Spindle, who wasn’t involved in the study, agrees that the findings could have important implications.
“These results are suggesting that it’s really difficult to say whether someone tested positive because of exposure to a legal source, which would be hemp, or an illegal source, which might be cannabis,” he noted.
After 4 weeks, seven participants (50%) tested positive for THC-COOH on a urinary drug screen. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry results confirmed the assay findings but also showed that the drug screen was often more sensitive than its stated lower limit of detection (50 ng/mL).
CBD Use Increasing
At baseline, all 14 persons tested negative for THC–carboxylic acid (THC-COOH), a major metabolite of THC. The CBD product was formulated using a full-spectrum, high-CBD extract containing 9.97 mg/mL of CBD and 0.23 mg/mL of delta-9-THC.
Reached for comment, Tory Spindle, PhD, researcher with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, said he was a “little bit surprised that half of participants tested positive, but we really had no data to know one way or the other, so this is a really pivotal study.”
The patients self-administered 1 mL of the product sublingually three times daily to achieve a targeted daily dose of 30 mg of CBD and less than 1 mg of delta-9-THC. The dosage was quantified using outgoing, rather than incoming, bottle weights and was cross-referenced with weekly drug diaries.
“[Our] results indicate this may not be true, especially if assays are more sensitive than advertised, underscoring the potential for adverse consequences, including loss of employment and legal or treatment ramifications, despite the legality of hemp-derived products,” they write.
For instance, producers can isolate CBD compounds after the oil is extracted from the stalks and seeds from hemp plants. This process leads to pure CBD, effectively eliminating any THC and other plant-based constituents from the end product. Once isolated, the CBD can be mixed with liquid oils that contain fatty acids to improve absorption.
Although hemp-derived CBD products are available in states where recreational cannabis isn’t legal, some people might worry whether their use of CBD oil will show up on a drug test. Even in states where it is legal to buy THC-heavy cannabis from a retail store, some employers still screen employees for cannabis use. It’s a valid concern considering that even CBD products derived from hemp are legally permitted to contain traces of THC, 0.3% or less to be exact, perhaps leaving some consumers to wonder whether there’s a small amount of THC in their CBD oil — and whether that will show up on a drug test.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has recently surged into the therapeutic spotlight for its perceived anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, pain-relieving, and seizure-suppressing properties. It can be found in health and wellness aisles across the world — perhaps even at your local Walgreens or CVS — and comes in many forms, some of which include CBD oil, tinctures, edibles, elixirs, and more.
Should you worry about CBD oil showing up on a drug test?
While it’s possible that small amounts of THC that exist within a CBD product could accumulate and show up in a drug test, it’s still highly unlikely. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
But what if your CBD oil contains small traces of THC? Many top CBD manufacturers have products with no presence of THC. Although hemp-derived CBD products are legally allowed to contain a maximum of 0.3% THC, some prospective consumers may still be reluctant to try CBD that contains even a small amount of THC. Thankfully, there are ways to create hemp-derived CBD products without any hint of the intoxicating cannabis compound.
There are also different types of drug tests that can be used, all of which present different detection thresholds. For instance, a hair test is made to detect habitual substance use, so it will probably not raise any red flags even if you are consuming CBD oil that has low levels of THC.
To obtain a CBD oil drug test, an employer or entity would have to pay a testing company an additional charge to change their testing regimen to include CBD. When you consider that this non-intoxicating compound won’t get you high or impair your ability at work, there’s really no need for a CBD oil drug test.