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Can CBD Oil Make You Fail a Drug Test?

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This is one of the most commonly asked questions when people begin to explore and consider taking a CBD or “hemp-derived” product for the first time. There are many reasons for this question and the hesitancy some people may have initially, so let’s unpack it here and try to set the record straight.  

Technically, CBD would not show up as a false positive on a drug test because urine drug tests are designed to look for a specific metabolite of THC, and CBD is its own separate cannabinoid, and not it. What we have to remember is that there are little to no regulations currently being enforced regarding the manufacturing of CBD or hemp-derived products, so the old saying “laissez-faire” really applies here, and it is up to us as educated consumers to ensure the quality and integrity of the CBD products we may be considering. You may have heard that almost half of CBD products being sold in the United States do not contain the amounts of CBD or other ingredients listed on the label, so the supplement facts are basically a lie.

By law, hemp-derived CBD products can have up to but no more than 0.3% THC in them, which is very nominal and would not typically show up on a drug test, but it is important to ensure that the product you are considering has a legitimate Certificate of Analysis (COA) that shows the total amount of THC in the product because there are too many “hot” CBD products on the market, which means they have over the legal permissible limit of THC in them, and therefore, ingesting them would likely cause you to fail a drug test. Even at 0.3% THC (three tenths of one percent) or less, if you are a heavy user of CBD, there is a very small likelihood that you may test positive for THC; however legitimate CBD products with COAs showing less than 0.3% THC have not been known to cause a false positive on a drug test.

Hemp-derived CBD products that contain up to 0.3% THC are known as “full spectrum” CBD products because they contain more than just CBD. They contain other minor, non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBG and CBN, along with a nominal amount of THC, but if someone cannot take any chances of failing a drug test due to taking CBD products, the safest route to go is to use a CBD isolate formulated product.

A CBD isolate is a powder created when only the CBD molecule is separated or “isolated” from the other cannabinoids and terpenes in the hemp plant, including THC, which is then formulated into tinctures, capsules and other forms of CBD products, but you still want to ensure that any CBD isolate products have a legitimate Certificate of Analysis (COA) showing 0.0% THC. Considering the financial and emotional impact a person is confronted with if they fail a drug test for employment due to THC, A CBD isolate is the safest way to go if you must use CBD but cannot afford to fail a drug test.

If you work for an employer that performs random drug testing and has a zero-tolerance drug policy, you may want to speak with a healthcare professional or a cannabis expert prior to using a product to get all the available information. There are also in-home urine drug tests that a person can purchase at a pharmacy to pre-test themselves to see if they would pass or fail a urine drug test for THC. If you fail, then you need to abstain from using any CBD or THC products for at least 21-30 days before you re-test. Healthcare practitioners are encouraged to contact the 501 c3 foundation called The Realm of Caring – https://realmofcaring.org/ – for more information on CBD use and their patients.

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