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Never thought of yourself as a cannabis user, but eager to hop on the CBD train? Well, all aboard! As cannabidiol (CBD) use becomes more popular, many have been asking: will CBD oil make me fail a drug test?
Although CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis family of plants, it does not contain the same psychoactive properties of THC, an infinitely more famous cannabinoid. Cannabidiol use actually reduces stress, anxiety, depression, pain and muscle tension, among many other daily maladies. No, CBD will not and does not get you “high;” it actually counteracts the effects of THC, useful for those who get a little too high. And CBD oil definitely doesn’t make you fail a drug test, despite being a cannabinoid of the cannabis plant as THC.
But wait! In a past blog post, I said that legal CBD contains a THC content of .3% or less. Isn’t that still enough to show up on a drug test?! In almost every case, the answer is no. But don’t take my word for it just yet; keep reading to find out exactly why CBD use won’t make you fail a drug test.
Now, the question isn’t necessarily: will CBD oil make me fail a drug test? It’s more like: do drug tests screen for CBD? What exactly are they looking for? Is the THC content in legal CBD enough to produce a failing result?
Understanding the difference between cannabinoid components, as well as the various types of drug tests used, will give you a better understanding of CBD’s relationship to screenings. Below, we’ll break down each of these questions and take an in-depth look into why CBD will not result in a failed drug test.
Drug testing is a common practice in the workplace, due to insurance prerequisites and the drive to increase overall productivity. Regular drug screening is required throughout a federal employee’s career. An initial drug test is always conducted upon getting a federal job. One of the most commonly tested for components in drug tests is the presence of marijuana. Well, more accurately, the presence of the metabolized cannabinoid THC.
This is where things can get tricky for folks. Legally, CBD derived from the hemp plant contains no more than a .3% THC content. So theoretically, cannabidiol is not tested for in drug screenings and the amount of THC found in some legal CBD isn’t enough to fail a drug test. But, don’t take a sigh of relief just yet – there are no guarantees you’ll pass a drug test after using CBD products. What really determines whether or not you’re likely to pass is how much CBD you’re taking, when you’re being drug tested and where your CBD is derived. There are two main types of CBD produced:
Full spectrum CBD products come from the stems and seeds of the hemp plant. They contain highly concentrated and potent cannabidiol, along with trace amounts of other cannabinoids found naturally in the hemp plant (including up to a .3% THC content). If you know you’ll be drug tested soon, be cautious using full spectrum CBD products. Though the THC content in these products is not enough to get you “high” and therefore, in theory, not enough to fail a drug test, small traces of THC could still be picked up, resulting in a positive drug test. It honestly comes down to how much CBD you’re taking each day, and the amounts of THC contained in these products. Check out this article from Leafly for further information on how it’s possible, in some cases, to fail a drug test when taking highly concentrated doses of CBD.
The name says it all! CBD isolate is produced by isolating and removing CBD from the other cannabinoids present in the plant. This process works well to rid CBD of everything else, but isn’t foolproof yet. Some trace amounts of cannabinoids, like THC, could still remain. Isolate CBD is available in a range of purity levels, indicating to users the amount of “pure CBD” in the actual product.
Most isolate products are 99.9% pure CBD. Keep in mind: the lower the percentage of pure CBD in the products, the higher the amount of other cannabinoids in that product. For example, products labeled as 99.5% pure CBD isolate contain higher traces of THC and other cannabinoids than a product labeled as 99.9% pure. Though there’s still a small risk for testing positive in a drug test, isolate products are the choice for users who face regular drug testing and want to be on the very, very safe side.
Now that you know what types of CBD products are out there and the difference between these products, it’s important to understand how a drug test works.
What the heck are your employers even testing for? When conducting drug tests, employers search for how much of a certain drug’s metabolites are present after your body breaks the drug down. Drug tests measure a variety of metabolites in the body, the most prevalent of which is THC. An exception to this rule are blood and saliva screens, which actively measure the amount of THC contained therein. Since CBD contains such low levels of THC, metabolites aren’t concentrated enough to render a positive drug test. However, take caution still, especially if taking a high dosage of CBD every day. Currently, no drug tests screen for CBD or CBD metabolites.
It’s also important to understand how different types of drug tests work. If you’re worried, find out from your employer ahead of time which type of drug screening they’ll be conducting. Here’s a breakdown of some types of drug testing you’ll encounter:
This is the most common type of pre-employment drug test. The primary metabolite in THC is fat soluble, meaning it’s stored in fatty tissue in the body and hands around a bit longer than other drugs. Depending on THC usage, it could take anywhere from 2 days to 4 weeks to be undetectable in your system.
THC metabolites are detectable in hair follicles up to 90 days after use. Strands of hair undergo testing to detect repeated drug use. Hair is basically a living record of repeated drug use over a long period of time. However, minimal THC use, like the THC in CBD products, isn’t detectable in tests.
Unlike urine and hair screens, blood tests measure the actual amount of THC in blood, as opposed to measuring its metabolites. This type of testing is really only common in criminal investigations, so rest assured! It’s rare to encounter this type of drug screening. For infrequent THC users, traces of the cannabinoid could be detectable in the blood for up to 24 hours. For more frequent users, expect it to take about seven days before its undetectable.
Like blood tests, saliva screens also test for the presence of THC in your saliva. Again, this practice is common during criminal investigations, although it could be used in workplace testing as well. Don’t worry just yet! Since low amounts of THC is ever excreted through saliva glands, most tests only detect the cannabinoid’s presence one to two hours after use.
Will CBD oil make me fail a drug test? Probably not. CBD is not tested for in drug screenings. The amount of THC in legal CBD products isn’t enough to make you fail a drug test (unless you take a really high CBD dosage each day). However, always take caution when using any CBD product, just in case.
If you’re concerned about failing a drug test when using CBD products, isolate cannabidiol products, which contain more pure CBD per bottle, are the way to go. Bottles labeled as “99.9%” pure contain lower amounts of other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. And if you want to stay on the extra safe side, buy a home drug test from your local drug store. This is an easy and inexpensive way to determine if you’ll pass or fail an upcoming drug test.
By understanding the different types of CBD out there, how various drug tests work and monitoring your own CBD use, you can reap the benefits of CBD worry-free – and tell your coworkers about it, too!
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FDA Disclaimer: The statements regarding these products are not evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products is not confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products do not diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.