CBD has taken off as a natural way to address a wide variety of different ailments. It’s becoming increasingly popular within the health and wellness community, especially among those who love natural products. As time wears on, it’s starting to seem like this is a new evolution in the way people enjoy natural products, not just some temporary fad.

CBD products like CBD oil, gummies, and lotions are made from either the cannabis plant or the hemp plant. Most CBD products sold throughout the United States are made with industrial hemp, since that plant is legal on a national level and does not contain significant amounts of THC. Still, in some states where cannabis and THC have been legalized, CBD products may be produced with the marijuana plant, which contains higher levels of the psychoactive, intoxicating cannabinoid CBD.

This is why so many people find themselves wondering, “does CBD affect drug tests?” The answer to this question is somewhat complicated because it will largely depend on the specific product. Drug tests are screening for THC, not CBD, so the CBD itself will not lead to a failed drug test. Still, problems can start to arise when CBD products include trace amounts of THC since THC can be detected by drug tests.

This makes it very important to put some serious thought into the matter and be careful before you start consuming any types of CBD products especially if you are a CDL truck driver. We’ve heard stories before of people who failed drug tests because of THC, even though they had only purchased CBD products. Some people might just be using this as an excuse after consuming marijuana, but it’s very likely that many CBD products on the market actually do contain some trace amounts of THC.

Does the Trucking Industry Drug Test?

Truck drivers do critically important work, and the job can also be dangerous if the driver isn’t sharp and prepared. This is part of the reason that trucking employers are legally required to test all drivers before allowing them to drive commercial vehicles, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Random drug tests are also part of the requirement, and employers are expected to administer random drug tests to at least 50% or more of their average number of drivers in any given year.

Typical drug tests look for common drugs like amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and PCP. The tests follow generally accepted thresholds for each drug and testing above the established level results in a positive drug screen (which some might call a failed drug test). Beyond the initial drug test and any random drug tests, there are a few other circumstances in which professional drivers may be tested:

● Drug Testing After an Accident – In any situation where a commercial driver is in an accident or receives a citation, the employer must perform a drug screen. The driver must be tested if there is any human fatality, even if the driver is not cited. Depending on the exact circumstances, the drug screen maybe for insurance purposes, or it may be mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

● Return-to-Duty Process – This process has been laid out by the Department of Transportation, and it covers situations in which a driver either tests positive for a substance or refuses a drug test. To satisfy this process, the driver must see a substance abuse professional and pass a drug test. In the following year, the substance abuse professional must perform at least six random drug tests.

● Driver Appears to be Under the Influence – If a truck driver seems to be under the influence, they may be required to submit to an immediate drug and alcohol screen on the spot. This is largely at the discretion of the employer or supervisor.

Does CBD Show up in Drug Tests?

Now that you understand drug testing in the trucking industry, it’s time to learn more about the factors that could lead to CBD products affecting drug tests. First, it’s important to think about the type of product you’re using. For example, topical products like shampoo, cosmetics, lotions, and creams don’t typically enter the bloodstream. The main exception to this would be if you’re using large amounts of these products on a part of your body with lots of blood flow. If you’re using these types of topical products, you don’t have so much to worry about but if you are a CDL driver it’s still not worth the risk of losing your job.

It’s a different story if you use CBD products like oils, gummies, teas, or transdermal patches. One test of 84 CBD products found that 18 of them contained THC, which is more than one out of every five. Those aren’t very good odds when your job is on the line, so it’s important to think carefully before you take CBD as a truck driver or anyone else who gets screened.

Should I Take CBD If I Get Drug Tested?

The best way to guarantee that you don’t get THC in your bloodstream from CBD products is to avoid CBD products altogether. Otherwise, there are steps you can take to limit your chances of being exposed to THC. Some factors to consider include all of the following:

● Does the manufacturer of your product make other products with THC? If so, there’s some risk of cross contaminations.

● Is this product made with “full-spectrum CBD” or “whole-plant CBD?” If so, it’s more likely to contain other cannabinoids like THC. “CBD isolates,” on the other hand, indicate that only CBD is present. Look for lab test results that contain this.

● The more often you consume a product and the more of it you consume, the more any traces of THC will start to add up in your system. Legal CBD products can contain less than 0.3% of THC, but even those small amounts become significant once you consume a lot of the product.

Urine Tests and CBD

Another factor to consider is whether you’ll be screened with a hair test or urine test. THC can be detected in a urine test for up to four or more weeks, depending largely on how much of it is in your system, to begin with. It leaves the bloodstream within several hours, but THC metabolites can show up much further down the line. If you’ve been using a lot of CBD products for a while, there could be a buildup that will stay in your body for over 30 days.

Hair Tests and CBD

The main difference between these types of tests is the window of detection. While a urine test can detect drug use from the previous few days (again, depending on the level of consumption), hair follicle drug tests can often detect repeated drug use that occurred within a much larger period of time. Generally, hair tests are believed to extend back about three months. If you’re

interested in working as a professional CDL driver, it’s important to make sure you’re able to pass a drug test and in conclusion, we recommend avoiding CBD products entirely.

Image credit: Shuttershock/Monthira

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