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Does CBD Oil Show Up On a Drug Test?

By Alan Paul | Apr 09, 2019 in CBD Blog | 7 min read

CBD in test tubes testing for drug test

As you know the CBD industry is one of most rapidly growing in the US, showing an increase in sales of 557% over the last three years.

Its rising popularity has raised numerous questions in terms of the validity of the benefits it offers, its legal status, and how safe it is for consumption. However, since it is derived from the cannabis plant family, the fundamental question is, does CBD show up in a drug test? 

The simple answer is to 'Does CBD oil show up on a drug test' is no, but allow us to expand on that and explain the factors that affect these results.

CBD is among the tens of active compounds found within cannabis plants. Cannabis plants refer to both hemp and marijuana, but there are numerous physical and chemical composition differences between the two. 

The most notable variation is that hemp contains a lot of CBD and little to no traces of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) while marijuana has both CBD and high amounts of THC. 

THC is the compound associated with the 'high' effect of consuming marijuana.

Though one of the main reasons that hemp derived CBD is gaining increasing popularity is that for it to be considered legal to sell, it must contain no more than 0.3% THC content.

Thousands of people undergo drug tests annually, and failing can cause embarrassment and on occasions lead to loss of jobs. 

As a result, consumers have understandably become conscious of the quality of products in the market and often seek assurance of experts and other consumers. Which is exactly why we put this report together. 

There is no CBD oil drug test - only THC levels are tested

jar of marijuana buds next to a scale

When a drug test is conducted, they are not looking for CBD or its metabolites rather; they are testing to find amongst other things,  THC and its metabolites.

The most popular way of administering a drug test is through a urine sample, and according to research a person must have 50ng per millimeter or more of THC in their system to fail a standard test (though do check for your own work place or institution). 

This level of THC was established as the consistent concentration for an individual who regularly smokes marijuana. 

So are CBD consumers safe? Most people assume that all the CBD products they purchase are THC free, but that's not always the case with some other brands. 

A study by researchers from the Lautenberg Center found that CBD worked more effectively in treating inflammation and pain when used with other cannabis compounds like THC. Full spectrum products (containing THC) are sometimes preferred in this instance as opposed to CBD isolates products. 

Another study discovered that 70% of CBD products had misleading labels on them which posed a great threat to consumers at large. The mislabelling can be attributed to the lack of FDA regulation on CBD products. Though this is something we're incredibly strict on here at urbul and we're proud to deliver unbiased transparency

While there are companies that sell mislabelled products that contain high amounts of THC,  we ensure that all of our products are in accordance with the set regulations, so our products contain 0.3% THC or less.

So can even a small level of THC show up in a drugs test?

glass dropper dripping pink liquid into test tubes

A number of factors are in play when we explore whether this trace of THC can appear in the results of a drugs test, these include:

Amount of product consumed: CBD products with THC content should be taken in moderation. This is because THC is a chemical and when ingested, the body metabolizes it then it is stored in the fat cells hence the reason it can be detected. 

Consuming large amounts of full spectrum CBD can potentially result in a positive result. 

A dosage such as 2,000mg in a day for a long period of time is an unusually large amount of dose that could potentially alter the results.

Levels of THC concentration in the product: as indicated earlier, the lack of FDA regulation has led to numerous companies selling mislabelled products. As a result, many people end up purchasing a product that is indicated zero or 0.3% THC content, whereas in reality there is the possibility that it could be much higher. 

When consumed for a significant amount of time, THC and its metabolites build up in the fatty tissues thus giving a positive drug test result.

Metabolic rate: each individual has their own unique metabolic rate depending on numerous factors like weight, amount of activity or exercise they engage in, and their age. How fast the body metabolizes products like THC also largely determines the speed at which they will be released from the body.

Reasons why an individual might fail a drug test

Apart from mislabelled products, there are other factors that might also lead to a positive result during a drugs test which include:

Exposure to THC:  secondhand smoking exposure to THC could in theory lead to a positive drug test depending on the amount of smoke an individual is exposed to, the potency of the substance, and how ventilated the room is. 

Also, if the drug test involves hair samples, it might result in a positive finding if the hair is exposed to direct contact with marijuana, or if another person with marijuana on their hands comes into contact with the hair.  Not common, we know, but it is a possibility hence the reason for inclusion. 

Unintentional contamination of THC: during a poor extraction process, enough levels of THC may end up getting into the CBD which highly compromises the quality and THC potency of the product. If the THC levels are high enough, an innocent user might end up failing a drug test if they consume the product regularly.  

No need to worry though, our CBD is extracted and shipped from an approved CDPHE facility (ISO-9001) in Denver, Colorado. Our full spectrum CBD is refined with supercritical CO2 extraction and our CBD isolate uses ethanol extraction. We will never compromise quality and you shouldn't settle for anything less than the best.

Precautions to take to avoid a positive drug test

  • Conduct thorough research on the company you are purchasing the product from. Ensure that they are legitimate and that the CBD sold is pure. You can do this by confirming their valid third-party test reports. Also, look into the product's review and see if it's a product that people trust. 
  • Consider looking for CBD isolates as they only contain pure CBD. Full spectrum CBD contains other compounds including THC which if levels are high (more than 0.3%) could lead to a positive drugs result.
  • Be inquisitive about the extraction methods, general processing methods, and the probabilities of cross-contamination occurring.
  • Avoid instances where you are exposed to second-hand smoking of marijuana or hair contact with a person who is an active user of marijuana.
  • Always consider quality over affordability (though at urbul we offer both). Considering how popular CBD has become, some companies could take advantage of the unregulated market and sneak in low-quality products at an affordable price.  Always buy CBD oil from companies that fully display the extraction method used, CBD/THC content, and where the hemp is sourced from.

CBD has become a revolutionary product, and if manufactured and extracted in the correct manner, can offer numerous benefits when it comes to conditions like anxiety, PTSD, glaucoma, sleep disorders, depression, migraines, intractable epilepsy, and many more. To avoid being a victim of a positive drug test, always be inquisitive and do your research. Dig deep into the details of any company selling CBD products to ensure its legitimacy.

So, can you fail a drug test due to CBD?

If you are worried about failing a medical examination, there's no need for you to worry. When you go for a drug test, say at work, they're not testing how much cannabis products are in your blood.Rather, you are being tested for the levels of THC, the psychoactive drug, in your blood. Whether it's a day or a week since you had CBD, it does not affect your drug test unless of cause you have not followed the guideline precautions above.

While it is true that you might have traces of THC from consuming CBD, you would have to have taken quite a lot of CBD to test positive for THC. Most CBD products from the hemp plant tend to have 0.3% of THC or less, and this would not affect your drug test. Though remember that unlike urbul items, some products have higher levels than others.

Please not that this information has been created as a guide only and does not constitute as legal or medical advice.

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