Does CBD Show Up on a Hair Follicle Test?

CBD oil dropper on white background

Posted on July 14th, 2020

Drug testing has become common in many parts of the world. It is often necessary for employment, legal, and medical purposes. Of course, if you have to take a drug test, you want to pass. And you don’t want any supplement to make it seem like you’re taking illegal substances. Some CBD users might question if CBD will show up on a hair follicle test. 

For these reasons, CBD newcomers are often concerned about consuming this cannabis extract. Now, we can help alleviate your fears but, to do so, we have to help you understand how CBD works, so you can make an informed choice about using this cannabinoid.  

We can certainly tell you why many people choose to use CBD: they report relief from aches, stress, or other symptoms.  As such, many CBD users view this cannabis extract as an alternative to less natural, over-the-counter medications. Still, because certain forms of CBD may contain trace amounts of THC, you should be cautious if you know you’ll be subject to drug testing. 

After all, employers use different routine drug tests, including saliva, blood, urine, and hair follicle tests to screen for controlled substances like THC. And, while there is a very low possibility that CBD use will result in your testing positive on a hair follicle test, this doesn’t mean that the test will always come out negative.  

Woman in lab testing What Is a Drug Test?

A drug test simply refers to the process whereby you submit a biological specimen for technical analysis that checks for the presence of specified drugs. These tests show whether or not you have particular drugs in your system. The testing process is usually complicated, and each institution uses a method that best suits their requirements. The hair follicle test is not very common. Increasingly, however, employers are embracing hair follicle tests, which operates on the premise that drug metabolites enter the blood vessels in your scalp before they are filtered and retained in your hair follicles.  While highly sensitive, the disadvantage of hair follicle testing is that it detects drug use from months before you submit your sample. As a result, hair follicle drug test results may not be accurate, since they don’t reflect your current situation. The hair follicle test is mainly designed to detect marijuana (THC) and opiates such as codeine and cocaine.

Will CBD Be Detected on a Hair Test?

The likely answer to this question is NO. Understand that most drug tests will not test for CBD since it is legal at the federal level in the United States. Remember, however, that CBD is just one of many cannabinoids present in cannabis, but so is THC, which is still a controlled substance. Now, most companies don’t care if you have CBD in your system, because it doesn’t create any impairment or high sensation. So, when most companies administer work drug tests, they are likely looking for THC, CBD’s cousin. Why? THC is the compound present in marijuana that is responsible for making you feel high. Companies test for the presence of THC because it impairs their employees’ performance and could even result in injuries at the workplace.

If you consume CBD, you don’t need to fear that the CBD cannabinoid will show up on your hair follicle drug test. However, note that some CBD consumers may test positive for THC. The reason for this is because many CBD products include the full-spectrum of hemp-extracts, so they still contain a little amount of THC. In some cases, people have gotten false positives as a result of the many cannabinoids present in their CBD products. If you are certain you’ve only used legal CBD, and there is any confusion about your test results, try requesting another type of drug test, such as blood or saliva, which may clear up any confusion about THC in your system. 

Reasons You Could Fail a Drug Test

You may feel confident about testing negative on your drug test after using CBD, only to discover that you’ve failed. And, some people test positive for THC when using a full-spectrum CBD product such as CBD oil. Below are the reasons why.

CBD oil dropper on a pink backgroundOverconsumption of the CBD Product

If you take unusually large amounts of CBD oil, you could increase the level of THC concentration in your system. Legal CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC, but overdosing may lead to a higher THC concentration in your body. This, in turn, may trigger a positive result on your hair follicle drug test. While some people may need to take larger doses of CBD products to achieve their desired effects, you must be careful about your CBD intake if you expect to take a drug test in the future.

Poor Quality Control

The other thing that might cause you to get a positive drug test report is poor manufacturing quality control of your CBD. While some CBD products indicate that their THC level is below 0.3%, some manufacturers are not consistent with their production. Therefore, it is difficult to get the same concentrations with every dose or purchase. In order to experience more peace of mind when dosing with CBD, look for brands that offer third party testing and a certificate of analysis to confirm their THC concentrations are within legal limits. 

Why Is the Hair Follicle Test Considered More Effective?

Even given the concerns about this test, there is a reason why employers prefer the hair follicle testing method to check for THC presence in their employees. Hair tests have helped more employers differentiate between drug users and non-drug users, as compared to urine tests. Urine drug testing programs have become less popular because urine is more susceptible to tampering through hydration, substitution, and adulteration. Applicants who want to cheat have a harder time when a hair follicle drug test is involved. There are several reasons why hair analysis is considered to be more productive.

First, the applicant cannot eat anything to dilute their hair sample, as they would do in a urine test. Also, the applicant cannot easily replace their hair with somebody else’s. However, some will try using hair extensions in place of their real hair.  

How Long Does It Take for THC to Leave the Body?

If you use CBD products and you need to take a drug test soon, you might be wondering how long it takes for the trace amounts of THC to leave your body. It is essential to know that the duration of time the THC lasts in your body depends on so many things, including the amount you consumed, your body’s metabolism, your diet, and the strain used. If you are a rare user, it could take 21 days or more for the THC to leave your body. If you are a weekly user, you might have to wait for a month or more for the THC to be eliminated. Therefore, the frequency of your CBD use will significantly affect how long the THC will take to leave your body. If you have a pending drug test, you need to consider the above factors.

Myths That Won’t Help You Pass the Hair Follicle Drug Test

Cheating a hair follicle drug test is very difficult. Several people may mislead you into thinking that their tips can manipulate your results. Below are some of the myths that you should never trust. 

Dying Your Hair

If you have a scheduled hair follicle test, don’t waste time trying to dye or bleach your hair to change your results. This doesn’t work. It’s just a waste of resources. Bleaching or dying your hair using won’t help you pass the drug test. Neither will unique treatments or shampoos. Research shows that hair treatments have little to no effects on hair follicle test results. Note that you might get positive test results if your use of cannabis has been frequent over the past three months.


If you are not well informed, you may even end up shaving your head, thinking this will help you manipulate the results. Don’t even think about it: if you choose to shave a week or month before your test, the technician will just use hair from another part of your body.  Besides, if you shave your hair too soon, your employer may suspect you of drug use.  

Also, understand that the technicians doing the test are interested in collecting your hair. Thus, they will use the hair closer to your scalp because it is the nearest growth, and will most accurately indicate your recent THC use. Since human hair grows at the rate of about half an inch per month, it takes around three months to attain 1.5 inches, which is required for the test. Note that if you have excess THC in your system, you will test positive.

If you use CBD products, you may be wondering whether CBD shows up in a hair follicle test. In most cases, the trace amounts of THC in your CBD product won’t be a problem. However, if the THC in the CBD product exceeds the minimum amount, your test results may be positive.

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