Will CBD make me fail a drug test?

Will CBD make me fail a drug test?

The Troublesome Relationship Between CBD and Drug Tests: What You Need to Know

CBD and Drug Tests

Are you one of those unlucky individuals who have tested positive for marijuana use even though you swear you’ve only been using 100% cannabidiol (CBD)? It turns out that urine screenings don’t actually check for CBD, so how can using this cannabis compound still get you in trouble?

According to Steven Dudley, PharmD, a clinical toxicologist and director of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, “CBD will not cause a false positive. When people who use CBD products test positive for a cannabis or marijuana drug test, it’s linked to one thing: contamination with THC.”

The problem lies in mislabeling by many CBD companies. Even products labeled as CBD or THC-free may actually contain small amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana that gets you high. This mislabeling issue is a big problem, and it’s one reason why CBD is not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Animal studies have shown that high doses of CBD can harm developing fetuses, and the effects on unborn human babies are still unknown.

As CBD continues to grow in popularity, experts warn that frequent use may affect workplace drug testing for marijuana use. While there’s no guarantee that you can use a CBD product and pass a drug test, responsible use is crucial.

Understanding the World of Cannabis

To fully grasp the relationship between CBD, THC, marijuana, and hemp, let’s delve into the sometimes confusing world of cannabis.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in cannabis, including marijuana and hemp. Although there’s some evidence that CBD may ease pain, anxiety, insomnia, and other health problems, scientists are still researching its medical benefits. Currently, there’s only one FDA-approved CBD drug, prescribed for rare types of seizures. However, unregulated CBD products are widely available, from online sellers and local dispensaries to gas stations and grocery stores.

While marijuana does contain CBD, most CBD products come from hemp. Legally speaking, hemp is any part of the cannabis plant with less than 0.3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, there can still be trace amounts of THC in many CBD products made from hemp. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive, which is its main selling point. It is often used for its potential role in the inflammatory pathway and pain management.

Unraveling the Mystery of CBD and Failed Drug Tests

Companies sell CBD products with little to no THC. The problem is that you may not be able to trust the accuracy of the information provided on the packaging.

Studies have shown that most CBD products sold online and in stores are not accurately labeled. Some have more or less CBD than advertised, while others contain THC despite being labeled as THC-free. Even small amounts of legal THC can be problematic. While a single use is unlikely to result in a failed drug test, frequent use or high doses of CBD products can increase the chances of testing positive.

When it comes to drug tests, urine screenings check for THC metabolites, which are molecules that remain in the body after THC is broken down. A positive test only indicates that THC was present in the body at some point; it doesn’t specify how it got there. THC metabolites can accumulate over time and persist in the body for several days to a week after exposure. Individuals who use THC products frequently may continue to test positive for 2 to 3 weeks.

Tips to Avoid Failing a Drug Test While Using CBD

Experts agree that the safest option is to stop using CBD products, or at least refrain from using them close to your urine screening. However, there are other steps you can take to reduce your exposure to THC:

  1. Try to buy THC-free products: Look for terms like broad-spectrum, THC-free, CBD isolate, or 100% CBD on the product labels. Avoid products that are labeled as full-spectrum, as they are more likely to contain trace amounts of THC. However, it’s important to note that until there are enforced regulations, product accuracy remains uncertain.

  2. Check for a certificate of analysis (COA): Ensure that the product you want to try has been tested by an accredited third-party lab. These labs analyze CBD products for THC and other cannabinoids and have no affiliation with the manufacturer. If you find the COA but are unsure about the results, reach out to the CBD company for clarification.

  3. Shop with a licensed dispensary: Licensed dispensaries are more likely to test the ingredients in their products and provide accurate information to customers. They face the risk of losing their license and reputation if they mislead consumers. While there are good manufacturers out there, the CBD market as a whole remains largely unregulated.

Is Using CBD Worth the Risk?

Before using any unregulated supplement like CBD, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons and discuss your intentions with a healthcare professional. Doctors can help determine the best approach to managing your medical conditions, which may involve switching to more trusted treatments.

Consider the potential consequences of failing a drug test due to CBD usage. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you undergo regular drug testing for work purposes?
  • Will you be applying for a new job soon?
  • Are you exposed to marijuana personally or through secondhand exposure?
  • Are you pregnant and reside in a state where newborns are tested for THC?
  • Are you on probation or under the supervision of a parole officer who should be aware of your CBD use?
  • Would a positive THC test affect your workers’ compensation if you were injured on the job?

If you use CBD and fail a drug test, additional measures can be taken to further examine the results. For instance, your employer or parole officer may order a follow-up lab test to measure the ratio of CBD to THC in your system. This provides more detailed information than a basic positive-negative urine drug screening. However, keep in mind that urine tests are fast and inexpensive, and you may not have the opportunity for a second chance. Therefore, prevention is key.

As the popularity of CBD continues to surge, it’s essential to navigate its association with drug tests with caution. By understanding the relationship between CBD and THC, choosing reliable products, and seeking guidance from professionals, you can make informed decisions regarding your CBD usage without risking unwanted consequences.

Remember, while CBD holds promise for various health conditions, it is crucial to prioritize your personal circumstances and make choices that align with your unique situation.