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Can CBD cause you to fail a drug test?

On Behalf of | May 15, 2019 | Other Legal Topics |

Products containing cannabidiol, known as CBD, are rapidly growing in popularity. Derived from the nonintoxicating part of the cannabis plant, CBD doesn’t get its users high. Proponents of CBD sing its praises. They claim it can do everything from reducing seizures in epilepsy patients to relieving stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Though CBD is in a legal gray area at the federal level, it is widely available commercially and tolerated by law enforcement in many states, including Kentucky. But since CBD comes from the same plant as THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, many people wonder if it will keep them from passing a drug test.

CBD and drug tests

Many people must regularly take drug tests for a variety of reasons – people on probation or parole, job applicants and people working in health care, to name a few – so failing because you took a legally-tolerated substance can be problematic.

There have been recent cases of people showing up positive for marijuana on drug tests after taking CBD.

Though drug tests won’t confuse the metabolization of THC and CBD, some CBD products may contain more than the 0.3 percent of THC allowed by law. This is especially true because CBD lacks the stringent regulatory oversight used in the production of other medicines. A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 18 out of 84 CBD products they analyzed contained more THC than advertised, amounts that could potentially lead to intoxication or drug test failure.

Protect yourself

If you’re applying for jobs or someone who is drug tested regularly it might be a good idea to avoid CBD products for fear of failing the test. But if you do still want to consume CBD, look for products with a “certificate of analysis.” This is a voluntary process which tests the contents of the product.


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