Although the use of CBD products has become normalized across the United States, it is still not completely accepted in the workplace. There is much to be researched and understood when it comes to cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD. Until more studies are published, there will be a bit of a taboo surrounding the use of CBD in professional settings. But, is using CBD even allowed in the workplace? Or will using a CBD product make you fail a workplace drug test? Read on to put your worries at ease and learn more about how drug tests and CBD work.
Let’s first start with taking a look at how workplace drug tests usually work. When a workplace drug test occurs, the employer or potential employer is looking for a certain set of illegal drugs to be absent from your body. They normally involve a urine sample that is sent to a third-party laboratory. However, they can also include a mouth swab, blood test, or hair follicle test depending on the role you are employed in. Often, drug tests are required by employers for insurance reasons, during a job interview process, or to ensure sobriety when working with machinery. However, drug tests are not intended to be malicious, but instead, ensure that there is no potential for interference with your job.
Workplace drug tests have a long list of drugs they are looking for in as small as trace amounts. Urine samples are run through machinery which will test the liquid for various chemicals. If any of the chemicals present in your urine sample match those of any drug listed on the “fail” list, then you will not pass your test. However, that does not mean that workplace drugs tests are looking for any and every abnormal chemical in your system.
Now, let’s consider if CBD appearing in your drug test will make you fail a drug test. Depending on how CBD is consumed, it can stay in your system for several days. Although the effects of smoking or consuming CBD can last anywhere from 90 minutes to several hours, the compound itself is metabolized by your body and the resulting byproduct of CBD-COOH is stored in your body. With your body working to naturally detox however, CBD can clear from your system within a few days to a week. However, even with CBD sticking around in your body and showing up on your workplace drug test, it will not make you fail the test.
Employers are not testing for CBD in your system. Instead, they are looking for its cousin compound, tetrahydrocannabinol, which is still considered federally illegal to consume. So if CBD shows up on your workplace drug test, you have nothing to worry about. However, not all CBD products contain 100 percent CBD. For federal U.S. employees, even just 50 billionths of a gram of tetrahydrocannabinol present per milliliter of urine will cause them to fail a workplace drug test. So how do you ensure that your CBD product only contains 100 percent CBD?
Finally, it’s time to consider the different types of CBD products available on the market, and how they might affect your drug test results. Although CBD being present in your system will not make you fail a drug test, any residual tetrahydrocannabinol present could make you fail the test instead. Even if the label on the CBD product you are using claims to have “pure CBD” in it, that is not always the reality. Depending on what plant the CBD was derived from and what processing methods it was put through, it could naturally include some other plant compounds as well.
The safest bet when it comes to products that have 100 percent CBD are those made with CBD isolates. These products use CBD in the simplest form, stripped away from all other naturally occurring plant compounds. There are some who argue that CBD isolates are less effective because they do not provide the benefits of whole-plant medicine. However, these types of CBD products do offer consumers some peace of mind when it comes to workplace drug tests. But, there is still the chance that CBD isolates are made from hemp plants, which offers the potential of other plant compounds being present.
The next safest type of CBD to use in relation to drug tests are products made with hemp-derived CBD. Since being legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill in the United States, hemp can be defined as a plant that contains less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol. However, those trace amounts can add up when consuming hemp-derived CBD products in high concentrates or volumes. Although the majority of the product contains CBD and offers the effects of this plant compound over others, the other compounds can still show up in trace amounts on laboratory drug tests.
The final choice in CBD products are those made with full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD extract oil. These products will often offer a majority of CBD compounds, with a small portion of other plant compounds included, such as terpenes. Although the terpenes will not make you fail a drug test, the other plant compounds present might.
The best way to ensure that you are consuming products that only contain CBD, in order to pass a workplace drug test, is to check the laboratory results. CBD products are often mislabeled since the market is still fairly unregulated in the United States. However, reputable manufacturers will offer a third-party laboratory analysis of their products, to show you exactly what is included, down to every trace amount.
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