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test for thc in cbd creams oil

The caveat is transdermal patches. These work in the same way as a nicotine patch, providing patients with a strong dose of the active ingredient that is absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin. As such, use of THC-rich cannabis patches is likely to result in a failed drug test.

Depending on the method of drug testing, cannabis can be detected in your body months after it was last smoked or ingested. A hair follicle test will retain trace elements of THC for up to three months. If you have switched to topicals as a means of receiving pain relief without smoking cannabis, then it’s worth establishing when you stopped to identify if you are at risk of failing a test.

Passing a drug test could mean the difference between having a job and being unemployed. With medicinal users caught between a rock and a hard place, will the use of cannabis topicals make you fail a drug screening for THC?

CAN TOPICALS CAUSE USERS TO FAIL A DRUG TEST?

The thing is, our skin acts as a protective barrier, which it does an excellent job at. To give you an example of how topicals cannot get you high, consider rubbing alcohol. Those who apply alcohol to a cut are still able to drive afterwards without fear of being over the legal limit. This is because it cannot be absorbed into the bloodstream through their skin. Cannabis topicals work on the same principle. The cannabinoids bind to receptors in our skin, muscle tissue, and nerves, but get absorbed before they could permeate through our skin into the bloodstream. THC only gets users high when it reaches our brains, something it cannot do through the surface of the skin.

While a large number of these topicals feature very little THC, many users are worried about the potential risks that accompany them and whether they could trigger a positive result on a drug test. These are just a couple of the challenges faced by patients using marijuana to manage pain in a society still largely unreceptive to their needs.

With topicals unable to get users high, it would stand to reason that it’s not possible to fail a drug screening as a result of their use. In principle, this is true; but there are some caveats. This study from 2017 [1] confirmed that topicals containing THC did not cause a positive test in both blood and urine.

With a localised application, sufferers can target specific areas of trouble, supporting mild pain relief and reducing inflammation. It is the nature in which they are absorbed through the skin, however, that has raised questions about their safety. Will users get high as a result? And furthermore, would that cause a positive reading on a drug test?

I have not smoked, vaporized or eaten any marijuana in about seven months but I continue to use a topical application for pain every few days or so. Am I likely to test positive for cannabis use in a urinalysis?

In theory, the same reason you can’t get high from rubbing them on your skin related is to why using topicals will not cause you to test positive in a drug test.

Dear R.,

Amanda Reiman, PhD.

There are three main types of drug tests, urine, blood and hair tests, and saliva tests are becoming more common, especially for detecting marijuana smoking*. However, a urine test is the most commonly administered because of ease and cost.

The topicals I am referring to only include lotions, balms, salves, and others products that contain cannabis and are rubbed on the skin.