As it turns out, depending on the source of the cannabis that is used to produce the CBD oil, some products do contain traces of THC (including low-quality isolates and many full-spectrum tinctures).
Cannabis is the umbrella term describing hemp and marijuana plants—two different varieties of the cannabis genus. Both marijuana and hemp can be described as cannabis plants; however, it is important to note that they are still two separate plants.
Breakdown of Cannabis
When a drug test is performed, the active chemical in marijuana that gets detected in a positive screening is THC. However, most people are under the impression that CBD oil is THC-free.
CBD (cannabidiol) oil is a popular product for everything from pain control to anxiety to promoting sleep. However, with the rise of CBD comes the concern about failing a drug test due to detection of CBD oil. News stories are emerging across the country involving famous sports players, employees of companies, and others who have gotten positive drug screening results for the presence of THC—the psychoactive component of marijuana —even though CBD oil is said to be THC-free.
The primary difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp is nearly void of THC. In fact, a cannabis strain must contain less than .3 percent THC to be classified as hemp. This is the reason hemp can be legally sold as various products.
According to a 2012 study, a specific type of drug test used in labs across America can’t tell the difference between CBD and THC. 5 We don’t know exactly how many labs use this specific method. But if this fluid testing method detects CBD in your system, it can flag you for a false positive for THC.
If you take full spectrum CBD products and are facing a drug test at work, ask your supervisor or HR department about LabCorp Test #701907, the CBD/THC Ratio Urine Test. This is a potentially big deal that will allow more Americans to take full spectrum CBD oils without worrying about workplace discrimination.
Broad Spectrum & CBD Isolate Drug Tests
To calculate your actual chances of failing a drug test from hemp-derived CBD, we refer to a 2001 study out of Berkley, California. During the study, researchers gave participants up to 0.60 mg of THC per day for 40 days, and only 1 out of the 15 participants failed a drug test. 9
Most workplace tests for drug are designed to pick up on THC and other illegal drugs, so the odds are in your favor to take CBD oil or a CBD tincture and pass a drug test. If you think you can respectfully ask your HR department what type of drug test you’ll be taking, this can always be helpful information to know.
If you’re one of the unlucky ones, 100% pure CBD could actually make you fail a drug test. The New York Times published an article about this in 2019, and it reminded us how little we actually know about CBD and detection thresholds in drug screening tests.