It’s our goal to get to the bottom of how you may have had a failed drug test after taking CBD oil. While it’s unlikely that CBD will make you fail a drug screening, it does happen from time to time.
Regardless, it is, in fact, true that CBD can break down into THC in the presence of acids. But, according to at least one other scientific publication, this is unlikely to occur under normal circumstances in humans.
Do Drug Tests Even Look for CBD?
If you’re one of the few who have not been so fortunate, this article is for you. We’ll discuss the various types of CBD products that are out there, as well as potential differences between products for sale online and products for sale in places like medical cannabis dispensaries.
It is extremely difficult to gauge exactly how much cannabis (or CBD oil) it would take to surpass the 50 ng/mL cutoff.
Still, cannabis oils and tinctures can be made from all types of marijuana strains. Some oils, for instance, will contain extremely high levels of THC that will almost certainly cause you to fail a drug test. If you’re concerned about THC content for drug testing purposes, make sure to ask the people in the dispensary for cannabis oil that is 100% THC-free.
If you have any documentation from a medical provider, that can help, too. And you may have more luck if you live in Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia. Those states have passed laws providing some protection for people who use medical marijuana, potentially including CBD, Reidy says.
But Sample says that CBD products could have more THC than the label claims. CBD products from hemp sold in retail stores and online aren’t supposed contain more than 0.3 percent THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound in marijuana that can get you high.
Plus, he says, in some cases that percentage is based on the weight of the whole plant, or on the weight of the buds or flowers, which tend to have more THC.
Small Amounts of THC Can Build Up
After losing his job because of the failed drug test, the lawsuit says Horn purchased a sample of the CBD product, had it tested, and found that, contrary to the claim, it did contain THC—enough, the lawsuit alleges, to cause a THC level in his urine of 29 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). That’s double the amount that typically triggers a positive result, says Sample at Quest Diagnostics.
Koi CBD told Consumer Reports in a statement about the lawsuit: “Koi prides itself on providing the highest-quality products while being a leader in the industry. We take claims regarding our products very seriously. We are investigating this matter and the allegations, which at this time, are unproven and unverified. We remain focused on continuing to carefully craft and offer a full array of beneficial cannabinoid products.”
Other states, such as likeCalifornia, Montana, Oregon, and Washington have laws to assure that companies located in those states do not have to provide “reasonable accommodations” for people who use medical marijuana, and leave it up to each employer to decide, Reidy says. In those states, though, it’s still worth asking your company’s HR department about it if you’ve failed a drug test for marijuana after taking CBD.
Ask for a retest. If you’ve stopped taking CBD for a few weeks or longer, or took CBD infrequently, and still test positive for marijuana, consider asking for a retest. Though there are safeguards in place to prevent errors, Sample says, in rare cases they do happen.
Over the past several years, FDA has issued several warning letters to firms that market unapproved new drugs that allegedly contain cannabidiol (CBD). As part of these actions, FDA has tested the chemical content of cannabinoid compounds in some of the products, and many were found to not contain the levels of CBD they claimed to contain. It is important to note that these products are not approved by FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease. Consumers should beware purchasing and using any such products.