CBD and Drug Tests: Can I Pass?

Doctor Holding Urinalysis Cup
Photo by: Sima/Shutterstock

Can I pass a drug test while using CBD?

Usually? Yes.

Sometimes... no.

CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is gaining traction as an up-and-coming source of natural healing and relief.

Members of the cannabis community have been knocking down associated stigmas of laziness, immorality, and stupidity. CBD has mainstream appeal (it has evident healing properties) and incredible accessibility; CBD has changed how many perceive cannabis. Additionally, it has opened doors to increase use among all different demographics, spanning countless backgrounds and beliefs.

While THC-filled marijuana has a great appeal to recreational users, the medicinal qualities of CBD offer a unique twist: it's non-psychoactive. If you don't want to get high but you still want all the benefits of cannabis, CBD can make it happen. That's what people are starting to realize, even those who were raised to think "pot is bad." People are starting to understand and are checking out CBD products more and more.

With increased usage, it's also important to ask the right questions. Sure, it's non-psychoactive, but what are its other effects on daily life? What about job searches or parole or employee testing? Most likely, you will pass a drug test while using CBD. But it's a little complicated.

Forms of CBD

pills filled with cbd oilCBD can come from both marijuana or hemp. Usually, oil is extracted from the plant and then used to create other products. Some people prefer their CBD in capsules taken as pills, while others like to infuse foods. Topical creations are also extremely popular—users can plop on a dollop of CBD cream, salve, or lotion directly onto their skin and feel immediate, targeted relief. This is an extremely useful option for anyone suffering from inflammation or ailments with pin-pointed pain (think arthritis, muscle spasms, burns, oh my!).

The Test

Drug tests are common practice, especially in the workplace. When it comes to marijuana, they seek out traces of THC (the psychoactive component of weed, which—don't get us wrong—also has benefits of its own). According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), most drug tests can be passed if the test taker has taken less than 50 mL of THC.

Most CBD products have slim-to-no THC. Because of this, there's usually no problem with passing drug tests. However, there have been cases of extreme CBD use leading to failure of these designated tests.

Too Much CBD

Sometimes a little too much of a good thing can cause problems. In this scenario, though, it's a lot of a good thing. For people using very high amounts of CBD or hemp oil—we're talking over 2,000 mg a day—there's a possibility that they would fail a drug test. This would be considered a "false positive" result, since the test is still measuring THC content. This scenario is very unlikely and rare, though it is possible.

The key: moderation. And if that's not in the cards, understand what comes next after a false-positive test result. Look into Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) testing, which is more accurate when distinguishing CBD from THC.

Mix'N Match

Another situation to be mindful of is mixing CBD products with other types of marijuana. Studies found that CBD users who additionally used cannabis showed higher levels of THC for longer periods of time compared to just using cannabis on its own. These findings concluded that CBD interacted with certain compounds metabolizing in the body.

To have the best chance of passing your test, stick to just CBD products and ease off the THC for a while. Keep to the topicals and lotions, and maybe take a step back from that joint.

THC in My CBD

Not every company makes their CBD products the same way. While CBD is often the main focus of these products, sometimes THC is an included ingredient. A main reason for this is the "entourage effect;" many believe that the addition of slight amounts of THC (around 0.5% THC or less) can help all the compounds in cannabis work together more efficiently. Many producers swear by this method and think that the efficiency leads to increased medical benefits.

Though some products might have that extra pinch of THC in them, you still won't feel high. Regardless of the lack of a buzz, THC is what drug tests are looking for. This is important to consider: scour labels and make a decision. If there are very small amounts of THC, you're most likely in the clear. However, if there is constant stress surrounding the chance of that THC failing a drug test, go ahead and choose products that are THC-free.

Companies that make these kinds of products exist. They are made specifically for people like you, and a budtender or cannabis-friendly doctor will certainly point you in the right direction. To ensure satisfaction, also conduct personal research on companies.

Relax

Go on, relax. Treat that pain, and enjoy your topicals. CBD, in moderation (and usually even in large amounts, too), will not foil your dreams. You can heal with an easy mind—you will probably be passing your drug tests left and right.