The Type of CBD Might Make You Fail a Drug Test
Many people have jobs where drug tests are mandatory.
Teachers. Health workers. Corporate.
There's definitely an association in the general public between CBD and cannabis or pot.
This is understandable since most websites that sell CBD have a cursory cannabis (pot) leaf somewhere on the page.
This is unfortunate since it scares many people away from the benefits of CBD.
The drug test question is one of the reasons people miss out.
There are lots of articles online about CBD and drug tests.
Most of them state categorically that CBD will not make you fail a drug test.
This is partially correct.
CBD itself is not tested for in drug tests.
Almost all drug tests do test for THC, CBD's chemical cousin.
CBD is VERY different (as cousins can be).
To make matters a bit more complicated, the type of CBD you take can affect the drug test question.
We'll get into this full spectrum versus CBD isolate difference and drug tests.
First, let start with the basics.
THC versus CBD
It's important to understand that THC and CBD have very different statuses within the law.
More importantly, they are treated differently by the law AND by drug tests.
It's confusing though...what is the difference between THC and CBD?
Don't they both come from the same plant?
They are both chemicals produced naturally by the cannabis plant.
Cannabis or pot can have higher levels of THC and is illegal at the Federal level.
It will be tested for on a drug test and can have negative effects if present.
CBD is another chemical compound from the cannabis plant.
Usually, it's processed from "industrial hemp" which is just a legal name for cannabis that has under .3% THC present.
The 2018 Farm Bill makes industrial hemp legal federally.
The primary extract from industrial hemp is CBD which is already legal in most States.
Check out the legal status of CBD by state here.
The reason these two chemicals from the same plant are treated so differently is due to their very different attributes.
THC has the following attributes:
- Psychoactive - can cause a "high" feeling
- Federally illegal - legal in some states
- Can be habit-forming
- Can cause overdose
- May cause allergic responses (anxiety, paranoia, temporary psychosis)
- Can affect gene expression in sperm
- Increases appetite
- May have some positive benefits in body (pain, sleep, cancer, etc)
CBD has the following attributes:
- Does not create a high feeling (see how does CBD make you feel)
- Federally legal as of Jan 2019 with Farm Bill passage
- Research shows CBD to NOT be habit-forming
- No known overdose of CBD reported
- Histamine and allergic responses are minimal for CBD isolate
- Reduces appetite
- Research is showing many positive benefits across the body and brain
In terms of a drug test, all we care about is what will show up and how that substance is legally treated.
The substances tested on a drug test are primarily done so due to their legal status.
For example, caffeine is legal Federally and in all States.
It's generally not on drug tests (or we're in trouble!).
Since THC is still classified as a Schedule 1 Narcotic, it is on drug tests.
CBD is not a Schedule 1 drug.
It's very unlikely (never seen one) you'll find it tested.
Especially with the recent farm bill passage.
Now...there's a wrinkle to this story.
Full-spectrum CBD and drug tests
Much of what is marketed out there is so-called full-spectrum CBD.
This means that you have most of the original plant material still in the finished product.
This is usually composed of:
- Up to .3% THC
- Other cannabinoids like CBN, CBC, CBG, etc
- Terpenes and flavonoids (plant chemicals that give color, scent, and taste)
- Dozens of other plant materials
The obvious one is the THC.
Granted, .3% is very low but it's not zero.
The reddit boards are filled with people that fail drug tests with full-spectrum CBD or hemp oil.
Aside from the drug test results, there's the question of histamine response to full spectrum.
Look...it's estimated that 70% of people with histamine or allergy issues will be allergic to THC.
Check Full Spectrum versus CBD Isolate for allergies for more info.
The reactions can be bad as anyone who has had an adverse reaction to pot can attest to (anxiety, paranoia, hives, even temporary psychosis).
And then there's the drug test.
No brand can say with 100% certainty that you will pass a drug test if you're taking full spectrum unless their 3rd party testing shows 0% THC.
Most hide under the .3% limit to offer full spectrum.
How much of this THC gets into your system is affected by many things:
- Your weight
- When you take the CBD (i.e. after food, with a fatty meal, etc)
- Your liver function (where THC is metabolized into its psychoactive form)
- How much CBD oil you're consuming
If it's not zero, THC might show on a drug panel.
There's no getting around chemistry and science!
How to avoid failing a drug test while taking CBD
We mentioned above why we don't want THC in the product anyway if we're looking for health benefits.
You can read up on the full spectrum versus CBD isolate for the full picture.
The way to avoid this issue if you absolutely must pass a drug test is to get CBD isolate with zero THC.
We focus on CBD isolate with no THC because we want all the benefits of CBD without the negatives of THC.
If people want to get high, there are plenty of options there (where legal).
If they want the health benefits of CBD, let's just have the CBD.
Let's also pass the drug test since we need the job to pay for the CBD!
Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!
The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.