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Will Vape Show Up in a Drug Test?

Vaping has grown a lot more prevalent and a lot more common in recent years, however, another thing that has grown a lot more popular and prevalent over the years is the practice of testing people for substances which indicate drug use. It’s easy to put these 2 things together and understand why it is important to know why, how and if the substances that we vape will show up in a drug test.

Table of Contents

will vape show up in a drug test

The Substances That We Vape

Before we get to the tests themselves, we have to first look at what we vape, to begin with. From nicotine based e-liquids to CBD and THC based ones, vaping is currently more popular and diversified than it has ever been before. It's considered a more healthy alternative to smoking, a way to relieve stress, and in some cases a way to get a nice, clean and healthy high.

While there are a lot of arguments for vaping as being a healthier alternative to smoking and in some cases even facilitating kicking this bad habit, the substances used often vary. E-liquids include various ingredients, such as propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, but they will not show up in a drug test. There are 3 main substances that you need to look out for and take into account:

  1. Nicotine: used mostly in flavors that are designed to replicate the taste and feel of real cigarettes. They are often used by people that are switching away from cigarettes or trying to kick the habit of smoking by controlling and gradually lowering their nicotine intake this way.
  2. CBD: used mostly in newer and non-nicotine flavors, it is meant to encourage stress relief and calmness. The substance itself is one of the active ingredients in cannabis, and while it is not a psychedelic ingredient, it can still be cause for concern.
  3. THC: this is the main psychedelic component in marijuana and the very chemical compound that allows the user to experience psychedelic effects. It is used and vaped by people that are looking to get a clean and mild high, however, the variant used is a synthetic one, carefully measured and dosed. It is also known as a "clean and healthy high".

There are, of course, a lot more variants and derivatives, however, these are the 3 main substances out of which vaping flavors are made out of.

The Drug Tests

Drug tests are used primarily by law enforcement agencies and healthcare providers in order to assess the state of an individual as well as whether they have consumed any narcotics or not. Recently though, more and more private employers, as well as insurance companies, have started demanding and enforcing drug tests upon employees, prospective employees, and prospective clients.

While there is a good reason for employers and insurance agencies to demand drug tests, the problem is that proper detailed tests take a lot of time to process and cost a lot of money. The tests that they usually go for are more affordable testing kits which are not the most accurate in the world. That being said, while vaping is not equivalent to doing drugs, the test can still hold the risk of flagging you as a drug user.

Tests are done in various ways, some more intrusive than others, and for various reasons, all of which will often have a severe impact on the life of the person tested. It’s a shame to be stuck paying a larger premium, to lose your job or to be declined a job opportunity because of a cheap drug test that holds vaping against you. Which is why you need to know how to prepare yourself.

Will These Substances Show Up in a Drug Test after Vaping

Let’s start off with the simplest one of them all.


Nicotine-based e-liquids contain synthetic nicotine, and while vaping these substances is leaps and bounds healthier than smoking, they will show up on nicotine tests.

This is something that insurance companies test for in order to determine the premium that you will have to pay in order to be insured by them. When the nicotine shows up on tests, you are labeled as a smoker and have to subsequently pay a lot higher premiums.

Nicotine stays in your bloodstream for up to 5 days after you stop smoking or vaping nicotine flavors, and between 3 days and 3 weeks in your urine, depending on how much nicotine you consume.

There are different nicotine concentration levels for each flavor, so make sure to only vape 0mg nicotine flavors for a week before the actual test and you will be fine.


This one is more of a concern when it comes to workplace drug tests, however, this one is a bit more interesting.

CBD is very hard to detect on its own, especially because those drug tests screen for THC-COOH and related compounds, which CBD is not. CBD e-liquids, however, may contain small amounts of THC, so they can show up in a drug test if consumed in very large quantities, but even then it will be sketchy at best.

Simply make sure you don’t excess vape and that you take a bit of a rest from vaping with a day or 2 before the actual test.

Read more: How Long Does CBD Oil Stay In Your System And Will It Show Up In A Drug Test?


There is no easy way around this, THC does show on drug tests, and it will trigger positives.

Depending on how much THC you're vaping, it will be present in your urine anywhere between 3 and 30 days, and in your blood for up to 1 week.

The urine test is the one that will bring your downfall, and it’s not easy to beat. Whatever you do, do not just drink excessive amounts of water hoping to purge it out because you will dilute your urine too much and you will fail by default.

What you want to do is follow a detox treatment with detox fluids for around 1 week before the test, and consume foods that are high in fiber like fruits and vegetables, as well as increase your intake of B vitamins.

Read more: How To Pass A Urine Drug Test For Weed

In Conclusion

While vaping is fun, healthy and a great way to kick bad habits while relieving stress, it can also be misinterpreted by drug tests and end up costing you a lot in the long run.

There are various ways of dealing with this though, from quitting altogether, to lowering and controlling your intake, all the way to actually detoxifying your body and treating it before a test.

Whatever your preferred route is, you now know which substances show up on drug tests and how to beat the drug tests themselves safely, so you can enjoy vaping without having to worry about arbitrary tests and their outcomes.