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What You Need to Know about CBD, THC, and Drug Tests

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It seems everyone and their mother is talking about CBD oil at the moment. The cannabis-derived food supplement is firmly in the spotlight, and it’s easy to see why. With its many health benefits, CBD oil is proving to be a valuable supplement for many people struggling with health conditions.

You may well even be considering trying some yourself. But perhaps you have some reservations. CBD does come from the controversial cannabis plant, after all. Will CBD oil show up on a drug test? Does CBD oil have THC in it?

The short answer is no, CBD oil will not show up on a drug test because it has minuscule amounts of THC, if any.

But these are very common questions that people often have when thinking about giving CBD oil a go. So let’s break it down and lay out everything you need to know about CBD, THC, and drug tests.

CBD oil explained

CBD is found in cannabis and does not show up on drug tests

Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is a compound found in cannabis known as a cannabinoid. The most well-known cannabinoid is called THC. This is the compound responsible for the ‘high’ commonly associated with cannabis.

CBD, on the other hand, is non-intoxicating and does not get you high. It does offer some impressive health benefits, however. That is why it is currently receiving so much attention in medical circles.

CBD oil is simply an oil that contains the cannabinoid CBD. The CBD is extracted from a cannabis plant (usually hemp, which is cannabis with very low levels of THC). It is then combined with a carrier oil. This carrier oil helps to efficiently deliver the CBD to your bloodstream.

There are many different brands and types of CBD oil. The most common carrier oils are hemp seed oil, olive oil and coconut oil. The concentration of CBD in these oils also varies dramatically.

Health benefits of CBD

Every day there is a new story in the press singing the praises of CBD oil. Whether it’s curing cancer, relieving pain, or simply reducing anxiety, CBD oil is being touted as a miracle cure.

While these claims may sound sensationalist, there is plenty of scientific research to suggest that CBD does offer a whole host of medical benefits. Let’s take a look at some of them…

  • Inflammation

CBD has been shown in numerous studies to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a condition that can be an underlying factor in almost all health conditions, including depression.

  • Anxiety

One of the most obvious effects of CBD is its ability to reduce anxiety. Read our extensive article on CBD oil and anxiety here.

  • Depression

Depression is an all too common affliction in our modern world. A number of scientific studies have found CBD to be an antidepressant. Read our extensive article on CBD oil and depression here.

  • Pain

CBD has been found to be effective at reducing chronic pain and helping people manage the condition.

  • Sleep disorders/insomnia

Many people who suffer from poor sleep or insomnia are finding CBD helps them get a good night’s rest. And there is plenty of scientific research to back this up. Read our in-depth article on CBD and insomnia and sleep disorders here.

So what’s the difference between CBD and THC?

CBD and THC are the two most famous cannabinoids. They are also the two most prevalent in the cannabis plant. They do, however, have very different effects.

While CBD is non-intoxicating, THC has profound psychoactive effects. Although it can affect people very differently, consuming THC commonly has the following effects:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Euphoria
  • Pain relief
  • Short-term memory problems
  • Increased hunger
  • A dry mouth and eyes
  • Tiredness or lethargy

It is worth noting, however, that THC has biphasic effects, meaning it can have seemingly opposing effects depending on the dose. For example, small doses of THC have been shown to relieve anxiety, whereas large doses increase it.

CBD and THC have these differing effects by interacting slightly differently with our physiology. While THC has a strong affinity to bind to CB1 receptors in our endocannabinoid system, CBD  activates several non-cannabinoid receptors and ion channels in our body.

Due to its mind-altering effects, many people mistakenly regard THC as the recreational cannabinoid and CBD as the medicinal cannabinoid. This is far from the truth. In reality, THC also has many health benefits. Here are just a few health benefits of THC:

Rather interestingly, scientists have found that CBD and THC work better when administered together. This is called the entourage effect, and it’s what we’ll look at next...

What is the entourage effect?

The ‘entourage effect’ is the name given to the synergistic effect of all the compounds in cannabis. It was first reported in 1998 by famous cannabis researchers Dr. Mechoulam and S. Ben-Shabat in Israel.

There are many, many different compounds in cannabis. Perhaps more than 500. These include cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, terpenes (responsible for the distinctive aroma of cannabis), flavonoids, and other little-known compounds.  

When these compounds are administered together, they produce more potent results than single-cannabinoid preparations. This is why full-spectrum CBD oil is preferable over single-molecule CBD oil.  

Rest assured, our Good Vibes 250mg+ CBD oil is full spectrum and contains a complete profile of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabis compounds.

So does CBD oil have THC in it?

Some CBD oils do contain very small amounts of THC. It depends on the particular brand, though. Some CBD oils contain no THC, some contain a very small amount. If a CBD oil does contain THC, it will be less than 0.3%, as stated by law.  

Most high-quality, reliable CBD oils will contain much less THC than this. You can view our laboratory reports at this link.

How do they test for cannabis?

There are a number of ways to test for cannabis and THC but not rarely CBD

Whether you agree with it or not, drug testing is common for a number of jobs in the U.S and around the world. It is even mandatory for all federal employees. Many private sector employers also test their workers.

  • Urine tests
  • When looking for signs of cannabis use, most drug tests are actually looking for just one type of cannabinoid and its metabolites. And that cannabinoid is THC. A standard urine drug screen for cannabis use consists of an immunoassay with antibodies that are able to detect THC and its main metabolite, 11-nor-delta9-caboxy-THC (THC-COOH).

    Many employees use the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) guidelines when conducting drug screenings. SAMHSA guidelines state that the cut off for a positive test for THC and its metabolite at 50 ng/mL. Therefore, if you have less than this amount of THC or THC-COOH present in your urine, a positive result for cannabis will not be awarded.

    Other tests may have a lower cut off point for THC and THC-COOH. And there are others that are also able to detect CBD and its main metabolite. These are not commonly used, however, except for high profile jobs and the like.

    It is worth being aware that your urine may test positive for THC for as long as 100 days. Although it does depend quite heavily on how much you consume and how often.

  • Blood tests
  • Cannabinoids can also be detected in your blood. However, having your blood tested for signs of cannabis use is not that common. This is because the test is expensive and can be unreliable.

    Having said that, there are some police forces in the U.S. that use blood tests to find out if you’re under the influence of cannabis. Again, these tests are looking for THC, not CBD or other non-intoxicating cannabinoids.

    Blood tests can detect THC in your system for a maximum of about 7 days after you have consumed cannabis. Again, this does depend a lot on how much and how often you consume cannabis.  

  • Other tests
  • Other biological materials that can be tested for cannabinoid metabolites include hair, saliva, breath, sweat, and even fingernails. Hair tests have the longest detection window, capable of recording levels of THC-COOH up to 90 days after it was consumed.

    Will CBD oil show up on a drug test?

    If you consume CBD oil, you will not test positive for cannabis on most standard drug tests. Standard drug tests are testing for THC and its metabolites. As CBD oil contains either very, very low amounts of THC or none at all, there is little chance you will test positive for THC after consuming CBD oil.

    When purchasing CBD, however, it is imperative that you buy off a reputable and trustworthy company. Make sure they have third-party lab results so you can check how much, if any, THC has been detected in the product.

    If the CBD oil does contain a small amount THC, there is still little reason to be concerned about testing positive on a drug test. You would have to consume a very large amount of CBD oil in order to get a concentration of THC that would be detectable. However, it has been known to happen.

    If you do test positive for cannabis after consuming CBD oil, this may be due to cross-contamination from other cannabinoids. However, this would be classed as a “false positive”. Following a more rigorous second round of confirmatory testing, which specifically measures THC-COOH, you would surely test negative.

    How long do CBD and THC stay in your system?

    CBD and THC can stay in the body for a long time

    Cannabinoid metabolites are notorious for staying present in the human body for a long period of time. This is because CBD and THC are fat soluble and are readily stored in your fatty lipid tissue.

    Depending on how much and how often you consume cannabis, cannabinoid metabolites can potentially be released into your bloodstream pretty consistently for anywhere up to 6 weeks or more. It is widely thought that people with higher levels of fat content store cannabinoids for longer than leaner folks.

    There has been some research done on the subject. For example, a 1989 study of chronic cannabis users found that THC metabolites could be detected up to a maximum 25 days at a sensitivity of 20 ng/mL. Although there was only one subject who tested positive after 14 days. On average, it took just 9.8 days before cannabinoid levels were no longer detectable.

    This 1984 study, in which the drug tests had a cutoff of 50 ng/mL, showed a maximum of 40 days for cannabis to be detectable. Again, however, only two out of 10 subjects needed more than 13 days to test negative.

    There is also this study from 1991 that looked at how long CBD was detectable in patients taking extremely high doses of CBD (700mg) for six weeks. A week after the six-week period, the participants’ blood was tested for CBD metabolites. Detected CBD levels averaged 1.5 ng/ml, which is very low. CBD was virtually undetectable thereafter.

    Therefore, it can be assumed that CBD oil will stay in your system for around 3-5 days. A week at the most. This, of course, depends on numerous variables such as weight, lifestyle, the amount you use and how often.

    How much CBD oil would you need to consume to fail a drug test?

    If you are consuming a CBD oil that has traces of THC in it, it may be possible to fail a drug test. But it is still pretty unlikely.

    The legal limit for THC content in CBD oil is set at 0.3% in the U.S and 0.2% in most of Europe. So, let’s you were to consume up to 2,000 mg of CBD oil daily at the maximum legal limit of 0.3% THC. You would then be consuming up to 6mg of THC a day. While this is still a minimal amount, it would make a positive result on a drug test possible.

    In contrast, if you were to consume up to 2,000mg of a CBD oil with less than 0.1% THC, your chances of testing positive for THC reduce significantly. For oils with even less, there is barely any chance. Even if you were to consume an ungodly amount.

    Therefore, it is very important that you choose the right brand and product for you. Make sure that the company has third-party lab results displayed clearly. Read reviews of the company to see what others are saying. Decide how much you will consume daily and do the math to work out how much THC you will be exposed to.

    What is the legal limit for THC in CBD oil?

    According to the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015, farmers in the United States are permitted to grow and cultivate certain varieties of cannabis. These varieties are known as hemp. They are excluded from the controlled substances list if they contain no more than 0.3% THC.  

    As a result of this regulation, CBD oils that have 0.3% THC or less can be sold as food supplements and are legal in all 50 states.

    In Europe, this limit is 0.2% for the majority of countries. There are some exceptions, however. Switzerland has the highest limit, set at 1%. Italy allows up to 0.6%. And Austria is 0.3%.

    How can I pass a drug test for cannabis?

    If you find yourself in the awkward position of facing a drug test for whatever reason, then listen up. While there is no foolproof way to beat a drug test for cannabis - apart from not consuming cannabis, of course - there are a number of strategies that have worked in the past.

    First of all, time is your friend. The longer the period of time between you consuming cannabis last and the test, the better. There are also some things that you can do to speed up the process of eliminating THC and its metabolites from your system. They are:

    • A high fibre diet
    • Drinking lots of water
    • Consume detox products such as Clear Choice (expect side effect like diarrhoea)
    • Take a sauna

    If you are facing a urine test, there are a couple of other more devious ways to deceive the test. You could purchase some artificial urine. Or, if you have an open-minded friend, use someone else's. Needless to say, these methods are not without risk and are not generally recommended.

    If you are getting tested by a saliva, hair, or blood test, it can be extremely difficult to deceive the test.


    Is CBD allowed in the military?

    CBD oil is not allowed in the military

    Although the U.S. Army has acknowledged that there is no potential harm to consuming CBD, for some obscure reason, it has chosen to ban all military personnel from using CBD products.  

    A statement was released in February 2018 that described how dozens of soldiers around the country experienced adverse effects after vaping synthetic cannabis compounds. Some of those products were marketed as containing cannabidiol (CBD). This seems to be where the confusion has come in.

    This move by the U.S. army came soon after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WHO) declared CBD as safe and with little potential for abuse. This then led to International Olympic Committee and other sports associations removing CBD from their lists of banned drugs.

    Final thoughts on CBD, THC, and drug tests

    As more and more people hear about CBD oil and its benefits, the more confusion seems to arise. While CBD is derived from the cannabis plant, there are many misconceptions about what it actually is, its effects, and its legal status.

    Fear not, however. CBD is a very safe compound that is sold as a food supplement. It has no intoxicating effects. And it is 100% legal throughout all the United States, Europe, and much of the world.

    And does CBD show up on a drug test? No. Drug tests are looking for THC, the compound that causes the ‘high’ associated with cannabis use. And this is where you must be slightly careful because some CBD oils do contain small amounts of THC.

    Therefore, if you consume a lot of CBD oil that has THC in it (the legal limit is up to 0.3%), there is a chance you may fail a drug test. This is why it is imperative to properly investigate the company and the CBD product you are thinking of buying. And make sure you see third-party lab results.

    Our Good Vibes 250mg+ CBD oil is popular because it has less than just 0.03% THC. It is also a full-spectrum blend, meaning it provides the entourage effect for greater efficiency.

    And it tastes great thanks to an organic peppermint oil flavouring. Try it today and never worry about testing positive for cannabis again.

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