Drug Test for CBD: Will I Fail the 10-Panel Drug Test by Taking CBD?

*This article is purely informational and does not constitute medical advice. Consult your healthcare provider about CBD.

10-panel drug test for CBD
10-panel drug test for CBD

10-Panel Drug Test for CBD

10-Panel Drug test for CBD  – Lafayette Police officer Bernard Anderson was fired from his job in June after a failed drug test to which he tested positive for a marijuana metabolite. After reasoning that he was using CBD (cannabidiol) as a supplement, the Lafayette Fire and Police Civil Service Board reinstated him with pay. 

Now, the city wants to fire him again saying that the Lafayette Consolidated Government has a zero-tolerance policy for substance abuse.

Allyson Prejean, Bernard’s lawyer argued that: 

  • There is no specific policy for CBD
  • The drug test neither confirms whether the THC metabolites found was from marijuana or the CBD product Bernard claims to consistently use

Anyone could be Bernard Anderson. Hence, let’s settle the debate on whether taking CBD products triggers a marijuana positive 10-panel drug test.   

What is the 10-panel Drug Screen?

The 10-panel drug screen tests for five of the most misused prescription drugs and five illicit drugs:

  • Amphetamines
  • Cannabis
  1. Marijuana (THC metabolites; CBD sometimes)
  2. Hashish (THC metabolites; CBD sometimes)
  3. Synthetic cannabinoids (synthetic marijuana, spice, K2)
  • Cocaine
  • Opioids
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Phencyclidine
  • Quaaludes
  • Propoxyphene
  • Methadone

The 10-panel drug screen usually uses urine as a sample but it can also be blood, saliva, or even hair.

Federal laws require the 10-panel drug test for employees working under the federal government and those in safety and security industries like Bernard. 

If your employer wants you to take the 10-panel drug test under no special circumstance, know your rights by checking your state laws. 

Will I Fail the 10-panel Drug Test by Taking CBD?

Unlikely but not impossible (just look at Bernard’s case). 

Why?  

CBD products do not solely contain CBD unless the formulation is truly “pure” or “isolate.”

Some formulations may still contain other cannabinoids like THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), terpenes, and other compounds naturally occurring in cannabis plants. 

THC is what makes users “high.” CBD on its own cannot cause high, that’s why in most cases, the detection of CBD in drug tests is not a serious concern.  

A type of CBD extract formulation called “isolate” only contains CBD in pure form. However, some CBD brands intentionally mislabel their products as “CBD isolate” even if their product actually isn’t. Some consumers fall into this trap. Be smarter than this. 

Important note: the 10-panel drug test on cannabis is designed to detect THC metabolites – THC-COOH. THC turns to THC-COOH when metabolized by the human body. 

In some cases, the 10-panel drug test can also detect metabolites from cannabinoids like CBD but it’s typically not a concern. There’s no clear policy stating the repercussions of detecting CBD metabolites in 10-panel drug tests. 

In a urine test, testing negative for THC does not always mean you have zero THC, this can also mean, you only have  50 ng/mL or below THC content in your body. 

To hit 50 ng/mL of THC and up, you need to take around 2,000 mg worth of CBD products that contain 0.3% or less of THC. This is higher than what an average human can take in a day. 

If I’m a CBD product user, what are the factors that would make it likely possible to fail the 10-panel drug testing?

  1. Consistent consumption of a CBD product with:
  • Cross-contamination – It’s possible for some products to get contaminated with unintended compounds like THC during the manufacturing process. Cross-contamination can also happen in homes and stores. 
  • Mislabeled packaging – CBD products aren’t consistently regulated in general. So expect some mislabeled products. Unless their product page has a Certificate of Analysis or COA (a comprehensive report submitted by third-party laboratories), don’t eagerly trust a product labeled “pure CBD” or “CBD isolate.” Unsure if you can interpret a COA well? Check this guide
  1. Consistent secondhand exposure to THC

A study confirmed that non-cannabis smokers can have traces of THC in their blood and urine after an hour-long exposure to cannabis smokers. 

Why is “consistent” the operative term?

The detection window of THC metabolites in a 10-panel drug test is 2 to 28 days after use. The detection window could stretch longer if the sample asked is a hair follicle. 

The detection window for THC metabolites is also lengthened by how frequently you use THC-laced CBD products. If you’re pretty “consistent” at it, your chances of failing the 10-panel drug tests are great.  

How can I prevent failing the 10-panel drug test even if I’m taking a CBD product?

  1. SAFEST BET: If you know, ahead of time, you’re about to go through the 10-panel drug test, it’s probably wise to stop taking any CBD product. If you absolutely need to keep taking that CBD product and its usage is legal in your state, you need to declare this information to your employer before the test. 
  1. Read product information – You can find it in the product’s packaging, pamphlet, or the product’s description page online. Here is the information to look for:
  • Where the extract is sourced: the CBD product should come from hemp, not marijuana. 

RELATED: How is CBD Extracted from Hemp? Which is the best method?

  • The state where hemp is grown: States like Oregon and Colorado have strict testing guidelines and are hemp industry ground zeroes so expect quality hemp from these places. 
  • CBD extract type of formulation: a CBD extract without any THC trace is identified as either isolate or broad-spectrum. Full-spectrum CBD extract has 0.3% THC. 
  • COA: Look for the percentage of THC content. 
  1. Do your research – Don’t be too trusting even if a brand seems clean on paper. Look for organic comments about the product from sites like Reddit or Quora. Don’t easily trust information from commercial blogs unless their reviews aren’t commission-based.   

“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

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