If you’ve done your research on CBD and CBD oil, you’ll know that one of its main draws among avid users is the fact that it contains little to no THC, and therefore produces no psychoactive high.
With this being the case, and with the fact that the vast majority of employee drug tests screen for THC metabolites and not CBD, the assumption is that taking a high quality CBD oil would NOT cause you to fail a drug test.
Unfortunately, this is not exactly the case.
People who use CBD oil – even oils that have been tested to contain less than 0.3% THC – can (and have) failed marijuana drug tests before, and it has caused them to miss out on a potential job opportunity (or worse, lose their current job).
In this article, we discuss various factors that could influence whether or not you will fail a drug test after using CBD oil (or any other kind of low-THC CBD product). There are a lot of heavy claims out there on the internet regarding the safety and effectiveness of CBD, and it is our goal to provide a little bit of truth and transparency to the whole matter.
First Things First: Be Wary of Manufacturer Claims
Given the nature of our jobs and the fact that we need to stay up-to-date on all things cannabis and CBD-related, we are continuously having to research new companies, try new products, etc.
In this day-to-day networking, we have been astounded by the number of CBD companies that out-and-out make claim that you cannot – and will not – fail a drug test after using their products.
This is a blatant lie, and the simple fact of the matter is that if you are taking ANY product that’s been extracted from cannabis (even from low-THC industrial hemp), the possibility is there that you may fail a drug test.
We’ve even heard stories of people failing drug tests after using CBD isolate, which is supposed to be 100% THC-free.
Can you Know for Sure Whether or Not You’ll Fail a Drug Test After Using CBD?
Unfortunately, there is simply no way to know for sure whether or not using CBD oil – or other CBD products – will cause you to fail a drug test.
By all reliable accounts, however, it is rare that even high doses of CBD oil will result in a positive drug screening for THC.
Let’s crunch some actual numbers to provide a reference on why this is generally the case.
Most employers use the federal guidelines issued under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in order to determine whether an employee tests positive for the use of marijuana.
As per SAMHSA, the “cutoff” limit for the presence of THC is 50 ng/mL. Unfortunately, because there are so many variables and so many contributing factors (individual metabolism, body mass index, etc) it is extremely difficult to gauge exactly how much cannabis (including the consumption of CBD oil) it will take to surpass this cutoff.
If an individual took a massive (let’s say 1000 mg) dose of CBD oil that contained 0.3% THC, for example, they may theoretically ingest up to 6 mg of THC. For reference, a standard “good sized” joint with high-quality marijuana contains about 50 mg of THC (this amount will cause most individuals to fail a drug test).
As you can see, even after consuming a serving of CBD oil that’s 50 times higher than a standard dose, the amount of THC being consumed is still far less than the “generally accepted amount” that will cause you to fail a marijuana screening.
According to an article by Leafly, in fact, even after taking a massive 1000 or 2000 mg dose of CBD, an individual would still only have an 11-23% chance of failing a urine assay that tests for THC metabolites.
At much more “standard” doses (i.e. 3-5 servings per day of a high-quality “commercial CBD hemp oil”), the rate of drug test failure is less than 0.2%. In other words, according to these numbers you have about a 1-in-500 chance of failing a drug test after taking normal daily servings of low-THC CBD oil.
Worried About Failing a Drug Test After Using CBD Oil? Isolate is Always an Option…
Of course, these numbers are assuming that an individual is taking a full-spectrum CBD oil with trace amounts of THC in it. If you really want to be on the safe side, you may opt for a CBD isolate oil which is supposed to be 100% THC-free.
However, as we’ve mentioned earlier, we have even heard of people failing drug tests after taking CBD isolate (though this is likely due to mislabeled products on the manufacturer’s behalf, moreso than anything else).
All things considered, if you are truly concerned about failing a drug test after using CBD oil, your best bet is to simply not use it – at least until the drug test is over.
Of course, the really difficult scenario is for those people who are subject to frequent/periodic drug testing at various times throughout the year. This can include individuals on parole, individuals in work release programs, in pain management clinics, or even government employees who are subject to zero-tolerance drug policies and randomized drug testing.
The sad reality is that, in the past, there have been hard-working, 100% drug-free people who have lost their jobs after taking CBD oil with trace amounts of THC in it. For people in situations like this – who really need to use CBD but are subject to periodic drug testing – we really don’t have any kind of a perfect answer for you. While it is uncommon to test positive for marijuana after using CBD products, the possibility is always there.
If you have failed a drug test after using CBD oil, our advice would be to speak with the Medical Review Officer (MRO) and explain your situation as clearly (and respectfully) as possible. Cannabis is still highly stigmatized in many parts of the country, and unfortunately most people are not yet aware of the differences between CBD and actual marijuana.
Also, another thing worth pointing out is that the presence of CBD may result in a “cross-reaction” with the immunoassay on the urine drug test. Basically what this means is that you could potentially fail a drug test because the assay “accidentally” reads the CBD compound as THC. This is rare, but it is possible.
If this is indeed the case, though, make sure the presence of THC in your failed drug test has been verified by a follow-up GC/MS (gas chromatography/mass spectrometry) analysis, and that you ask to see the report. It’s possible that the presence of CBD has resulted in an initial “false positive” reading, but a GC/MS is the only way to verify whether or not this is the case.
Final Thoughts: Can You Fail a Drug Test for CBD?
In short, don’t be fooled or manipulated by false acclamations that it is impossible to fail a drug test after using CBD oil. It is indeed possible, and it can and has happened in the past.
That being said, rest assured that such occurrences are a rarity; under all extensive circumstances, it is very unlikely that taking a normal daily serving (or servings) of high-quality CBD oil will result in you testing positive on a marijuana drug test.
To be as a cautious as possible, however, make sure you are only purchasing your CBD from reputable manufacturers, and perhaps even try a CBD isolate if you are really want to be on the safe side.
And lastly, be advised that none of the information in this article should be taken as fact. Any individual who consumes marijuana, cannabis, CBD oil, or any other CBD product is doing so under their own discretion, and is therefore responsible for any potential negative consequences.
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