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Will taking CBD show-up on a drug test?

November 26, 2019

Will taking CBD show-up on a drug test?

The short answer is no. Cannabidiol (CBD) should not show up on a drug test.

However, it depends on the product’s quality and composition. Many CBD products contain trace amounts of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), this is marijuana’s main active ingredient that produces a “high”. In other words, if enough THC is present in a CBD product, it will show up on a drug test. So in some instances, using a CBD product could lead to a positive drug test. 

Why do some CBD products contain THC?

Even if products are considered legal in the state you live, most CBD products aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This makes it difficult to determine what’s really in them. It’s important to understand that not all CBD products are created equal. How CBD is harvested and where the extract comes from could make THC contamination more likely. 

Different types of CBD.

CBD comes from cannabis and chemical compositions vary according to plant strain. Cannabis plants contain hundreds of naturally occurring compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Although marijuana and hemp products are both derived from cannabis plants, they contain different levels of THC. Marijuana plants typically contain higher concentrations of THC. The THC in marijuana is what produces the “high” associated with smoking or vaping. Conversely, hemp-derived products are legally required to contain less than 0.3 percent THC content. Therefore, hemp-derived CBD is less likely to contain THC than marijuana-derived CBD. Harvesting and refinement techniques also affect the compounds in CBD.

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Full-spectrum CBD extracts contain all of the compounds that occur naturally in the plant they were extracted from. In other words, full-spectrum products include CBD alongside terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids such as THC. • Full-spectrum CBD derived from marijuana may contain varying amounts of THC. • Full-spectrum CBD derived from hemp, on the other hand, is legally required to contain less than 0.3 percent THC. (in some cases zero THC). 

Not all manufacturers disclose where their full-spectrum extracts come from, so it can be difficult to assess just how much THC may be present in a given product.

Broad-spectrum CBD, like full-spectrum CBD products, contains additional compounds found in the plant, including terpenes and other cannabinoids. However, all of the THC is removed in broad-spectrum CBD. This type of CBD is less widely available. For more information on the differences between broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD: https://keolalife.com/faq/full-spectrum-vs-broad-spectrum-cbd 

How much THC must be present to register on a drug test?

Drug tests screen for THC or one of its main metabolites, THC-COOH. According to Mayo Clinic Proceedings from 2017, federal workplace drug testing cut-off values were established to avoid the possibility that trace amounts of THC or THC-COOH would trigger a positive test. In other words, a negative drug test indicates that the amount of THC or THC-COOH is below the cut-off value. Different testing methods have varying cut-off values and detection parameters. 

Urine testing.

In the workplace, urine testing for cannabis is common. To trigger a positive test in urine, THC-COOH must be present at a concentration of 50 nanograms per milliliter. However, detection windows can vary depending on dose and frequency. Typically, THC metabolites are detectable in urine for approximately 3 to 15 days after use. Heavier, cannabis use may produce longer detection periods — in some instances, it could be over a month.

Blood testing.

THC is quickly purged from the bloodstream. As such, blood tests are not as likely to be used for testing in the workplace. Overall, blood tests are less common than urine tests for drug screening. Blood tests are most often used to show current impairment, like in cases of driving under the influence. In states where cannabis is legal, a THC blood concentration of 1, 2, or 5 ng/mL suggests impairment. Other states have zero-tolerance policies. 

Other ways using CBD could produce a positive test result for THC.

Product mislabeling.

Currently, CBD products lack consistent regulation, suggesting that product transparency still has a long way to go in the industry. Typically third party testing of actual composition is lacking. A 2017 study Trusted Source from the Netherlands evaluated the accuracy of the labels provided on 84 CBD-only products purchased online. The researchers detected THC in 18 of the products tested. 

Making sure that a CBD product doesn’t contain THC.

Some CBD products may be safer than others. If you’re considering using CBD, it’s important to take time to evaluate the products available. Find out whether the product comes from hemp or marijuana. Keep in mind that CBD products produced from marijuana, are more likely to contain THC. Products produced from hemp are less likely to contain THC. This information should be easy to find. If it’s missing from the product description, it may be an indication of a not-so-reliable manufacturer. 

Find out where hemp-derived CBD products come from.

Hemp quality varies by state. More reputable states, such as Colorado and Oregon, have longstanding hemp industries and rigorous testing guidelines. You can always try to contact the seller if information about the hemp isn’t available on the product description.

If you want to avoid THC, ensure that you’re purchasing CBD from a reliable source.

Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved and may be inaccurately labeled. Routine drug tests don’t screen for CBD. Instead, they typically detect THC or one of its metabolites. A person requesting the drug test could ask to have CBD added to the list of substances being screened for. However, this is unlikely, especially in states where CBD is legal.

The bottom line

On a routine drug test, CBD should not show up. Be mindful that currently, the industry is not regulated with any consistency. So it’s important to do your research and learn exactly what you’re getting when purchasing a CBD product.

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