It is no news that cannabidiol (CBD) has garnered increased popularity all across the UK. Reported as the “miracle solution” to a great number of problems, the recently increased availability of CBD products has encouraged the general public to finally try it out. This, however, has given rise to an unsuspected “side-effect”, namely its tendency to appear on drug tests.
The miracle product is lauded for a ton of potential health benefits. People use CBD for everything from nail and hair care to the potential of fighting inflammation, and other disorders. And although it is yet to gain enough significant scientific backing, its potency in most areas speaks loud enough for itself.
According to a recent financial report by the European CBD & Cannabis Market, the CBD market in the UK has grown significantly since 2018 (£57.7m), and is expected to reach well over 346m by 2023. Despite marketers promising clients that their products do not show up on any tests, however, there has been some whos drug test result came back positive after using CBD oil.
Which brings us to the question – can taking a CBD product cause you to fail a drug test?
While CBD is, for all intents and purposes, completely legal in the United Kingdom, there is a chance that some low quality extracts may contain traces of psychoactive illegal cannabinoids, namely THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBN (Cannabinol). The official guidelines from the NPA are pretty strict, however, demanding that no more than 1mg of THC should be found per bottle of product, meaning that sticking with reputable brands will keep you on the safe side.
In this article, we will take a close look at why this is possible, the causes, possible ways to stay safe, and the difference between CBD and THC.
Why CBD Can Cause you to Fail a Drug Test
You most certainly have heard of the notion that CBD does not contain THC. Well, sadly, that is not entirely true. Every CBD product will contain trace elements of the psychoactive component – THC. However, dependant on the quality and the legitamicy of the source, some products will fail above the UK legal limit of 0.2% THC. As a guide MariPharm CBD products when tested by a Dutch Governement accredited testing facility registered with less than 0.05% THC – way below the legal limit.
Most people fail to evaluate the amount of THC in a CBD product. The result of your drug test depends, in no small extent, on the product you are using. While some products contain an untraceable amount of THC, others can contain as much as the maximum amount allowed by the NPA (1mg). Depending on the brand that you’ve chosen, in combination with the amount of CBD products that you’ve chosen to consume, this can sometimes result in a false positive drug test. Unfortunately, despite the strict UK regulation, a lot of sellers still fail to indicate the appropriate amount of THC, contained in their product. Statistics show that a large number of CBD products are still mislabelled. It is so important to know where you are getting your CBD from and understanding the complete supply chain to ensure you can be confident with the product you are using.
CBD vs THC – The Difference
CBD and THC show a lot of similarities. They have very similar molecular structures and are both found in the same plant - cannabis. However, these two components of cannabis interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) differently. While CBD inhibits Cannabinoid Type 1 (CB1), THC activates it, thus, causing the ‘high’ sensation that comes with taking marijuana.
Cannabis is more like a family name, consisting of marijuana and hemp. THC is the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, while CBD contains a minimal amount of THC.
Typically, CBD is extracted from hemp. Hemp is said to be void of THC, which is the psychoactive component that makes people ‘high.’ However, in reality, it does contain some traces of THC – about 0.2percent. THC, on the other hand, is derived from the marijuana component of the cannabis plant.
Therefore, the false positive result that your drug test comes back with is not a measure of the CBD in the product, but THC.
Most sellers fail to indicate the actual amount of THC in these CBD products. Some CBD products possess as much as 300 milligrams of THC. Such a high amount of THC will show up in a drug test.
How to Stay Safe with CBD Products
CBD is not the enemy, THC is. Testing positive to a drug test does not necessarily mean that CBD is psychoactive. That is wrong. Here are a few tips that may help you enjoy the numerous potential benefits of CBD and stay negative on the drug test too.
First, the place you get your products from is a very critical factor. Picking up products from unreliable retailers increases your chances of testing positive to a drug test. It is advisable to stick with trusted distributers with a reputation for stating the actual amount of THC and CBD in products. This will go a long way to keep you out of trouble.
If possible, check if the CBD was extracted from viable industrial hemp, not low-quality hemp. Low-quality hemp tends to possess a higher amount of THC. Do well to ask!
CBD is being aggressively marketed by some as a solution for virtually any condition. Trustworthy sources allow their products to speak for themselves.
While CBD on its own may not be responsible for the false positive result, it does contain traces of THC. To make matters worse, most sellers fail to indicate this in their products. So innocent users are made to believe that the products contain no trace of THC, when in fact, it could contain as high as several hundred milligrams of THC. Therefore, it is very crucial to get your products from a trusted seller. Also, be sure to ask questions about the amount of THC in the product, the hemp from which the CBD was extracted, and the processing technique.