The tests for cannabis are required in competitive sports and job searches and routine tests for concentration-intensive jobs such as operating machinery.
Thus raising the question if you will pass a drug test after taking it. The results depend on the variant of cannabis, exposure, and product constituents.
The consequences of failing the drug tests are severe and, depending on the intent, can range from job loss, sports ban, and endorsement withdrawal, so it is essential to know the effects of CBD oils.
How Does a Cannabis Drug Test work
CBD oil is a derivative of cannabis devoid of THC, the psychoactive ingredient. CBD alleviates different medical conditions such as pain, anxiety, and managing seizures. However, considering it is extracted from cannabis, concerns arise if it does raise a red flag or a positive result in a drug test.
In most cases, especially for athletes and sports people, the drug tests are designed to check for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Conversely, CBD oil should be devoid of THC, thus not raising any red flags. However, in many cases, some CBD oil samples contain a percentage of THC due to the complexity of the extraction and separation process.
The law allows up to 0.3% THC in CBD oil so that some drug tests may be positive. The three standard drug tests include hair, blood, and urine tests. For the hair tests, note that THC metabolites in CBD oils last about 90 days after intake, but due to complexity, the tests are rare except for sensitive scenarios.
Blood tests are also uncommon and though used, tend to be unreliable for doctors. This is because THC is eliminated from the blood quickly.
Urine tests are the most common test mode for THC for sports and screenings by employers. Urine tests identify the presence of cannabis compounds. However, saliva may also test for the main psychoactive ingredient. Drug tests cannot prove how often a person uses the drug.
The primary reason is that it is easy to administer, has more precise results, and THC metabolites in CBD oil can be detected for up to 15 days for frequent users.
The urine drug tests target several substances, including cannabis, alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, and opiates. Commonly referred to as the immunoassay test, the drug test utilizes antibodies that attach to drug components or by-products in the urine.
Depending on the drug, an expected reaction can be classified into positive and negative. The classification between the two depends on the threshold set by the federal government.
However, false positives and false negatives are common when testing for cannabis using the urine test. Therefore, for thoroughness, doctors use more accurate testing methods such as gas or liquid chromatography and mass spectrography if you try and refute the results.
When you ingest CBD oil containing THC, it dissolves in the body's fat cells. Over time the THC gets to the kidneys, where it is broken down. The resulting metabolites are excreted in the urine.
The drug test antibodies then latch on these elements and indicate a result based on the benchmarks. To pass the test, the THC found in the urine must be below 50ng/ml per the national institute of health per federal regulations and by the substance abuse and mental health services administration, the benchmark standards.
How Long Does CBD Last in the System
When scheduled for a drug test or screening and on CBD oil, you might consider the duration that the CBD lasts in the body before you get worrisome. Several factors contribute to how long it lasts, its effect on the body, and its detectability. These include:
- Physiological factors such as genetics, weight, sex, and age;
- Last intake;
- Amount or dosage;
- Other drugs or medication.
As most cannabis derivatives such as CBD oil and THC are fat soluble, the retention in the body is longer than for water-soluble elements. Again, the body mass index is a significant factor, as the higher the BMI, the longer the CBD lasts in the body.
Another contributing factor is the mode of intake. The various methods, such as vapes, edibles, and dried flower oils with inhalation, are the fastest intake method, and it takes seconds to feel the effects. On the other hand, CBD oil intake takes about 15 minutes for the results to kick in.
The effects wearing off do not mean the CBD is undetectable, as the by-products last up to 30 hours and longer in the lab. Also, as highlighted, the drug tests focus on THC, but CBD oils contain THC traces. Thus due caution is advised.
Various factors result in the presence of THC in CBD oils, though each with different levels. The common causes include:
Types of Cannabis
The THC in CBD oil depends on the cannabis type from which the oil was extracted. Cannabis refers to both hemp and marijuana variants. Of the two, hemp contains the lower percentage of THC, a reason why it remains legal in more states than cannabis.
Thus, CBD oil extracted from hemp has a lower THC percentage than cannabis.
The following are reasons that contribute to positive drug tests when taking CBD oils.
With the continuous legalization of marijuana use across states, the market for the product and extracts is multiplying. The market was valued at $10.8 Billion in 2021, with a projected growth of 14.9% up to 2030.
This has led to a scramble for existing and new users, which, unfortunately, results in trickery. Legally, as highlighted, CBD oil should not contain more than 0.3% of THC. Most sellers have resorted to mislabelling the products, indicating THC-free oil to make a sale.
Studies suggest that 70% of CBD products are mislabeled to avoid blacklisting by the Federal Drug Administration. Thus, while you may think you are safe after taking CBD oil, the mislabelling might make you fail the drug test.
Dosage and Rate of Intake
As highlighted, the derivatives of cannabis are soluble in fat, especially if the intake is via edibles and oils; thus, it's stored with the other fats in the cells.
The dosage highly determines the retention period. For example, heavy CBD oil usage over four to six days leads to accumulation and will result in a positive result.
In some cases, the tests will also be optimistic after a month if there was heavy usage in the first week.
Second-Hand Exposure to THC
Second-hand smoke exposure may not explicitly mean you get a positive drug test, though the extent and duration of exposure significantly increase the chances of positive results. For example, being in an enclosed space with heavy smokers for hours and direct body contact with marijuana may indicate a false positive on the results.
Oil Breakdown in the Digestive System
In some cases, though rare, the body may break down the ingested CBD oil into, besides the normal constituents, THC. Though still theoretical due to rarity, studies indicate it is still possible, especially when ingesting poorly extracted oils.
Drug tests do not test for CBD alone, as it is legal and lacks any psychoactive properties. Instead, the main culprit is THC. However, people who use CBD oils sometimes still test positive for THC. Common reasons include exposure, improper product labeling, and poor extraction, the exercise of due diligence, such as purchasing from reliable suppliers.