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Does CBD Show Up on Drug Tests? (Can you fail?)

DOES CBD SHOW UP ON DRUG TESTS?

CBD may not show up on a drug test, according to a recent 2020 urinary pharmacokinetic cannabis study. In this study, researchers analyzed acute doses of pure CBD via oral ingestion and vape inhalation. Researchers found that pure CBD did not show positive on urine drug tests, using the current federal workplace drug testing guidelines

However, there is no restriction when it comes to labeling and regulating the THC content in CBD products yet. Thus, a positive drug test is possible if there is greater than 0.3% THC in your CBD product. 

Since CBD is the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, it won’t exert a “high” in users.  

CAN YOU FAIL A DRUG TEST DUE TO CBD?

You can fail a drug test due to CBD if there are concentrations of THC present. 

Certain drugs will certainly show up in a drug test, especially when consumed in larger quantities. This includes THC from marijuana.

Given the fact that CBD oil comes from the cannabis plant family, some users may be concerned that they will fail a drug test. Although high-quality CBD oil derived from hemp has very low levels of THC, some CBD oil may contain higher levels depending on the variant of plant. This is where trouble happens. If the CBD is hemp-derived with less than 0.3% THC, you may be “in the clear”. 

 

 

Here, at Nanocraft CBD, we ensure that all of our CBD products contain 0.00% THC through in-house laboratory testing as well as third-party laboratory testing. Each and every CBD product undergoes analytical testing and extraction processes, ensuring that no THC is present. 

If you’re curious to know more or want to see for yourself, each and every product on our website also includes a Certificate of Analysis, including information about the ingredients, and levels, potency, and concentrations of each ingredient. 

WHAT ARE THE FEDERAL GUIDELINES FOR FAILING?

The federal guidelines for failing a drug test for marijuana range from 15 ng/mL - 50 ng/mL. 

Marijuana is categorized as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substance Act, therefore a range of THC concentrations can provide confirmation for a THC positive test. 

That said, those who undergo such screening need to pass the test in order to avoid any repercussions. Drug testing is not always mandated but when it is, employers and law enforcement will almost require that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) guidelines are followed in order to keep cutoff levels standardized and to legally protect themselves.

HOW MUCH CBD WILL MAKE ME FAIL A DRUG TEST?

There are not yet clear guidelines as to how much CBD will make you fail a drug test. 

According to the Daily Journal of the United States Government, the cutoff concentration for marijuana metabolites is 50 ng/mL for drug tests. 

 

 

CBD was not listed in this table as a test analyte with distinguished cutoff classifications for positive/negative testing results. Since CBD is not yet FDA approved, it may be years before we start to see concentration cutoffs including on a substance/metabolite drug screening table. 

WHAT ARE THE AVERAGE DRUG TEST TYPES? 10 PANEL? HAIR? SWAB?

The average drug test types are urinalysis, blood, hair, and oral swab.

A urine test is one of the most common forms of drug testing. Currently, a urinalysis is the only testing method that has been federally-mandated. 

The hair test is another testing method to indicate repeated drug use since it can detect up to 90 days prior of drug use. 

The swab test collects saliva samples from the inside of the tester's mouth. This type of testing is less expensive and is easy to administer. 

CAN CBD CAUSE A FALSE POSITIVE?

CBD may cause a false-positive on a drug test. 

Not only could you exceed the limit without knowing it, but you could also be vulnerable to a false positive drug test should you be required to take one.

If you were to consume 2,000 mg of CBD oil every day (this is a hefty amount), for example, this may be equivalent to consuming low levels of THC.  As a result, you stand a much higher chance of testing positive for CBD/THC at this consumption level. 

 

 

As such, it's not only important to consider the type of CBD oil you are consuming, but the amount you are consuming as well if you are concerned about testing positive for THC. Having said that, it's so important to purchase and use CBD products that are produced by manufacturers that use high-quality extraction methods and are completely transparent about the precise levels of THC and CBD.

However, if you have enough THC in your system as a result of a low-grade CBD oil that's manufactured poorly and not derived from high-quality hemp plants, you could wind up failing the drug test.

WHY IS THERE THC IN MY CBD?

Although high-quality CBD oil derived from hemp has very low levels of THC, some CBD oil may contain higher levels depending on the variant of the plant.

Like THC, CBD oil also offers all sorts of benefits but without the euphoric effects. For those who are seeking the therapeutic properties of cannabis but without the high that comes with medical marijuana, CBD hemp oil is the solution.

The truth is, some manufacturers are not entirely honest about the amount of THC that is contained within their CBD products. As such, users of these products may be completely unaware of the fact that they may have illegal amounts of THC in their system.

 

 

In addition, not all CBD oil manufacturers make their products the same way.

While some companies create CBD oil that is entirely void of THC, others produce products that feature a tiny trace of the cannabinoids in order for all of the compounds in cannabis to work together to boost the medicinal properties of the plant.

The idea that cannabis compounds can work much better together than in isolation is known as the entourage effect. Even still, these products usually only have no more than 0.3% THC.

Drug tests aren't necessarily looking for CBD — they're only looking for the metabolites that come from your body breaking down THC. As such, CBD shouldn’t cause a positive result on a drug test because the metabolites vary between all cannabinoids.

HOW LONG DOES CBD STAY IN YOUR SYSTEM?

CBD may stay in your system depending on a couple of factors, including:

  • Frequency of use
  • Metabolism
  • Dosage
  • Administration method

Interested in learning more? Here's a related article: How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?

BLOOD TEST

An early study performed in the 90s found that subjects who took 700 mg of CBD daily, over a six week period, had “virtually undetectable” levels of endocannabinoids in their bloodstream. 

Researchers suggested that the cannabidiol elimination time frame was estimated to be about 2 - 5 days, with no significant differences between genders.

URINE TEST

In 2016, Pacific Toxicology Laboratories investigated the effects of various cannabidiol-rich products, just two hours after administration. Researchers found that 93% of participants in this study tested positive for THC and CBD metabolites. 7% (n = 1) did not test positive, suggesting that the CBD was no longer detectable in their urine after 24 hours. 

This study suggested that the length of cannabidiol staying your system is still very limited. 

HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR A DRUG TEST?

You should prepare for a drug test ahead of time by researching the marijuana laws in your state, talking with local attorneys about your rights as an employee, as well as knowing what’s in your CBD products prior to using them. 

If you suspect that your employer or new employer will be asking you to complete a drug screening, it’s better to be “safe than sorry” here, in regards to preparation. 

 

 

While drug testing does infringe on an employee’s privacy, it may be necessary to protect the health and safety of others, according to the Supreme Court. 

It’s been suggested that staying hydrated with fluids and cleaning up your diet, may help your clear the THC metabolites prior to your drug screening. 

According to Dr. Gieringer, the director of NORML, a non-profit public-interest advocacy group for marijuana, a urine test may detect marijuana use 1 - 5 days prior. He advises that users boost their fluid intake days prior to testing, to help stimulate urination and help clear any marijuana metabolites from your system. 

HOW SHOULD I SHOP FOR CBD PRODUCTS?

You should shop for CBD products carefully, looking into the CBD products themselves, but also how and what the company does to farm, harvest, and package their products.

Farmers in the US are allowed to grow industrial hemp, according to the Industrial Hemp Farming Act. This type of plant will not be part of the controlled substances list if it contains trace amounts of no more than 0.3% THC. As such, CBD oils that are classified within this range can legally be sold as food supplements all across the country.

 

This is important to know so you are aware of what types of CBD companies may be selling (plus, it can help you narrow down what you’re looking for). 

If you’re wanting a THC free product, hemp-derived CBD oil is your solution. If you’re wanting a combination THC/CBD product, you may want to expand your search to marijuana-derived CBD products as well. 

 

 

Ask companies where their CBD comes from, where it’s harvested, if they do in-house laboratory testing, if they do third-party testing, and if they can provide you certificates of analysis for each CBD product you’re interested in. 

Any reputable company should be more than happy to provide this information for you, as it shows you’re doing your CBD homework prior to just purchasing the first thing you see on the internet.

Sources:

Consroe P, Kennedy K, Schram K. Assay of plasma cannabidiol by capillary gas chromatography/ion trap mass spectroscopy following high-dose repeated daily oral administration in humans. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1991. 

DISA Global Solutions. Drug Testing Methodologies. https://disa.com/drug-alcohol-testing/types-of-drug-tests#UrineTesting

Spindle TR, Cone EJ, Kuntz D, et al. Urinary pharmacokinetic profile of cannabinoids following administration of cannabinoids following administration of vaporized and oral cannabidiol and vaporized CBD-Dominant cannabis. Journal of Analytical Toxicology. 2020. 

Wertlake PT, Henson MD. A urinary test procedure for identification of cannabidiol in patients undergoing medical therapy with marijuana. J Pain Res. 2016.


* DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is for educational purposes only. It does not exploit or provide medical advice of any kind. Therefore, any reliance you place on the information below is strictly at your own risk. Please check with your medical provider before starting or changing a CBD routine.

 

Nanocraft Sciences
Content Writer | Exercise Specialistic | Lifestyle Medicine Advocate
 Kirsten Thornhill was born and raised in a small farm town in Northern California. Kirsten graduated with a Master of Science degree in exercise physiology from Point Loma Nazarene University. She is very passionate about human physiology and the metabolic and nutritional adaptations that occur during exercise in active individuals and athletes. Kirsten has specialized in teaching clinical and practical exercise and rehabilitation applications. She enjoys educating and informing people on the importance of lifetime movement, holistic and lifestyle medicine, and health research and development. Her passion for alternative medicine enables her to strive when promoting health and education. 

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