Few people even a decade ago would have been able to tell you what CBD was; but these days, CBD seems to be absolutely everywhere. This natural, safe compound has become so incredibly popular over the last few years thanks to its vast medicinal potential, reflected by the millions of dollars of research pouring into CBD clinical trials.
Because CBD is derived from cannabis, the plant that also provides marijuana, there are countless people out there who are curious about whether CBD might have a positive benefit for them; but who never try it in fear of failing a drug test at work or at school. When it comes to determining whether CBD will show up on a drug test, the answer is a bit complicated. Given today’s technology, varying standards for how to determine if it shows up, and at what levels were indicated, there is sort of a fine line for answering such a broad question.
However, this article will provide you with everything that you need to know so that you can enjoy the wide array of CBD products out there without worrying about how it may affect the results of a drug test and possibly your job or career path.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is a compound that is extracted from the cannabis plant. It is considered a cannabinoid. In fact, the cannabis plant itself possesses over 110 cannabinoids. CBD is extracted from the plant to provide users with its many potential health benefits without causing the user to experience the psychoactive effect for which cannabis is known.
CBD is commonly used for its anecdotally popular positive effects on the mind and body. Many clinical studies have shown that CBD has the potential to act as a natural pain reliever as well as an anti-anxiety remedy, but more tests need to be done (and are currently underway). Because CBD can be taken in large doses without any known serious side effects, the medical industry is just beginning to warm up to the idea of acknowledging CBD as a legitimate potential medicine.
CBD can be taken in various ways. Some people prefer to vape CBD because of how quickly this method allows the compound to reach the brain. Others enjoy eating edible CBD products that allow the compound’s effects to be felt more subtly and last for a longer period. There are also topical CBD products that can treat localized pain when massaged into the affected area.
Will CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?
To put it simply, CBD does not show up on a standard drug test. Testers are not looking for the level of CBD that’s in your body. After all, CBD itself is perfectly legal.
What testers are looking for, however, is THC. Because THC and CBD come from the same plant, CBD can contain trace amounts of THC. However, the chances of there being enough THC in your system to cause you to fail a drug test is extremely unlikely. Below, you’ll find out why this is the case.
How is CBD Extracted?
Before we get into the ways in which a CBD product can contain THC, it’s important to know how cannabinoid products are created in the first place. CBD is extracted from the hemp plant in a variety of ways. Currently, the most popular method is CO2 extraction. This method involves the use of pressurized carbon dioxide that acts as a solvent, essentially grabbing onto the CBD so that it may be separated from the other compounds within the plant. Many reputable companies use this method because it seems to preserve the therapeutic properties of CBD more than other extraction methods.
Another extraction method involves using ethanol or olive oil that has been heated to a specific temperature. This allows it to bond with the liquid while leaving behind the other compounds.
It’s important to know that cannabis products that are sold legally nationwide have been extracted from industrial hemp plants rather than marijuana plants. Because marijuana is still an illegal substance on a federal level, CBD manufacturers can only utilize hemp plants as they are legal to consume.
Can You Fail a Drug Test When Using CBD?
It’s important to state right off the bat that failing a drug test due to CBD is incredibly rare. However, it’s not uncommon for trace amounts of THC to exist in your CBD product. There’s your semi double-edged sword.
CBD products from reputable brands are tested for their THC levels. Currently, a CBD product must contain less than 0.3 percent of THC to be sold legally. If you’re purchasing a CBD product, you should have access to information regarding its THC level. If this information is not available on the product’s label or the company’s website, you should feel free to contact them and ask them yourself to feel safe.
Of course, just because CBD products must contain less than a certain amount of THC does not mean that all brands follow these rules. As many are aware, there are countless CBD brands out there right now. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that some of these brands are not playing by the rules. If you’ve recently used a low-quality CBD product, it’s possible that you have consumed more than the legal limit of THC without even knowing it because of the brand’s low manufacturing standards. However, this is still highly unlikely.
What About a Product that Contains Full Spectrum CBD?
If you purchase a product that contains full spectrum CBD, this means that it contains cannabinoids from every portion of the plant. In other words, you’re getting a product that contains CBD in addition to other cannabinoids that are also known for their various potential health benefits. These cannabinoids include CBN, a cannabinoid being investigated for its positive effects on sleep, in addition to CBL and THCV.
Many high-quality CBD brands are beginning to exclusively sell full spectrum CBD products. This is because of the belief that full spectrum CBD is more likely to benefit your health overall. However, full spectrum CBD is going to be more likely to contain THC.
Full spectrum CBD products must also comply with the law. Therefore, they should not contain a level of THC that exceeds 0.3 percent. However, full spectrum CBD products are more likely to have a THC level that exceeds that amount despite the manufacturer’s attempts to follow the law. While it’s very unlikely that a full spectrum CBD product would contain enough THC to cause you to fail a drug test, it still can happen.
Does it Matter Where My CBD Comes From?
There is another reason why a CBD product could cause you to fail a drug test. As you are probably aware, there are several states across the country that have legalized marijuana. Because products that are manufactured and sold in these states do not need to comply with the federal law stating that a CBD product must contain less than 0.3 percent THC, manufacturers in these areas may be a little laxer about how much THC exists within the product.
If you are going to purchase a CBD product in a state in which marijuana is legal, it’s important to ask for information regarding the level of THC that is in the product.
What Can I Do if I Have an Upcoming Drug Test and I’ve Taken CBD?
Based on all the information that we have provided, you should feel confident that the consumption of a CBD product is very unlikely to result in a failed drug test. However, there are some things that you can do just to be extra safe.
First, make sure that your CBD product contains less than the legal limit of THC. If your CBD product does not have more than 0.3 percent THC, you will be in the clear. Nowadays, many high-quality CBD companies provide third party laboratory results alongside their products. Many times, these results include information regarding the level of THC as well as other compounds that are found in the plant. If this information isn’t available, you can always call the company and get the information straight from the source.
It’s also important to only purchase your CBD from a reputable brand, such as CBDfx. This way, you’ll know that their manufacturing process involves adequate CBD extraction that eliminates the risk of high THC levels being present in their products.
It should also be said that secondhand exposure to THC can still result in a failed drug test. If you often find yourself in situations in which people around you are smoking marijuana, it is possible to take in enough THC to affect the test results. Therefore, it’s important to realize that this isn’t the fault of the CBD product that you have consumed.
The Chances Overall Are Still Very Low
As you can see, the chances of CBD causing you to fail a drug test are incredibly low. While it’s not completely impossible for this to happen, it’s still not worth losing sleep over, especially if you use high-quality CBD products that come from legitimate CBD manufacturers. Therefore, you can continue to get your daily dose of CBD without worrying about that upcoming drug test.