CBD (cannabidiol) is the second most common cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It has become a popular health used to cope with anxiety, pain, depression, insomnia, and a multitude of other ailments. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the number one cannabinoid found in weed, CBD does not cause any mind-altering effects (high). However, even if you purchase a CBD oil, it still might contain low levels of THC. In the United States, hemp derived CBD is required to contain less than 0.03 percent THC, but CBD obtained from marijuana strains for medicinal purposes often have higher levels of THC. The THC causes concerns for many individuals facing employment drug tests. They wonder, “Will I pass a drug test using CBD?”
SAMHSA Drug Testing Guidelines
Employers typically follow the guidelines set forth by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to determine the acceptable cutoff levels for the drug and drug metabolites detected during testing.
Understanding the THC Metabolite
THC causes the psychoactive effects and is illegal on a federal level in the USA where it is classified as a Schedule 1 drug. Employers regularly check for the substance using a urine drug screen. The urine test has antibodies that are tailored to detect the prominent metabolite 11-nor-delta9-caboxy-THC (THC-COOH) found in THC. The drug tests do not look for other cannabinoids.
CBD and THC
You might be feeling relieved at the thought that the drug test will not be looking for CBD but don’t get too excited because even hemp derived CBD still contains varying levels of THC which can trigger the test, especially if you take a high dose of CBD every day. Doses that exceed 1000 milligrams can often give a positive reading for THC. Everyone’s metabolism is different. Also, body size does matter. If you are a large or heavyset person then your cells might hoard THC from the CBD that you take which will make the test positive.
Inaccurate Levels of THC
Not all CBD manufacturers adhere to the strict guidelines set forth so you might be consuming more THC with your CBD then you had planned. Please remember that CBD items are not governed by the government so even the best brands might test positive for higher levels of THC. In fact, in recent years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently released letters that they drafted for consumers which warn of inaccurate levels of THC in CBD products.
Drug Test THC Levels
According to SAMHSA, the cutoff level for THC in any CBD product is 50 ng/ml. Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to tell if someone who has diligently used a CBD product will test positive for THC. If you take 1000 mg of CBD with a 3 percent THC percentage twice a day then you have effectively consumed 6 mg of THC within a 24-hour period. Such a ratio may effectively make you fail a urine test.
Types of CBD
If you plan to use CBD but you might also have to take a drug test, then you may want to consider the types of CBD products to determine the likelihood of passing or failing the drug test.
- Cannabis CBD Oil
Oil derived from different strains of marijuana are often legal in states with recreational weed or for medicinal MJ card holders. Such oils often have higher levels of THC than hemp derived formulas, so you stand a far greater chance of failing the drug test.
- Full Extract Oil
Full extract oil is usually obtained by using the flower and leaves of the plant combined with a solvent such as grain alcohol for extraction purposes. It is highly concentrated. The levels of THC are usually exceedingly elevated so may cause you to fail a drug test. In addition, full extract oil is normally made using weed and not hemp, so the levels of THC are already higher.
- Hemp Oil
Industrial hemp contains extraordinarily little THC. Some brands of hemp-derived CBD oil contain 0.03 percent THC, but others contain less than 0.01 percent. Overall, if you are genuinely concerned about taking and failing a drug test but you still want to use CBD then you should use hemp-derived CBD oil products to be safe.
- CBD Isolate Oil
Many CBD brands are now selling CBD isolate oils which are THC free and might be your only fool-proof way of truly passing a drug test. However, please remember that as with anything, nothing is 100 percent. The CBD isolate might not be THC free if you bought some off brand. However, typically a high-quality CBD isolate will be THC free so you will have nothing to worry about when it comes testing time.
As the CBD market explodes worldwide, you must always be on the lookout for subpar products that might claim to have truly little THC but contain levels that exceed 3 percent or even 5 percent. At this time, CBD remains unregulated by the US FDA and other governing bodies so percentages can vary between brands. Ideally, you should only buy from a reputable CBD source who makes sure all their products are tested by 3rd party labs for quality control.