Marijuana is still federally illegal in the United States, and only a handful of states have decriminalized the medical use of THC. And even fewer states allow recreational marijuana. So odds are if you live in the U.S. you’re probably working a job that prohibits marijuana use. Even employers in states where marijuana is legal still have the right to drug test employees.
Theoretically, if you don’t consume any marijuana products, you should be good to go on any employer’s drug test. But what about CBD? The rising popularity and use of CBD in recent years has led to a bit of confusion over drug testing. Will CBD cause you to fail a drug test?
The short answer to that question is no, but there’s a little more to it than that. First we need to discuss exactly what CBD is and the rare circumstances under which someone who takes CBD might fail a drug test.
CBD is one of the more prominent cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Ongoing research suggests CBD may have many health benefits and the use of CBD is legal across the United States. Where things start to get a little less clear, however, is in how the CBD is sourced.
CBD and THC both come from cannabis. In general, CBD is sourced from strands of hemp that have very low or nonexistent amounts of THC, and THC itself is usually sourced from marijuana. Marijuana and hemp are both cannabis plants. So it is possible to get CBD products that contain notable amounts of THC. Even in states where marijuana is illegal, THC can still show up in CBD products if it is under the legal limit. Products will have labels if they are completely THC-free, those that do not may have amounts which are negligible, or amounts that are large enough to show up on a drug test. If drug testing is a concern for you, be sure you purchase CBD products that specifically say they are 100 percent free of THC. This should all but eliminate your chances of failing a drug test.
Most drug tests are designed to detect THC, the main component of marijuana and the cannabinoid responsible for the associated high. Most employers choose to test specifically for THC because those tests are widely available, but there are a wider range of tests available. Some drug tests do specifically look for more than THC. Certain, less common drug tests can detect the following:
Yes, CBD is on that list. There are tests available that will specifically detect CBD. They’re much less common than the tests designed to catch THC and many employers don’t bother with them. But it is possible that the test you are given will show a positive result for CBD.
Drug testing is most commonly encountered at work, but there are other times people may run into mandatory testing, as well. Professional athletes are often subjected to drug screening on a regular basis in order to be allowed to compete. People on parole may be under drug testing stipulations, as well. And even both health and life insurance companies can, under some circumstances, require drug tests.
Should you stress over your drug test?
Everyone’s circumstances are different. For some people, failing a drug test means a reprimand at work, for others, it means being sent back to prison. It’s up to every individual to decide how crucial it is that they have an absolute 0 percent chance of failing a drug test. If you want to continue taking CBD and minimize the possibility that you may fail a drug test, consider the following advice.
- Temporarily cease use
If you stop taking CBD for about a month, it should be mostly cleared from your system. This way, even if a drug test is looking for CBD, you should still test negative. This may not be viable for people who use CBD for frequent problems like anxiety or PTSD. It also relies on drug testing being scheduled, and not random.
- Obtain a medical exemption
If you are taking CBD for its anti-seizure properties or have otherwise discussed CBD use with your doctor, you may be able to get a signed document that explains your situation. It’s up to an employer if they want to accept such documents.
- Buy THC-free productsThe easiest thing to do is read the labels of your CBD products. Make sure they boast a low or non-existent amount of THC. For the majority of people, this is all they will need to do.
So no, the odds that your CBD capsules are going to make you fail your drug test are extremely low. However, there may be THC in your CBD products that you didn’t realize was there. So just be wise, read your labels, and you should get by just fine.