Will a marijuana topical cream show up on a drug test?

"I want to use cannabis topicals for pain relief, but by job requires me to have random drug testing, and I don’t want to get in trouble with this. Is there a safe way to use a topical cannabis creams without it getting in your blood stream?"

Most drug tests look for evidence of THC metabolites, and are not designed to check for CBD.
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Topical’s claim that they do not get absorbed into your bloodstream, however, it should be noted that Transdermal products do penetrate the skin and are absorbed into the body.


Most drug tests are designed to detect metabolites (break-down products) of THC. Currently CBD is not something that drug tests are looking for. However, this could change. As more people are benefiting from using CBD, the big business interests and government oversight that control what plants and substances we choose to put into our body may decide that CBD usage should be controlled.


Hi there! According to Foria’s website – "Foria contains cannabis and should be treated as other cannabis products in regards to drug testing."

Source: https://foriapleasure.com/pages/frequently-asked-questions#PleasureFAQ


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Most likely not. Manufacturers claim that topical application does not result in THC appearing in urine screens. If you use a patch that prevents the salve from evaporating and forcing more into your system, it may appear in a urine screen.

Perry Solomon, MD

Hi there! There are many variations of drug tests, so I am afraid we cannot say for certain whether you will pass or fail. However, please check out our article that provides more information about how long cannabis will stay in your system:


There are several products called "Sweet Relief". One is made by Strictly Topical is made with THCV and is a cream that is applied to the skin. It contains organic coconut oil infused with 100% pure THCV rich kief (the powerhouse crystals of cannabis), Shea butter, sweet almond oil and select essential oils.

Most topical creams/ointments do not become systemically absorbed and therefor do not show up in drug screens.

Perry Solomon, MD

We all know that exceptions to the rule can and sometimes do happen so please keep this caution in mind. Generally speaking cannabis delivered topically does not get into the bloodstream sufficiently to cause psychoactive side effects or trigger a positive drug test. In fact, we tested Sweet Releaf on two mom’s who had not used cannabis at all & their tests were negative. So that’s been our rule of thumb on this question.


The THC level in topical products tends to be far lower than that in smokable or edible products. Add that to the fact that applying a topical to the skin only allows it to break the skin/muscular barrier, but not enter into the blood stream. I have not seen any reported cases of positive drug tests from topical applications and the research supports this.

However, depending where you live, there might also be transdermal patches on the market. These work similarly to nicotine patches and do contain components that allow the THC to break into the bloodstream and will cause intoxication and a positive drug test.


This is a very common question. SweetReleaf a topicals company recently posted this article in our blog

Technically, the answer to your question is no. As the THC should not enter your bloodstream then it should not be detectable in a blood test.

I am not a doctor and this represents my opinion only. I hope this helps!


Here’s an excerpt from the video (posted above) about cannabis drug testing and topicals. It features Chief Medical Officer Perry Solomon, MD and co-founder Pamela Hadfield.

P. Hadfield: So Perry, for a variety of reasons, people are often very concerned about cannabis drug testing. If I use a cannabis topical, am I going to test positive on a drug test?

Dr. Perry Solomon: Well, it’s interesting. A lot of jobs are requiring drug tests—urine tests essentially, which test for THC—as a part of your job application or randomly in your employment. And so people using a cannabis topical should have a concern about that because there’s several ways to use a topical. You can use a topical as a cream to just rub it on the joint for something like that, and it’s been shown that it really doesn’t absorb that much or if at all into the body to be able to be seen in a drug test urine-wise. However, if you use it as a patch, which essentially would be a plastic covering on it, so the product itself can’t get evaporated and come out this way, more of it does get absorbed. And it has been shown that that can show up as THC if that’s what’s in your cream in a drug test.

PH: So what you’re saying is, if I rub a topical cream on say my knee, it’s going to evaporate into the air somewhat, but a transdermal patch, which is often put on an area where there’s veins, that will be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Play the video to learn more about cannabis drug testing and topicals.


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