Can You Fail a Drug Test for Using CBD or Topicals That Have THC

Can You Fail a Drug Test for Using CBD or Topicals That Have THC?

Many people today enjoy using recreational cannabis, and it is legal in countries like Canada. However, that doesn’t mean that every employer wants their employees to use marijuana. It is still common for athletes, employers, and even institutions to do drug tests, and cannabis is one of the things that these tests will look for. If you take the herb legally, the test might seem to be outdated. So, you might be wondering how you can pass a drug test if you are using cannabis.

The good news is that these tests are very efficient, especially compared to those for alcohol. The test might involve giving blood, hair, urine, or saliva. The urine test is the most common. 

Taking an IA Urine Test

This kind of urine test will give a qualitative result. That means that if you use cannabis, it will show up on the test, but it will not show how much is present in your sample. The IA test is faster, cheaper, and more convenient, especially when compared to the GC-MS test. This is the most popular home drug-testing kit.

This kind of urine test does have a high level of sensitivity to cannabis. But it can result in a false positive. The IA test will work by looking for an antigen from the component getting tested and looking for the binding of the antigen to an antibody. If the antigen is there, then it will bind to the corresponding antibody, and that will cause a reaction that will lead to a positive on the test. 

THC’s main metabolite is THC-COOH, and this is the most common component of THC that a cannabis drug test will look for. The lowest level of THC-COOH in the urine that will trigger a positive result in the test is 50 ng/ml.

Taking an IA Urine Test

About the GC-MS Drug Test

The GC-MS, or Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, will not give you a quantitative result. This just means that it can determine how much of the cannabis metabolite is in your sample. A drug-testing lab will use the GC-MS to estimate how much cannabis you have consumed.

Typically, you would have a GC-MS as a secondary test after taking the IA. So, if you were to take the IA and get a positive result, you might have a GC-MS to see if the IA’s result was accurate. The test will work by separating your urine sample’s components out by their size. The lab will use a mass selector detector to identify each component and measure how many there are. To get a positive result in the GC-MS test, you need to have 15 ng/ml of THC-COOH.

How Does Failing a Urine Test Work

Because of the way that both the GC-MS and IA tests work, you might fail the cannabis testing if you have consumed products that have THC in them. To fail the first cannabis test, you would need to have 15 ng/ml of THC-COOH. That means you do not need to be totally free of cannabis or THC. You only need to have low enough levels that it will not be detectable.

You might be wondering how long it will take for the THC levels in your body to go below this level. This is a little tricky since you metabolize THC at a different rate than someone else. The exact time is hard to determine. The range can be anywhere from three to 30 days, depending on the strain, how often you consumed it, and in what form you took it.

CBD Products and Drug Testing

When you take a drug test, they are not looking for CBD. So, if you have only the metabolites of CBD in the urine, you will not trigger either the GC-MS or the IA test. But you want to keep in mind that some CBD products do have some THC in them. 

If there are high enough levels of THC in your CBD product, then you might have a positive result for THC in both of the tests. With a GC-MS test, the lab might be able to tell if the level of THC-COOH is going up or down. Then, it could suggest if you take THC regularly or not.

CBD Products and Drug Testing

Using THC Topically

Since topical marijuana products have become more popular, you might have used salves and lotions that contain THC. So, you might be wondering how you can pass a drug test after using THC topically. The good news is that you most likely do not have anything to worry about. It is likely that applying THC to your skin will not result in it entering your bloodstream, so it will not be in your urine.

Passing Your Drug Test

The best way to be entirely certain that you will pass a drug test is to avoid any product that has THC in it. This means avoiding more than just THC-based products. You also have to avoid certain full-spectrum CBD products since they might have a bit of the psychoactive substance in them. CBD isolate may be a better option since it will not have any THC. If you are using CBD products, you should look at the manufacturing process to make sure that they will not be contaminated with THC.

You should also watch out for second-hand cannabis smoke since that might boost the THC metabolites in your urine. One study showed that being exposed to second-hand cannabis smoke resulted in THC-COOH levels of around 7.8 ng/ml, but it is better to be safe, especially if you are going to be around a lot of second-hand smoke.

Closing Thoughts

If you have to pass a drug test, then you will likely want to use only isolates from CBD. Unfortunately, these types of tests are only becoming more accurate, which means they are more likely to detect even trace amounts of THC. That is especially important to keep in mind if you have to take random drug tests from time to time.

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