The Difference Between THC & CBD for Drug Testing

THC and CBD are two of the compounds produced by the cannabis plant. While most cannabis flower contains both cannabinoids, some products contain either only THC or only CBD. THC and CBD work very differently in your brain and body, but they may both result in a positive drug test. 

Before you use any cannabis product, you should know the difference between THC and CBD. Here's what you need to know about these two cannabinoids and how they interact with drug tests.

What Is THC?

THC is the compound in cannabis that gets you high. It’s present in cannabis flower, as well as edibles, vapes, and concentrates. If you’re enjoying the psychoactive component of marijuana, you’re consuming THC.

Your body has two endocannabinoid receptors; CB1 and CB2. Your body also produces its own cannabinoids, which are largely responsible for regulating your metabolism, pain sensations, and stress levels. 

THC binds to your CB1 and CB2 receptors. When you smoke cannabis or enjoy another product with THC, your body halts its production of neurotransmitters. This gives the THC an entrance into your brain, which produces the psychoactive effects in cannabis.

When you use THC, you may feel euphoric, creative, active, sleepy, or relaxed. You may feel sensations both in your body (like warmth or tingling) and in your brain (like your thoughts racing or euphoria). What you feel each time you use THC depends largely on the cannabis strain, terpenes, and other cannabinoids.

What Is CBD?

CBD is the second-most prevalent cannabinoid in marijuana. It’s generally derived from the hemp plant. CBD is often sold in tinctures or gummies, but more options are emerging all the time.

CBD is legal in many places where cannabis and other THC products are not. This is because it doesn’t get you high. When you use CBD, you won’t notice the same dramatic shift in your body or mind as you would when taking a dose of THC. However, you may find yourself feeling relaxed, sleepy, less anxious, and in less pain.

Scientists are still learning how CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system. What they do know is that it doesn’t actually bind to either the CB1 or CB2 receptors. Experts theorize CBD may prevent cannabinoids from being broken down in your body, which makes them more effective. CBD may also bind to a different endocannabinoid receptors we haven’t discovered yet.

Drug Testing for THC & CBD

If you’re being drug tested for cannabis, they’re looking for THC, not CBD. There is no standard timeframe for when you’ll test negative for THC after using it. In general, THC can stay in the system for 2-90+ days.

The length at which THC stays in the system is dependent on how frequently the drug was used, the amount used, and the potency/concentration of the drug. Also, every individual metabolizes THC differently (i.e. height, weight, overall health, etc.).

The amount of time it takes to test negative is also dependent on your metabolism. Some factors that might impact your metabolism include:

  • Weight
  • Height
  • Age
  • Overall health
  • Medical history
  • Lifestyle
  • Physical activity level
  • Hormonal imbalances

If you’re taking pure CBD, you should not test positive for THC. However, CBD products are allowed to have a THC level of up to 0.3%. In general, this small amount won’t be enough to make you test positive. Due to CBD products not being regulated nor any guarantee that they have been lab certified, there is a chance that if you are using a CBD product, it could have higher levels of THC than what the label states.


Product Recommendations

Need help determining which test is right for you? We are happy to help! 




Disclaimer for Ütest

All the information on this website - - is published in good faith and for general information purpose only. Ütest Drug Testing does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this website (Ütest Drug Testing), is strictly at your own risk. Ütest Drug Testing will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of our website.

From our website, you can visit other websites by following hyperlinks to such external sites. While we strive to provide only quality links to useful and ethical websites, we have no control over the content and nature of these sites. These links to other websites do not imply a recommendation for all the content found on these sites. Site owners and content may change without notice and may occur before we have the opportunity to remove a link which may have gone 'bad'.

Please be also aware that when you leave our website, other sites may have different privacy policies and terms which are beyond our control. Please be sure to check the Privacy Policies of these sites as well as their "Terms of Service" before engaging in any business or uploading any information.


By using our website, you hereby consent to our disclaimer and agree to its terms.


Should we update, amend or make any changes to this document, those changes will be prominently posted here