Can CBD cause a false positive?
Well, yes and no. There is a great amount of speculation out there regarding CBD and drug tests so we looked into it for you. Let’s take a look at what we found…
CBD is a chemical compound derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD contains no psychoactive compounds and it is used medicinally in various ways. Our blog post “The difference is in the Plants-Hemp VS. Marijuana” provides more insight into the origins of CBD.
So we know that CBD does not make you high, so how can you fail a drug test while using it? The answer is honestly more straight forward than you think. Below you will find intriguing information about this topic. Let’s take a closer look at the reasoning behind positive and negative drug tests as they relate to CBD.
About the tests
Drug tests vary by industry. According to SHRM.org, there are three primary methods of specimen collection…
Urine– 90% of employers opt for this method.
Saliva– used by 10% of employers.
Hair– used by 7% of employers.
At this time Urine tests are the only drug testing method outlined by federal guidelines. This and the cost associated are the main reasons for its very prominent use by employers.
Saliva testing can be administered onsight and can produce results quickly. A saliva test will detect very recent use while a Urine test will produce results contingent upon the substance having passed through the system. Employers may opt-out of this method due to its need for sending the specimen out to a lab, there is also a small window for detection of use (48 hours) therefore it may be inconsistent with the speed of the hiring process.
The use of hair testing is not very common, the main drawback is that it will not produce a result for use that occurred a few days before the test as the substance must be present in the body during hair growth and this implies long term use.
Blood testing is the least common method used of all. This method is very expensive and intrusive. According to the drug and alcohol testing industry association, blood testing measures the actual amount of substances in your blood at the time of the test. According to confirmbiosciences.com Blood tests are far more accurate than other methods such as urine tests because they can detect the parent drug unlike urine tests were on the metabolites are detected. There are limitations, however. Blood tests are better indicators of recent consumption as a substance may no longer be detected after six hours of use.
What can cause a failed drug test if I use CBD?
The simple and more probable answer is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
We are allowed 0.3 wt % THC in our final products. This is like having only 3 brown M&M’s in a batch of 1,000 M&Ms total (assuming all the M&Ms are the same weight). This is a minuscule amount. According to healthline.com, some methods of extraction can play a drastic role in the amount of THC that may be found in CBD, however, some types of CBD may be less likely to contain greater amounts of THC.
Full-spectrum CBD contains all of the naturally occurring compounds within the plant. This means that full-spectrum CBD products contain terpenes, essential oils, and cannabinoids such as THC. Even though this type may contain a small amount of THC (0.3%) it may cause a false positive drug test if used daily. Full-spectrum hemp-derived CBD products range from oils, tinctures, and edibles as well as serums and topical creams.
Broad-spectrum CBD also includes naturally occurring compounds within the plant. This type of CBD does not contain THC as it is removed during the process of extraction. Similarly to Full-spectrum CBD, Broad-spectrum produces the “entourage effect” less the THC as described on our blog post titled “The Entourage effect Cannabinoids, THC, Terpenoids and how they work together”.
CBD Isolate is considered to be the purest form of its kind. The amount of CBD in isolate is generally 99% therefore it does not carry the benefit of The entourage effect. While this type of CBD does not produce the entourage effect you are still able to benefit from the cannabidiol within it.
According to medicalnewstoday.com THC can remain in your system for several days or even weeks. The remnants of THC behave differently for everyone. There are many deciding factors to be considered which can affect the outcome of a drug test. Body fat, frequency of consumption, and even a history of smoking may contribute to how your body will process the THC. It is important to note that even if you choose to consume Broad-spectrum CBD there is a slight chance that you can have complications with drug test results. Keep in mind, while THC is removed during processing in Broad-spectrum products contamination from nearby THC extract can occur…think of it similarly to the “may contain” warning for peanut allergies.
In conclusion, you will determine the dose and frequency of use that works for you. Something to consider would be modifying utilization if you are aware that submission to a drug screening is required as part of the employment selection process. Alternatively, if you are currently employed by an agency that requires testing we ask that you understand, the use of CBD products may produce a positive result. Keep in mind that discontinued use of CBD products close to the time of testing may still produce unwanted results. Please note that if your employer has asked you to submit a drug screening which resulted in a false positive…you can ask to have the test analyzed further.
While your employer and others may be uneducated about the use of CBD, it is common to misconstrue its purpose. It is essential for corporations, first responders, and military entities to further understand the benefits of CBD products. We are hopeful that through reliable and trustworthy information CBD use will no longer be a factor in drug testing.
Remember false positives are very real and It is key to consider the importance of a reputable source for your CBD products. At StHealthy Nutrition we understand the importance of trusting the quality of your product and as such we ensure compliance via thorough analysis.
Does CBD cause you to fail a drug test?
The fact is while CBD itself is not the definitive cause of unwanted results, ongoing use of CBD products may contribute to the result of your test. Our best tip…be careful.
Everything You Need To Know About Blood Drug Testing. (n.d.). Retrieved September 05, 2020, from https://www.confirmbiosciences.com/knowledge/blog/industry-news-everything-you-need-to-know-about-blood-drug-testing/
Maurer, R. (2019, August 16). Hair, Saliva, or Urine-Which Is Best for Drug-Testing Job Candidates? Retrieved September 05, 2020, from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/hair-saliva-urine-drug-testing-methods-specimens.aspx