As more states legalize marijuana, interest in CBD oil has grown substantially. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is said to help with stress, anxiety, restlessness, and aches and pains – without the mind-altering effects of marijuana. Although it is growing in popularity, especially when added to foods and drinks, its legal status is still fuzzy. To understand why CBD is legally questionable and how it might affect the results of a drug test, you need to understand the difference between CBD and THC. Review the infographic below to better understand the differences, and what they mean for you.
Understanding the Differences Between THC and CBD
Does CBD Oil Show Up on a Drug Test?
The difference between CBD and THC plays a crucial role here. When marijuana is included in the panel of a drug test, the test screens for THC or THC metabolites – not CBD. CBD is unlikely to show up on a standard drug test. However, CBD-sensitive drug tests are available. The company must commission this specialized test and will likely pay an additional fee to include CBD.
That said, some CBD products contain small amounts of THC. If an individual consumes a CBD product that contains a sufficiently high concentration of THC, he or she may test positive for marijuana. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the recommended cut-off level to pass a drug test is 50 ng/mL. When THC is included in CBD products, the level of THC rarely meets that threshold, so consumers are unlikely to test positive for THC/marijuana unless they consume high levels of CBD.
Finally, it’s important to remember that because CBD products are not currently regulated, you can’t know exactly what they contain. (In fact, they may not even contain CBD!) So if you take CBD before a drug test, there is always a risk of a positive result on a drug test.
What If Someone Tests Positive for THC Due to CBD Use?
If a drug test participant tests positive for THC due to the consumption of CBD products, there isn’t any way for that person to prove the results were produced by CBD and not marijuana. In addition, because it is not a prescription drug, CBD oil is not considered an alternative medical explanation for a positive test result on a federally mandated drug test. So Medical Review Officers (MROs), who are under the rule of the Department of Transportation (DOT), will not amend the results of a drug test based on that claim. They may only note that it’s possible the positive result stemmed from the use of CBD oil. Based on their individual drug policies, companies may then decide what to do moving forward.
While some individual states have legalized cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes, it is still up to employers to decide what they will (and will not) tolerate in the workplace in regard to drug use. Employers must stay informed regarding the legality of cannabis and derivatives like CBD. It is important that employers continually review and revise their company’s substance abuse policy to ensure that the language accurately reflects the company’s position on the use of CBD products.
The following infographic shows the key differences between THC and CBD. It provides fundamental knowledge in the classification of THC vs. CBD, and what it means for you.
If you need assistance with your company’s drug testing policy, contact Tomo Drug Testing for help. Based in Springfield (MO), St. Louis (MO), Kansas City (MO), Indianapolis (IN), and Evansville (IN), we offer customized solutions to make drug testing simple, and our nationwide network of clinics and providers allows Tomo Drug Testing to be available anytime, anywhere. For a free needs analysis, give us a call today at 1-888-379-7697 or contact us online. We would be happy to help!