It’s possible, but not for CBD itself. It is the addition of less than 0.3 percent THC in many CBD products that may potentially result in a failed test. You could be living your healthiest, sober life, supplementing your routine with CBD, and flunk a drug test due to the minor inclusion of THC. However unreasonable it may be, CBD users should be aware of this fact, especially CBD-using job seekers.
So, why is THC in your CBD? Marijuana and hemp are strikingly similar. In fact, they are the same species! The main distinction is an arbitrary legal definition, not a scientific one. Any plant with less than 0.3 percent THC is considered hemp, and above that limit, marijuana. While both contain the same compounds to varying degrees, hemp is cultivated for CBD and other uses. Marijuana is mainly cultivated for THC.
Full spectrum CBD products include this small amount of THC because they are a whole-plant extract. Broad spectrum products are technically THC-free but an indeterminable amount of THC may remain in the extraction. While unlikely, this minor amount of THC in both full and broad spectrum products can light up a drug test.
What to Expect
The most common drug test is a 10-panel urine test that exposes the recent use of the 10 most used illicit drugs. Marijuana is now legal in 16 states yet remains federally illegal. THC still falls under this category on a 10-panel screen. Strangely, if you didn’t already have THC in your system, you could dab right before this type of urine test and most likely wouldn’t fail. Urine tests look for byproducts of a broken down, metabolized drug, not drugs circulating in the system at the moment of the test.
According to an article in Medical News Daily, THC detection times from marijuana use are as follows:
- 3 days for a single-use
- 5 to 7 days for moderate use (4 times per week)
- 10 to 15 days for daily use
- 30-plus days for heavy use
The official cutoff to trigger a positive result is 50 nanograms per milliliter of THC, a threshold set by the federal government. Depending on a person’s body weight, diet, CBD use (dosage and duration), and how they metabolize cannabinoids, THC is detectable in as little as 4 to 6 days. All these immeasurable factors mean it is impossible to say how much CBD it takes before reaching the threshold, so it may be best to postpone CBD use.
The same applies to other cannabinoid products such as CBG or CBN. Just like CBD, these products often contain trace amounts of THC.
Other types of screenings include blood, saliva and hair tests. Blood tests are not as common as urine tests, especially for THC, because the compound leaves the blood in about 36 hours. Hair tests show a long-term history of drug use. They typically test for the past three months. THC is difficult to purge from hair, and follicle tests have the lowest threshold, making these screens more difficult to pass. Saliva tests are also uncommon. There are many false positives, and, unlike a urine test, they are usually only accurate at determining drug use at the time of testing. THC remains in the saliva for up to two days.
A Safe Bet
Isolate is the best option for those concerned about future drug testing. Isolate is 99.9 percent pure and does not contain even trace amounts of THC. This is because isolate is refined down to a single compound. When using a tested, trusted, quality product, you could use CBD isolate without worry.
It is unlikely you will fail a drug test with limited CBD use, but if you are in the hiring pool and in a field that is subject to drug testing, consider your unique circumstance before starting CBD or other cannabinoid products.