Will CBD Show Up In A Mouth Swab Test?
Over the last couple of years, CBD has gained widespread popularity. Previously, we have explained that CBD will not show up in a regular urine drug test. In this article, we will discuss whether or not it may show up in a mouth swab test.
When taken orally, the bioavailability of CBD reaches 15%, but if you inhale it, the bioavailability increases to 30%. To put it simply, only 15% to 30% of this substance manages to reach your system after you consume it.
Like many other cannabinoids, CBD is primarily metabolized by our liver. After metabolization, most of the metabolites are excreted in feces, while a much smaller amount is excreted in the urine. It has been estimated that the terminal half-life of CBD in regular users is around 18 to 32 hours after a single use.
How long does CBD stay in your saliva?
According to a study of National Institute on Drug Abuse, in rare cases, CBD can be detected in our saliva up to 22 hours after intake. This fact significantly correlates with the detection time of THC in oral fluids. The same study, however, has also revealed that the concentration of CBD decreases 10-fold between 30 minutes and 1 hour after intake, and for certain users, it ended up being undetectable in just 2 hours. On average, in most of the samples, CBD was detectable only during the first 6 hours.
It is important to understand that like THC the detection time of CBD varies significantly from one person to another. This usually depends on a variety of factors. For instance, the administration route is extremely essential for assessing how long CBD is retained in your saliva. To assess an accurate timeline, you’ll have to consider the following factors:
- Dosage—the amount of CBD you take has a significant effect on detection time.
- Metabolic rate—fast metabolism decreases detection time.
- Weight—those with more body mass are likely to have a slow metabolic rate, which means detection time of CBD can be longer.
- Age—older individuals usually have slower metabolism and therefore a longer detection time compared with younger CBD users.
- Level of hydration—drinking a lot of water helps you flush traces of CBD from your system much faster.
- Tolerance—a high tolerance to cannabinoids leads to a shorter CBD detection time.
Will CBD show up in a saliva test?
No. As CBD isn’t a psychoactive substance, it won’t be tested in any drug tests that are aimed to detect your marijuana usage. Since THC turns out to be the only cannabinoid that’s checked for, CBD alone cannot be detected in a regular mouth swab drug test. This means that you can use pure CBD without fearing that you will fail a drug test.
Do note, however, that the cannabis strains used to extract CBD usually have low THC content. While smoking these plants won’t make you fail a drug test, there can be a slight risk when you use concentrated CBD oil. Since concentrated oil also makes THC concentrated, using a large amount of it can theoretically trigger a positive THC test result.
To avoid such situations, always purchase your CBD oil from known manufacturers that specify the level of THC content in the product. The lower the percentage, the less chance of it being detected.
Do CBD saliva tests exist?
Yes. There are methods for CBD-specific drug detection. For example, they may be conducted as part of scientific research, such as mentioned above. These tests, however, are very rare and almost useless for employers because CBD doesn’t have psychoactive properties and is widely used for medical reasons. Since checking for additional substances only increases the expense of drug testing, most companies prefer not spending extra money on them.
The only reason your employer might check for CBD is if his insurance provider considers it a problem in insurance claims. Although this is very unlikely, you should check your company’s drug testing policies to be sure.
How to ensure that you do not fail a drug test
As CBD might still have some minor traces of THC, it might cause you to fail a mouth swab test. To avoid such a result, you should try using a detox mouthwash.
As per many experts, this is the most reliable way to pass a saliva drug test because mouthwash is an effective detoxifying agent. Since drug tests can be randomly conducted at your workplace, it is recommended that you carry a small bottle of detox mouthwash with you.
Ultra Wash and Stinger are two of the most reliable products to prevent positive saliva drug test results. These solutions are particularly made to wipe out all traces of unwanted toxins from your oral fluids within minutes. These mouthwashes are widely available, simple to use, and don’t have any side effects.
Saliva drug tests are usually conducted to track recent use of marijuana. As oral fluids are self-cleaning in nature, detection is only possible if you’ve taken the substance in the last couple of days or even several hours before the test. For the same reason, mouthwashes are effective only within hours after use, so you have to manage your time carefully and follow instructions exactly to achieve the desired effect. When mixed with oral fluids, the fast-acting ingredients of a detox mouthwash quickly cleanse your mouth of all unwanted toxins, but they can’t make your salivary glands stop working or produce clean saliva. Over time, your mouthwash will be swallowed and dissolved, and your oral cavity will be filled with contaminated saliva again.
Detox mouthwash has been proven to be most effective for about 20 to 30 minutes after using it. After this time, it is less effective. Last but not least, it cannot be detected by adulteration tests, so you will not be suspected of cheating.
While mouth swab tests for cannabinoids aren’t as common as urine tests, it always pays to be cautious. So keep the Ultra Wash or Stinger mouthwash in your pocket and use it 20 minutes before your test to cleanse and completely detoxify your mouth.
Will CBD Oil Result in a Positive Drug Test?
Sherry Christiansen is a medical writer with a healthcare background. She has worked in the hospital setting and collaborated on Alzheimer’s research.
Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.
Arno Kroner, DAOM, LAc, is a board-certified acupuncturist, as well as an herbalist and integrative medicine doctor. He operates a private practice in Santa Monica, California.
CBD (cannabidiol) oil is a popular product for everything from pain control and anxiety to promoting sleep. However, with the rise of CBD use comes a concern about failing a drug test.
News stories are emerging across the country involving famous people who have gotten positive drug screening results for the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the component of marijuana that can cause people to feel high. This is happening even though CBD oil is said to be THC-free.
What are the odds that CBD oil users will test positive when subjected to illicit drug screenings? And what can be done to prevent it?
This article explains why a positive drug test can happen with CBD use, which types of CBD are most likely to trigger one, and what you can do to avoid it.
Does CBD Oil Contain THC?
The active chemical in marijuana that gets detected in a positive drug test screening is THC. Most people are under the impression that CBD oil is THC-free, which is generally true. But not always.
As it turns out, depending on the source of the cannabis that is used to produce the CBD oil, some products do contain traces of THC. This includes low-quality isolates and many full-spectrum tinctures. A full spectrum oil contains other active plant compounds in addition to the CBD.
Cannabis is the umbrella term describing hemp and marijuana plants—two different varieties of the Cannabis genus. Both marijuana and hemp can be described as cannabis, but they are two different plants.
CBD is one of many active chemical compounds in cannabis plants. One reason it’s becoming more popular is because it’s said to lack THC.
The primary difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp is nearly void of THC. In fact, a cannabis strain must contain less than 0.3% THC to be classified as hemp. This is why hemp can be legally sold in various products.
Most CBD products are made from hemp, not marijuana.
There are many distinctions between marijuana and hemp that relate to CBD oil. Marijuana contains both THC (the “high”-inducing element) and CBD. Hemp contains CBD and only trace amounts of THC.
Hemp also contains many cannabinoids, which is a name for the compounds found in cannabis. CBD is only one example.
There are several techniques for extracting CBD oil from the cannabis plant. The extraction method determines whether the CBD oil is an “isolate” or a “full-spectrum oil.”
A CBD isolate is a pure compound with no other active compounds or cannabinoids. The full-spectrum compounds may include other active chemicals, such as cannabinol and cannabis terpenes (the part of the plant that gives the plant its aroma).
Study of CBD Oil
While some CBD oils claim to be isolates, they may be full-spectrum oils and actually contain more cannabinoids (such as THC) than they claim.
A study conducted at the internationally known Lautenberg Center For Immunology and Cancer found that CBD was more effective at treating inflammation and pain when used with other cannabis plant compounds.
These compounds were derived from a full-spectrum product rather than a CBD isolate product alone. This is one reason that full-spectrum products (those containing THC) are popular.
However, the distinction between full-spectrum oils and isolates makes all the difference if you are being tested for drug use.
Reasons for Failing a CBD Drug Test
There are several common reasons a person fails a CBD drug test.
Using Product With THC
The most common reason for a failed CBD drug test is that a person is using a CBD oil product that contains THC. This may be a full-spectrum product. Sometimes, though, it could be a low-quality isolate product that contains a small amount of THC.
Although most manufacturers claim their products do not contain THC, this is not always the case.
Cross-Contamination of THC
Very small amounts of THC present in the material that CBD is extracted from can get into the CBD oil in high enough amounts to result in a positive drug test. This scenario may be more likely to occur when CBD oil is purchased from cannabis dispensaries in places where cannabis is legal.
Mislabeling of Products
CBD oil extracted from hemp is not supposed to contain more than 0.3% THC. However, it’s not uncommon for sellers to mislabel their products as THC-free hemp when, in reality, it’s a low-quality oil extracted from marijuana. And marijuana does contain THC.
In fact, one study discovered that almost 70% of the CBD products sold online were mislabeled. This caused “potential serious harm to its consumers.” The reason for this widespread mislabeling is that CBD products are not strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Secondhand Exposure to THC
Inadvertent exposure to marijuana (via secondhand smoke) is unlikely to be enough for a person to get a positive drug test result. But it is possible. Being in a room with heavy pot smokers for several hours may cause the inhalation of enough THC-containing smoke to result in a positive test result.
A more likely secondhand exposure scenario is a positive marijuana hair test. This results from direct contact with marijuana paraphernalia or from another person having THC on their hands.
For instance, say that someone who had direct contact with marijuana then touched your hair. You could feasibly receive a false positive on a drug screening that tests your hair.
CBD Oil Breakdown in the Digestive System
Some sources report that in rare cases, false positive test results have come from CBD oil that breaks down into very small amounts of THC in the stomach. Other studies, however, have refuted this finding.
The conclusion is that it’s still theoretically possible for traces of THC to be present in stomach acid when “less-purified CBD productions” are ingested.
How to Avoid a Positive CBD Drug Test
If you take CBD oil, you can take steps to try to prevent failing a drug test:
- Do thorough research to ensure the CBD product you’re using is pure and that the company is legitimate.
- Look for manufacturers that have been accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
- Ensure that the CBD oil is an isolate product extracted from a viable industrial hemp supply. It should not be a low-quality tincture.
- Ask questions about product processing techniques and the possibility of cross-contamination.
- Avoid secondhand exposure to marijuana use via pot smoking or hair contact from THC users.
CBD oil is usually marketed as THC-free, but that’s not always the case. Full-spectrum CBD oils contain other cannabinoids, which may include THC. Isolate products may be contaminated with THC, as well.
You have to be proactive to avoid failing a drug test if you’re taking CBD oil. Most important: Ensure that you’re using a pure product made by a reputable company.
A Word From Verywell
In theory, getting a false positive on a drug test from CBD oil should be relatively impossible from pure CBD oil containing less than 0.3% THC. However, because CBD oil is not well regulated, there is no guarantee that a product contains pure CBD oil, or that its concentration is safe or effective.
Use the utmost caution and do your research when purchasing a quality CBD oil product to ensure its purity, especially if you need to undergo a drug screening.
Frequently Asked Questions
Drug tests look for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the element in marijuana that causes a high. CBD oils can have trace amounts of THC even if they’re labeled “THC-free.” The FDA does not regulate these products, and mislabeling is common.
Yes. If the products contain THC, you could test positive. If you know you’ll need to take a drug test, avoid full-spectrum CBD products that may contain small amounts of THC. Be sure you purchase products from a reliable source. And be wary of online retailers; researchers have found that 21% of online CBD and hemp products were mislabeled.