“The results showed that pure CBD did not produce a positive result on a standard urine drug test for cannabis. However, 2 of 6 participants tested positive for cannabis after they inhaled CBD-dominant cannabis vapor,” Spindle explained.
And this is what Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers set out to do in recent months, publishing their findings at the Journal of Analytical Toxicology this week.
During a recent conversation, postdoctoral fellow Tory Spindle, Ph.D., a researcher in the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, explained how we drug-test for cannabis.
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Vandrey and his collaborators at the University of Pennsylvania had published a JAMA study showing that that 21% of CBD/hemp products sold on the Internet contained THC, even though their labels didn’t properly disclose it.
Finally, Spindle pointed out the findings of the Johns Hopkins study are highlight the issue of some poorly regulated CBD products being advertised as “THC free,” even though they were found to contain levels of THC similar to (or higher) than the THC levels present in the cannabis used in a study conducted by Ryan Vandrey, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“Conventional urine drug testing for cannabis targets a common metabolite of THC called THCCOOH (THC is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis). Importantly, many CBD-dominant products contain low levels of THC, including hemp-derived CBD products which can legally contain up to 0.3% THC,” he said. “There is a need to understand whether the use of CBD products, with and without low levels of THC, can impact drug testing for cannabis given their growing availability and increased interest in CBD for therapeutic purposes.”
With legal cannabis and hemp hitting the mainstream hard, and expanding rapidly across the U.S. and the rest of the world, the availability of products containing CBD in considerable proportions is exploding.
CBD products can still be problematic, however, when it comes to drug testing. Though drug tests screen for THC, not CBD, many CBD products contain a trace amount of THC which will be detected in your bloodstream during a drug test.
If you are concerned that THC in your CBD oil or other CBD product may show up on a drug test, you may be able to reduce the chance of that occurring, though there is no guarantee. Some of the factors that may increase the likelihood of a failed drug test are:
Factors in CBD Oil Showing on Drug Screen
The legality of CBD products can be confusing. CBD products made from certain cannabis plant varieties are legal only in states where marijuana is legal, due to the potential THC content. CBD products made from hemp variety plants are legal throughout the United States as long as they contain less than 0.3% of THC and do not make any medical claims. (A hemp plant is defined as Cannabis sativa that contains less than 0.3% THC.)
Topical products that claim to contain CBD—like shampoos, cosmetics or creams—should not cause any reaction during a drug test because they do not enter the bloodstream. In the case of CBD oils, gummies, teas or transdermal patches, the situation is more complicated. In a test of 84 CBD products obtained online, 18 contained THC.
THC can be detected in a urine test for up to 15 days, depending on how often and how much you use. It leaves the bloodstream in about five hours, but substances your body makes from THC (THC metabolites) can show up for as long as 7 days. CBD tends to stay in the bloodstream from 2 to 5 days, depending on dosage and frequency. If you have been using CBD for a while, it can stay in your body for up to 30 days or more.
Marijuana is the bud of the flower from the Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica plant, which is used recreationally or for medical purposes, most commonly by smoking it. CBD is not hemp either, hemp is from Cannabis Sativa L plants. CBD is a chemical compound that can be extracted from any of these three plant types, however, the hemp plants produce more extractable CBD than their marijuana counterparts.
That said at DNA Legal when testing hair we also test THC-COOH which is only produced through the consumption of THC and not CBD.
So, does CBD show up on a drug test?
For more information regarding the legalities and the ins and outs of drug testing in the workplace, please visit DNA legal’s workplace testing services.
There is a scenario where false-positive results could happen, but they are also very rare and would require a number of set of circumstances to occur. Additionally, it is important to consider that the result is not a false positive more so a detection of low levels of the drug in the system.
Firstly, there are many different types of drug test analysis, one of which is known as Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, which is one of the only tests which could present a positive for CBD and THC at low levels. This testing requires the adding of a chemical agent to the sample in order to identify which drugs have been consumed, which is a process known as derivatization. The agents, and later the reagents, provide acidic conditions within which the CBD is able to convert into THC, which would then produce a positive result for a CBD user to make them appear as a regular cannabis user.