CBD & Drug Testing – is there any risk to me?

Deciding to take CBD is a good move for your health, but what about your job? Unfortunately, prohibition and stigma still exist all around cannabis, including CBD. When people seek new employment, they may have to go through standard drug testing procedures looking for drugs of abuse. Some workers have random, spot checks where they are subject to stringent testing anytime. Let’s take a deeper look at the process and discuss how to stay safe.

CBD comes from the Cannabis Sativa plant, which can be grown for marijuana CBD with greater than 0.3% THC, or for industrial hemp CBD, with less than 0.3% THC. Since there are trace amounts of THC in hemp CBD, a high enough dose taken before a drug screen could yield a positive result for THC. Marijuana CBD is sold in cannabis dispensaries and is regulated and tested by the state licensing programs to prove potency, purity, and that is it free from any contaminants. Industrial hemp CBD is sold online or retail stores and is not well-regulated. Hemp CBD is self-policed, so testing for potency, purity, and contaminants needs to be done by the vendor who wants to do right by their customers. Every bottle of CBD on the market should have a COA or certificate of analysis, but there are costs associated with testing, and unscrupulous vendors do market items without testing. People buying hemp CBD deserve peace of mind knowing they can supplement for health, not be high, and not fail a drug test.



Urine drug screens look for THC and its metabolites. Most drug testing facilities follow the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) guidelines, and over 50 ng/ml THC detected will test positive. These tests can be very sensitive and trigger false positives, which should be confirmed with serum blood testing if a job is threatened. Simple over-the-counter drugs like Motrin may even trigger a false alarm. Some sensitive people can test positive after heavy exposure in a poorly ventilated room where friends are smoking marijuana. Risks exist, and people need to take measures to deal with them. People who know they will test positive for THC might get a prescription from their doctor for Marinol, the synthetic THC that is used for nausea and vomiting. Some carry ‘fake urine’ to use instead of their own in case of spot checks. Some check their urine at home before testing to be sure they’re clean prior to the formal test. This is understandable for THC, but CBD folks don’t want to worry.

On the employer side, it is understandable why they adhere to the letter of the law to satisfy federal rules. The 1988 Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act made it illegal to use drugs on the job so that others are not at risk. If your employer has federal contracts to protect, they cannot allow anyone to jeopardize those dollars. Until federal prohibition ends, and cannabis is no longer a Schedule 1 drug, we must be vigilant. There is no test for CBD, it’s all about THC.

To put things in perspective, let’s look at the risks of using industrial hemp CBD. According to Leafly, a bottle with 2000 mgs of hemp CBD at 0.3% could yield 6+ mgs of THC and tip the scales in 11-23% of tests. Daily doses of 25 mgs should yield 0.75mg of THC, hopefully undetectable. Hemp CBD has much less risk than cannabis CBD, and for those with zero tolerance, stay safe with a broad spectrum hemp CBD, where THC has been extracted completely.

Let’s clarify the CBD options for those who need to maintain a clean urine drug screen.

  • Cannabis, or marijuana CBD oil is 0.3% or higher in THC and may yield a positive result on a drug screen. It is grown at 20:1 or 10:1 CBD: THC and can be ‘hot’ enough to pop positive. People who take cannabis CBD should be secure at work and not fear testing.
  • Industrial hemp Full spectrum oil CBD is 0.3% or less THC. All of the medicinal benefits from the ‘entourage effect’ of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant components activating each other remain. Most CBD marketed is full spectrum oil, and consumers should know there is a risk of the 0.3% THC accumulating enough to test positive.
  • Industrial hemp Broad spectrum oil CBD is 0.3% or less THC, and has undergone a special process called liquid chromatography extraction which removes all of the THC from the oil prior to bottling. Broad spectrum CBD should give you a 99.99% surety of testing negative, yet still retain most of the entourage effects.
  • Isolate CBD has no other cannabinoids, terpenes, or plant materials – it is pure CBD in the form of a powder and should never cause a positive test for THC. However, mislabeled products, and cross-contamination in facilities could happen.
  • Minor cannabinoids like CBN, CBDA, CBG, CBC, and THCV can be blended with CBD oils to address multiple symptoms at once. CBN may be helpful for sleep and to relax the body and mind. CBN is an oxidized derivative of THC, which can result in a positive test. CBDA, CBG, and CBD were in the clear.

Hemp CBD should be safe to consume, have no intoxication, and not cause a positive urine drug screen for THC. If you’re worried about full-spectrum oil, choose broad-spectrum. Wellness benefits of hemp CBD; less anxiety, more focus, less stress, better sleep, less inflammation, and better moods need to also come with peace of mind.

All CBD products should be tested and have a 3rd party COA – the certificate of analysis by batch. If there are no labs, you should not buy the product. For those who want efficacy and safety, insist on the highest standards of care to protect your peace of mind, body, and spirit.



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