Drug Testing

Does Using CBD Hemp Oil Result in a Positive Drug Test for THC or Marijuana?

FALSE POSITIVE – Whether you agree with it in principle or not, testing for illicit drug use is a reality for many workers in the United States. Drug testing is mandatory for federal employees, and although it isn’t required in the private sector, more employers are implementing some kind(s) of drug screening.

When drug testing is mandated, employers almost always follow the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) guidelines because it puts them on solid legal ground. Typically, there is an overlap between testing guidelines and accepted cutoff levels for drugs and drug metabolites in confirmatory testing and screening.

Because THC is widely recognized as being responsible for marijuana’s psychoactivity and euphoria, a routine urine drug screen for marijuana use consists of an immunoassay with antibodies that are made to detect it, and its main metabolite, 11-nor-delta9-caboxy-THC (THC-COOH). SAMHSA has set the cutoff level for a positive urine screen in the immunoassay at 50 ng/mL. When the immunoassay screen is positive at the > 50 ng/mL level, a confirmatory GC/MS (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry) test is performed to verify the positive urine screen. The confirmatory GC/MS has a cutoff level of 15 ng/mL and is specific only to the 11-nor-THCCOOH metabolite.

Fortunately, the urine drug screen for THC-COOH is known to have very little cross-reactivity to other cannabinoids that are not psychoactive, such as CBD (cannabidiol), CBG (cannabigerol), CBN (cannabinol), and others. This is good news for “normal” consumers of CBD/hemp oil.

That said, individuals using unusually large doses of a cannabinoid-rich hemp oil product (above 1000-2000 mg of hemp oil daily) could theoretically test positive during the initial urinary screen IF the product carries less than .3% THC in them. Although very rare, the urine screen in these cases would likely represent a “false positive” due to other non-THC metabolites or compounds, which may cross-react with the immunoassay. When this is the case, the confirmatory GC/MS test would be negative, since CBD and other cannabinoids will not be detected by the more accurate (and specific) GC/MS screen. Most products on Herb-a-lites.com may contain the legal limit of .3% delta 9 THC. Buy and consume at your own risk.

Ultimately, consumers need to be fully informed of the specific regulations posed by their employers and adjust their consumption of cannabinoid products accordingly.

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