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Does CBD show up on drug tests

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Farm Bill of 2018 generally legalized the product and sale of hemp based products which contain cannabidiol (CBD). Advocates of CBD products say that CBD helps with a broad range of medical problems such inflammation, tiredness, and anxiety.

To qualify for removal from the federal Controlled Substance Act (CSA), the CBD products (made from hemp) can’t contain more than .3 % THC on a dry weight basis. THC is the shorthand name for Tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the psychoactive ingredient that makes people feel high or intoxicated.

States have their own set of regulations for hemp based products.  Additional federal and state laws apply for the medical use of marijuana products and adult use of marijuana products. Both types of marijuana products generally contain high amounts of THC.

The relationship between THC and CBD – and drug tests

Generally, the concern with CBD drug tests is that the test will find the presence of THC. A finding of THC can affect a person’s job application or job status. Many employees and others, such as athletes who need to submit to a drug test, believe that CBD oil is free of THC. That assumption is often wrong and can lead to a positive drug result. https://www.verywellhealth.com/cbd-oil-and-failing-drug-tests-4580277

The mistake many users of CBD oil products make is in not fully understanding how the CBD oil product was made – what the extraction method was.

  • CBD isolates. These products should contain just CBD and no other chemical compounds or cannabinoids such as THC.
  • CBD full spectrum products. These oils contain different parts of the cannabis plant. These products include more than just CBD.

Many CBD products that are aimed at treating pain and inflammation are made from full spectrum products, according to a study at the Lautenberg Center in Israel. This means there is a chance job applicants who are using CBD to manage pain may fail their drug test – because the CBD full spectrum product contains some THC.

Why someone may fail a CBD drug test

Employee drug screening tests and other drug screening tests are looking for the THC ingredient. Drug tests may find enough THC if the CBD oil contains THC. This can be because:

  • The CBD product is a full spectrum product and not a CBD isolate
  • The manufacturer didn’t tell the truth with it claimed the produce was a CBD isolate
  • Trace amounts of THC may have gotten into the product – which may happen if a dispenser or retailer sells both CBD products and marijuana products
  • The hemp product has more than .3 percent THC even though it’s not supposed to. Many CBD products are not regulated by the FDA and not monitored by the states – which can make mislabeling a product harder to detect.

CBD tests can cause a positive drug test if the applicant directly used or had contact with marijuana products – in addition to the CBD products.

Some precautions to take to avoid a positive drug test result

Users of CBD products should:

  • Research the seller of the products to make sure they have a good reputation for selling products that are THC-free or truly have less than .3 % THC
  • Use only CBD isolates from a reputable hemp supplier
  • Ask the dispenser about their processing methods – to avoid the possibility of cross- contamination
  • Stay away from THC users

Current drug testing procedures for CBD products

Drug screening is required for federal employees and for is becoming the norm for many private employers. Normally, employers follow guidelines created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In addition to the guidelines, SAMHSA typically sets acceptable cutoff levels for drug testing and screening.

According to leafly.com, standard urine drug tests for marijuana use “immunoassays with antibodies” to detect THC and its main metabolite.

“SAMHSA has set the cutoff level for a positive urine screen in the immunoassay at 50 ng/mL. When the immunoassay screen is positive at the > 50 ng/mL level, a confirmatory GC/MS (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry) test is performed to verify the positive urine screen. The confirmatory GC/MS has a cutoff level of 15 ng/mL and is specific only to the 11-nor-THCCOOH metabolite.”

As a general rule, the urine test and confirming test shouldn’t react to the presence of CBD. In addition to the concerns about whether the CBD product is an isolate and whether it is a legitimate hemp product, unusually high doses of a CBD hemp product my lead to a “false positive” urine test. The GC/MS test should, though, yield a negative result because it is more accurate and more targeted.


Sources are listed or linked to in the article.

An additional source is Web MD

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