Can You Fail a Drug Test Due to CBD Flower?

A drug test is relatively common these days as it is a prerequisite in every company.

After the executive order was issued in 1986 by the Federal Government, drug tests became a norm.

This order banned the use of illegal drugs by the federal employees pertaining to their role in diminished performance at the workplace and the possibility of causing harm to the coworkers.

Ever since ’86, drug testing became a standard procedure, and you’ll have to undergo one doesn’t matter whether you are applying for a job in a public organization or you wish to work in a private firm.

Cannabis is also a part of the illicit drugs’ list. 

The legalities related to cannabis have changed with time-based on the fact that certain extracts of cannabis were actually helping people.

CBD flower also falls in this category as it provides several medicinal benefits.

However, in the United States, marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug under federal law.

The question is: Will you test positive on a drug test if you use CBD flower?

What if you use a drug for medicinal purposes and it tests positive?

Will it make you lose your job? Will you lose that awesome spot on the college team?     

It’s time to relax as we will tell you everything you need to know about drug tests related to CBD flower, and what do they mean?

Let’s get started…

Why is a Drug Test conducted in the first place?

You may have to undergo a drug test if you are:

1. Applying for a new job

It’s a fairly common practice in every organization to conduct a drug test at the time of hiring.

Your supervisor may ask you to provide a sample of your urine. This sample will then be tested for illicit drugs, and a certified medical practitioner will verify the reports.

A positive or negative result can make a difference when it comes to the employer to make the final decision. So, this is a point where you should be really careful.

2. A doubtful employer

If at any part of your job, you show up with red eyes, a lack of control over your body, or mental absence, your employer may ask you to undergo a drug test.

3. Sports

Before selecting a player for a sports team, the management usually asks the players to undergo drug tests.

This is done to ensure that there is no foul play and penalties, and the player has full control over what he is doing.

4. Forensics reports after accidents

A forensics team may collect samples from the people involved in an accident to find a possible involvement of an illicit drug.

These reports can make or break a case in the courts of justice.

Conditions before any drug test

The executive order 12564 suggests that:

  • The agency should inform the employee about the illegal drug evaluation 60 days before the conductance.
  • Before the conductance of a test, if an employee is using a legitimate drug, he should present medical documentation.
  • The tests conducted are authorized by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

What are the different mediums for drug testing?

Federal guidelines regarding the testing for illegal drugs only suggest testing urine.

Private companies may also use:

  • Saliva
  • Blood
  • Hair

Urine testing

Urine has been used as the best medium for drug testing. The main reason is the elimination of almost every drug in urine in a significantly large amount.

According to a study regarding the absorption profile of cannabinoids in the human body, the concentration of THC in urine must be at least 50 ng/ml.

It means if your CBD flower contains a high enough concentration of THC, it won’t be missed.

Saliva testing

Saliva or oral fluid is a very convenient medium for drug testing compared to urine and blood.

However, it is not a favorable medium if the drug has not been taken orally.

According to Confirm Biosciences, the cut-off value for THC in the saliva is 25 ng/ml. The amount is smaller compared to urine, but still carries the limitation of testing only drugs taken orally.

Blood Testing

Blood is usually the favorite medium for testing the concentration of proteins and enzymes in the body.

However, when it comes to testing for cannabis, it may not be the best choice.

The reason is: THC gets cleared from the blood quickly. It remains positive from a few hours to a day, depending upon the concentration.

Hair Testing

THC can deposit in the hair follicles ─the part of the hair that receives the blood supply.

The cut-off value for THC in the hair follicles is just 0.10 pg/mg. Now, that’s a pretty small amount. It may even be detected 90 days after the initial intake.     

Drugs tested in a drug test

As of 2010, the drugs included in almost any organization’s drug testing are:

  • Marijuana (especially the metabolite THC-COOH)
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates (codeine & morphine)
  • Phencyclidine
  • Amphetamines (including methamphetamine & MDMA)

But, will CBD flower test positive?

In plain and simple words: No, it won’t. However, this is governed by defined factors.

The Factors

Drug tests usually test a metabolite of THC. This metabolite, THC-COOH, is produced in the body after you intake specific amounts of THC.

CBD flowers usually contain a minute amount of THC. By law, the tolerable amount is 0.3% or less.

If your CBD flower is contaminated by THC, it may exceed beyond the tolerable amount. It means a chance of a high amount of THC-COOH in your body and a positive drug test.

Another factor may be a poor quality of CBD flower, where the seller has not mentioned the amount of any compound on the packaging.

So, you should always make sure that you buy the flower from an authentic dealer.

Can my body convert CBD to THC?

A lab test dedicated to determining whether CBD converted to other compounds in the body was conducted.

When artificial conditions that simulated the acidic conditions in the stomach were provided, CBD converted to Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC.

This test indicated a grave possibility for CBD users who utilize ingestible products.

What are the controversies regarding the CBD flower drug test?

Although CBD doesn’t test positive on drug testing, yet some cases were reported where people who used CBD were fired.

Cannabis is legal in Colorado for both medicinal and recreational purposes.

In 2015, a man who used cannabis for medicinal purposes lost his job because of a positive drug test for THC.

The employer used the reference of the federal law regarding THC even though it was legal according to Colorado state laws.

The possibility of conversion of CBD to THC in the stomach can also raise some controversies as the latter is a compound that is purely used for recreational purposes.

How can you avoid failing a drug test due to the CBD flower?

Drug tests regarding illegal drugs can be tricky. If you are a consumer of CBD flower, you should take these precautionary measures:

1. Purchase from an authorized seller

Purchasing CBD flowers from a dealer in the street where there is no surety of concentration and quality is a bad, bad choice.

If CBD flower is legal, why take the risk?

Those unauthorized dealers may sell you the product cheap, but there is no guarantee if that is actually a CBD flower because both CBD and THC flowers look alike.

Always go to an authorized seller to be on the safer side.

2. Purchase only those products that mention the concentrations

Now, concentration is one of the critical factors legally. It is essential to purchasing only those CBD flowers where the manufacturer specifies the concentration of CBD and THC in exact figures on the packaging.

Make sure the THC concentration is equal to or less than 0.3%. If it goes up, you may get in trouble.

3. Avoid oral CBD intake

Now, this is the tricky part. Research indicated that CBD could convert in acidic conditions of the stomach to THC.

This can lead to the production of THC-COOH, the metabolite of THC that is tested, in your body.

Consequently, you may test positive for THC when you haven’t even taken any.

4. Have a certificate or proof of your medication 

If you are using CBD flower for a medical condition like stress, anxiety, or pain related to Crohn’s disease, make sure to have a certificate or proof of your prescription.

5. Abstain from CBD before the test

It may be a difficult thing to do for chronic CBD users, and it’s possible that you are going to click that ‘X’ at the top right now.

But, let’s face reality. Even if you take all the precautionary measures, there’s still no guarantee that you won’t fail your drug test.

So, you may want to abstain from CBD flower a few weeks before the drug test. It will ensure that if there’s some amount of THC in your body, it gets lowered to the concentration that is below the cut-off value.  

Final Words

CBD is not a part of the regular screening tests at the workplace or sports. So, it does not test positive in normal circumstances.

CBD flower does not carry the risk until the THC concentration exceeds 0.3%.

Controversies are there, so you should always take some precautionary measures. Good luck with your drug testing 🙂

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Philip Fairbank is a freelance writer, voice actor, and herbalist who has been studying ethnobotanicals for over 20 years. Philip has more than 15 decades publishing experience covering entertainment media, news reporting, investigative journalism and health, supplement and technology topics primarily. His work has appeared in print in the US, UK, and Australia including announcements like SUNY's journal Afterimage, entertainment publication Ghettoblaster and many others.


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