CBD is a safe, non-psychoactive supplement that helps you feel relaxed and improves your overall health — that’s probably why you got interested in it or started taking it in the first place! But if you’re interested in or using CBD oil, odds are you also know that CBD oil comes from the same plant species that marijuana comes from, and your CBD oil can contain a trace of THC (0.3% or less, to be exact). Is that enough to show up on a drug test?
What happens in a drug test?
When you go in for a drug test, there are two main types of drug tests that a lab can perform: a 5-panel test, or a 10-panel test. The 5-panel test screens for five common drugs and harmful compounds: cocaine, opiates, PCP, amphetamines/methamphetamines, and THC. In addition to these, the 10-panel test also screens for more recreational drugs, including pharmaceutical drugs that have contributed to the ever-growing epidemic.
As you may have noticed, CBD wasn’t on that list of drugs or compounds that drug tests screen for. That’s because CBD is not a harmful, addictive, or inhibiting compound. But, since most CBD products still contain a trace amount of THC (and because drug tests screen for THC), is there a chance that using CBD oil will result in a false positive drug test?
Will CBD Trigger A False Positive?
The majority of CBD products include trace amounts of THC. Even naturally, hemp plants contain 0.3% of THC. But because this is such a small amount of THC, you will never experience the psychoactive “high” that THC causes.
While that’s all nice and dandy, it doesn’t help the fact that there are still trace amounts of THC flowing through your body’s systems. But is this 0.3% THC enough to trigger a false positive on a drug test?
The short answer is no, probably not.
That may not sound very reassuring, but in all honesty, if you take CBD oil on a daily basis (and if your CBD oil contains 0.3% or less of THC), it is extremely rare that you will get a false positive on a drug test. In order for THC to show up on a drug test, you need to have a minimum of 50ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter). The only way you would have that much THC in your system (without taking marijuana) is if you take extremely high doses of CBD oil every day. And by high dosage, we mean 1,000 to 2,000 mg a day. Over time, the THC from these doses can build up enough to result in a false positive.
Another reason why you may get a false positive is because the THC and CBD molecules — as well as any other cannabinoids in your CBD oil — are so similar that they can potentially influence a drug test to result in a false positive.
What If You Do Get a False Positive?
In the off chance that your regular CBD consumption does result in a false positive on your drug test, you don’t have to worry just yet. Initial drug tests use immunoassay, which uses antibodies to detect any presence of drugs. The thing is: immunoassay doesn’t test the specific amount of a drug found; it just states a positive or negative result.
When someone tests positive on an immunoassay drug test, the standard procedure is to perform a confirmatory GC/MS test. GC/MS (gas chromatography/mass spectrometry) testing can identify specific molecules based on unique characteristics, and these tests only look for the specific THC metabolite. That means that even if your CBD oil contains other cannabinoids, you don’t have to worry about those triggering a false positive.
But what if your CBD oil does contain THC? If the GC/MS test looks specifically for THC, won’t it show a positive result?
If your CBD oil contains 0.3% or less of THC, the odds of your GC/MS test resulting in a false positive is even more rare simply because it tests strictly for the THC molecule. In the initial immunoassay test, you may have gotten a false positive because it reads the THC, CBD, and other cannabinoid molecules as one molecule: THC. However, GC/MS testing looks specifically for THC, and it can tell the difference between THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. So, unless you have a minimum of 15 ng/mL of pure THC in your body (which you are highly unlikely to have with regular doses of CBD oil), your confirmatory GC/MS test will show as negative.
In short, if you take CBD oil regularly, there’s no need for you to worry about not passing a drug test. The purpose of CBD oil is to help improve your overall health and well-being, and we make sure you can do that without any worry.
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Summereli, Caleb. “Forms of CBD That Show in a Drug Test”. CBD Health & Wellness. November 28, 2018. https://potguide.com/pot-guide-marijuana-news/article/will-cbd-show-up-on-a-drug-test/
PLUSCBD OIL. “Does Using CBD Hemp Oil Result in a Positive Drug Test for THC or Marijuana?” Leafly. January 27, 2015. https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/does-using-cbd-hemp-oil-result-in-a-positive-drug-test-for-thc-or