More Americans have legal access to CBD and cannabis-related products than ever before — but the cannabis plant is still a schedule I drug on a federal level. Hemp has become legal to grow across the nation, so many people who are still required to stay 0.0% THC or take drug tests as a stipulation for employment have come to rely on hemp-derived CBD. In some states, drug tests are a legal prerequisite before receiving state assistance like unemployment or food stamps.
At-home drug tests are easy to find and a far more affordable option than higher-end lab tests, costing anywhere from $5 to $30. If your work or benefits depend on the results of a drug test, though, you likely want more reassurance than what the outdated convenient store-bought drug tests can provide.
The reality is that even when you take 0.0% THC CBD, store-bought drug tests may result in a positive THC result. Here’s why.
Ways You Could Fail
There are just a few possibilities as to how you could fail a drug test, with the main reason being at-home drug tests are just not sophisticated enough to differentiate between the two cannabinoids. THC is the psychoactive component in cannabis plants, while CBD is the non-psychoactive alternative.
THC and CBD Similarities
Even though there are over 100 other cannabinoids, CBD and THC are what the receptors in the body interact with most; the other cannabinoids simply enhance or intensify CBD and THC’s effects. While there are some stark differences between CBD and THC, at-home drug tests may pick them up as cannabinoid substances all the same. Fortunately, the differentiation is established for more sophisticated drug tests, such as the ones used for workplaces.
Inaccuracies for Tests
Another possibility for why you might fail is that the drug test simply wasn’t accurate in general. For example, one of the most popular cannabis-specific drug tests, First Check, has almost half of its reviews on Amazon as one-star. People’s results are often inconsistent with the results they got for other tests taken, usually for their jobs. Whether they popped a false positive or a false negative the first time at home, the results were different for the more accurate tests at work.
Trace Amounts of THC
Another possibility is the Occam’s razor for the issue. Unless the company you’re buying from is 0.0% THC with the lab results to back it up, there is a maximum amount of 0.3% THC allowed for every CBD product. If customers take particularly large servings of that product, those trace amounts of THC can add up to trigger a positive on a drug test.
Why Store-Bought Tests Aren’t Working Anymore
Many people use store-bought drug tests as a preventative measure. Parents, for example, might drug test their teenage children if they suspect they’re under the influence. Likewise, others worried about testing positive on a drug test at school, work or for legal matters may run to store-bought tests just to make sure they’re in the clear. Unfortunately, with the sheer inaccuracies of many tests, they’re not a very good preventative measure.
On the contrary, they do more harm than good by creating false negatives or false positives. Imagine a teenager who has always stayed away from drugs getting a positive on a store-bought drug test and being dealt consequences all because the drug test itself is inaccurate. Or worse, imagine someone trying to get a job they’ve really been vying for. They take a store-bought test to make sure they’re in the clear and show a negative, but when they get to the job and take the more accurate lab tests, they reveal a positive result.
What Needs to Change
Store-bought drug tests and convenience store results are behind in the times. Unfortunately, popular drug test brands that sell to the mass market haven’t yet caught up with the most recent laws regarding CBD. As a result, they haven’t changed their tests to search for just THC. Instead, finding any cannabinoid in the body might set off a positive result.
With hemp-derived CBD legal across the country and CBD products running rampant in popularity, store-bought drug test brands have to change their formula or continue to be criticized for their inaccuracies.
CBD Oil Products from Joy Organics
Don’t rely on a drug test you can buy at a convenience store or grocery store if it comes down to your job, benefits, children or something else near and dear to you. If you have any questions about our 0.0% THC CBD products, please reach out to us — we’ll be in touch quickly.
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Hannah Smith is Joy Organics Director of Communications. She is driven by her passion for providing clear and accessible wellness and CBD education. In 2015, she received her BA in Media, Culture and the Arts from The King’s College in New York City and before Joy Organics, worked as writer and photographer in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Vice, Vox, Denver Post, and the Coloradoan.