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CBD and Drug Testing – Will You Test Positive?

Drug testing is just part of the modern working life for many employees. For this reason, many employees across different sectors and industries might have a few questions regarding CBD use and the chances of it showing up in drug tests. If you are curious whether CBD will cause a positive drug test result or whether it will show up on a military drug test, we will begin to unpack it in this article.

Unfortunately, there is a risk of a positive drug test result for some people. Whether you need CBD for anxiety, insomnia, or pain relief, the reality is you might fail a drug test for cannabis. In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at why and how this is possible.

Then, we’ll explore whether there is any way around this.

Can You Fail a Drug Test if You Take CBD Oil?

Yes, in short, the answer is yes, it is possible. You can fail a drug test because of the residual THC found in CBD products; however, hemp-derived CBD oil alone will not show up and result in a positive drug test.

Let’s look at how these tests work and whether there is a solution for you.

What is the Deal With Workplace Drug Testing?

Many employers have made it mandatory for employees to be regularly and randomly drug tested. These tests ensure that their workforce is not impaired while at work. Workplace testing is a means to curb work accidents and liability claims and ensure that any drug abuse is caught before it becomes problematic.

 

This can be rather difficult for CBD oil users, which is why we need to understand how they work and what routine workplace testing for drugs means for them.

Although it is possible to use blood tests, it’s hardly practical in the workplace. This is why the most commonly used drug screening tests companies use are urine drug tests. Urine samples are collected and transferred to third-party companies for analysis.

Once there, the urine is tested for trace elements and chemicals found in drugs. The technicians will also test for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and THC metabolites. The technicians search for evidence of a by-product of the main active cannabinoid in cannabis, THC.

Doctor Looking Under Microscope

It is relatively uncommon for employers to use alternative drug testing techniques using samples from hair or saliva. Blood tests are also invasive, and therefore a relatively rare method. 

Federal Employee Limitations

A federal worker can fail a drug test if their urine tests positive for any trace amount of THC metabolites (THC-COOH). By” trace” amounts, it means only 50 billionths of a gram per mL of urine. That is such a tiny amount of THC metabolite that it is almost impossible to imagine.

One of the most common reasons that an employee will have a positive test result on a drug screening test is as a result of THC content. This according to Leafly, “In 2018, about 2.3% of all US controlled substances tests came out positive for the use of cannabis.”

Doctor Talking About Cbd Oil

There is a potential that an older and common type of analytical method falsely identifies THC in a sample containing only CBD. A reporter by the name of Amanda Chicago-Lewis estimated that thousands of false positives might result from this error annually. These results are a problem for people who use CBD oil for chronic pain and other ailments and can have a devastating impact.

The Impact of a False Positive

Some CBD extract users have challenged a failed drug test for THC successfully if the laboratory-made use of this particular method, resulting in a false report of CBD as THC.

It is always important to request confirmatory tests be performed in order to ensure that the specific molecular structures are identified in the samples. This is especially important for employees whose jobs might be on the line due to a false-positive result.

Requesting a confirmatory test can help you ensure that the results are accurate. In situations like this, a confirmatory test will be able to rule out a false-positive result and offer you peace of mind.

Does CBD Show Up on Drug Tests?

Cannabis plants produce both CBD and THC. Medical cannabis and industrial hemp are from the same family, and both can create hundreds of similar compounds called cannabinoids.

Delta 8 Vs Cbd

Full-spectrum CBD oil derived from federally legal hemp can still possess up to 0.3% THC by dry weight. If you consume very high CBD oil doses (thousands of milligrams) per day from the federally legal hemp oil, it implies that you may also be consuming at least 1 mg of THC.

When it comes to broad-spectrum CBD oil, which only contains trace amounts of THC, you’ll have to consume a lot more to have any THC levels in your system. Broad-spectrum CBD extracts are nearly THC-free.

If a user of CBD oil tests positive for THC, the test can either be inaccurate or, most likely, the so-called THC-free product possessed some THC, and it was incorrectly labeled and sold.

It would be best if you tried to avoid accidental exposure to THC by using certified, tested, and well-reviewed CBD products.

That way, you’ll know exactly just how much THC you are consuming and be more comfortable taking screening tests.

Common Workplace Drug Testing

A urine test is the most common workplace drug test. In this test, employers are not looking for pure CBD isolate, as CBD hasn’t been found to affect judgment or motor skills – at all. However, some CBD users may get a positive test result.

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According to Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, “Out of users in this study, no side effects included effects similar to being intoxicated.” Employees fail workplace tests for THC, which is the main active ingredient for marijuana. Researchers detected THC can be found in trace amounts in some CBD products and then remain in the human body for some time.

Understanding the Importance of Labels

Some CBD products may be mislabeled, whereby the amount of THC in some CBD products is understated. The quality of even premium CBD oils can vary in some unregulated markets, except for state-licensed adult-use and medical cannabis stores regulated by product testing.

CBD product testing from unlicensed stores has returned positive for THC. You get what you pay for when it comes to CBD, so please make sure you are buying from a reputable source, or you may find yourself on the wrong side of CBD and test positive for drugs.

 

Look for items that have QR codes on them. It will link to a real, third party analysis of things like THC content, CBD content, heavy metal screening results, and other important factors that apply to that particular batch.

Third Party Tested Cbd Tinctures

If you don’t see a QR code on a CBD product, put it down and look again. As a general rule of thumb, if it doesn’t have a QR code it’s a very poor quality item.

Qr Code Examples On Cbd Oils

It is always best to purchase high-quality, pure CBD isolate, which contains only CBD and no THC. While CBD isolate may not be as effective as broad or full spectrum products, it is the safest as far as drug testing and CBD are concerned.

Full-spectrum CBD has a minimal amount of THC (0,3%), so it’s not entirely THC-free. A CBD user who suffers from chronic pain but wants to avoid the psychoactive effects of THC may prefer to avoid both broad-spectrum CBD extract and full-spectrum CBD oil for this reason.

Poor Quality CBD Could Lead to a Positive Drug Test

Additionally, if you consume a lot of CBD, for instance, several hundred milligrams per day of CBD, some residual amounts of THC could endanger your test results. Even if it’s a tiny tiny amount.

This is important, because a failed drug test can result in job or income loss, or even both. It can also result in a loss of individual access to vital resources such as welfare and education benefits, pain medication prescriptions, and child custody.

Does CBD Show Up in a Drug Test? Failure Rates Explained

Once again, it is not because of CBD use that you failed a drug test, and it’s about failing a THC drug test because you consumed CBD with THC in it. This failure depends on the source of your CBD, the amount you took, how long you took it, your metabolism, and other several factors such as hydration levels.

CBD and workplace drug tests are tricky, and you can easily get false-positive results from poor-quality test kits. Since phytocannabinoid research is still in its infancy, drug test kits can easily detect CBD and count it as a THC molecular makeup.

This is typically only the case for very cheap testing kits. If you are worried about CBD and drug testing leading to a failed test, see if you can identify which type of testing kit is used.

0.3 Thc Drug Test

This can help give an indicator of the nature of the kit (cheap vs. expensive). A study claims that “CBD, the latest wellness craze, won’t cause users to fail a drug test–but its lesser-known cousin CBN will.” While this article focuses more on failed screening tests for THC, the user should also keep CBN in mind.

Will CBD Show on a Military Drug Test?

Military drug tests are essentially no different from civilian test kits. For this reason, the results will be no different. That means CBD oil or any other CBD product can show on a military drug test, just like it might show as a positive on normal drug test kits.

Will CBD products show up on a military drug test? Yes, they can.

Just like we mentioned above, it all depends on the level of THC in your CBD products. Residual amounts of THC are enough to trigger the THC levels in drug tests – even if it’s a minute amount. Although CBD isolate will likely not show up in the test if it is a pure CBD oil product, full-spectrum CBD oil, and even broad-spectrum CBD oil may, since it contains some THC.

If you are in the military, I would advise against using all CBD products for two major reasons:

  1. It may flag you as a false positive for THC.
  2. The DoD has a restriction on the use of CBD extracts (as of FEB2021).

Even though pure CBD products are THC-free and are non-psychoactive, it’s still considered a controlled substance, according to the US Department of Defense, just like marijuana plants.

Put Your CBD Oil’s Source Into Consideration

Another factor that MAY compromise drug testing results is reported THC content being inaccurately labeled. A commercially available pure isolate of the CBD molecule should not contain any THC and be labeled as such.

Meanwhile, these isolates are derived from hemp oil, made from cannabis plants, and vary in quality. Going by Federal United States law, hemp oil can hold up to 0.3% THC by dry weight.

Pure Cbd Oil Drops

Due to variations in the test results, sometimes the number is even higher. As we have recommended in the past, make sure you check the certificate of analysis to verify the actual contents of the CBD oil you’re consuming. Our CBD eBook has an entire chapter dedicated to reading this type of report. Be sure to check it out!

Other Factors to Consider

Aside from your source of CBD, physical chemistry, length of use, dosage, and some other factors can dictate drug test failure or success. On the one hand, a person who smokes cannabis with high THC every day and then quits can still possibly fail a test more than a month later (depending on body fat reserves).

As mentioned previously, CBD and having a negative outcome on tests have a lot to do with the specific testing kit and its quality. But how can you fail a drug test more than a month later? The human body often stores THC in fat cells and then burns it into THC-COOH later.

On the other hand, you could theoretically consume CBD hemp oil for some months in small amounts (50 mg/day) and never fail any of the urine tests they take for THC-COOH. It is not certain how much CBD hemp oil is required or for how long to come up with more than 50 ng/ml of THC-COOH in your urine.

However, if you consume vast amounts of CBD products, you could test positive for THC, depending on the source.

Hemp or Marijuana Derived CBD

Hemp-derived CBD oil products contain more cannabidiols than marijuana-derived CBD. When it comes to choosing the right kind of CBD, speak to the company first. At New Phase Blends, all CBD products are made with CBD derived from hemp plants.

Hemp Plant And Cannabis Plant Family

 

Marijuana-derived CBD products run the risk of containing higher amounts of THC and lowered amounts of actual CBD.

If you are ever in doubt, reach out; we will be more than happy to guide you to the right product for your lifestyle and needs.

Can CBD Ruin a Drug Test?

It would depend greatly on the type of CBD you take and the quality of it. If you are taking an untested and unregulated CBD product, you might end up consuming THC without realizing it. To understand how much CBD you need to take for it to result in a positive drug test you need to understand the different types of CBD.

Full Spectrum CBD (0.3% THC)

Full-spectrum extracts often contain some THC; although the legal limit is 0.03%, this is generally not enough to show up on a normal urine drug test with one use unless you are consuming it in large amounts. Regular daily use of a full spectrum CBD product might result in a positive outcome.

Broad Spectrum CBD (0.0% THC)

Possibly the safest to use if you cannot risk a false positive test result at all Broad Spectrum CBD. As all of the THC and other cannabinoids have been removed through processing.

Cannabis Tinctures

However, this is a risk that is not recommended unless you are 100% certain that you trust the company and brand of CBD you use.

A third-party lab should test products to ensure that your product is what the label says it is.

How Long Does 0.3 THC Stay in Your System?

THC, even in minute amounts, can stay in your system for weeks on end. 
The question is not really how long does 0.3 THC stay in your system, but more, can 0.3 THC cause a positive drug test result?

The answer, again, is it depends on the type of drug test. As far as urine drug tests are concerned, this is enough THC to cause a positive result if it is a very poor quality test.
A poor quality test will give strange results, that sometimes even show levels higher than what they actually are. This is why they are so easily challenged in court.

CBD and Testing Pass Rates

If you haven’t figured it out already, you will not be tested for CBD, and you will be tested for THC. This is where CBD and testing for it can get tricky. If you are interested in any reason, you may consider following the detoxification guidelines for THC, including dieting, exercise, discontinuing use, and staying very hydrated to remove as much THC from your body as quickly as possible.

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The trend for testing marijuana use is moving toward less testing for non-safety-mandated jobs. Many more states are stopping the discrimination against THC usage. Until all states make up their minds, make sure you are careful with the CBD products you use and testing requirements.

If your job is on the line, I ALWAYS recommend just staying away for now. It’s not worth the loss of income and the hardship that will bring, even if the CBD oil you use has no intoxicating properties.

*FDA disclaimer: none of the statements on this webpage have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Medical advice should be sought before starting any supplement. If you are pregnant or nursing consult with a doctor. Medical advice should be sought if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. If you take other prescription medications, a doctor’s advice should be sought. Site void where prohibited.

References:
AACC: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cbd-the-latest-wellness-craze-wont-cause-users-to-fail-a-drug-testbut-its-lesser-known-cousin-cbn-will-300896599.html
Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6043845/
Leafly: https://www.leafly.com/news/cbd/does-cbd-show-up-drug-test

About the Author

Dale Hewett Author

Dale Hewett

Dale is the owner and founder of New Phase Blends. He discovered his passion for CBD use after suffering from injuries sustained while on Active Duty in the US Army. His number one priority is introducing the same CBD products that he himself uses for relief to others who can benefit from them.

Dale holds a Master Degree of Science, and is the inventor of the popular, patent-pending CBD-based sleep aid known as ‘Sleep.’

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