Many people have become interested in using CBD for sports and fitness, and it is an allowed substance in most places, but there is a concern that it could result in a positive drugs test, which could be disastrous for somebody’s career. So, today we look at answering the question of whether CDB results in a positive drugs test.
The good news is that CBD, or cannabidiol (as long as you inhale the smoke coming from the pure ones) won’t react with either of the two tests to screen a person for possible marijuana use. This is quite good news for those who use CBD and are in fear they might be found out. This is what medical researchers have discovered from a preliminary study. However, the same study also revealed that traces of cannabinol (CBN) were found. And CBN contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is what triggers drug tests.
If you want a more detailed discussion about this, though, you can check out a breakdown on passing a drug test (abstinence is best). Meanwhile, here are a few things you need to know about CBDs and drug screening so you can avoid triggering a positive result:
What Is CBD?
Both CBD and CBN are chemicals that can be found in cannabis plants. Aside from these two, however, another chemical that can be found in cannabis plants is THC. CBD is present not only in marijuana but also in other plants such as hemp. THC is the chemical found in marijuana that causes a ‘high’ or ‘intoxication.’ CBN is a derivative chemical from THC.
CBD oils have been found to have medicinal properties which are quite useful in mitigating the effects of insomnia, chronic pain, and anxiety. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved last year a drug called Epidiolex. This new pill is being promoted to treat certain severe and rare seizures.
Doctors who have allowed their patients to take CBD say that it’s ok for people to be taking CBDs as long as they don’t contain impurities from THC. Farmers have also been permitted to grow the cannabis plant as long as they contain no more than 0.3% THC.
Because of this policy, CBD products have exploded in the market, and they’re everywhere now. Here are a few things to watch out for to avoid a positive drug screen test for THC.
- Using A Product with THC – The most common reason people fail a CBD drug test is when they use CBD oil products that contain THC. Manufacturers would, of course, claim their products don’t have THC, but some of them do have impurities, albeit minimal, and the chemicals go into your body.
- Cross Contamination THC – Another trigger for a positive result is cross-contamination of THC. This happens when the CBD extracts in your CBD oils contain significantly high amounts of THC. If your CBD oil was made in a state where cannabis is legal, chances are they’re looser with THC impurities in CBD extracts and oils.
- Mislabeling Products – Another common trigger of testing positive in CBD oil drug tests is the use of mislabeled CBD oils. These usually say they’re from THC-free hemp when they’re really extracted from marijuana.
What Do Drug Tests Target?
People who use CBD have to know that drug tests screen for THC or one of its main metabolites, such as the THC-COOH. They also have to know that finding traces of THC in their drug tests doesn’t automatically mean they’ll be given a positive result.
Federal authorities have established rules for workplace drug testing. These are intended to avoid any possibility for insignificant trace amounts of THC or THC-COOH to trigger a positive test interpretation.
In other words, when you pass a drug test, it doesn’t necessarily mean they didn’t find any traces of THC or THC-COOH in your system. Instead, what it means is that even if they found trace amounts of THC or THC-COOH in your system, these were insignificant amounts below the threshold or minimum cut-off values; hence, the negative test result. But it’s also possible that a negative result means they found absolutely no THC or THC-COOH in your system.
Different cut-off or minimum threshold values and detection windows have been set for the different testing methods.
- Urine – Urine testing is the most common workplace testing method for cannabis. To overcome the threshold and trigger a positive result, samples must show a THC-COOH concentration of 50 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). A nanogram is equivalent to nearly one-billionth parts of a gram. THC metabolites can be detected in urine for a window of 3 to 15 days.
- Blood – Blood tests aren’t used that often in workplace testing because THC tends to be flushed out from the bloodstream quickly. THC can be detected in plasma for a window of up to 5 hours, but THC metabolites can last for up to seven days. Blood tests are often used for driving violations such as driving under the influence. A THC blood concentration of 1, 2, or 5 ng/mL is deemed over the threshold in states where cannabis is legal. Of course, in states where they’re not legal, they have a zero-tolerance policy.
- Saliva – Saliva testing for THC isn’t commonplace yet. There are no minimum thresholds for detecting THC in saliva. But a scholarly paper suggests that saliva screen tests should assign a cut-off value of 4 ng/ml. It was published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology. THC can be detected in oral fluids such as saliva for up to 72 hours.
- Hair – Like blood and saliva screen tests, hair testing for cannabis isn’t common either. There are also no minimum thresholds or cut-off values for any THC metabolites which might be found in the hair. Private tests, though, have set the cut-off value of 1 picogram per milligram (1 pg/mg) of THC-COOH. A picogram is one trillionth of a gram.
Taking CBDs and CBD oils by themselves won’t trigger a positive cannabis drug test result. But there are CBDs and CBD oil products that falsely claim to be THC-free extracts when they’re not. The TCH in them will go into your bloodstream and potentially go over the threshold minimum cut-off value. The result would be drug positive.