What are the odds that CBD oil users will test positive when subjected to illicit drug screenings, and what can be done to prevent it?
There are several techniques for extracting CBD oil from the cannabis plant. The extraction method determines whether the active CBD compound gets processed as a “full spectrum oil” or an “isolate.” A CBD isolate is a pure compound with no other active compounds or cannabinoids at all. A full spectrum oil contains other active plant compounds in addition to the CBD such as CBN (cannabinol) and cannabis terpenes (the part of the plant that gives the plant its aroma), and more.
Breakdown of Cannabis
Very small amounts of THC present in the material that CBD is extracted from can get into the CBD oil in high enough amounts to result in a positive drug test. This scenario may be more apt to occur when CBD oil is purchased from cannabis dispensaries in places where cannabis is legal, as opposed to an online retailer.
In fact, one study discovered that almost 70 percent of the CBD products sold online were not labeled properly, “causing potential serious harm to its consumers.” The reason for this widespread mislabeling is that CBD products are not strictly regulated by the FDA.
There are several common reasons a person fails a CBD drug test.
For instance, producers can isolate CBD compounds after the oil is extracted from the stalks and seeds from hemp plants. This process leads to pure CBD, effectively eliminating any THC and other plant-based constituents from the end product. Once isolated, the CBD can be mixed with liquid oils that contain fatty acids to improve absorption.
CBD is a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis, which some say provides the benefit of relaxation without the high that THC provides.
Should you worry about CBD oil showing up on a drug test?
Under the SAMHSA framework, the cutoff limit for the presence of THC is 50 nanograms per milliliter. Following these guidelines, if an extremely high dose of 2,000 milligrams of CBD oil that contains 0.3% THC was consumed, there’s a slim chance of receiving a “false positive” result on a urine screening.
Although hemp-derived CBD products are available in states where recreational cannabis isn’t legal, some people might worry whether their use of CBD oil will show up on a drug test. Even in states where it is legal to buy THC-heavy cannabis from a retail store, some employers still screen employees for cannabis use. It’s a valid concern considering that even CBD products derived from hemp are legally permitted to contain traces of THC, 0.3% or less to be exact, perhaps leaving some consumers to wonder whether there’s a small amount of THC in their CBD oil — and whether that will show up on a drug test.
Urine and oral drug screenings have a lower threshold for detection, so there is slightly more risk with these tests, according to a December 2018 article published in Vice. While it’s possible that the small amounts of THC that exist within a CBD product could accumulate and show up in a drug test, it’s still highly unlikely.
There are a few reasons why you’d fail a CBD drug test.
CBD oil and other CBD products can be made from either the cannabis plant or the hemp plant. These are closely related variations of Cannabis sativa. Products with CBD in them contain cannabidiol, which is a cannabinoid, and doesn’t make you high. It’s the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana that causes the buzz you experience.
How Does Drug Testing For Cannabis Work?
In theory, ending up with a false positive on a CBD drug test should be fairly impossible if the product uses pure CBD that contains less than 0.3% THC. But, since CBD isn’t well regulated as of yet, there isn’t any guarantee any certain product will contain pure CBD oil, or if its concentration is at an effective or safe level if the company doesn’t provide a certification of analysis (COA) from an independent third party.
One study suggests as long as the CBD is pure, it won’t show up on a drug test. Researchers of the study found CBD didn’t react with a couple commercially available tests for screening marijuana use.
There are certain things you can do if you use a CBD product to prevent you from failing a drug test. These include: