​Will CBD Show on my Drug Test?

With the growing CBD market, many are interested in trying CBD but may be hesitant due to their employer’s drug test policy. If you are concerned about drug screening here is what you should know about cannabis-based CBD products.

Nothing is more nerve wracking than a workplace drug test. Your results can determine your ability to be hired with a company or affect your current employment. Even in states where marijuana is legalized for recreational or medical use, employer’s reserve the right to a drug and alcohol-free workplace. You can be asked to perform a drug test during their hiring process, at random, or with cause such as a workplace accident. Legally, employers must provide a drug policy document for their employees to ensure that everyone is aware of what is allowed during employment.

So let’s tackle the million dollar question: If you take CBD, will it show up on your drug test? Most employers are only looking for THC with drug-screening. So technically no, CBD will not show up on your drug test.  If you are taking a CBD product that is not derived from cannabis or hemp and CBD is the only cannabinoid in the product then you should be assured that you will pass, unless you are taking other drugs they might be looking for. If you are taking a CBD product that is derived from hemp or cannabis then the answer is still no, CBD will not show up on your drug test, but THC might.

If you’re concerned about drug testing, there are a few things you should be aware of before you try cannabis-derived CBD products:

You Could Test Positive for THC When Taking CBD Derived from Hemp or Cannabis:

January 2018, Jeff Anderson of Beaverton, OR lost his job as a bus driver for the Beaverton School District due to using a hemp-based CBD tincture. In an article posted by the local paper Willamette Week (WW) Anderson began using a CBD tincture to relieve pain caused by arthritis. He was aware of his employer’s drug policy and was explicit when buying the product that he could not test positive for THC. The dispensary where he purchased this tincture assured him that the trace amounts of THC would not be detected on a drug test. They were wrong, and in result Anderson lost his job due to high-levels of THC in his system.

So how did this happen? Well, the article goes on to explain that overtime, with daily uses of CBD products that have low-levels of THC present, THC can build up in fat cells causing it to show up on urine tests. Willamette Week even spoke to the company of the tincture Anderson was using and they state that they would never recommend using their CBD product to those subjected to drug-screening. It was a misconception on the budtenders part that these products with low-THC would not show up on a drug test, but there seems to be a common misunderstanding nationally.  WW called multiple dispensaries in Oregon, Washington and Colorado that gave mixed responses on whether or not CBD products derived from hemp or marijuana with low levels of THC will show up on a drug test.

Inconsistency in Hemp and Marijuana Derived CBD products Could Present Unknown THC Levels:

Cannabis is illegal at a federal level in the United States and therefore has no universal regulations on quality control. A growing concern has developed around purity and consistency within the cannabis industry due to the state by state legalization. Since cannabis is regulated at a state level, there are varying requirements on testing and labeling standards across the nation. Customers run into situations where they begin using a CBD product that works for them only to purchase that same product again with different results. This issue in part is an outcome of companies changing strains of weed for a product when previously used strains aren’t available or farmers changing crops due to infestations or climate. Alongside these changes, some companies don’t retest and then label their products with accurate CBD/THC levels or even ingredients.

In fact, a study was done in 2016 and published on JAMA to examine the accuracy of labels on CBD products found online. The professionals of this study bought 84 online CBD products and removed their labeling for blind testing. What they found was, out of 84 CBD products online, only 30.95% were labelled accurately. For the other 69.05% of the products: 42.85% were underlabelled (they had less CBD than advertised) and 29.18% were overlabelled (they had more CBD than advertised). They also found that 18 of the 84 products (21.43% of the products) contained THC, some with levels high enough to produce psychoactive effects. With inconsistent testing and labeling it can be hard to guarantee that a CBD product derived from hemp or cannabis will not contain THC levels that may cause a failed drug-test.

Moral of the Blog:

All in all, No CBD will not show up on your drug test, but THC might. If you are not careful about where you get your product, or research third-party lab results, then there is no guarantee on what levels of CBD or THC are in any given product.  

There are many jobs that require drug-testing, make sure you understand your employers drug policy. If you are concerned about THC in your system, consider using a CBD product that is not derived from marijuana or hemp.

Ashley Lange

Ashley Lange graduated from Portland State University with a degree in English. She is a full time waiter at a local bar in Portland, OR and spends her spare time writing articles like this one!