Does CBD Show Up on Drug Tests?
It’s common in certain sectors of the modern-day workforce for employees to be subjected to drug tests before starting the job. Especially for jobs in heavy industry, such as oil, gas, and mining, drug tests are just a part of the job. However, as CBD oil becomes an increasingly common alternative therapy for pain, mood, and inflammation, it leaves many wondering how this could affect the results of their next on-the-job drug test. After all, if drug tests are looking for marijuana, can’t they also detect other cannabinoids, such as CBD?
Before we dive into the details of how drug tests work and what that means for CBD, we should confirm that, under most circumstances, CBD oil will not trigger a positive test result. So, rest easy that, if you use only CBD products, your next drug test will come back clean. It will not jeopardize your employment. At the moment, there is no such thing as a standardized CBD drug test.
How Does a Drug Test Work?
Not all drug tests work in the same way. Some tests look for immediate on-the-spot results, others check for evidence of the long-term use of marijuana. Job-site drug tests almost always are going to check for short-term evidence, but if you are still in the interview process, potential employers may require a test that checks for longer-term evidence.
No matter what kind of drug test you are subjected to, no commonly used tests look for CBD specifically. Instead, drug tests look only for the psychoactive compound in marijuana, THC. Tests providing immediate results, such as saliva tests, rely on an oral swab to check for THC molecule in your saliva. This test has a short window of accuracy, and usually will find THC only up to 48 hours after consumption.
Other tests that examine urine, blood and hair have a much more extended period of accuracy. These tests do not test for THC; instead, they check for a metabolite called THC-COOH. Once ingested, THC enters the bloodstream and is metabolized by the liver into this new compound. Urine, blood and hair tests were designed to test for THC-COOH, instead of THC.
Whatever test, and whatever the brand, will not detect CBD in the blood, urine, hair or saliva. Drug tests are precise, created to react with very particular chemical compounds. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, out of all the dozens of cannabinoids known to exist in marijuana, THC is their only concern. Therefore, it’s the only concern for drug testers.
Is CBD Legal?
Happily, we can confirm that hemp CBD products are legal in all 50 states and more than 45 countries worldwide. Hemp products are not on any federal watch list and, unlike marijuana, they are not classified as a Schedule I drug (a high potential for abuse and no legitimate medical use). The DEA primarily is concerned with the psychoactivity of Cannabis Sativa products. Therefore, when CBD oil and other products are sourced from industrial hemp, they are of no concern to the agency.
According to the U.S. Drug Centers, “If the product contains only CBD and has had the THC removed, then an individual being tested would not be expected to test positive for marijuana or marijuana metabolite." Psychoactivity is directly related to THC content, and hemp products contain less than 0.3 percent THC. With the THC content so low, CBD hemp products become legal.
To learn more about the differences between THC and CBD, check out this article:
What are the Risks for Positive Test Results?
There is a slight chance, under certain circumstances, that CBD could trigger a false positive on a standard drug test. The risk is low, but the details below should be noted in case a drug test is in your future.
Source High-Quality Hemp CBD
Always source high-quality products derived from hemp. Hemp legally contains less than 0.3 percent THC, and therefore will not trigger a positive test result. Many products on the market are isolated from medical marijuana, increasing the risk for THC contamination. At the same time, this isolation reduces the overall medicinal potential. Whole plant medicine always is better, since it takes advantage of other cannabinoids and terpenes found within the plant. Isolating CBD destroys this therapeutic benefit. So, it's still best to source hemp-based CBD targeting whole-plant medicine.
False Positives with High Doses of CBD Oil
Limited evidence confirms the possibility, but some experts theorize that extremely high doses of CBD potentially could lead to a false positive. One example given suggested that doses of 2,000 mg daily (on the highest end of the dose spectrum), could cause a false positive. However, it’s very likely people taking this dose of CBD would be treating a terminal illness such as cancer, and under most circumstances would not be subjected to drug testing of any kind.
Continuing to Use THC products
Not surprisingly, if you take CBD in conjunction with THC products, it is entirely likely you will test positive for THC. Cannabidiol will not cancel out any THC compounds floating around in your system. In fact, CBD inhibits the ability of the liver to process certain compounds promptly. So, there is a chance your THC test will read higher if you take CBD as well. If you foresee any drug test in your future, it is essential to cease all consumption of THC products at least three months prior.
Every day across America, employers subject their employees to a variety of drug tests. Thankfully, CBD is not a concern and, therefore, is not on the target list. In the vast majority of cases (except the exceptions mentioned above), CBD is safe for use before a drug test. According to the US Drug Test Centers website, “it would seem that CBD alone is not enough to raise any red flags on a drug test.”
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