failed drug test for cbd oil

CBD oil could cause you to fail a drug test

ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) – CBD oils, edibles, and supplements may be all the rage, but experts warn: check the label, or it could cost you a job.

Experts at Any Lab Test Now say they’re seeing a growing number of pre-employment drug tests coming back red flagged for THC, the stuff in marijuana, even though the people being tested claim to only be taking store-bought CBD.

"It takes some explaining,” said Christy Marcantel, Owner of Any Lab Test Now in Winter Park, Florida. "CBD oil can come in two ways: one, CBD oil, but it also can be hemp based."

Marcantel said it’s the hemp version that can cause the testers problems. Hemp comes from the same family of plants as marijuana, so the CBD products made with it can carry very small amounts of THC; experts say up to 0.3%. That’s not enough to get the user high, but Marcantel said any amount is enough to red flag a drug test.

"It is 'THC or not',” she said. There is no way to break down if that comes from a CBD hemp based plant versus THC."

In the case of ‘drug free workplaces’ that Marcantel said often carry that title to meet insurance requirements, that red flag is an instant disqualifier. No job offer, no matter what put that THC in the person’s system.

"It is unfortunate because there's so many positives from CBD oil,” said Marcantel.

Her advice for CBD users who are concerned and have an upcoming test is to pre-test themselves to see what if anything is in their system. Any Lab Test Now offers tests from $49-159.

Experts say this won’t affect all CBD user though.  Manager Ethan Jobson said his vape and CBD shop in Winter Park, Smoker’s Kingdom, only carries the ‘no trace of THC’ versions of the product. He advises users to check the labels of any CBD products they may buy and warns them that, while the hemp versions do often offer a wider range of effects for the user, there is a chance they could show up on a drug test.

Jobson and Marcantel also add that most CBD products have QR codes on the containers that, when scanned, give the user a full look at any possible THC in the product.

Why CBD Is Causing Failed Drug Tests

The last thing you would expect when taking hemp-derived CBD oil is to lose a job because of it. But, this is happening more often than you would think. Drug tests aren’t looking for CBD, rather drugs such as cocaine, opioids, and marijuana. So why are innocent people failing drug tests after using hemp-based CBD products?

Why is CBD causing failed drug tests?

Drug tests seek to discover the presence of analytes from drugs (such as THC), rather than the drug itself (cannabis). So, it’s possible to fail a drug test for the presence of THC or THCA without ever having used marijuana. Experts are saying the reason behind this is a lack of regulation of hemp-based CBD. The only CBD product to undergo FDA regulation is Epidiolex, a CBD medication used for seizures.

To be considered legal, hemp needs to less than 0.3% THC. Since no one is really regulating this market, it’s possible that some hemp-based products do not adhere to this maximum allowable limit. Because of this, legitimate hemp-based CBD manufacturers are pushing for regulation of the market.

For example, Annie Rouse, a board member of the Hemp Industries Association and co-founder of popular CBD shop Anavii Market, insists that this is something that needs to happen. She was quoted saying “This is something we need to figure out on the federal level so people can actively take CBD”. She is even going as far as to engage discussion with the department of transportation to increase the testing limit of THCA on drug tests.

The current drug-testing standards

As it currently stands, the maximum allowable THC limit for DOT tests is very low (50 ng/mL). Annie Rouse is suggesting that the testing limit should mirror the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) standards of 150 ng/mL. This is considered to be one of the strictest drug testing agencies in the world, as they are responsible for drug testing Olympic Athletes.

When it comes to failing a drug test due to hemp-based CBD, there are other factors at play that create an uneven testing field. A smaller person can take 100 mg of CBD and potentially fail a DOT drug test. For reference, 100mg of CBD would only be a couple of doses a day, while many people greatly exceed 100mg per day. Size and body type play a huge role in whether or not CBD will result in a failed drug test.

How to prevent a failed drug test from hemp-based CBD

While CBD is a part of many people’s daily regimen, you may want to discontinue use if you are expecting a drug test. To be safe, you should avoid ingesting any CBD for at least a week leading up to your test. This won’t result in a 100% success rate, but it will greatly mitigate your risk.

Should you fail a drug test from hemp-based CBD, all is not lost. You should ask for a confirmatory test to get a better understanding of which cannabinoids are causing your false positive. It’s worth mentioning, though, that confirmatory tests have a lower testing limit of 15ng/mL.

Hopefully, change is on the horizon. Kentucky is leading the charge, as they consider a bill that would prevent employers from using a failed drug test from CBD as causation for not hiring/firing. But, this still wouldn’t be enough. To actually offer full protection, CBD regulations need to be made at the federal level.

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