So you have been consuming a CBD product for a while, and now a question pops out in your mind: Will CBD test positive if you need to take a drug test?
The truth is that there’s a slight chance you can fail a test. If this happens, you can blame yourself either because you have been too careless when buying CBD or CBD information you ought to be aware of has been out of your knowledge.
However, there are things that you can’t control. You shop online, check the ingredients and make sure that a THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) level is within normality and still end up with a positive CBD test. The truth is that some vendors mislabel their products, which means that in practice, the THC threshold can exceed the allowed 0.3%.
The problem isn’t with CBD. One of the reasons your CBD may test positive is because your urine test contains THC. You are in trouble if the amount of THC in your body is over 50 ng/ml. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association warns against violating this cutoff. To reach that amount, you’d probably have to take more than 2,000 mg of CBD products that contain 0.3% or less THC.
Well, here’s how it works. Any cannabis product, including CBD flower, can be made from hemp or marijuana. Both contain a strain of cannabinoids, including CBD, which doesn’t have a mind-altering effect. The two also have THC properties that make people high or cause euphoria.
The difference between hemp-derived and marijuana-produced CBD flowers is that the latter contains a high THC percentage, while the former only has small amounts of THC. And you also need to know that most CBD products are made from hemp and not marijuana.
So, smoking hemp CBD that is void of THC or has a low level shouldn’t make you test positive. The worst scenario is possible if the source of your CBD is rather doubtful. You can come across sellers that claim their products are THC-free or low, but in reality, they misrepresent the actual THC dose.
If you surf the internet for online CBD shops, you’ve probably noticed that CBD oils are usually described as full-spectrum and broad-spectrum. These are not just some fancy names to highlight the quality of the product, but they also denote the way CBD oil has been manufactured and the type of chemical profiles they have.
As a rule, CBD full-spectrum oil, containing all the plant compounds, has 0.2% or 0.3% THC by weight. So if you are subject to a random drug test, this type of oil isn’t the best choice. Instead, you can use a broad-spectrum oil or CBD isolate processed in a way to remove any traces of THC. And the safest among them is CBD isolate, which is the purest form of CBD, meaning that it doesn’t include THC.
Hemp-derived CBD products within 0.3% THC are legal on the federal level yet still banned under some state laws. On the flip side, marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal federally but legal under some state laws. So if your CBD comes from hemp plants, it is federally legal, but it is unlawful if it comes from a marijuana plant.
On the other hand, hemp-derived CBD products with more THC amounts than allowed are deemed marijuana.
We’ve heard stories about people who were shocked when a drug test they took as part of their job application came back positive for marijuana. How can it be? Their CBD oil was supposed to help them only with sleep and anxiety, and they had never imagined it would cause this “side effect.”
Here is what you need to know about CBD.
Some research suggests that CBD products have more THC than labeled. For example, the Journal of the American Medical Association presented results showing that of 84 samples tested, THC was detected in 21%. You can find similar findings made by The Johns Hopkins team. Although the scope of these studies is rather small, the researchers say that the results are enough to indicate that some cannabis users could be unknowingly overdosing consuming mislabeled products.
So how can you avoid misrepresented products? The advice is to buy from manufacturers and stores that can provide a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for their product. It proves the company passed the test for THC, CBD, and other contaminants. Although the testing is optional, at this point, it’s the best way to know the product has been tested.
According to a few studies, even if you take legitimate CBD products with small amounts of THC, it can accumulate in the body. The American Family Physician (AAFP) warns that the test may detect weed for 3 days after a single use and up to 30 days if consuming large doses after the first week.
On top of that, the outcome of your drug test is influenced not only by the dosage and how long you consume CBD. Factors such as weight and individual body chemistry will also affect the test results.
If you are a heavy CBD user, you can try monitoring your own THC levels with an at-home drug test. If you test positive, take a two to three-week break from the product to clear THC from your body.
If you consume CBD products, you better not test positive for THC on a workplace drug test. The US regulated THC level should contain very low amounts of THC. So there’s a tiny chance you will test positive for THC CBD oil. However, it’s crucial that you buy from a trusted CBD store when purchasing. In addition, you can check the lab results for their product. If CBD contains THC, this should be below the accepted levels.
Finally, if you fail a drug test, it all boils down to your employer’s drug and alcohol policy. 28 states and the District of Columbia run extensive medical marijuana programs in the US. And at least 17 more that allow the products with a low level of THC. Yet, generally, employers can prohibit the use of marijuana in their workplace, even if an employee is legally allowed to use it for medical purposes. As a result, if you have THC in your system, your employer may not be interested in how it got there, especially if they have a zero-tolerance policy on drug use.
You should take the following steps if you fail the CBD test:
We recommend having a doctor’s prescription for taking CBD to treat your health condition. If you happen to test positive, you can use this documentation and prove to your employer and HR that you are using CBD for a reason. If it doesn’t help, you may involve the Americans with Disabilities Act and state disability laws. Usually, you can easily handle the problem because CBD from hemp is legal on a federal level. Plus, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia passed laws protecting those who use CBD and medical marijuana.
For example, a New York City law states that as of May 2020, employers with at least four people in staff cannot impose a drug test on a job applicant as a condition of being hired.
Unfortunately, when you consume THC-low or THC-free products, it can show a false-positive result. Sometimes, the test can confuse CBD for THC.
You should ask for a retest if you used CBD randomly but tested positive for THC. Although urine tests are the most common at workplaces, other confirmatory tests, such as gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy or high liquid chromatography, are more accurate in detecting THC and its metabolites.