- December 1, 2018
- Posted by: William Bierlein
- Category: Blog
The short answer?
The long answer?
While most marijuana products contain CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), it is important to note that the two are completely different molecules with very different physical and psychological effects.
THC is the most widely known molecule that is responsible for the psychoactive effects many people associate with “being high”. THC molecules are chemically structured in a way that closely mimic the natural anandamide molecule. This natural molecule, commonly referred to as the “bliss molecule”, engages CB1 receptors. This triggers “high feelings” such as increased appetite and pleasure. With THC’s similar structure, it is able to engage the CB1 receptors in a similar fashion, causing these psychoactive “high” effects to occur.
On the other hand, CBD has a more indirect reaction with the CB1 receptors, essentially counteracting them. This leads to a more therapeutic effect (i.e. painkilling, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety) rather than a psychoactive effect commonly found with THC.
So, Why Won’t This Trigger A Positive Test Result?
There can be a multitude of reasons as to why someone might be getting drug tested, but the fact remains that all standard drug testing supplies screen for THC metabolites, not CBD. If you are using 100% CBD oil, there is effectively no THC in your system and drug tests will not read positive for THC. Most employers use some type of instant drug test to screen their potential or current employees for drug use. Even if a lab test is performed, the labs will use the same type of instant tests to gauge which drugs they need to specifically test for. The instant tests screen for THC, not CBD.
How Do Instant Drug Screens Work?
Instant drug tests or, point of collection testing (POCT), is considered enzymatic testing. Each testing strip in your drug testing device has a dedicated set of enzymes built into them. When the sample saturates and interacts with the testing strip, the enzymes will activate based on the amount of drug metabolites present in the sample. This process causes a chemical reaction which will cause the testing strips to change color based on the presence of the specific drug metabolites for each drug being tested. THC and CBD have different metabolites, so the CBD metabolites will not activate the enzymes in a THC enzymatic testing strip.
Should I Refrain From Using CBD Products Before Being Drug Tested?
There are many CBD products on the market that offer a blend of THC and CBD metabolites for various reasons. Unless you are absolutely certain your CBD product(s) contain 0% THC, it would be considered best practice to refrain from using any type of CBD medication or product if expecting to participate in a drug screen in the near future. Regardless, the use of these products requires a prescription from a doctor. If prescribed medication that includes CBD and/or THC, you will be able to notify the Medical Review Officer reviewing your drug testing results that your prescription would be the reason for the presence of any THC metabolites in your sample.