As busy professionals or semi-professionals from dozens of diverse career fields, there is one thing most people have in common: they care about their jobs. Because most people rely on their paychecks to maintain their livelihood and provide for themselves or their families, it makes sense to be skeptical of a product that they fear may show up on a drug test and jeopardize their reputation and record — the risk is far too great.
So, if you are wondering, “If I try CBD, am I at risk of it showing up on a drug test?” we are here to clear up some of the confusion for you. While we wish this was a simple “yes” or “no” question to make it as easy as possible, it isn’t. But don’t worry — we will break down everything you need to know in an easy-to-understand way, so you’re completely equipped to make well-informed decisions.
We completely understand that a “yes” or “no” would be convenient and helpful, but unfortunately, there are a few factors to consider when you purchase and consume CBD, therefore, there isn’t a simple answer. Let’s first get to know a little bit about CBD in general, as this can help create a foundation of knowledge to build upon.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the many compounds extracted from plants in the cannabis family. You may be familiar with this plant family, as its most well-known plants include marijuana and hemp.
This is a very important distinction to acknowledge: While marijuana and hemp are both in the cannabis family, only CBD extracted from the hemp plant is legal under federal law (The 2018 Farm Bill). The law states that hemp-derived CBD containing .3% THC or less is legal to purchase, consume, and even travel with in the United States. THC is the ingredient known for its psychoactive side effects. However, this trace amount is considered miniscule and deemed safe. Consumers who consume hemp-derived CBD can enjoy the benefits of CBD without the psychoactive effects, which is one of the many charms of this all-natural product.
“Broad-Spectrum” and “Full-Spectrum” CBD
Even though the law allows up to .3% THC, some retailers take the additional step of removing every trace of THC for their customers. Those products are called “broad-spectrum.” “Broad spectrum” products are very popular amongst CBD enthusiasts, as they find comfort in knowing they aren’t consuming any microscopic traces of THC. Products that do contain the maximum amount of THC (.3%) are labeled “full-spectrum,” letting customers know that there are trace amounts of THC within the ingredient compound. Remember, both are completely legal — they are just different, and that difference can be important if you are concerned about passing a drug test.
In theory, CBD alone should not show up on a drug test, but THC might. Here’s where it can get tricky.
If you ingest a “broad-spectrum” CBD product (which should contain 0% THC), there should be no risk of it showing up on a drug test. However, you have to be a diligent consumer and make sure that the company guarantees and verifies that all THC has been removed. This means, don’t just take their word for it. All reputable CBD brands should provide third-party lab reports, verifying all ingredient claims made on the label, which provides clear proof that your product is THC-free.
This is especially important, as studies have shown that some CBD products make claims on the label that are false, making it difficult for customers to trust what their label says. This can also be potentially dangerous, as you cannot properly control your dosage if you are unsure of your product’s ingredients and potency.
You may be wondering if “full-spectrum” CBD products will show up on a drug test. Again, the answer is unclear because there are many variables to consider. First, the law still requires a maximum amount of .3% THC to be in your product, so it’s just as important to view a third-party lab report to verify that the label matches the contents of the bottle. If there is more THC, it’s likely that the CBD is not hemp-derived, which does not comply with the law.
Also, you have to consider:
- How much of the “full-spectrum” CBD product you take
- How much THC is in each dosage, and how much you are ingesting at once
- How your body metabolizes your dosage
- The exact criteria of the drug test you are taking (this can vary, depending on who is facilitating the test)
So, while CBD shouldn’t show up on a drug test, if it contains THC, there is a chance that it might.
It’s Better Safe Than Sorry
When your livelihood, integrity, and reputation depend on it, it truly is better to play it safe. For some, this might mean avoiding CBD altogether. For many, though, they want the best of both worlds: The benefits of CBD, & to pass drug tests. And with the number of responsibilities, commitments, and roles most individuals embrace on a regular basis, they deserve it!
The most important thing when looking for CBD to use is to check the lab reports against the company claims! It is so important to know exactly what is in your product, simply because not all CBD is created equally.