Will CBD oil test positive for drugs?

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CBD oil (cannabidiol) is a popular product for everything from relieving pain and anxiety to improving sleep . However, with CBD on the rise, there are concerns about drug testing failure due to the discovery of CBD oil. News from across the country has featured famous people testing positive for THC. This is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. and this happens despite the fact that CBD oil is believed to contain no THC.

What are the odds that CBD oil users will test positive for illegal drugs? And what can be done to avoid it?

Get Medication Information / Brianna Gilmartin

Does CBD oil contain THC?

The active chemical in marijuana that is found on positive drug tests is THC. However, most people are under the impression that CBD oil does not contain THC.

It turns out that depending on the source of cannabis used to produce the CBD oil, some products contain traces of THC. This includes low-quality isolates and many full-spectrum tinctures.

Cannabis decay

Cannabis is a general term to describe cannabis and marijuana plants, two different varieties of the cannabis genus. Both marijuana and hemp can be described as cannabis plants, but they are two different plants.

CBD is one of the many active chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. One of the reasons it is becoming more and more popular is that it lacks the plant components that make a person feel high. This component is called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

The main difference between hemp and marijuana is that hemp contains almost no THC. In fact, a cannabis strain must contain less than 0.3% THC to be classified as hemp. That is why hemp can be legally sold in a variety of different products.

Most CBD products are made from hemp, not marijuana.

There are many differences between marijuana and hemp that are related to CBD oil. Marijuana contains THC (a psychoactive ingredient) and CBD. Hemp contains CBD and only trace amounts of THC. Hemp also contains many cannabinoids, and CBD is just one example.

There are several methods to extract CBD oil from the cannabis plant. The extraction method determines whether the active CBD compound will be treated as a "full spectrum oil" or as an "isolate". The full spectrum oil contains other active plant compounds in addition to CBD. These compounds can include CBN (cannabinol) and cannabis terpenes (the part of the plant that gives it its flavor). CBD isolate is a pure compound with no other active compounds or cannabinoids.

CBD oil research

While some CBD oils claim to be isolated, they can be full-spectrum oils and actually contain more cannabinoids (like THC) than they claim.

In a study from the Lautenberg Center, researchers found that CBD was more effective in treating inflammation and pain when used with other compounds in the cannabis plant. These compounds were sourced from a full spectrum product, not just a CBD isolate. This is one of the reasons for the popularity of full spectrum products (containing THC).  

However, the distinction between full spectrum oils and isolates makes a big difference if you are tested for drug use.

Reasons for failing a CBD drug test

There are several common reasons why a person fails a CBD drug test:

1. Use of the product with THC

The most common reason for a failed CBD drug test is that a person is using a CBD oil product that contains THC. Sometimes this can be due to the fact that a person is purchasing a low-quality product that contains small amounts of THC. While most manufacturers claim that their products do not contain THC, this is not always the case.

2. THC cross contamination

The very small amount of THC present in the material from which CBD is extracted can enter CBD oil in amounts large enough to give a positive drug test result. This scenario may be more likely if CBD oil is purchased from cannabis dispensaries in places where cannabis is legal.

3. Incorrect product labeling

CBD oil derived from hemp should not contain more than 0.3% THC. However, it is not uncommon for sellers to mislabel their products as THC-free hemp, when in reality it is low-quality marijuana-derived oil. And marijuana contains THC.

In fact, one study found that nearly 70% of CBD products sold online were mislabeled. This caused "serious potential harm to consumers." The reason for this widespread mislabeling is that CBD products are not strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

4. Passive exposure to THC.

Accidental exposure to marijuana (through secondhand smoke) is unlikely to be enough for a person to test positive for the drug. But it is possible. Staying in a room with heavy marijuana smokers for several hours can cause smoke containing THC to be inhaled and test positive.

A more likely secondary exposure scenario is a positive marijuana test. This occurs as a result of direct contact with the marijuana traps or someone else who has THC.

For example, let's say someone who has had direct contact with marijuana then touched your hair. You can get a false positive result when a drug test is done on your hair.

5. CBD oil breaks down in the digestive system.

Some sources report that in rare cases, false positive results have been obtained due to CBD oil, which breaks down into very small amounts of THC in the stomach. However, other studies have refuted this conclusion.

The bottom line is that, in theory, it is possible that there are traces of THC metabolites in stomach acid when "less refined CBD products" are ingested.

How to Avoid a Positive CBD Drug Test Result

If you are taking CBD oil, there are steps you can take to try to prevent drug test failures:

  • Do extensive research to make sure that the CBD product you are using is pure and that the company is legitimate.
  • Make sure your CBD oil is an isolated product sourced from viable commercial hemp stocks. It shouldn't be a low-quality tincture.
  • Educate yourself on product handling methods and potential for cross contamination.
  • Avoid secondary exposure to marijuana through marijuana use or contact with the hair of THC users.

Get the word of drug information

In theory, getting a false positive drug test for CBD oil should be relatively impossible with pure CBD oil that contains less than 0.3 percent THC. However, since CBD oil is not properly regulated, there is no guarantee that a product contains pure CBD oil or that its concentration is safe or effective. Take extra care and do your research when purchasing a quality CBD oil product to make sure it is pure, especially if you need to get tested for drugs.

Frequently asked questions

  • Drug tests look for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the highly inducing ingredient in marijuana. CBD oils can contain traces of THC, even if they are labeled "THC-free." These products are not regulated by the FDA and mislabeling is common.

  • Yes. If these foods contain THC, you can get positive results. If you know you need to get tested for drugs, avoid full-spectrum CBD products that may contain small amounts of THC. Make sure you buy products from a trusted source. And be careful shopping online; Researchers found that 21% of CBD and hemp products online are mislabeled.

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