CBD and Drug Tests

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So you’ve made the decision to start a CBD oil regiment because it is THC free, won’t get you high, and won’t be the cause of a failed drug test – right? But, lo and behold, your employer throws an unexpected drug test at you and you fail miserably. How did this happen? 

While it is true that most high-quality CBD isolates do not contain any level of THC (in which case it would be impossible to fail a drug test), some lesser-quality isolates and many full-spectrum tinctures actually do contain trace amounts of the psychoactive substances. This is all widely dependent on what source of cannabis/hemp was used as the raw materials, and which method(s) were utilized to extract the active compounds.

Did you know? Diamond CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC, which will not make you fail a drug test.

In this article, we don our Sherlock Holmes caps in the pursuit of getting to the bottom of your failed drug test after consuming CBD oil. While it is highly unlikely that CBD was responsible for this failed test, we are sad to report that it does happen from time to time. Fortunately, we are here to attempt to explain why – so you can be sure that this never happens again. The following are four different ways that one could fail a drug test after taking CBD Oil.

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A reason for a failed drug test after CBD use could be due to other THC-containing products that may have spilled or otherwise somehow gotten mixed in with the original raw CBD tincture supply.

Reason #1: “Low Quality Tinctures”

This is likely the primary reason why you failed a drug screening after consuming CBD oil – you simply purchased a low-quality CBD product that actually did contain traces of THC in it, despite the fact that it was likely advertised as THC-free. 

Before going further, let’s back it up bit. First off, all cannabis drug screens work by testing for the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in your system, because this is the cannabinoid that is responsible for the plant’s psychoactive effect. Despite being extracted from the same plant species, cannabidiol (CBD) will not cause a positive test for cannabis use. However, it is possible that trace amounts of THC in the same raw extraction material used for the CBD extraction somehow ended up in your oil at high enough volumes as to become detectable on a drug screening, which would register as a positive for cannabis use. 

This can happen more frequently if you buy CBD oil from an actual cannabis dispensary in select states where cannabis has been legalized (either medically or recreationally), rather than from an online seller.

To explain, most cannabis dispensaries in legalized states extract their CBD from actual cannabis plants, rather than the hemp plant. While cannabis and hemp belong to the same species of plant, the major difference is hemp only contains only trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3% to adhere to the Agricultural Act of 2018), and cannabis produces flowering buds that contain high concentrations of THC. 

So even if you consumed a CBD oil that was “extracted from a low THC cannabis strain” – there is still a possibility that it was enough THC to register on your drug test, effectively causing you to test positive for cannabis use. 

While highly unlikely (and incredibly unlucky), it is always a possibility if you are buying CBD products that had been extracted from cannabis strains. Simply purchasing hemp-derived CBD is enough to completely bypass this entire situation.

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An often less thought of explanation to failing a drug test after consuming CBD oil is that you could have simply be exposed to THC at some time without even knowing it.

Reason #2: “THC Contamination”

Another potential reason for a failed drug test after CBD use could be due to other THC-containing products that may have spilled or otherwise somehow gotten mixed in with the original raw CBD tincture supply. Again, this is far more likely to only occur at an actual cannabis dispensary, as opposed to an online vender because most cannabis dispensaries also sell concentrated THC products in addition to their completely non-psychoactive CBD products. 

Take this for example: if a store clerk or bottler was previously handling regular cannabis flower (or practically anything else with a high concentration of THC) before handling a “THC-free” product like CBD oil, they could have potentially contaminated the CBD from the moment the THC residue on their hands touched the product. Now, we know that this sounds absolutely absurd, and there’s probably only a one-in-a-million chance of this actually happening –

Reason #3: “Second Hand THC Exposure”

An often less thought of explanation to failing a drug test after consuming CBD oil is that you could have simply been exposed to THC at some time without even knowing it. Believe it or not, but this is A LOT more common than you might suspect, and there are plenty of different ways that you could be “back-handedly” exposed to THC without ever knowing. 

An often less thought of explanation to failing a drug test after consuming CBD oil is that you could have simply be exposed to THC at some time without even knowing it.

For example, you could hypothetically  inhale enough second-hand smoke to fail a drug screening, though the conditions would have to be ideal before one could suspect this reasoning. You would have to be heavily consuming cannabis with a lot of people in a very small room with practically no ventilation for hours on end for this to be a viable possibility. More critically, this hypothetical situation would have had to happen the day before your test, otherwise, there is simply no way that second hand smoke was the culprit in your failed drug test.

Reason #4 – “Digestive Stomach Acids”

Lastly – and probably the least likely of all to happen – you failed a drug test after consuming CBD oil is because the molecular structure of CBD broke itself down and transformed into THC after interacting with stomach acids and the digestive system. No joke, it’s true – CBD has demonstrated its ability many times in a laboratory setting to chemically decompose into trace amounts of THC when exposed to strong acids.

In fact, there was a scandal not too long ago regarding a pharmaceutical company’s long-winded report warning consumers that CBD can “make you high” because it is able to convert itself into THC if allowed to sit in your stomach for a specific period of time. Now, as we have previously discussed, it is true that CBD has an ability to break itself down into THC when in the presence of acids – however, the amount converted will be nowhere near enough to get you high, as several high-profile scientists immediately pointed out after this questionable report was released. There is a possibility, however, that it could occur in such a high quantity to be the cause of a failed urine test – however, this would be incredibly unlikely and rare, if not completely impossible.

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An often less thought of explanation to failing a drug test after consuming CBD oil is that you could have simply be exposed to THC at some time without even knowing it.

Some Final Thoughts on Why You Failed a Drug Test After Taking CBD Oil

Everything considered, if you choose to purchase a reputable, high-quality CBD oil that has been correctly extracted from a viable industrial hemp supply (less than 0.3% THC content), then the chances of failing a drug test are incredibly low and practically non-existent. However, due to the few extenuating conditions that were mentioned above, it certainly is possible to be unknowingly exposed to enough THC from a CBD product that results in a failed drug test. It has happened before, and it will continue to happen so long as the use of CBD oil gains even more popularity and widespread attention.

In Summary

If you find yourself worried about an upcoming drug test, be extra wary of the second hand THC smoke that you are exposed to and be sure that your preferred CBD oil is purchased from a trustworthy and reliable manufacturer with a quality hemp supply.