Can CBD make me fail a drug (UA) test?
Does CBD Oil Show Up on a Drug Test?
As CBD picks up more momentum as both a health supplement and a medical application of cannabis, some may be wary of how it may interact with drug tests. For the most part, CBD should not result in a positive drug test since it’s not the psychoactive component of cannabis—that would be THC.
However, it’s not as simple as that. Many CBD products may contain other compounds from cannabis that may turn up positive in drug tests, like how baked goods containing poppy seeds have been known to cause false positives for opiates in urine-based drug tests.
If you’re a CBD user who is worried about drug tests, you should keep reading this to learn more about how your use of CBD products may show up in them and how to prevent that.
What Causes Positive Drug Test Results from CBD Oil?
Licensed farming of cannabis has exploded in recent years due to the lifting of the decades-old ban on growing hemp. It’s legal as long as they’re growing hemp with less than 0.3% THC. That can then be harvested and processed to be put in many different products, ranging from oils and lotions to coffee and confectionaries.
While researchers did confirm that cannabidiol (CBD) did not react to commercially available drug tests used to screen for cannabis use, cannabinol (CBN) did. CBD and CBN are both found in the cannabis plant, with CBN being a THC derivative—which is how it may yield a positive in drug tests.
How Drug Testing for Cannabis Works
Urine-based drug tests, the most common form of diagnostic method used for screening illicit drug use, usually look for alcohol, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, opiates, cocaine, and cannabis. They tend to be immunoassay tests that look for specific antibodies that latch onto those drugs or their metabolites. If those antibodies are found by the test, it will yield a positive.
The federal government sets the drug concentration levels for drug tests, so it may still yield a negative if detected levels are below the threshold. Urine-based drug tests can yield a positive from at least 50ng/mL of THC. A test may detect presence of cannabinoids within 3 days of a single use or more than 30 days of heavy use.
Cannabis remains detectable in the body much longer compared to other drugs due to THC being fat-soluble, which means it may stay in the body’s fat stores. As that fat is burned or recycled, the THC is slowly released and the kidneys proceed to eliminate it and its metabolites.
In case of a positive test result, the subject may take a follow-up test like gas chromatography, mass spectroscopy, or high-performance liquid chromatography to confirm as they’re more accurate in detecting said drugs and their metabolites.
Different Types of CBD
CBD is sold in different forms, mostly as an oil or tincture. Oils are more common, while tinctures are preferred by many users for being easier to consume. Aside from the medium that carries the CBD, products are categorized based on the manufacturing and processing method.
Full-spectrum CBD contains all naturally-occurring compounds from the cannabis plant. Aside from CBD, it also contains many of the terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids you’d expect from cannabis, including THC.
Meanwhile, full-spectrum hemp-derived CBD oil is legally required to have less than 0.3% THC. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers disclose the source of their full-spectrum extracts, making it difficult to know how much THC is contained in a given product.
Broad-spectrum CBD is mostly similar to full-spectrum CBD, except it has all of its THC removed. It’s mostly sold in oil form and tends to be less widely available than its full-spectrum counterpart due to the extra processing required.
CBD isolate is pretty much pure CBD, so it doesn’t contain all the other compounds. CBD isolate is usually extracted from hemp plants, which don’t contain THC. It’s sold in crystalline powder form or slab form, as well as an oil or tincture.
If you’re worried about drug tests, you may want to avoid full-spectrum CBD. You may use either broad-spectrum or isolate-based products, which is all we make at evan37.com.
Reasons for Failing Drug Test While on CBD
The most obvious reason is that you used a product that contained THC. If that consumption was unintentional, that’s likely due to either cross-contamination that leeched THC into that product during its manufacture or mislabeling of the product that’s supposed to contain no more than 0.3% THC.
You may also have had second-hand exposure to THC, likely through cannabis smoke. It has also been said that you can also get a false positive from CBD oil that was broken down in your digestive system, although how this can happen is still refuted by experts.
It’s theoretically possible for traces of THC metabolites to be present in gastric juices, although that may be due to having used a low-quality CBD product that is not as purified.
How to Avoid Positive in Drug Test While on CBD
The best thing you can do to avoid getting a positive result in a drug test for cannabis is to do your homework and make sure you’re obtaining CBD products that are sure to not have significant amounts of THC in them.
If you want to be absolutely sure that you won’t get hit with a positive drug test result, then you should go with a CBD isolate product extracted from a viable industrial hemp supply. Avoid low-quality oils and tinctures from sketchy brands.
You may also want to look up the manufacturer’s process to vet out the likelihood of cross-contamination. If that information is not readily available, you may want to ask the manufacturer directly through online channels. If they’re not willing to give you answers, you may not want to buy from them.
Finally, avoid second-hand exposure via smoke or hair contact from THC users. Due to the nature of THC being a fat-soluble compound, you need to be sure that you’re not getting trace amounts absorbed into your body.