The Truth About CBD and Drug Tests: What You Need to Know

Non-Intoxicating Cannabidiol (CBD) Can Still Lead to Positive Marijuana Test Results with Certain Products - Know the Facts.

Can CBD be detected in a drug test?

🌿 Did you know that using CBD can potentially cause you to fail a drug test? 🌿

“But wait,” you might be thinking, “I thought drug tests don’t check for CBD!” And you’re absolutely right! Drug screenings specifically look for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component found in marijuana that gets you high. So how is it possible that using CBD can still land you in trouble?

According to Steven Dudley, PharmD, a clinical toxicologist and director of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, the culprit behind failed drug tests for CBD users is contamination with THC. Many CBD companies claim that their products contain only trace amounts of THC or are completely THC-free. However, mislabeling is a significant issue in the industry, and some products that are advertised as 100% CBD or THC-free may actually contain THC. This is why using CBD during pregnancy or while breastfeeding is strongly discouraged. High doses of THC have been shown to harm developing fetuses in animal studies, and the effects on unborn babies in humans are still unknown.

As the popularity of CBD continues to grow, it’s important to be aware that frequent use might affect workplace drug tests for marijuana. While there’s no guarantee that you can use a CBD product and pass a drug test, “there’s something to be said for responsible use,” says Dudley. So, let’s dive into the sometimes confusing world of cannabis and explore what you need to know to avoid any unwanted surprises on your drug test.

What’s the Difference Between CBD, THC, Marijuana, and Hemp?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in cannabis, including marijuana and hemp. CBD is known to potentially ease pain, anxiety, insomnia, and other health problems. However, scientists are still researching the full medical benefits of this cannabinoid.

Marijuana contains CBD, but most CBD products on the market come from hemp. Legally speaking, hemp is any part of the cannabis plant with less than 0.3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Although hemp-derived CBD products are considered to be low in THC, they may still contain trace amounts of THC. It’s vital to note that high amounts of delta-9 THC can alter your mind and reflexes. On the other hand, CBD is not psychoactive and is mainly sought after for its potential role in reducing inflammation and managing pain.

How Can Using CBD Make You Fail a Drug Test?

While companies sell CBD products with little to no THC, the issue lies in the lack of trustworthiness regarding product labeling. Recent studies have shown that most CBD products sold online and in stores are not accurately labeled. Variations in CBD content and the presence of THC in products labeled as THC-free are widespread concerns.

Even small amounts of legal THC can cause problems during a drug test. If you use CBD products regularly or at high doses, the THC from those products can accumulate in your system and increase your chances of testing positive. Urine drug tests specifically look for THC metabolites, which remain in your body even after the drug has been broken down. The accumulation of THC metabolites can potentially lead to a positive test result. The duration of time that THC can be detected in urine depends on the frequency and amount of THC used, with a typical range of several days to a week after a single exposure. If you regularly use THC products, it’s possible to test positive for 2 to 3 weeks.

How To Avoid Failing a THC Drug Test While Using CBD

While there’s no foolproof way to guarantee a negative drug test while using CBD, there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to THC. Here are some tips:

🌱 Try to buy THC-free products.

Look for terms like broad-spectrum, THC-free, CBD isolate, or 100% CBD when shopping for CBD products. These terms indicate that the product is less likely to contain any trace amounts of THC. However, it’s important to note that without proper regulations in place, product accuracy can be uncertain. Until regulations are enforced, it’s difficult to be certain about the contents of a CBD product.

🌱 Check for a certificate of analysis (COA).

Always verify that the CBD product you want to try has been tested by an accredited third-party lab. These labs analyze CBD products for THC levels and other cannabinoids, providing an unbiased report on the product’s composition. If you find a COA but are unsure about its results, don’t hesitate to contact the CBD company for clarification.

🌱 Shop with a licensed dispensary.

Dispensaries that are licensed to sell CBD products are more likely to test their ingredients and provide accurate information to customers. These establishments have a lot to lose if they mislead customers and risk losing their license and reputation. In the still unregulated CBD market, dispensaries may be the ones doing the best job of regulating their products.

Is Using CBD Worth the Risk?

Before deciding to use CBD, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of taking an unregulated supplement. Consult with your doctor about why you want to use CBD and discuss alternative treatments or therapies that may be more trustworthy and effective for your medical conditions.

It’s also essential to consider the potential consequences of a failed drug test. If you use CBD or plan to use it in the future, ask yourself the following questions:

🌱 Do you undergo regular drug tests for work? 🌱 Are you planning to apply for a new job soon? 🌱 Do you have personal or secondhand exposure to marijuana? 🌱 Are you pregnant and live in a state where newborns are tested for THC? 🌱 Are you on probation, and does your parole officer know you use CBD? 🌱 Will a positive THC test affect your workers’ compensation if you ever get injured on the job?

If you do use CBD and fail a drug test, there may be ways to further investigate your results. Your employer or parole officer may order a follow-up lab test to measure the ratio of CBD to THC, providing more detailed information than a basic positive-negative urine drug screening. However, keep in mind that urine tests are generally fast and inexpensive, and you may not get a second chance to prove your innocence. Prevention is truly the key.

So, before considering CBD as a part of your wellness routine, do your research, consult healthcare professionals, and be aware of the potential risks. Being informed and proactive will help you make the best decision for your overall health and well-being.

🌿 Share your CBD experience with us! Have you encountered any challenges or concerns regarding drug tests and CBD? Comment below and let’s start a conversation! 🌿

📚 Reference List:

  1. JAMA: Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online
  2. JAMA Network Open: Cannabinoid Content and Label Accuracy of Hemp-Derived Topical Products Available Online and at National Retail Stores
  3. Clinical Toxicology: Using measured cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol metabolites in urine to differentiate marijuana use from consumption of commercial cannabidiol products
  4. Journal of Analytical Toxicology: Urinary Pharmacokinetic Profile of Cannabidiol (CBD), Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Their Metabolites following Oral and Vaporized CBD and Vaporized CBD-Dominant Cannabis Administration
  5. CDC: CBD: What You Need to Know
  6. Antioxidants: Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
  7. Journal of Medical Toxicology: ACMT Position statement: Interpretation of Urine or Tetrahydrocannabinol Metabolites
  8. American Family Physician: Urine Drug Screening: A Valuable Office Procedure
  9. Michigan State University: CBD, marijuana and hemp: What is the difference among these cannabis products, and which are legal?