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Does CBD oil show up on drug tests?
CBD oil is becoming increasingly popular as a treatment for a variety of medical conditions, but the law does not always reflect changing attitudes and understanding. Variations among federal and state law, along with job-specific requirements, may mean you have to be careful when using CBD. That means you need to know whether or not it will be detected in a drug test.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant. If it is described as CBD isolate, then all the other compounds found in hemp have been removed. If your CBD oil describes itself as full spectrum, such as CBD Oil Any-Time All Natural, it will contain all of hemp’s compounds, including terpenes, chlorophyll and THC. Broad-spectrum THC products normally contain every hemp compound except THC, though there may still be some tiny traces.
CBD and THC
CBD is just one of the compounds found in hemp. It has been used for medical and recreational purposes. THC is the compound responsible for the “high” associated with recreational hemp use, including its illegal forms. It is the compound identified by drug screenings. In particular, drug tests look for the THC-COOH metabolite.
How much THC is in your CBD oil can vary not just because of the isolate, broad-spectrum and full-spectrum labels but because of differences in the growing and extraction process. That is why it is important to always source your CBD oil from a reliable supplier, preferably one based in the U.S. and therefore obligated to follow American laws. The CBD marketplace, particularly online, is often unregulated, which can lead to labels being inaccurate.
Federal law states that CBD products may not have more than 0.3% THC, while state law varies. Some states allow full-spectrum CBD oil for recreational use, while others ban any hemp product in nearly all contexts. Individual employers may also have their own regulations about the use of hemp products. Some drug tests are specifically designed not to be triggered by mere traces of THC but only by evidence of significant use.
How it works
Drug testing can take several forms. In the workplace, urine samples tend to be preferred. THC may stay in the urine for anywhere from three to 15 days, though in cases of prolonged, heavy THC use, it may last longer. You will trigger a positive response if you have more than 50 nanograms of THC-COOH in one milliliter of blood.
Blood samples are less common in drug testing because THC traces can disappear in just a few hours. One situation where a blood test might be used is when police are trying to establish if someone was driving under the influence. States vary in what constitutes an acceptable level of THC in blood, from zero tolerance to five nanograms per milliliter.
You may think you are using a CBD oil that has had all THC removed only to find it still triggers a positive drug test. This may mean the manufacturer lied or the label was inaccurate, but it can also be a result of cross-contamination. It is quite easy for traces of THC in one product to find their way into another, either because they are prepared in the same factory or are stored in the same dispensary or home.
CBD oil in the body
There is some mixed research that suggests CBD oil may be broken down into THC in the digestive system. The acidic conditions of the stomach may turn CBD oil into THC, especially in less pure products. This evidence is not conclusive, however, and other studies have suggested these results were inaccurate.
Avoiding a positive drug test
The first and most important thing to do if you are worried about a drug test is to research thoroughly before purchasing any CBD oil. You want an American supplier who is open about their growing and manufacturing process and who labels their products clearly. If the oil does not have information about where it was grown, how it was extracted or its compounds and THC levels, it may not be trustworthy.
Theoretically, using CBD oil will not trigger a positive response in a drug test if the oil is responsibly sourced and has THC levels within the legal limit. Unregulated sellers and mislabeling can, however, mean that your CBD oil has more THC than you thought. That is why it is always important to research before purchasing CBD and to check your individual product and local regulations before using.