC is present) may show up on a drug test for some users, another user may find it has entirely passed out of their system prior to testing.
Of course, given the extent of variables affecting how long CBD oil remains in the body, we would by no means recommend attempting to time your usage to avoid failing a drug test.
This is even more important when considering the range of drug tests available to employers, organisations and the police in the UK.
Saliva, urine, blood, and follicle tests will not provide a positive test for CBD, but all will flag THC.
All this should be considered when consuming CBD oil containing trace levels of THC.
Conclusion: Does CBD oil show up on a drug test in the UK?
We’ve looked closely at the question ‘Does CBD oil show up on drug tests in the UK?’.
To recap, CBD itself is legal and would not be tested for in any drug test.
However, many CBD products contain trace amounts of THC, which is illegal in the UK and therefore may result in a positive test.
It may be possible to explain the circumstances given that CBD products are sold legally in the UK with trace levels of THC.
However, it’s recommended that you take specific legal advice regarding this or consult with the testing organisation prior to consumption (e.g. an employer or athletic body).
There are a range of factors which might contribute to CBD oil showing up in a drug test in the UK, but none more so than the type of CBD product you consume and its quality.
Do your due diligence – it could be the difference between a positive or negative drug test.