Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in hemp that has been studied for its many potential benefits. The easy answer to our title’s question is that CBD is not psychoactive, and it won’t show up on a drug test because it simply isn’t screened for. However, THC, another cannabinoid, will show up on a drug test.
In this article, we’re going to explore the differences between CBD and THC. We’ll also discuss some important differences between full spectrum, broad spectrum and CBD isolate products. You’ll see that we emphasize the importance of third-party laboratory testing, and we’ll talk a bit about why certificates of analysis (COAs) should always be looked at when looking to buy quality cannabidiol products.
More About Drug Testing
Many companies and workplaces do drug testing, but why? And what are drug tests, anyway? Drug testing is the act of detecting and identifying a drug in a person’s system. Drug tests are performed when the government or a company deems a job position or industry as “safety sensitive” and, therefore, it must undergo drug testing.
There are many different drug tests that can be administered in both the workplace and criminal justice system. Drug detection periods will vary depending on which test is used. For example, a saliva test has a drug detection period of 24 hours, blood can be detected between 2-5 days, and a hair test can detect drugs from 90+days. Generally, there are six types of tests that are used:
Urine/body fluids – The most common form of testing
Hair – Can be used to measure historical drug exposure/use
Blood – Used in the medical field but not for workplace testing
Oral fluids – Mostly used by law enforcement officers; non-invasive
Sweat – Detects recent rather than long term use
Nail clippings – Non-invasive way of detecting drugs; can show evidence of use within a month
Ultimately, drug testing is a way for employers to ensure that their employees are safe and capable of doing their jobs. It’s also required because many of these fields are heavily regulated. The government wants to make sure we’re not putting people in unsafe work environments. Drug testing is also required by law in many cases, such as for public transportation vehicle operators or jobs with kids (daycare workers).
CBD & THC: A Tale of Two Cannabinoids
CBD is a natural compound found in hemp and is different from THC. Because CBD is not psychoactive, it isn’t tested for during drug tests and, therefore, won’t show up in the results. THC, on the other hand, will show up on a drug test because it is a psychoactive cannabinoid and has the ability to impair people.
It’s also worth noting that not all cannabis products contain both THC and CBD. Some might only contain one or the other, some might have more of one than the other and some might have none at all. So then, why do some people who use exclusively CBD products end up failing their drug tests? Chances are, they’re unwittingly using something that has THC in it.
Finding THC-Free CBD Products
Let's talk about how you can tell if your CBD products contain THC or not. If they were derived from hemp that was already high in THC (more than 0.3%), then it will contain THC and won’t be legal at all. That’s because, according to the 2018 Farm Bill, all industrial hemp (from which most CBD products are made) must have a THC content of 0.3% or lower. Authorized CBD products will come in three forms:
Full spectrum – A full cannabinoid and terpene profile, including THC
Broad spectrum – The same as full spectrum, but THC-free
Isolate – Only CBD and nothing else
These days, many companies extract their beneficial compounds using CO2 extraction methods. This ensures that the final product is free of any harmful solvents. It allows for the isolation of CBD. This is how we can get THC-free CBD products like the ones you’ll find at Soul CBD.
Third-Party Laboratory Testing
To ensure that you’re buying high-quality, THC-free CBD products, you need to make sure that a lab has tested them for purity and cannabinoid content. Lab reports, called certificates of analysis (COAs), should be made available for each batch of finished product so customers can see the results. Most companies will have these posted on their website.
A COA is a must-read for any customer who wants to know that their product was made in a safe environment. The COA is the document guaranteeing that the CBD is THC-free and was made in a facility that adheres to safety standards. This will guarantee that the company’s product has been thoroughly inspected, verified and approved before being listed as “safe.”
COAs can be a bit confusing to read, at first, but understanding the importance of third-party testing and learning how to read COAs will ensure that you’re getting the CBD products you want. Remember, it’s not CBD that may cause you to fail a drug test. It’s CBD products that also contain THC!
Don’t Ditch Your CBD!
There are tons of great reasons to use CBD on a daily basis. You don’t need to stop using them just because your workplace does drug testing. You simply need to make sure that you’re taking CBD drops or other products made from CBD isolate, and you’ll be fine.