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Understanding Drug Tests and CBD Oil: A Guide for Human Resources

The trend of trying CBD oil is growing in almost all parts of the United States; while there are certainly still restrictions on the use of this product in many states, this low-THC product from hemp is growing in popularity and availability.

CBD is a substance called cannabidiol, which shows up in the cannabis plant. It is not the more commonly known active compound THC, which is responsible for the popularized effects of marijuana. CBD can be extracted from legal cannabis plants, such as hemp, and is thought to offer some health benefits without the concerning symptoms of marijuana.

Why People Take CBD

CBD is thought to bring many positive effects: anecdotally, people say that it reduces anxiety, seizures, arthritis pain, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. However, what it lacks is the characteristic “high” that comes with marijuana use.

If individuals in your workplace are using a CBD product, there is no evidence that the CBD itself is going to impair them from working. Besides, many products, such as lotions and creams containing CBD, contain a minimalized level of THC. Legally, these products are supposed to be made from hemp, which contains no more than .3% THC by volume.

understanding drug tests and cbd oil: A Guide for Human Resources

The Issues with CBD

Many CBD oil and other products can contain trace amounts of THC; therefore, it is theoretically possible for a drug test to come back positive. A truly “pure” product would be hard to create, even if the trace amounts of THC have no effect. However, it would require a considerable amount of CBD oil or related products to cause a drug test positive if the product is under the 0.3% threshold—much more than the recommended levels of use.

However, the problem grows because there isn’t a regulatory body that checks to see whether the products are indeed under the 0.3% threshold. Therefore, an unsuspecting job candidate could purchase a product that they think is nearly pure CBD oil, but which in fact contains much more THC—and receive little recourse.

This situation can much more easily cause a drug test to come back positive. WebMD published a discussion on this topic, sharing that as many as 20% of CBD products do contain THC, and 70% hold a different amount of CBD than advertised.

Preventing False Positives with CBD

No employer wants to turn down a great job candidate because of a drug test that is truly a false positive. At the same time, the excuse that “it was just CBD” is an easy out—whether you honestly used CBD or used marijuana. Here are some insights that employers—and employees—would do well to consider:

  • Use the lowest possible dose of your CBD products that will achieve the desired sleep aid or anxiety reduction results.
  • Level with your employer that you use a CBD product (legally, of course) if random drug testing is used, or to give context at any point in the process. Again, make sure that the kind of CBD you use is legal in your particular profession.
  • If you know about all drug testing ahead of time, consider refraining altogether from using CBD products until after your test to avoid false positives.
  • Keep an eye on the news and make sure you are choosing a reputable CBD product company. These will be the companies that abide by the .3% THC or less hemp law, leading to products that indeed are just CBD.

Understanding Drug Tests

Unfortunately, if you pass one drug test while using CBD, you haven’t necessarily passed them all. The way that drug tests work is through testing for specific antibodies, which means that each drug test manufacturer may determine the presence of THC in a slightly different manner. As you make your choices, also consider that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that the recommended cut-off level of THC is 50 nanograms per milliliter to pass a drug test. However, not every drug test has the same sensitivity.

What this does mean is that a person who uses CBD—and believes that they had a false positive—can request a fairly-immediate rescreening, possibly with a different brand of test. If they have a negative result, it seems very likely that they had an unfortunate CBD product that just barely created a false positive. However, those who use CBD regularly are wise to avoid this circumstance since an employer isn’t required to offer a “second chance.”

understanding drug tests and cbd oil: A Guide for Human Resources

When you need high-quality, modernized drug-testing services, turn to CNet Technologies for the best available options. We use drug tests that aim to produce as few false-positives as possible in the changing workforce. We offer this service alongside a full suite of verification and background screening services to support companies at every stage.

CNet is the right choice for your many drug testing and background screening needs. We understand the changing face of employee screening in today’s job market—and the stressors that your Human Resources Department faces when attempting to comply with shifting regulations. Let us take the stress out of your hiring process, and show you what CNet Technologies can do for your company!

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