Will CBD Oil Show on a UK Drugs Test?
THC and CBD - what's the difference, and what shows on a drugs test?
CBD – the short term for cannabidiol – is a cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant.
The compound responsible for the ‘high’ experienced when using cannabis is called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
CBD and THC are different, and so the consumption of CBD oil (which has either none, or very low levels of THC in it) has little chance of resulting in a positive test for cannabis on a workplace drug test – nor will it produce a ‘high.’
Buying from a registered seller, within the UK, is the best way to ensure that THC levels are negligible, especially if that seller includes lab results disclosing the amount of THC (if any) detected in the CBD oil they are selling.
The THC amount should fall below the cut-off levels of the test used.
Since CBD oils purchased from unregistered sellers can contain up to 5% THC, regular use of these can result in a positive THC test.
Avoid this risk by buying from a reputable and registered seller – preferably with disclosed lab results to measure THC, like the UK brand CBD Puroil.
Does CBD Oil Contain any THC?
Drug testing for marijuana use is actually looking for THC, the active chemical in the form of the plant used to generate a ‘high.’ Though CBD oil does not produce a high, it is wrong to think that it has no THC in it at all. Depending on the CBD oil provider, THC can be present (both as low-quality isolates and many full-spectrum tinctures).
Hemps vs Marijuana and THC Values
All hemp and marijuana plants fall into the two varieties of cannabis genus.
They are similar in many ways, but are different plants in important aspects. CBD is only one of the active chemicals found in the cannabis plants. It is popular with many people because it is believed that it contains no THC, the compound of some plants that cause a person to feel ‘high.’
Hemp has almost no THC in it. If a plant has more than 0.3% THC, in fact, it cannot be classified as hemp. This practice ensures that hemp can be legally sold in various forms without being used as a way to sell or purchase THC.
Marijuana has significant amounts of both THC and CBD in it, but hemp has only traces of THC while retaining the CBD, as well as many other cannabinoids.
Types of CBD - Learn the Difference
Hundreds of naturally occurring compounds exist in cannabis plants, and cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids are included among them. Specific chemical composition of each of these varies according to the particular variety and strain of the plant in which they are found.
Broad-spectrum CBD products, most often sold as oils, are similar to full-spectrum CBD products in that they contain additional compounds found in the plant, such as terpenes and other cannabinoids – but in the case of broad-spectrum CBD, all of the THC is removed.
This reduces the risk of significant THC content as compared to full-spectrum CBD products.
At CBD Puroil, we only sell broad spectrum CBD for this very reason.
These contains all of the naturally occurring compounds of the source plant, and include CBD, terpenes, flavonoids and THC, along with other cannabinoids. In most cases, these full spectrum CBD products are extracted from the marijuana subspecies. CBD from these sources contain varying amounts of THC and so, without a reliable lab test, the amount of THC in a product can vary a great deal. CBD oil from a hemp source, however, is legally required to contain under 0.3% THC.
Since many manufacturers do not disclose from which source their full-spectrum extracts are produced, knowing how much THC is in such products is difficult or impossible. Nonetheless, full-spectrum CBD is commonly available and often popular, often used in such products as oils, tinctures, edibles, serums and topical creams.
CBD isolate, as the name suggests, is pure CDB oil. There are no other compounds present. This product is typically derived from hemp plants, and is available in a variety of forms, including oil, tincture, powder, or even a small brick or sheet (often called a ‘slab’) that can be broken up and eaten.
Which Type of CBD is Best?
Some CDB oils claim to be isolates while actually they are full-spectrum CDB oils – and as such they can contain other cannabinoids, including THC.
Research from the Lautenburg Center has shown that CBD that includes other cannabis plant compounds (in other words, one that is derived from a full-spectrum product) may work better in reducing inflammation than a CBD isolate product on its own (source). Full-spectrum CDB products may be more popular for this reason, but they do significantly increase the risk of a positive test for drug use.
Why Have I Failed a CBD Drug Test?
There are several reasons why a person may fail a drug test without actually having engaged in recreational or other illegal drug use. Here are a few of them:
You've Consumed THC Accidentally via a Product
The most common one is the regular, repeated use of CBD oil that contains sufficient amounts of THC to show up on a test. Low-quality products increase this risk, including products that are advertised as having little or no THC, or even advertised as being an isolate.
THC Product Cross Contamination
Even if the material from which the CBD is extracted has very little THC in it, there is a chance of cross-contamination with other sources of THC, even to the point that enough is present to trigger a positive THC test. This is more common when CDB is purchased from a region or facility in which THC use is legal.
CBD oil from a hemp source should not have more than 0.3% THC in it, but accidental or misleading labelling can occur resulting in a THC-free, hemp-sourced label on a product that is actually marijuana-derived and contains significant THC. One study even revealed that nearly 70% of CBD products sold online were improperly labelled, stating that this could cause ‘potential serious harm to its consumers.’ (source)
That's why it's so important to choose a reputable CBD brand, such as CBD Puroil.
Exposure to THC through other means
Another possible – though unlikely – reason for a positive drug test without directly using drugs, is second-hand exposure. Being in the room (or a vehicle) with heavy marijuana smokers, for a significant amount of time, may cause the ambient air to contain enough of the drug to trigger a positive drug test.
If someone who has been handling drug paraphernalia or other THC sources touches another person’s hair, it is possible that the one touched could test positive to a marijuana hair test.
Best Practice to Avoid a Positive Test
There are steps a person can take, if they are using CBD oil and need to ensure they do not fail workplace drug tests as a result.
By far the top one is to make sure you buy from a registered, reputable source, and make sure that the product you are buying has low, or no, THC content. Choose a product that is derived from a hemp source and is an isolate product, not a low-quality tincture.
Don’t hesitate to ask about steps taken to prevent cross-contamination – a reputable producer or seller will have these on hand.
Finally, avoid exposure to actual drug use, or contamination by those who do use drugs. Incidental contact may transfer THC, as might second-hand marijuana smoke.