Can I Get a Positive THC Test Result From Taking CBD?

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Don’t worry, you’re on safe ground!

Getting a positive THC result in a drug test is probably one of the most common concerns among CBD users. In the United States, it is a common practice that employers ask for illicit drug tests to new employees and even carry out routine tests on their personnel. This happens because most companies follow the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) guidelines to stay legally safe. 

One of the drugs most commonly included in drug screens is THC because of its widespread use. THC is one of the many chemicals found in the cannabis plant, a psychoactive substance responsible for some of marijuana’s most popular effects: euphoria, relaxedness, and joyfulness. These drug tests detect THC’s main metabolite, the 11-nor-delta9-caboxy-THC (THC-COOH). 

THC-COOH detectors have little cross-reactivity to other non-intoxicating cannabinoids such as CBD

However, we have good news for you: THC-COOH detectors have little cross-reactivity to other non-intoxicating cannabinoids such as CBD (cannabidiol), CBG (cannabigerol), CBN (cannabinol), and others, meaning that CBD users are very unlikely to put their jobs at risk if asked for an illicit drug test. 

Nonetheless, it’s very important to consider individual CBD intake doses, especially of cannabinoid-rich hemp oil products. If the daily dose of CBD exceeds the 1000-2000mg there’s a possibility of 11% to 23% of getting a positive result on a urinary screen, which would give a “false positive” due to other non-THC compounds.  

But in case you’re not a cannabis user, how can you prove yours is a false positive? You should then request a confirmatory test: the more accurate GC/MS screen which doesn’t detect other cannabinoids, including CBD.

Furthermore, note that people who are regular cannabis users could result positive for several weeks after suspending their THC intake. This also depends on factors such as:

  • Amounts and frequency of cannabis intake
  • Individual metabolism characteristics
  • Way of administration
  • Other ongoing medical treatments
  • Liver or kidney conditions

In the case you get a false positive, request the GC/MS screen.

Last but not least, remember that each state has its own regulations on hemp-based products use, so make sure to be well informed about them and adjust your consumption accordingly.

Sources

  • Gustafson RA, Kim I, Stout PR, Klette KL, George MP, Moolchan ET, Levine B, Huestis MA. Urinary pharmacokinetics of 11-nor-9-carboxy-delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol after controlled oral delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol administration. J Anal Toxicol. 2004 Apr; 28(3):160-7
  • Gustafson RA, Levine B, Stout PR, Klette KL, George MP, Moolchan ET, Huestis MA. Urinary cannabinoid detection times after controlled oral administration of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol to humans. Clin Chem. 2003 Jul; 49(7):1114-24.
  • Kemp PM, Abukhalaf IK, Manno JE, Manno BR, Alford DD, Abusada GA. Cannabinoids in humans. I. Analysis of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and six metabolites in plasma and urine using GC-MS. J Anal Toxicol. 1995 Sep; 19(5):285-91.
  • Huestis MA, Mitchell JM, Cone EJ. Urinary excretion profiles of 11-nor-9-carboxy-delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in humans after single smoked doses of marijuana. J Anal Toxicol. 1996 Oct;20(6):441-52.
  • Wall ME, Perez-Reyes M. J Clin Pharmacol. The metabolism of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and related cannabinoids in man. 1981 Aug-Sep; 21(8-9 Suppl):178S-189S.