Until recently, all forms of the cannabis plant were illegal according to federal law. The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill changed everything: now, the hemp plant is considered federally legal and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) no longer deems hemp-derived CBD an illicit scheduled substance.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound derived from the hemp plant. The cannabinoid has gained mainstream popularity due to its abundant health benefits, acting as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and antimicrobial agent, amongst other functions.
Although hemp and hemp-derived CBD are legal at the federal level, not everyone approves of cannabinoid use. Some states have enacted legislation restricting use and cultivation, and most states do not have workplace protections in place. This means that organizations, including employers, are free to request drug testing and potentially pursue consequential actions like job termination based on the test results.
Because a positive drug test can be detrimental to your career and by extension, your livelihood, many are understandably concerned about CBD. Though it is not an illegal psychotropic substance, its relation to cannabis cannot be ignored.
So, will CBD show up on a drug test? The short answer is no, CBD alone will not show up on the average drug test.
What are drug tests looking for?
CBD is just one of hundreds of cannabinoids derived from the hemp and cannabis plants. Others include CBDA, CBG, CBN, and THC, to name a few. When screening for marijuana use, your average drug test is not searching for CBD and other non-psychoactive compounds; rather, it is looking for THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. THC produces the characteristic high that accompanies marijuana use.
Because drug tests do not actively screen for CBD alone, you should have nothing to worry about if you are only ingesting that particular cannabinoid. However, it should be noted that some hemp-derived CBD products do contain traceable amounts of THC as legally permitted.
According to federal law, legal hemp may contain up to 0.3% THC. This small amount of THC is very unlikely to produce a high, but it may show up on a drug test regardless of legality.
How do I avoid THC altogether?
Whether or not your CBD product contains THC can carry heavy consequences, and plenty of CBD manufacturers are keenly aways of the concerns many have regarding the psychoactive cannabinoid. As such, many opt to create hemp-derived products completely devoid of THC alongside those that do contain nominal amounts of the cannabinoid.
Hemp-derived products that carry a maximum of 0.3% of THC are often labelled full spectrum, whereas products that contain no THC whatsoever are labelled broad spectrum or isolate. Check out this article to learn more about the differences between these two product types!
When choosing a CBD product, be sure to read the label carefully to avoid any compounds that may carry unintended consequences in your personal or professional life. If THC doesn’t suit your lifestyle, seek out broad spectrum CBD products only. You can always reach out to the manufacturer if the product’s label is unclear or if you have any lingering questions or concerns.
What about topical products?
Much to the concern of those avoiding psychoactive cannabinoids, some hemp-derived topical products contain trace amounts of THC. Many believe that topically applied THC products will produce a positive drug test result due to ongoing confusion surrounding the issue.
Luckily, a recent study confirms that topical THC products will not yield a positive test result. Unlike inhaled or orally ingested THC, topically applied cannabinoids do not enter the bloodstream and are therefore undetectable via urine or blood.
You should have no concerns about yielding a positive drug test result if you only use THC topically. However, if you choose to err on the side of absolute caution, there are plenty of helpful broad spectrum and isolate products on the market. We especially love this skin repair stick and this face mask from Bee’s Knees Wellness! Both boast potent healing capabilities without the use of THC.
Drug testing can be an anxiety-provoking experience for the everyday CBD user. While you may not ingest marijuana products containing high levels of THC, you may consume hemp-derived CBD products that carry trace amounts of the psychoactive cannabinoid.
As daunting as the idea of a drug screening may be, you can take active steps to avoid a positive test result and continue on your healing journey with CBD. We hope that, as hemp-derived products continue to increase in popularity, THC testing standards relax and the stress surrounding drug testing decreases as a result.