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CBD: Can it cause you to fail a drug test?

FORT WAYNE, IND. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – Hemp-derived cannabinoid (CBD) is legal, easily accessible and works wonders for some consumers; ranging from migraine alleviation to combating cancers.

However, the pursuit for CBD’s benefits requires user caution.

SEE ALSO: Pot or not? Busts highlight growing confusion over hemp

In order for a CBD product to be considered legal, it must contain less than 0.3% THC, the compound found in marijuana that gives users a “high”.  Although CBD alone will not give you a “high” sensation, when it comes to a drug test, experts agree that it can cause you to fail.

“Certain ones will definitely make you fail,” says Cory Vonderau, co-owner of The CBD Store of Fort Wayne.

Why? According to Vonderau it comes down to how precise CBD companies are testing for THC.

“It has to test to .001%. Some will test to 0.3%, so if it doesn’t show 0.3% they say it doesn’t have it (THC), you’re going to fail with that one,” says Vonderau.

“They’re going to advertise it as zero THC but it still tests somewhere between .001% and 0.3%. That will build up in your system, depending on your metabolism.”

Studies back up Vonderau’s claims.

In 2017, the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) found over 20% of online CBD products contain THC, even though the tested products all claimed to be “THC-free” or did not list the THC content on the product.

In November 2019, a Johns Hopkins study concluded THC can potentially build up in a person’s system with repeated use of CBD products. 

“THC is THC, so if you’re using more than the 0.3% in the CBD oil, then it can come back positive,” says Tori Esguerra, owner of Any Lab Test Now.

Esguerra says these cases of CBD-use resulting in positive drug tests, are becoming more common.

“I would definitely recommend coming in here to any lab test now and getting checked, you know before maybe you’re checked at work,” says Esguerra.

“Whether you’re going in for a job so it may be pre-employment that you’re looking at, making sure you can pass a drug test, or possibly your work does random testing and you want to be sure that you’re okay and you’re using the correct kind.”

Because a positive drug test does not indicate whether the registered THC level is derived from legal CBD, Esguerra says consumers could be taking a risk in pursuing CBD’s benefits.

“It’s not regulated at this time and so there’s so many different things on the market that people are taking, you know, just really know what you’re taking.”

If you’re unsure about a CBD product you’re taking or interested in taking, both Esguerra and Vonderau say they’re here to help.

“Come in and ask us. We’ll try to research it as much as possible, if it’s one of our brands we’ll already know it. We’re trying to get something that’s adequate for your size and it’s going to be adequate for what you’re trying to use it for,” says Vonderau.

In addition to self-testing and CBD research, have a conversation with your HR representative to find out your employer’s stance on CBD and testing procedures.

It may just save you, your job.

Jack Keenan

Jack Keenan is a morning news anchor for Fort Wayne’s NBC Today.

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