As the medical marijuana industry continues to leave its footprint on the field of medicine, science — and the general population — are exploring new ways of experiencing it. Cannabidiol, or CBD, has stepped into the spotlight as a highly-regarded form of alternative medicine and has gained much traction in the medical marijuana industry.
CBD is a cannabis compound that many claim has medical benefits but without the feeling of being high. In fact, it can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC. This makes it an appealing alternative for treating issues such as inflammation, anxiety, seizures, arthritis, PTSD, epilepsy, and more, for people who want to take advantage of its healing properties without getting “stoned” or resorting to traditional pain medication. It’s even being explored for its anti-cancer properties. Further adding to its trustworthiness is the fact that science has suggested CBD can safely be consumed even at high doses.
Popular Consumption of CBD
CBD can be sourced from marijuana or hemp. In many cases, the oil is extracted and made into pills or mixed directly into food. Some people prefer to consume it through vaporizer pens, which — because you’re inhaling it — offers a more or less immediate reaction.
Others prefer to use it topically — for example, with CBD salves or creams that are applied directly to the skin. This is a particularly interesting approach because since dermal absorption can’t produce psychoactive side effects, even if there is any THC present in the CBD, you still won’t feel high.
How Does CBD Affect Drug Tests?
What does all of this mean for drug testing in the age of legal marijuana? According to Quest Diagnostics Director of Science and Technology, Barry Sample, CBD likely won’t show up on a drug test: “If the product contains only CBD and has had the THC removed, then an individual being tested would not be expected to test positive for marijuana or marijuana metabolite.”
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the recommended cutoff level of THC is 50 ng/mL to pass a drug test. Most employers and legal services prefer to use SAMHSA certified labs as the standard, since it’s more likely to hold up in court. Most hemp oil or CBD products are usually sold with much lower levels of THC (compared to marijuana), so most CBD consumers won’t have trouble passing a drug test. For those using extremely high levels of CBD or hemp oil (over 2,000 mg per day) it’s possible, though unlikely, that this could produce a “false positive” result on a drug test.
While research has shown that it’s unlikely that CBD products alone would lead to a positive result on a drug test, it’s important to note that CBD was found to interact with the body’s metabolism of certain compounds. What this means is that CBD users who also use marijuana may actually show higher levels of THC for a longer period of time than when using marijuana alone.
So, it would seem that CBD alone is not enough to raise any red flags on a drug test; although, if you’d prefer to err on the safe side, refraining from taking even CBD if you’re expecting a drug test is likeliest the best approach.
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