Why using CBD might make you fail a drug test
Drug tests don’t screen for CBD, but that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.
Danielle Kosecki is an award-winning journalist who has covered health and fitness for 15 years. She’s written for Glamour, More, Prevention and Bicycling magazines, among others, and is the editor of The Bicycling Big Book of Training. A New York native, Danielle now lives in Oakland where she doesn’t miss winter at all.
You nailed your cover letter and rocked the interview. All that’s standing between you and an awesome new job is a mandatory drug screening. Will that CBD oil you’ve been taking for pain relief cause you to fail the test?
This story discusses substances that are legal in some places but not in others and is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You shouldn’t do things that are illegal — this story does not endorse or encourage illegal drug use.
How cannabis drug tests work
When it comes to marijuana, drug tests typically only screen for THC — the compound in cannabis that gets you “high” — or one of the compounds created when your body metabolizes it. And by law CBD products can only contain up to 0.3% THC.
Different types of drug tests have different detection thresholds, but the type you’re most likely to encounter is the “pee test.” To pass a urine drug test, the amount of THC in your body must be below 50 ng/mL. That’s the cutoff recommended federally by the National Institutes of Health and clinically by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which helps set industry standards for lab certifications.
To hit 50 ng/mL of THC, you’d probably have to consume upwards of 2,000 mg of CBD products that contain 0.3% or less of THC, which is much higher than the average person is likely to take. Even in clinical trials and research studies, people are usually only administered 100-800mg/day.
So you’re in the clear, right? Not quite. There are two ways you could hit that 50 ng/mL mark.
Why CBD might cause you to fail a drug test
First, THC is fat-soluble, so when you ingest it — especially via edibles or a drop of oil under the tongue — it’s absorbed along with other fats and can be stored in your body’s fatty tissue.
Depending on how much CBD (and thus THC), you consume, how often you consume it, your body weight and your diet, it’s possible for THC to accumulate in your body in as little as four to six days and trigger a positive drug test. Research has found that THC can be detectable in your system for up to 30 days, but it’s usually only present in heavy cannabis users after the first week.
Does CBD show up on a drug test? Guide and best CBD products
The complete guide to buying CBD Products and learning more about CBD and drug tests. Check out our top 5 CBD brands, too.
By Davies Media | Published Nov 19, 2021 6:00 PM
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid compound found in the cannabis plant which does not have psychoactive properties that are associated with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Many people are turning to CBD products if they want to enjoy additional benefits of cannabis without experiencing an altered state of mind from the THC.
CBD is currently being studied for a variety of health benefits and has already been proven to have some very promising results, especially when it comes to the treatment of medical conditions such as epilepsy.
Given that CBD is still relatively new in terms of being introduced into the mainstream market, many people are still trying to uncover its potential uses in medicine in addition to its benefits when it comes to wellness.
CBD is typically taken orally in pill, liquid or capsule form and can be found in both low-THC/high-CBD hemp plants and high-THC cannabis plants. CBD products are usually derived from the whole plant or aerial parts but can also come from sources such as cannabis oil.
Despite the fact that CBD has been widely praised for its medicinal benefits, there are still concerns when it comes to testing for the substance. This is mostly because while CBD itself cannot cause a positive result on a drug test, certain products or methods of use may lead to a false positive.
CBD from hemp or cannabis – what’s the difference?
One of the most common questions concerning CBD is whether or not it will show up on a drug test when derived from hemp vs. marijuana.
There are big differences between CBD products sourced from industrial hemp and those that come from other types of cannabis, such as medical marijuana. It’s important to understand these distinctions when trying to figure out whether you can take CBD without the fear of testing positive for THC.
One main thing to take into consideration is that while industrial hemp-derived CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC, these levels are so small that it’s unlikely they will trigger a positive result when tested at work or other places where drug screening is done. In addition to this, the amount of THC present in CBD from industrial hemp is significantly lower than the amount found in other types of cannabis.
This means that CBD products derived from hemp are viewed much differently when it comes to drug testing and do not have the potential to give a false positive like THC-rich products.
The primary difference between CBD from hemp oil vs. marijuana comes down to how each type of plant is used by people.
Hemp is a type of cannabis that contains negligible amounts of THC and has been cultivated specifically for its strong, durable fiber. It’s also commonly used in the production of plastics and other materials as well as being a highly-nutritious food source thanks to its seeds.
CBD from hemp oil is typically made from the flowers and upper leaves of a hemp plant.
Medical marijuana is another type of cannabis made from the dried buds and leaves of a high-THC variety. It’s usually grown indoors where there’s a higher concentration of THC in this specific part of the plant, resulting in products that can be much more potent when they’re derived from medical marijuana.
The THC content found in CBD products sourced from medical marijuana is typically much higher than those derived from industrial hemp.
That’s why it’s so important to know where your CBD product comes from as well as the concentration of THC within it.
It is possible to extract CBD oil that contains virtually zero amounts of THC, but this will require that you use highly specialized equipment and follow specific procedures.
If you want to know exactly what the CBD products in your possession are made of, it’s recommended that you look for third-party lab tests on the packaging or ask your supplier directly.
Does CBD show up on a drug test?
In short, yes – but it depends on what type of drug test is being used.
CBD products derived from industrial hemp will almost certainly not be included in a standard drug screen for THC because it contains insignificant amounts of the psychoactive ingredient most associated with getting “high.”
While CBD itself cannot cause a positive result on a drug test, certain products or methods used to extract CBD may contain some amount of THC – and this can cause a false positive.
The good news is that if your CBD is sourced from hemp, it may be possible to transfer it to a CBD isolate. CBD isolate contains a high concentration of CBD and no measurable levels of THC, so there is no way this product could lead to a positive result on a drug test.
If you’re unsure about whether or not your CBD will show up when tested, the best thing you can do is order some CBD drug testing kits and try them out yourself.
These are inexpensive and will allow you to see if your CBD will test positive so you can adjust accordingly.
What else can you do to make sure your CBD does not show up on a drug test?
While the majority of people who use CBD will never be tested for THC, there is always a possibility that you could be.
In this case, the thing you’ll want to look for is products made with 99+% pure CBD isolate combined with zero-THC hemp oil. This will ensure that no matter what type of drug test you take, your results will be accurate.
Best CBD Products
People are scrambling to find high-quality CBD products for themselves and their loved ones, but the sheer volume of options available – not to mention all the scams out there – can make things pretty difficult.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the five best CBD products available so you don’t have to waste any more time or money trying to track down what works:
How to Choose the Right CBD Products for me?
There are several things you’ll want to consider when choosing the right CBD product for your needs.
First, decide if you’d rather give yourself a topical treatment or take an oral capsule. There are benefits and drawbacks to both types of treatments, so it’s best to do some research before making a decision.
Next, take a look at concentration. CBD products come in a variety of concentrations, but the amount you’ll need depends on your specific treatment goals. Make sure to use our search function to find reviews of specific products so you can see if they’re right for you. Finally, consider the price. We all have limited budgets, so be sure to check out reviews that let you know how much CBD products cost so you can buy the best one for your budget.