CBD has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years, and for a good reason – it has shown great potential in the management of chronic pain, inflammation, spasms, nausea, tumor cell growth, skin acne problems, intestinal contractions, and other conditions. While it’s not considered an alternative to prescription drugs, some medical experts and the CBD community, in general, believe that CBD can be a great addition to your health and wellness routine.
But with so many CBD-derived products in the market, from edibles, topicals, oils and tinctures, vapes, and capsules, many people are left wondering if CBD will show up in drug tests. Whether you’re a beginner, a regular CBD user or a patient trying out CBD for pain management, it’s important to gain knowledge about the consumption of CBD.
It’s no secret that many users are worried about CBD showing “positive” on a workplace drug test. Before we discuss this age-old question, let’s start by saying that it’s highly unlikely. To understand more about this, let’s have a look at some critical points.
Understanding Drug Tests and How They Work
Drug tests typically take your urine, blood, hair, saliva, or sweat to analyze the presence of any illegal drugs as well as prescription drugs. The most common test is urine drug testing (UDT), which can be categorized into two parts – screening tests and confirmatory tests. Screening tests are used to detect specific substances. If that test comes back positive, a confirmatory test is done to confirm the drugs present.
While drug tests have come a long way and are now even more complex, even those designed to detect the presence of marijuana in your urine or blood tests don’t normally indicate CBD levels in the test panel. In fact, most of the workplace drug tests screening for marijuana focus on the psychoactive THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) compound that gets people “high”. They specifically screen for THC metabolites.
For every day CBD users, the good news is, the chances of failing a drug test are minimal. However, you should check with your HR department or workplace policies to understand whether or not having CBD in your system would put you at risk when taking a drug test.
Will CBD Show Up in a Drug Test?
It’s highly unlikely that CBD will record a positive result in a drug test. As mentioned above, most employment drug tests will be screening for illegal drug use and prescription drugs, including cannabis, specifically the presence of THC to exclusively determine risks associated with workplace impairment. Because CBD is non-psychoactive and chemically distinct from THC, it’s unlikely to be detected in pure form in these drug tests.
High CBD Content Could Trigger a False-Positive
If you use hemp-based CBD products, you should be aware that these products legally contain small traces of THC (0.3%). What does this mean? Consuming very high levels of hemp-based CBD products – from 1000 and 2000 mg/day could likely trigger a false-positive drug test result. Despite this, even extreme doses of daily CBD intake would less than likely surpass the federal limit of 50 nanograms THC metabolite per milliliter of urine.
Keep in mind that any CBD positive drug test result would be as a result of small traces of THC in your body, and not CBD. While some tests are being developed to help detect CBD in your system, most employers have not embraced the idea, at least not until we have the CBD industry regulated by the federal government.
What the Experts Say
Experts agree that testing positive for cannabis or marijuana use doesn’t occur when using only CBD. If you ingest pure CBD with no traces of THC, or even with the legal .3% trace, then you would be expected to pass a drug test. In fact, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) mentions that the recommended THC cutoff concentration should be 50 mg/mL. With the majority of CBD products on the market containing very little THC, CBD consumers are less than likely to fail workplace drug tests.
Why You Should Still Play It Safe
While there’s always the question of whether potential CBD drug tests being developed for future use will impact workplace policies or even the use of CBD products, you can rest assured that CBD won’t show up in a drug test, not unless the test specifically screens for CBD. Most screenings are for psychoactive cannabinoids like THC as well as THC metabolites.
In short, CBD is widely considered part of a health and wellness regimen, and not a drug that poses a threat. However, you should still play it safe when it comes to using CBD. If you’re a regular CBD user, it’s important to make sure you’re only using the purest CBD products. Some CBD products can end up having higher levels of THC than expected.
Look out for CBD products, likes CBD oils and tinctures that have at least 99% purity and make sure they’re independently lab-tested to guarantee quality and purity.
More and more people are embracing CBD as a tool for their health and wellness goals. While some people are reluctant to try it because of its association with cannabis and THC, consumption of CBD will not show up on standard workplace drug tests as it’s not considered an indication of impairment.
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