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September 11

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Will CBD Affect a Drug Test?

By Libby Murphy

September 11, 2020


There’s no doubt about it—CBD is hot, and it’s here to stay. And while it might be everywhere you go, from gas stations to your local pharmacy to dispensaries, that doesn’t mean that CBD should be taken lightly. 

We’ve read so many claims about CBD all over the Internet, and feel that the topic of drug testing should be discussed as honestly as possible. You may find yourself in a position where you have to take a drug test that’s either planned or random, and if you’re taking CBD, you should be fully aware of the implications it can have on your test.

Below, we’ll cover some of the most frequently asked questions we get regarding CBD and testing.

CBD is Legal, So I Should be Okay…Right?

CBD is legal in most states, but there are exceptions. Be sure to check your state’s laws regarding owning it and having it on your person. Exercise some due diligence if you travel across state lines with it.

But when it comes to your job, we’re entering an entirely new field. Whether or not CBD or marijuana is legal in your state, your employer can decide that using cannabis products isn’t acceptable per their policies. Government employees, from the federal to the municipal level, have reportedly lost their jobs after using even THC-free CBD products.

Before you decide to use CBD, even broad-spectrum products, we recommend discussing whether it’s allowed by your workplace. If your company has a zero-tolerance drug policy and considers using any cannabinoids as drug use.

But Wait—CBD Doesn’t Contain THC!

Yeah, so here’s the thing. While broad-spectrum CBD doesn’t contain detectable amounts of THC, current drug testing can’t differentiate between THC and other cannabinoids. We’ve seen numerous anecdotal evidence in our research of false positive THC tests, even when using high-quality, lab-tested THC-free CBD.

Urine drug panels utilize antibodies that attach to the metabolic byproducts that cannabinoids produce in the body. If a positive result occurs, the sample may be sent to a lab for more sophisticated testing methods, but even then, the test isn’t likely to tell the difference between CBD and THC. 

An issue could also arise if the product used isn’t high quality. When it comes to CBD, we don’t recommend looking for the cheapest product. Many times, these products haven’t gone through rigorous, ISO accredited third-party lab testing. Higher-than-legal amounts of THC could exist in the product, as well as molds, pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins. Without CBD being regulated by the FDA, lab testing is the only way to really verify what’s in the bottle.

That said, while investing in a high-quality CBD product could reduce your chances of testing positive, it is not a fail-safe method.

What if I Get a Doctor’s Note?

In some states, the use of cannabis products is allowable when it’s prescribed by a doctor. Even then, workplaces can still have the final say on whether or not it’s allowed. We recommend checking with a potential employer or with your existing employer if CBD is in any way in the picture. This is a very good example of a time where you don’t want to rely on the saying, “It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.”

Final Thoughts

The United States has come a long way in legalizing industrial hemp and cannabis products. However, until cannabis is legally federal and more guidelines and laws are put into place for employers and employees, there is a lot of gray area to navigate. Be sure to ask about workplace policies if none are stated in the employee handbook.

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