Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most useful compounds found in cannabis plants, and when combined with a healthy lifestyle, it can help support a sense of calm, focus, and overall wellbeing.* However, because CBD is derived from the cannabis plant, many prospective consumers are often left wondering if it will disqualify them from employment by showing up on routine drug screenings.
While employers that conduct drug screenings do not test for CBD metabolites, they almost certainly test for THC, the intoxicating compound found in cannabis. So, in short, the answer is no, CBD itself should not trigger a positive drug test. However, because THC can be found in minute quantities in full-spectrum CBD tinctures, gummies, or capsules, there is a chance that a person could test positive for THC in a drug screening after using a full-spectrum CBD product.
This problem can be avoided with a closer look at how your CBD was cultivated and produced, certificates of analysis, and the ingredients of each product. If you’ve ever wondered if you can fail a drug test due to CBD, read on to learn more about why certain CBD products can result in a failed drug test:
How Can CBD Products Trigger a Drug Test Failure?
Most CBD goods, due to the nature of their cultivation and production, will inherently have trace amounts of the psychoactive molecule THC present in them. Hemp plants grown in the United States must have less than 0.3% THC, but hemp grown elsewhere may have a higher percentage. Since this is the case, there is an inherent chance that CBD products could trigger a positive for THC during a drug screening. This is because it is not generally known how much THC is needed to trigger a drug test, and everyone’s body processes CBD differently.
Why Is There THC in CBD Goods?
When the United States Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp, a low THC derivative of the cannabis plant, became legal for cultivation, if, and only if, certain benchmarks and guidelines were maintained. Specifically, the hemp plant can contain “no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis.”
Using skilled botanists and rigorous breeding standards, hemp plants can routinely maintain a legal limit of less than .3% THC while still producing 12% to 18% CBD by weight. While it has not yet proven possible to grow a hemp plant with a THC content of 0.0%, consumers of CBD produced in the United States can still make a purchase with confidence knowing that the plants their products are derived from are scrutinized, literally from the ground up, to limit the amount of THC present.
Can Excess THC End Up In a CBD Tincture, Gummy, or Capsule?
Once cultivated, hemp enters the CBD extraction and production phase. During this process, it is exceedingly important that producers follow strict manufacturing practices and guidelines. However, this process is not regulated and can lead to potentials for inconsistencies or cross-contamination with goods that may contain higher levels of THC.
This is where quality comes into play for answering our ultimate question: Does CBD show up on a drug test? Although the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate the production of CBD, it is essential to choose a manufacturer who follows the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Consuming goods produced following high standards will ensure that a person can enjoy the benefits of CBD, without consuming more than the permitted level of THC. And certainly without experiencing the intoxicating effects of THC.
How Can You Know You Are Getting Quality CBD?
You can find out what CBD brands are worth your hard-earned money by doing a little research on the brand or brands you are interested in buying from. Look for the following things to make sure you get the highest quality CBD possible:
Certificates of Analysis
In addition to adherence to specific manufacturing processes to ensure consistency, reputable purveyors of CBD will provide their customers with third-party verified certificates of analysis (COA). These certificates document the concentrations of cannabinoids, (including THC), present in the CBD delivery mode in question. For the discerning consumer, this is an excellent way to know the exact levels of THC, (even in their minuscule amounts), consumed in each serving of CBD.
Learn how to read a COA here.
Some CBD products have been found to contain potentially harmful ingredients, such as synthetic marijuana, toxic solvents used in the extraction process, contaminants, or even pharmaceutical medications that aren’t listed on the ingredients panel. Make sure the brand you’re interested in lists the ingredients of its products clearly.
Full Spectrum CBD Vs. CBD Isolate Products
When choosing a CBD product, customers who undergo randomized or pre-employment drug screenings should know the difference between full-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD contains every cannabinoid present in the hemp plant, including THC in small amounts, to maximize the potential health benefits of the CBD. This is called the Entourage Effect. On the other hand, CBD isolate contains only CBD and no other cannabinoids.
If a prospective buyer is concerned about testing positive for THC while using CBD, then CBD isolate is the safest choice possible. Simply put, CBD isolate is a way to enjoy all the benefits of cannabidiol without the worry of losing eligibility for employment.
Read What is Full Spectrum CBD? for more information.
The Bottom Line
When considering consuming CBD, it is important to realize that many CBD goods have minuscule amounts of THC present, which has the potential to cause a positive drug test.
Charlotte’s Web takes great pride in producing the highest quality hemp and CBD products available to ensure our customers get the best. We believe you deserve ultimate transparency when buying CBD which is why every one of our products can be verified for potency and quality. For more information on CBD, read our CBD 101 blog post, take a look at our Pure CBD oils, or drop us a line.