That’s a great question. It needs a thorough explanation for you to know exactly what you’re getting into when you choose to take CBD. Here are the main points:
- Field tests are not always accurate and therefore not totally reliable.
- Lab test results can be subjective.
- Isolate and broad spectrum CBD have NO THC in them.
- Full spectrum CBD has more than enough THC in it to fail a field test and a lab test.
These are typically used by police departments for drug tests. Typically, a specimen is added to the bottle and it is shaken. If it turns purple, that usually means bad news. If you fail one of these tests, it’s not the end of the world though. I recommend that you should always demand a full lab analysis if you fail a THC field test for any reason.
CBD is not the same as THC, but an inexperienced lab tech, analyst, or doctor may fail a person who has no THC in their system. It’s best to demand a second lab test if you know you are clean of THC and it gets to this point. Arm yourself with good information. You will find more of that below.
Isolate and Broad Spectrum CBD
They should never fail a lab test that is analyzed correctly. These contain essentially no THC. If there is even the tiniest bit of residual THC left in them, it falls below the detectable limit. In short, the best labs in the country can’t find THC in isolates and broad spectrums. Here’s a sample lab report from the lab that we use: Sample lab report
If you prefer, you can download the whole file. Remember that it’s a sample. Every lab report is specific to each product.
Full Spectrum CBD
Full spectrum CBD has up to 0.3% THC in it. That’s certainly not enough to cause any sort of high, but it’s enough to trigger a field test or lab test. Avoid full spectrum if your employment is contingent upon passing a drug test.
If you are going to take CBD in any form, and you know that your employer does drug testing, what we recommend is to first print out a lab report of the product you plan to start using (you can ask us for any sample lab report). Take that printed report to your employer, tell them that you are looking into taking CBD and ask what would be their response if a drug test showed positive for a product that doesn’t produce a high. If possible, get their response in writing. You never know, you might get a very positive response.
Below is a typical graph from a lab test for CBD, THC, etc. Knowing this information can save you a world of hurt if a situation ever arises where you are drug tested. You may not know what it means, but a lab will. Notice the labels – CBDA, CBGA, etc. Note that the CBD labels are on different peaks than the THC labels. That is why CBD should not test positive for THC. Any lab / person who tests CBD as positive for THC is not doing their job well.
About Labor Unions
We’ve talked to people that are in labor unions about employer required drug tests. None of them are willing to print out the lab report and take it to their union. Unions appear to be very strict on the whole THC/CBD drug test thing. Which is odd, since neither of them is any more harmful than alcohol. Matter of fact, CBD is FAR LESS harmful than alcohol. So let’s talk about that for a minute.
CBD, Alcohol, and Toxicology
It’s widely studied and reported that alcohol harms both the brain and the liver. In contrast, we have not been able to find a study showing with conclusive realistic lab testing conditions that shows that CBD is harmful in any way. There are a few that state CBD is harmful, but those tests are skewed very badly. For instance, who injects 3000x the normal amount of CBD directly into a mouse’s brain? How is that realistic? Try the same test with something like sugar. I’m sure that would give bad results too. See a well written editorial on that test and how the FDA has handled it here:
I personally have been involved in an FDA sponsored liver toxicology study for CBD. Of course, I got to see my results from the study. The results?
My blood work was completely clean. That’s after consuming 1000mg of CBD over 30 days. Now that is a real-life test. There were 839 test subjects involved. I’m sure that the FDA got a pretty good body of data on this study.
Update 3/24/2021: The results are now published. You can now view the results. If you’re not inclined to follow the link to read the study, here is a direct quote from it:
“Preliminary findings show no evidence of liver disease in the 839 participants and no increase in the prevalence of elevated liver function tests…”Validcare Liver Toxicology Study
Potential Future for CBD
What do I think will come of the FDA study? Potentially, CBD will be approved as a nutritional supplement. There will likely also be a strict set of standards that CBD products will have to meet. Food grade standards. The good news is that our CBD products already meet or exceed food grade standards. On top of that, we are USDA certified 100% organic. Not to mention non-GMO, award winning, and the best quality we can get. We get the best for our customers – because we value them and they are the best.