Marijuana Madness: This Is How CBD Oil Can Cause A Failed Drug Test
Cannabidiol, otherwise referred to as CBD is considered by a growing number of Americans to be the best thing since sliced bread. Not only does this non-intoxicating component of the cannabis plant provide people with relief from conditions ranging from anxiety to chronic pain, but it’s also mostly overlooked by law enforcement, in spite of its outlaw status in the eyes of the federal government.
But people are being told that they can consume CBD on a daily basis and never have to worry about failing a drug test. Unfortunately, this claim isn’t entirely valid. It turns out there is still a minute risk of failing a drug test when using CBD products. Sadly, it is impossible to know whether an individual is susceptible to this result until it is too late. There are many variables to consider.
Earlier this month, a woman from Atlanta, Georgia claims she lost a job opportunity because a pre-employment drug screen discovered THC metabolites coursing through her veins. But how could this be? She didn’t have a history of marijuana use. The only thing even remotely close to marijuana she consumed before the test was the CBD oil her doctor recommended as a way for her to combat anxiety and pain.
A report from WSB-TV 2 indicates that the woman, who has asked to remain anonymous, used CBD oil for two weeks before she was invited to submit a drug test for a new job. She thought she had nothing to worry about, up until human resources called to tell her she had been disqualified from the applicant pool due to a failed result.
“They expressed that I have a positive THC test,” the woman said. “I have never consumed marijuana in my life.”
Although the CBD compound itself will not lead to a failed drug test, Anthony Laborde of Discount Nutrition, which sells a variety of hemp-based CBD products, including the brand the woman reportedly used, says “it is one thing we warn our customers about, there’s a possibility.”
Because CBD products do contain a trace amount of THC (no more than 0.3 percent), he said, “there is always a possibility you could fail” a drug screen.
It is due to the inconsistencies associated with the manufacturing of CBD products that makes it impossible for the consumer to know what they are getting their hands on. Since none of the CBD products sold over the counter have been approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is relatively easy for pseudo cannabis companies to skimp on testing and other important quality controls.
In some cases, these products are not CBD at all.
Over the summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report showing that phony CBD merchandise was responsible for poisoning more than 50 people in Utah. A laboratory test showed they were not CBD, but rather “synthetic marijuana, often referred to as Spice and K2. Other reports from around the country surfaced later showing this was not an isolated incident.
“Having no idea of what’s in the product is absolutely unacceptable,” the woman said.
It is not common for CBD users to turn out a positive drug test for THC. Yet, sometimes when patients are consuming in upwards of 1,000 milligrams per day, it can trigger a false positive. The average CBD user typically only consumes between 120 to 160 milligrams daily. Still, Consumerlab president Tod Cooperman, whose company tests natural supplements like hemp-based CBD, says around 10 percent of those people who use CBD can test positive for THC. So, “it can happen, he said.
“It also depends on not just the product, but some people metabolize CBD differently,” he added.
When it comes to CBD it is always best to purchase these products from a reputable dealer. Due to their popularity, CBD products can now be found in convenience stores and trucks stops all over the country. While we are not saying that these products cannot be trusted, it is likely a better move to procure them from anywhere other than a 7-Eleven. Just saying. This may not better your chances of passing a drug test, but it could prevent any number of undesirable occurrences.
Be careful out there folks!
Mike Adams is a contributing writer for Forbes, Cannabis Now and BroBible. His work has also appeared in High Times. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
CBD oil is known for its therapeutic power against anxiety and pain. But it is also known to cause some users to fail drug tests.
Will CBD Oil Result in a Positive Drug Test?
Arno Kroner, DAOM, LAc, is a board-certified acupuncturist, herbalist, and integrative medicine doctor practicing in Santa Monica, California.
CBD (cannabidiol) oil is a popular product for everything from pain control to anxiety to promoting sleep. However, with the rise of CBD comes the concern about failing a drug test due to detection of CBD oil. News stories are emerging across the country involving famous sports players, employees of companies, and others who have gotten positive drug screening results for the presence of THC—the psychoactive component of marijuana —even though CBD oil is said to be THC-free.
What are the odds that CBD oil users will test positive when subjected to illicit drug screenings, and what can be done to prevent it?
Does CBD Oil Contain THC?
When a drug test is performed, the active chemical in marijuana that gets detected in a positive screening is THC. However, most people are under the impression that CBD oil is THC-free.
As it turns out, depending on the source of the cannabis that is used to produce the CBD oil, some products do contain traces of THC (including low-quality isolates and many full-spectrum tinctures).
Breakdown of Cannabis
Cannabis is the umbrella term describing hemp and marijuana plants—two different varieties of the cannabis genus. Both marijuana and hemp can be described as cannabis plants; however, it is important to note that they are still two separate plants.
CBD is one of many active chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. One reason it’s gaining momentum in popularity is because it is said to lack the component of the plant that causes a person to get high, which is called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
The primary difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp is nearly void of THC. In fact, a cannabis strain must contain less than .3 percent THC to be classified as hemp. This is the reason hemp can be legally sold as various products.
Most CBD products are made from hemp, not marijuana.
There are many distinctions between marijuana and hemp that relate to CBD oil. Marijuana contains both THC (the psychoactive component) and CBD, whereas hemp contains CBD and only trace amounts of THC. Hemp contains many cannabinoids—CBD is only one example.
There are several techniques for extracting CBD oil from the cannabis plant. The extraction method determines whether the active CBD compound gets processed as a “full spectrum oil” or an “isolate.” A CBD isolate is a pure compound with no other active compounds or cannabinoids at all. A full spectrum oil contains other active plant compounds in addition to the CBD such as CBN (cannabinol) and cannabis terpenes (the part of the plant that gives the plant its aroma), and more.
Study of CBD Oil
While some CBD oils claim to be isolates, they may be full spectrum oils and actually contain more cannabinoids (such as THC) than they claim.
In a study conducted by researchers from the Lautenberg Center, researchers discovered that CBD was more effective for treating inflammation and pain when used with other cannabis plant compounds derived from a full spectrum product over a CBD isolate product alone. This is one reason that full spectrum products (those containing THC) are popular.
However, the distinction between full spectrum oils and isolates make all the difference if you are being tested for drug use.
Reasons for Failing a CBD Drug Test
There are several common reasons a person fails a CBD drug test.
1. Using Product With THC
The most common reason for a failed CBD drug test is that a person is using a CBD oil product that contains THC. Sometimes, this may be because a person purchases a low-quality product that does contain a small amount of THC—most manufacturers will claim their products do not contain THC, but this is not always the case.
2. Cross Contamination of THC
Very small amounts of THC present in the material that CBD is extracted from can get into the CBD oil in high enough amounts to result in a positive drug test. This scenario may be more apt to occur when CBD oil is purchased from cannabis dispensaries in places where cannabis is legal, as opposed to an online retailer.
3. Mislabeling of Products
CBD oil extracted from hemp is not supposed to have any more than .3 percent of THC. However, it’s not uncommon for sellers to mislabel their products as THC-free hemp when in reality, it’s a low-quality oil extracted from marijuana, which does contain THC.
In fact, one study discovered that almost 70 percent of the CBD products sold online were not labeled properly, “causing potential serious harm to its consumers.” The reason for this widespread mislabeling is that CBD products are not strictly regulated by the FDA.
4. Secondhand Exposure to THC
Inadvertent exposure to marijuana (via secondhand smoke) is unlikely to be enough for a person to get a positive drug test result, but it is possible. Being in a room with heavy pot smokers for several hours may cause the inhalation of enough THC containing smoke to result in a positive test.
A more likely secondhand exposure scenario is a positive marijuana hair test, resulting from direct contact with marijuana paraphernalia or from another person having THC on their hands.
For instance, if someone who had direct contact with marijuana then touched your hair, you could feasibly receive a false positive on a drug screening that tests your hair.
5. CBD Oil Breaks Down in The Digestive System
Some sources report that in rare cases, false positive test results have come from CBD oil that breaks down into very small amounts of THC in the stomach. Other studies, however, have refuted this.
The conclusion is that it’s still theoretically possible for traces of THC metabolites to be present in the stomach acid in the instance where “less-purified CBD productions” are ingested.
How to Avoid a Positive CBD Drug Test
If you take CBD oil, there are measures you can take to try to prevent failing a drug test.
- Do thorough research to ensure the CBD product you’re using is pure and that the company is legitimate.
- Ensure that the CBD oil is an isolate product extracted from a viable industrial hemp supply, and is not a low-quality tincture.
- Ask questions about product processing techniques and the possibility of cross-contamination.
- Avoid secondhand exposure to marijuana use via pot smoking or hair contact from THC users.
A Word From Verywell
In theory, getting a false positive on a drug test from CBD oil should be relatively impossible from pure CBD oil containing less than .3 percent THC. However, because CBD oil is not very well regulated, there is no guarantee that a product contains pure CBD oil, or that its concentration is at a safe or effective level. It is best to use utmost caution and do your research when purchasing a quality CBD oil product to ensure its purity, especially if you need to undergo drug screenings.
Cases of CBD oil users failing drug tests are on the rise. Learn more about why this happens and how to avoid it.