Does CBD Make You Fail a Drug Test?
Actually, it Depends. Here’s What You Need to Know
You may have heard stories about people who have taken Cannabidiol (CBD) for its therapeutic benefits and found themselves unpleasantly surprised to learn they failed a drug test.
It doesn’t happen often, but unfortunately, it does happen.
But here’s the good news –
With a little knowledge, it doesn’t have to happen to you.
Experiencing the benefits of CBD should come without the worry of possibly failing a drug test and putting your job at risk. That’s why we’re taking the time to break this issue down for you and give you the best possible advice on how to choose CBD oil that will keep you out of trouble.
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So, why is this even an issue – isn’t CBD legal nationwide?
Yes, yes it is. With the passing of the 2018 farm bill, hemp and along with it, CBD became legal nationwide.
However, the problem with CBD products is even when they are marketed as 100% CBD derived from industrial hemp, they may still contain trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – and THC is the reason CBD users are failing drug tests.
You heard that correctly…
If you’ve failed a drug test while taking CBD, you’ve been taking some small amount of THC as well.
And there are two major factors at play that cause this trace amount of THC to be a big problem.
Those factors are —
- Local laws governing CBD and THC
- The purity of the CBD being used
But there is one easy way we know of to experience CBD without any of the worries.
We’ll cover that in just a minute.
First, why are people still eager to use CBD despite these risks?
Well, the simple fact is, CBD has been unequivocally proven to be therapeutically beneficial for our health. People suffering from a wide range of conditions have found relief in this curious cannabinoid.
How CBD works in the body is fascinating…
How CBD Treats a Wide Variety of Conditions
CBD and other cannabis compounds work with the body’s endocannabinoid system which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis and healthy body functions.
Endocannabinoid receptors found throughout the body interact with cannabis compounds in a positive way, creating a multitude of benefits for the user.
Here’s just a short list of the conditions CBD has demonstrated the potential to treat —
CBD’s neuroprotective properties are giving hope to Alzheimer’s patients.
CBD increases appetite almost as much as THC does, but without the psychoactive effects. This may offer some benefit to those suffering from anorexia.
Anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Widely known for its ability to ease anxiety and reduce stress, CBD may make it an effective PTSD treatment.
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that can ease joint pain, treat arthritis and other conditions caused by chronic inflammation.
In laboratory research, CBD and other cannabinoids have slowed the growth of cancerous tumors. CBD also eases nausea, pain and other symptoms typically associated with cancer.
CBD may be able to repair the brain’s hippocampus region – which shrinks when a person experiences clinical depression. CBD can stimulate and grow new neurons to repair the damage.
CBD can reduce the frequency and severity of seizures related to epilepsy. The successful CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, has recently been approved by the FDA for use in the United States.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties treat chronic inflammation which is thought to be the root cause of many diseases.
Early research is showing that CBD may ease some symptoms of MS. There is also evidence that CBD may improve the mobility of MS patients.
But, these life-changing benefits aren’t yet easy for everyone to enjoy…
CBD, THC and The (Somewhat Confusing) Law
Under federal law, CBD oil made from industrial hemp can contain trace amounts of the psychoactive compound THC – up to 0.3 %. BUT from state to state, laws concerning THC are drastically different.
For example, recreational marijuana is now legal on a state level in Oregon and Washington.
But in neighboring Idaho, where some of the most strict laws concerning marijuana and CBD exist, even the federally allowed limit of THC is illegal.
With laws regarding THC different in every state, your geographic location has as much to do with whether or not you fail your drug test as does the CBD product itself.
So, the first thing to consider is…
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Are You Using CBD in an Intolerant State?
Laws governing marijuana and CBD will continue to evolve as researchers and activists push forward with evidence and incentives that support its therapeutic use and economic value.
In the meantime, understanding which states are particularly intolerant to CBD may help you decide when and where to use CBD.
Here’s a quick rundown of the top ten most CBD intolerant states —
As noted above, Idaho has some of the toughest CBD regulations in the nation. With the first medical marijuana dispensaries opening in 2018, local authorities have not hesitated to enforce their zero-tolerance policy for THC, investigating one small business owner for selling CBD oil that contained .0175% THC.
If you’ve visited marijuana-friendly neighboring states like Washington and Oregon, and experienced the emerging culture of advocacy and information surrounding cannabis as medicine – you may be unpleasantly shocked by the lack of tolerance and CBD-knowledge when you cross state lines into Idaho. Hopefully, with enough support and education, Idaho’s laws will evolve.
You’ll find CBD shops operating in urban areas, but you won’t find support from the state government. Surprisingly, even after the 2018 Farm Bill passed, legalizing hemp and along with it, CBD, the state of Nebraska still classifies CBD as marijuana – and possessing it a criminal and punishable offense.
Luckily, state senator, Justin Wayne has introduced a bill that would reform current law by (appropriately) giving CBD a new legal definition. With any luck, Nebraska’s CBD laws could soon improve.
In South Dakota, the local government has declared that hemp and CBD are still very much illegal. Despite the federally legal status of CBD, buying, selling, or possessing the compound can get you in a lot of trouble. Until more reasonable state laws are enacted, proceed with caution when dealing with CBD in South Dakota.
With former US Attorney General and Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions an aggressive and vocal opponent to cannabis, CBD users are unlikely to find a friendly welcome in Alabama. CBD shops are in operation, however, despite the hostile environment.
Georgia is known to have strict laws regarding marijuana, but people with certain medical conditions are permitted to use CBD – or what the state calls “low THC oil.” While Georgia lawmakers aren’t the most welcoming of CBD, the state’s citizens continue to seek it out, finding it mainly in big cities like Atlanta.
State officials in Iowa oppose CBD. Despite this, shops are in operation across the state. With the first medical marijuana dispensaries opening as recently as December 2018, more time may be needed before the therapeutic benefits of this versatile compound are embraced, and laws are updated.
Louisiana state officials have stated that even trace amounts of THC in CBD products are prohibited under state law. In this post-Farm Bill time of legal “gray area,” they are looking for federal guidance on how to handle the discrepancies between state and federal laws governing THC. In the meantime, they have promised to issue citations to businesses they find selling CBD products. Which means finding CBD in New Orleans, while not impossible, isn’t as easy as you might hope either.
Mississippi state laws regarding CBD are very restrictive despite its federally legal status. Local authorities are not very tolerant of CBD use, and you can’t count on federal laws to prevent them from pursuing legal action for buying, selling, or possessing CBD.
Of the two Dakotas, this is definitely the one that’s more tolerant of CBD use. That said, CBD is still considered a controlled substance and therefore illegal under the state constitution. Until this law is updated, proceed with caution when dealing with CBD products in North Dakota.
State officials do not support CBD, and the law does not differentiate it from marijuana. This was evident earlier this year when officials began raiding stores across the state and confiscating any CBD products they found. The Ohio state pharmacy board insists that it is only lawful for one of the state’s licensed marijuana dispensaries to sell CBD. Ohio is a dangerous place for CDB users.
One man reportedly was charged with two felony counts of aggravated possession after lawfully purchasing CBD oil in a store and subsequently having it discovered by law enforcement when pulled over for a routine traffic stop. Thankfully, the charges were later reduced to a misdemeanor, inspiring a bit of hope that more reasonable CBD laws will soon be on the way.
If you order your CBD products online, that’s risky too – don’t be surprised if the local post office flags your package, and officers show up on your doorstep.
And recently in North Carolina…
Hospital Employees Issued Warning About CBD
In North Carolina it’s legal to buy CBD, but the state is tightening restrictions on CBD infused edibles, drinks, and supplements.
Which prompted this to happen…
One of the state’s largest employers, New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC), recently warned its nearly 7,000 employees that CBD products may contain enough THC to cause them to fail their required drug test.
And that failing that mandatory drug test was grounds for discipline that could lead to termination.
Which means, for the employees of NHRMC, and any other company that’s adopted such strict CBD policies, understanding how to choose a CBD product that won’t get them in trouble is important.
Leading us to the second biggest reason CBD users are failing drug tests…
Not All “Pure” CBD is Pure Enough
First, you need to understand that there are different types of CBD oil – and some of them contain THC. If you’re concerned about passing a drug test, you’ll want to stay away from those products.
Why do some products contain trace amounts of CBD?
Most often, it’s because of the extraction techniques used. Brands that include compounds from the plant’s leaves in their extraction will contain small amounts of THC.
And that’s not all… the type of CBD oil you use matters, too.
Understanding Different Types of CBD Oil
Full-Spectrum CBD Oil – Good for You, Not Good for Passing Drug Tests
While full-spectrum CBD oil is loaded with beneficial compounds that work synergistically to produce therapeutic results, you’ll want to steer clear of this type of oil if you need to pass a drug test.
Full-spectrum oil contains all the flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids, including trace amounts of THC, that are present in the cannabis or hemp plant at the time of extraction. Full-spectrum CBD oil will not produce psychoactive effects, but it will produce a positive drug test result.
CBD Hemp Isolate – Good for You, Probably OK for Passing Drug Tests
Hemp oil is CBD oil that is produced exclusively from hemp. Hemp seeds do contain THC, but very little — less than 0.03 %. For that reason, some hemp-derived CBD oil may contain THC.
Depending on which state you’re in, and which brand you choose, taking CBD produced from industrial hemp may or may not be illegal. So if you’re concerned about passing a drug test, this type of CBD oil is a bit of a gamble (though the odds are most likely in your favor).
So, how do you choose a brand you can trust to not interfere with a drug test?
THC-Free Brands – Good for You, Good for Passing Drug Tests
Smart brands, recognizing the no-tolerance THC situation emerging in some states, have responded by developing THC-free products which contain non-detectable trace amounts of CBD. Choosing a THC-free CBD oil or tincture is the best way to experience CBD without the worry of possibly failing a drug test.
And here’s the easiest way to choose a brand you can trust —
We recommend Bluebird THC-Free hemp-derived CBD isolate. It is specifically formulated to contain only untraceable amounts of THC and is the perfect option for athletes and civil workers who are regularly screened for drugs. It is also ideal for individuals who have a high sensitivity to THC and want to avoid the compound.
Here’s the Key Takeaway —
While it is highly unlikely that CBD will cause you to fail a drug test, it cannot be ruled out for certain. But, you can make smart decisions that will reduce or eliminate the risk, while allowing you to enjoy CBD’s therapeutic benefits.
The most important things to remember are –
- Choose a CBD oil or tincture that has been derived from hemp
- Choose brands that do not process THC-containing cannabis leaves as part of their extraction
- Choose a high-quality, pesticide-free product
- Choose a product that is specifically produced to be THC-Free.