Will CBD Oil Make You Fail a Drug Test?
Posted on July 6th, 2020
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally-occurring compound that’s found in cannabis plants, one of over 100 components known as cannabinoids. Once CBD is extracted and consumed, it interacts with receptors in your body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Since the ECS is responsible for regulating internal functions like mood, sleep, and pain responses, these interactions produce numerous effects in your body.
Now, whatever your reason for taking CBD oil, you want the experience to be positive. This means the last thing you would ever want to do is test positive for an illegal substance in a drug test. Whether randomized tests are a requirement in your job or you simply want to be safe, you can be sure to find all the information you need to achieve peace of mind before taking CBD oil products.
Will CBD Oil Make You Fail a Drug Test?
As we mentioned, CBD is a cannabinoid. And so is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the component of marijuana that gives users that euphoric high. Now, because CBD and THC are both cannabinoids, and THC is still a regulated substance in the United States, it’s only natural to wonder whether using CBD could also get you into trouble on a drug test.
But here’s the thing. Unlike THC use, it is entirely legal to use CBD in the United States (as long as your product meets the federal guidelines laid out in the 2018 Farm Bill–more about that in a bit.) In other words, taking CBD oil won’t make you fail a drug test since a drug test for CBD doesn’t exist. Ready to breathe a sigh of relief? Hold on just a minute: just because drug tests don’t screen for CBD doesn’t automatically mean that you are actually in the clear.
In that 2018 Farm Bill, the federal government legalized hemp-derived CBD products. Now, hemp plants are cannabis varietals with low THC and high CBD concentrations. (In order to meet federal guidelines, legal CBD must have a THC concentration below 0.3%.) Unfortunately, even that small concentration could be a sticking point for certain drug tests.
You see, low levels of THC can’t deliver psychotropic effects, so taking legal CBD oil won’t get you ‘high’. But cannabis drug tests aren’t always able to determine the concentration of THC in your body, so even a small THC concentration in your CBD could be a problem. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy CBD products; it just means you may need to sample a broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate since those forms of CBD oil contain no THC whatsoever.
CBD Drug Tests
Drug tests are typically conducted at workplaces or schools to check for substances that may impede your individual abilities. THC is one of the common substances screened for in these tests. Oral fluid testing, hair follicle testing, and urine tests are the most common types of drug tests, and all of them consider THC a failing substance.
How Do the Various Tests Check for THC?
Different drug tests have different thresholds for the level of THC they are capable of detecting. A urine test is the most common type of administered drug test, but you can also be tested for the presence of THC in your blood, hair, sweat, or saliva.
Drug tests are only capable of identifying THC that has been recently metabolized in the body. Yet, as noted earlier, these tests are unable to accurately pinpoint how regularly you consume banned substances or the amount of banned substances that entered your body.
Oral Fluid Test
With an oral fluid test, your saliva is screened for the presence of THC. The test is incapable of detecting CBD or any other cannabinoids. Even consuming large quantities of products with a high concentration of CBD won’t lead to a positive drug test.
Hair Follicle Test
Hair follicle tests generally don’t check for the presence of CBD, but rather they are used for checking whether THC is present. It, therefore, goes without saying that CBD will not show up on a standard hair follicle test. However, THC will.
With a urine test, you must submit a urine sample for testing. The test looks specifically for THC-COOH, which is a cannabis metabolite. If it is present in the body, it shows that THC has been recently metabolized.
Does CBD Oil Ever Contain THC?
The answer to this question truly depends on the form of CBD you choose to sample. The source of cannabis used in the making of CBD oil as well as the method used to process the buds strongly dictates the amount of THC that’s present in the oil.
As we touched on earlier, hemp and marijuana are both varieties of cannabis plants. The difference between the two is their relative THC and CBD concentrations. Marijuana is cannabis that contains more than 0.3 percent THC while hemp is cannabis that contains less than 0.3 percent THC . CBD that’s extracted from marijuana is illegal in the United States and in many other countries. So you should stick to hemp-extracted CBD if you don’t want to fail a drug test.
CBD that’s extracted from hemp can fall in one of three categories:
- Full-Spectrum: CBD is extracted together with the rest of the cannabinoids present in hemp; THC included (in legal concentrations.)
- Broad Spectrum: CBD and additional cannabinoids are extracted together, but all traces of THC are removed from the final product.
- CBD Isolate (Pure CBD): CBD is extracted and separated from THC and all other cannabinoids.
The only way to ensure that you don’t fail a drug test is by consuming pure CBD or CBD isolate. While you’re unlikely to fail a drug test from taking a full-spectrum CBD product, there is a small chance that trace THC levels could trigger a positive test result.
Where to Get the Best CBD Oil and Other CBD Products
Many different factors affect the final concentration and quality of CBD products. Because CBD comes from living plants, any changes in the weather, environment, water, or soil may affect the plant’s biology. Choosing healthy hemp plants and employing consistent farming and manufacturing methods leads to the highest quality product.
Having said that, we’ve all seen a market flooded with CBD products. But they’re not all created equally. Look for a retailer, like Tanasi, who can provide proof of hemp source and a product certificate of analysis, to ensure the safety and quality of your CBD.
Is It Possible to Prove That You Have Taken CBD Oil and Not Marijuana?
Unfortunately, once you’ve failed a drug test, it’s impossible to prove that you took CBD, not marijuana. Now, if you keep your CBD packaging, receipt, and perhaps a bank or credit card statement that shows the purchase, you may get lucky and offer believable proof of your legal CBD use. But there are no guarantees that you won’t get in trouble.
Why CBD Oil Could Make You Fail a Drug Test
There are three reasons why consuming CBD oil may still result in a failed drug test:
- Using CBD oil that contains THC
- Accidental contamination of the CBD with THC
- Being exposed to THC via secondhand smoke
Using CBD Oil That Contains THC
Legal CBD products may contain up to 0.3 percent THC concentrations. While this THC concentration is negligible, and won’t affect your body, it could still show up on a drug test. And in most states, THC is not legal.
Accidental Contamination With THC
Accidental contamination is a commonly reported problem in dispensaries where cannabis is legal, so if THC isn’t legal in your state, this isn’t something you need to worry about. Truly, cross-contamination only occurs when THC and CBD oils are either extracted within the same laboratory or sold in the same dispensary.
Being Exposed to THC via Secondhand Smoke
You can be inadvertently exposed to THC if you spend time with regular marijuana consumers. Second-hand THC exposure is more likely to be picked up on a hair follicle test as opposed to a blood or urine test, but it still can lead to a false positive on a drug test.
Note: Watch Out for Old Technologies That Produce False Positives
It is important to note that an older drug test could falsely identify THC in a sample that contains only CBD. The specific method to watch out for is gas-chromatography mass spectrometry using the derivatization agent trifluoroacetic anhydride. Fortunately, there’s some recourse – CBD users have managed to successfully challenge failed drug tests for THC if they can prove that the laboratory is using this method since it is more prone to false positives.
Summary: Will CBD Oil Fail a Drug Test?
On the surface, this seems like a very simple question that requires a simple answer, but that’s just not the case, as you’ve likely figured out by now. Drug tests don’t screen for CBD since it is not an illegal controlled substance and doesn’t cause intoxicating effects.
Still, it is possible for CBD users to fail a drug test. CBD products can contain trace amounts of THC, whether that’s because you’re using a full spectrum product or you’ve accidentally purchased an improperly labeled product. Other drugs and testing methods may also interfere with the results, leading to false positives.
To avoid worrying about failed drug tests after consuming CBD products, stick to CBD oil you’ve purchased from reliable providers, who offer ingredient transparency and third-party testing. That’s the reassurance we offer our Tanasi customers, and it’s what you should expect from any reputable CBD manufacturer.
Will CBD oil make you fail a drug test? THC is a regulated substance in the United States, which may lead one to wonder if CBD can appear on a drug test.
Should you worry about CBD oil showing up on a drug test?
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- Should you worry about CBD oil showing up on a drug test?
- Is there such a thing as a CBD oil drug test?
Cannabidiol (CBD) has recently surged into the therapeutic spotlight for its perceived anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, pain-relieving, and seizure-suppressing properties. It can be found in health and wellness aisles across the world — perhaps even at your local Walgreens or CVS — and comes in many forms, some of which include CBD oil, tinctures, edibles, elixirs, and more.
CBD is a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis, which some say provides the benefit of relaxation without the high that THC provides.
Although hemp-derived CBD products are available in states where recreational cannabis isn’t legal, some people might worry whether their use of CBD oil will show up on a drug test. Even in states where it is legal to buy THC-heavy cannabis from a retail store, some employers still screen employees for cannabis use. It’s a valid concern considering that even CBD products derived from hemp are legally permitted to contain traces of THC, 0.3% or less to be exact, perhaps leaving some consumers to wonder whether there’s a small amount of THC in their CBD oil — and whether that will show up on a drug test.
“I think that people who are afraid of testing positive should use isolate that is third-party tested to have no THC or extremely minute trace amounts that result in no THC. That’s the simple and safest thing,” said Dr. Joseph J. Morgan, Professor of Cannabis Education at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and medical adviser.
CBD is a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis, which provides the benefit of relaxation without experiencing the high that THC provides. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
While there are certain CBD products, such as distillate and crystalline, that contain zero THC, the fears of inexperienced consumers may still persist. Like most things in the constantly evolving cannabis space, there are a number of factors to consider.
Should you worry about CBD oil showing up on a drug test?
In most cases, it’s highly unlikely that CBD oil will show up on a drug test. Most employment drug tests specifically look for the presence of THC or THC metabolites. Most employers abide by the guidelines set forth by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA), which includes detection for THC but not CBD.
But what if your CBD oil contains small traces of THC? Many top CBD manufacturers have products with no presence of THC. Although hemp-derived CBD products are legally allowed to contain a maximum of 0.3% THC, some prospective consumers may still be reluctant to try CBD that contains even a small amount of THC. Thankfully, there are ways to create hemp-derived CBD products without any hint of the intoxicating cannabis compound.
For instance, producers can isolate CBD compounds after the oil is extracted from the stalks and seeds from hemp plants. This process leads to pure CBD, effectively eliminating any THC and other plant-based constituents from the end product. Once isolated, the CBD can be mixed with liquid oils that contain fatty acids to improve absorption.
But how can you tell how much THC, if any, might reside inside your CBD oil? Can you really trust everything the label on the side of the bottle? The safest bet is to look for well-known CBD products that are independently tested.
“Buy from reputable forms that are third-party tested that have batch numbers, lot numbers, and retained batch samples. If they claim that either that their plants are genetically engineered for no THC or they use methods that purge THC, to make sure that that’s third-party validated,” Morgan said.
While it’s possible that small amounts of THC that exist within a CBD product could accumulate and show up in a drug test, it’s still highly unlikely. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
There are also different types of drug tests that can be used, all of which present different detection thresholds. For instance, a hair test is made to detect habitual substance use, so it will probably not raise any red flags even if you are consuming CBD oil that has low levels of THC.
Urine and oral drug screenings have a lower threshold for detection, so there is slightly more risk with these tests, according to a December 2018 article published in Vice. While it’s possible that the small amounts of THC that exist within a CBD product could accumulate and show up in a drug test, it’s still highly unlikely.
Under the SAMHSA framework, the cutoff limit for the presence of THC is 50 nanograms per milliliter. Following these guidelines, if an extremely high dose of 2,000 milligrams of CBD oil that contains 0.3% THC was consumed, there’s a slim chance of receiving a “false positive” result on a urine screening.
Is there such a thing as a CBD oil drug test?
While it may be uncommon for anyone to screen for the presence of CBD, does a CBD oil drug test even exist? Technically, since CBD is a chemical that your body metabolizes, a specific test can be developed to detect it. But the average drug test will not identify any usage of CBD oil.
To obtain a CBD oil drug test, an employer or entity would have to pay a testing company an additional charge to change their testing regimen to include CBD. When you consider that this non-intoxicating compound won’t get you high or impair your ability at work, there’s really no need for a CBD oil drug test.
If you’re concerned that using CBD-infused products will cause you to fail a drug test, there are certain precautions you can take to ensure that no THC enters your system. Look for producers who create high-quality CBD products that contain zero THC, such as distillate or crystalline products.
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