A failed drug test is the nightmare of many employees. If you’re using cannabis products, you may be wondering whether or not certain compounds can make you test positive on a drug screening.
Drug tests check for the presence of THC, so if you’re a marijuana user, then you’ll need to abstain from your medicine in order to turn out clean during the test.
But what about CBD?
Will CBD show up on a drug test?
Can CBD oil make you fail one?
How to avoid testing positive for THC with CBD products?
This article will explain the ins and outs of cannabinoids and drug tests to help you prepare for the next screening.
Let’s start with answering the title question.
Will CBD Show Up On a Drug Test?
The short answer — no.
Drug tests are designed to look for traces of THC COOH, a metabolite of THC.
Testing for CBD would be pointless because this cannabis compound doesn’t have intoxicating properties. It won’t get the user high and isn’t capable of compromising one’s psychomotor functions.
In theory, however, drug tests could be designed for CBD and metabolites, but we haven’t heard about such screenings so far.
But, if CBD doesn’t show up on a drug test, does it mean that using CBD products can’t make you fail it?
Can I Test Positive for THC After Using CBD Oil?
The answer boils down to whether you’re taking a hemp-derived or marijuana-derived CBD oil.
Hemp plants sport higher concentrations of CBD and only trace amounts of THC (typically below 0.3%). This isn’t enough to produce a high — the reason why hemp is no longer a controlled substance — so technically, you should feel safe in that case.
With marijuana-derived CBD oil, things are a little bit different. Marijuana has higher levels of THC than CBD. Even in high-CBD strains that are selectively bred for medical purposes, there’s still enough THC to cause a failed drug test.
However, when you buy an untested product from an unknown source, you’re putting yourself at risk of taking a product that is a far cry from CBD hemp oil.
Why You May Test Positive for THC With CBD Oil
Using CBD oil from a trusted manufacturer should never result in a positive drug test. Nevertheless, in certain cases, a CBD product may lead to a failed drug test.
Below we explain the possible causes.
1. Your Product Contains More THC Than Advertised
This is the most common explanation for a false-positive result.
If your CBD oil makes THC show up on a drug test, this may be caused by higher than advertised THC concentrations or because your product is actually sourced from marijuana.
Most companies will try to assure you that their products are THC-free. But unless they can prove it with lab reports, trusting them at face value may backfire at you.
2. Cross Contamination
Detectable amounts of THC occurring in the plant material can pass into CBD oil in amounts that could result in a positive drug test. This happens more often with cheaper solvents, such as propane or butane.
CBD oil sourced from hemp should never contain more than 0.3% THC. Unfortunately, some retailers tend to mislabel their products as low-THC or THC-free even when their products exceed the legal limit for THC content.
To get yourself a bigger picture of this problem, read this study in which the researchers found that 70% of the CBD products advertised online are mislabelled, causing potential health risks and legal dangers to users. The reason mislabelling is such common practice is that the CBD industry isn’t regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
4. Secondhand Exposure to THC
Unintentional exposure to THC via secondhand smoke shouldn’t be enough for a person to fail a drug test, but it’s still possible. If your employer announces a drug test in your workplace, then it’s best to avoid spending time in a room with heavy pot smokers.
How to Avoid a Positive Drug Test
New consumers can take certain measures when buying CBD products to prevent a positive result for THC.
Your top priority should be to research your potential vendor thoroughly. If you’re buying CBD oil directly from the manufacturer, make sure they use locally grown (preferably organic) hemp, employ CO2 extraction, and provide third-party lab reports for each batch of products.
The source of hemp is important because these plants are bioaccumulators, meaning they readily absorb both the good and the bad from the soil they grow in — you want to ingest only the good compounds.
Most reputable companies use CO2 extraction to obtain CBD oil because this method uses pressurized CO2 as a solvent — resulting in clean and potent extracts.
Third-party laboratory tests analyze the chemical composition of CBD extracts and look for the most common contaminants that can potentially pass through to the end product.
Is CBD Isolate the Safest Way to Avoid a THC-positive Result?
CBD isolate is exactly what it sounds like — pure CBD that has been isolated from other compounds from the cannabis plant.
This means that CBD isolate doesn’t contain any THC, so it’s virtually impossible that you will end up with a failed drug test — as long as it comes from a legitimate source.
Another advantage of CBD isolate is very high potency per serving. This form of CBD is 99% pure, with one gram carrying about 990 mg of CBD.
Isolates are also less expensive than full-spectrum CBD.
However, experts argue that full-spectrum extracts are more effective at relieving symptoms triggered by inflammation. Unlike CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD doesn’t lose efficacy after breaching a certain dosage point.
But, if you want to err on the side of caution, CBD isolate will be your best option.
Will CBD Show Up On a Drug Test? No, But You Can Fail One Using Untested CBD Products
While drug tests look for the presence of THC, not CBD, some CBD products may contain THC levels high enough to result in a positive test.
The CBD industry is very loosely regulated and numerous fly-by-night companies are waiting to cash in on unaware consumers, selling them poorly manufactured CBD oil. This creates a risk of testing false-positive for THC on a drug test.
When buying CBD oil online, always ask for third-party reports from certified laboratories. This is the only way to ensure you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for.
Especially if you need to go through a drug screening soon.
Do you take periodical drug tests at work? How do you buy CBD oil to avoid testing positive for THC?