Does CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?

Since CBD is the latest craze in the alternative medicine/cannabis industry, it’s reasonable for one to wonder if CBD will show up on a drug test. While the short answer is no; it will not show up on a drug test, there are a few factors to consider before using CBD products prior to taking a drug test.

What is CBD? 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active ingredient in cannabis-derived from the hemp plant. It is one of the approximately 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants. While it was discovered in 1940, it wasn’t until 2018 when clinical research showed that CBD can alleviate symptoms for anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and chronic pain. 

CBD can be taken in a variety of ways. It can be inhaled as smoke or vapor, as an aerosol sprays on the cheek, or by mouth. However, these methods typically contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and terpenes which are federally illegal. It can also be extracted into CBD oil, in which CBD is the only active ingredient (no THC or terpenes).

Even when CBD has THC present, CBD does not have the same psychoactivity as THC and may change the physical and mental side effects of THC if both are present in the body.

Is CBD legal? 

While you can find CBD in all 50 states, its exact legality is questionable. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying restrictions and the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana. However, it doesn’t necessarily enforce against it. In fact, the cannabidiol drug Epidiolex was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018 for the treatment of two epilepsy disorders.

The general rule of thumb? Purchasing CBD is federally legal as long as it is hemp-derived CBD with less than 0.3 percent THC. This is a rule that the State of Michigan has echoed in its regulations surrounding CBD.

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Since recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan, anything with a THC level above 0.3 percent is legal. However, it is then regulated by the State as marijuana.

Does CBD show up on a drug test? 

Since drug tests test for the presence of THC, pure CBD will not make you fail a drug test. However, the CBD industry is still largely unregulated and many CBD products contain other compounds due to processing and extraction.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the amount of THC in your body must be below 50 ng/ML. To hit 50 ng/ML levels of THC, you would probably have to consume more than 2,000 mg of CBD products that contain 0.3 percent or less of THC. This is much higher than the average person is likely to take. However, THC is fat-soluble, which means that it can be stored in your body’s fatty tissue when ingested.

Additionally, the timeframe for THC metabolites to be detected in one’s body depends on body weight and diet. Therefore, it’s possible for it to accumulate in as little as 4-6 days and result in a positive drug test due to trace amounts of THC. Lastly, a hair test can retain THC for a longer period of time compared to a standard urine test.

What should you do if you use CBD products and have an upcoming drug screening? 

The safest course of action would be to refrain usage for a while for passing a drug test. However, it would be helpful to be upfront about your CBD usage – or any supplement use – so that your test results will be interpreted with such facts in mind.

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Additionally, workplace drug and substance policies can be vague and outdated, according to Dr. Barry Sample, Director of Science and Technology at Quest Diagnostics. Therefore, it is important to fully comprehend your current or potential employer’s policies in regards to CBD.

If you’re consuming CBD products with more than 0.3 percent THC, it may be helpful to apply for a medical marijuana card since marijuana is still federally illegal. Even though marijuana is recreationally legal in Michigan, this may be the best course of action to avoid any federal hiccups or “false positives.”

Lastly, research the establishment where you purchase your CBD. Ensure that their products are thoroughly tested and screened for CBD/THC levels and any impurities. If you take a drug test, you are responsible for whatever you put into your body. Therefore, it is best to make sure you know exactly what you’re ingesting.