Does CBD Show Up on Drug Tests?
It’s both an exciting and confusing time for cannabis users and enthusiasts in America. Exciting in that marijuana and hemp reform are finally making real headway in the fight against negative stigmas and outdated drug laws, and confusing in that there are still a lot of grey areas on those laws.
What to Know About the Legality of CBD
One thing can be said for sure: cannabis is still federally illegal. The 2018 US Farm Bill recently designated hemp as a federally legal substance, removing the previous Schedule I classification and paving the way for legal CBD Oil nationwide. While this opens the way for a bright future for hemp production, it also leads to uncertainty about the legal status of a plant that contains both federally legal (CBD) and illegal (THC) compounds.
To classify as industrial hemp, a cannabis plant must have less than 0.3% THC. Although this is not enough to trigger a positive reading on a drug test, some CBD products contain higher amounts of THC and vice versa. Many of these products are marketed towards enthusiasts of both CBD products and marijuana products, and for inexperienced buyers, there may be an increased risk of ingesting THC at levels that would not pass a drug screening.
Another issue adding to the confusion is industry regulation in the CBD space. Because of a long history of Schedule I classification and legal status that remains in limbo, there is little regulatory oversight of CBD products. Because of this, many products are mislabeled by their manufacturers, so a CBD tincture that claims to be THC-free may contain trace amounts of THC, especially if it is a low-quality product from a less reputable vendor. This could potentially cause an unsuspecting consumer to ingest THC unknowingly and fail a drug screening, but again, even a full spectrum tincture won’t have enough to trigger a positive result.
Mislabeled products are not the only culprit in this scenario. Although most CBD users ingest between 120 – 160 milligrams a day, some heavier users will use up to 1,000 milligrams a day or more, thus putting themselves at (slight) risk for a failed drug screen. Additionally, CBD and THC are metabolized differently from person to person, so body chemistry also plays a role. Some studies have suggested that CBD metabolizes into THC when exposed to acidic environments, i.e., gastric fluid, with the potential for a psychoactive response—other studies have refuted this.
Does CBD Show Up on Drug Tests?
When employers administer a drug screen, they abide by certain standards. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a branch of the US Department of Health and Human Services that defines the minimum concentration level for THCA in a drug test to be 50 ng/mL. As unlikely as it may be, it is possible for a heavy user of CBD products with trace amounts of THC to surpass this level.
One important factor to remember in all this is that the hemp (CBD) and marijuana (THC) industries are intertwined. As the popularity of CBD continues to soar, more and more dispensaries with a core offering of marijuana products are implementing CBD into their inventories, including products with high levels of bothCBD and THC (such as high-CBD marijuana strains). To unsuspecting or inexperienced customers, the line between THC and CBD can become blurred, so it’s essential that both producers and consumers of all cannabis products perform their due diligence in researching what exactly is contained within them.
- APC Collaborator