Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the chemical compound responsible for marijuana’s psychoactivity and euphoria and is usually screened for in a typical urine drug test. When drug testing is mandated, employers follow guidelines, such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which has a set cutoff level for a positive test at > 50 ng/mL. When a test is positive, it then gets screened again with a confirmatory GC/MS or LC/MS test, which have cutoff levels of 15 ng/mL and is specific only to the THC metabolite.
In order for CBD, or cannabinoid-rich hemp oil products to test positive on a drug test, an individual would have to be using unusually large amounts (above 1000-2000 mg) of the product. Due to the fact that it remains an unregulated drug, some CBD oils have as much as 1/10th the THC concentration as marijuana. Therefore, consuming high quantities of CBD oil will leave enough THC in your system to trigger a positive test result and cause impairment.
Though the legality of CBD in the United States is up for debate, the compound can be purchased online and shipped around the country. The compound can also be purchased legally in several different countries, though laws vary from place to place.
Ease of access to CBD has made it more popular than ever. However, many CBD newbies may find themselves more than a little concerned that this cannabis product may have some unintended social consequences. Workers around the world are wondering: does CBD show up on a drug test?
Concerned CBD lovers can breathe a sigh of relief if they are concerned about a CBD drug test. The short answer to this question is no, CBD will not show up on a drug test. Although you will fail a drug test for cannabis if you consume tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the primary psychoactive in the cannabis plant. It’s the compound that causes the classic cannabis “high” as well as bringing its own set of medicinal benefits.
The most common drug test is a urinalysis. Urinalysis checks urine for drug metabolites, not a particular substance itself. A metabolite is a breakdown product made after the body processes a particular substance. Cannabis urinalysis checks for the presence of a THC metabolite called THC-COOH. They do not test for CBD metabolites unless a test was specifically ordered to check for the presence of CBD metabolites in urine. Blood tests, saliva tests, and hair tests check for the same metabolite. While CBD can show up on a drug test if it is being specifically tested for, it is not standard practice to test for CBD nor its metabolites. In fact, there is not even a federal guideline for testing for the presence of CBD in government employees.
Finding a private employer that mandates a test for CBD would be like stabbing your finger on a needle in a haystack if any exists at all. It is standard practice to test only for THC-COOH. This means that CBD would not show up on a standard drug test. Because hemp products can legally contain up to .3 percent THC, regularly consuming extremely high doses of CBD products (between 1,000 and 2,000 mg/day, in fact) could trigger a false-positive result. This is less than one-third of the THC found in even the most minimal high-CBD/low-THC strain found in a cannabis dispensary. At this rate, you would have to consume very high daily doses of the compound to have the slightest risk of testing positive for THC metabolites. Fortunately, those who are anxious about having trace amounts of THC in their system can always purchase a urine self-test for reassurance. CBD isolates and CBD crystalline also won’t garner a positive result on a drug test. CBD isolates and crystalline are purified forms of CBD. These forms – although generally not as effective as whole-plant cannabis – contain up to 99.9 percent of the cannabinoid, meaning that it is highly unlikely that they will contain enough THC to test positive on a drug test with CBD products.
However, it is unlikely that even high doses of daily CBD would surpass the federal limit of 50 nanograms THC metabolite per milliliter of urine. Please note, a positive test would be the result of minute traces of THC in the body, not CBD. Though tests are being developed to detect CBD metabolites, most employers don’t really care about it, they just want to know if you get high.
CBD has become a popular therapeutic tool throughout the country because of its wide range of benefits. However, because it is often associated with cannabis and THC, many people are reluctant to try it for fear of workplace repercussions.
Ultimately, the consumption of CBD products (with only trace amounts of THC), will not show up on standard drug screens as CBD is not an indication of impairment. Though we always recommend full disclosure to medical professionals regarding cannabis and/or other medications, CBD consumption is not commonly grounds for workplace discipline. Check your workplace drug policy for more information.