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Will Vaping CBD Show Up in A Drug Test?

CBD vaping is a legal activity. Not only that, it also appears to have many health benefits. However, CBD disposable vape was not always legal. CBD vaping became legal in the UK only in the 21st century, when researchers realized it is safe and does not cause a high. So, will vaping CBD show up in a drug test?

This is a relevant question since CBD is extracted from cannabis plants. Using cannabis or smoking marijuana is still illegal in the UK. Even in nations where smoking weed is legal, one cannot drive or participate in sports or other activities if using cannabis. Thus, drug tests to confirm cannabis use are common.

Understanding CBD

To fully understand whether CBD will appear in a drug test or not, one would need to understand a few things.

Firstly, one must understand that CBD (cannabidiol) does not cause a high. Cannabis plants have hundreds of cannabinoids. However, two major cannabinoids are CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Other cannabinoids are present in minute amounts in the plant.[1]

Though both CBD and THC are present in the same plant, they are very different. In fact, many cannabinoids have an opposing action and CBD and THC are a good example of that.

A high caused by smoking a week occurs mainly due to THC. CBD, on the other hand, has just a relaxing effect. Thus, CBD has quite the opposite effect to THC. Hence, legally sold CBD vapes contain CBD only (CBD isolate) or THC in minute amounts. The maximum permissible amount of THC in legal vape is 0.2% or 1mg as per the Misuse of Drugs Act.[2]

Yes, that is quite a minute amount. At such a small dosage, THC cannot cause euphoria. However, it may add to the health benefits of CBD. This occurs due to the “entourage effect.” It means that even in small amounts, THC can boost and modulate certain CBD actions.[3]

Secondly, it is vital to understand that though recreational cannabis and CBD are extracted from the same plant species, that is, the cannabis plant, but there is a difference.

The sources of recreational cannabis are plants naturally high in THC. However, the source of CBD is legally cultivated hemp. Hemp is a sub-variety of cannabis that is naturally very low in THC.[4]

Simply said, legal vape has traces of THC (below 0.2% or 1mg), a substance that causes high. Legal CBD is an extract of hemp plant that is different from cannabis varieties used for recreation.

Drug Test and CBD

Now, coming to our primary question. Will vaping CBD show up in drug test? As a rule, “No.”

Modern drug tests are very sensitive and specific today. Since they are specific, it is good news. However, they are also sensitive, which is not essentially very good news.

Drug tests look for THC levels in the blood. It means that these tests can detect even minute amounts of THC blood levels.

However, because these drug tests only react to THC, they would not respond to CBD. It means that CBD vaping will not result in a positive drug test. This is especially true for vapes that contain CBD isolate and are THC-free.

However, there are also CBD vapes that contain broad-spectrum CBD. Such vapes also have minute amounts of THC (below 0.2%). Since modern tests are very sensitive, there is a theoretical risk that they might detect THC, and thus, a lab may wrongly conclude that a person has consumed or used a weed or marijuana.

However, in practice, the chances of drug tests coming positive after vaping are almost nil. This is because legally produced vapes have very minute amounts of THC (less than 0.03%). Such a minute amount of THC is metabolized in a very short time. Moreover, a small dose of THC would not appear in a drug test.

Will a CBD vape fail a drug test? No, it will not fail. Most vapes contain CBD isolate and thus are naturally THC-free. Even those vapes that contain THC have it in minute amounts, which does not show in drug tests.

It is vital to remember that drug tests look for THC, not CBD.

Tips for Avoiding a Positive Drug Test Result

Remember that if you use high-quality legal vape pens, they will not show up in drug tests. However, many low-quality products intentionally add higher THC amounts. This is because they want their users to get addicted to their products. This is the reason why we recommend using only high-quality CBD vape pens that were tested by third-party labs to ensure product quality.

  • Choose High-Quality CBD Products: Select CBD products from reputable manufacturers who provide lab-tested products with less than 0.3% THC.
  • Check Lab Reports: Always review third-party lab reports to verify the THC content of the CBD product you plan to use.
  • Follow Dosage Recommendations: Adhere to the recommended dosage and usage guidelines provided by the manufacturer.
  • Consider Alternative Consumption Methods: If you’re concerned about drug testing, you may want to explore alternative CBD consumption methods, such as edibles or topicals, which have a slower absorption rate and may reduce the risk of trace THC detection.
  • Inform Your Employer or Testing Authority: If you are subject to drug testing, informing your employer or testing authority about your CBD use is essential, ensuring transparency and potentially avoiding any confusion or concerns.

Remember, some drug tests are too sensitive. That is why we recommend that you share the information about CBD use with a lab or testing authority to avoid confusion.

The Bottom Line

While the likelihood of vaping CBD leading to a positive drug test result is minimal when using high-quality, THC-compliant products as directed, it’s crucial to be aware of the factors that can influence the outcome.

By understanding the source and quality of your CBD products, your consumption method, dosage, and individual variations, you can take proactive steps to minimize the risk of a positive drug test result while enjoying the potential health benefits of CBD.

Transparency, education, and responsible usage are key to maintaining a harmonious balance between your CBD regimen and drug testing requirements.

References

  1. Cannabis (Marijuana) and Cannabinoids: What You Need To Know [Internet]. NCCIH. [cited 2023 Oct 22]. Available from: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/cannabis-marijuana-and-cannabinoids-what-you-need-to-know.
  2. Drug licensing factsheet: cannabis, CBD and other cannabinoids [Internet]. GOV.UK. [cited 2023 Oct 22]. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cannabis-cbd-and-other-cannabinoids-drug-licensing-factsheet/drug-licensing-factsheet-cannabis-cbd-and-other-cannabinoids.
  3. Ferber SG, Namdar D, Hen-Shoval D, et al. The “Entourage Effect”: Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2020;18:87–96.
  4. Industrial hemp licensing: factsheet [Internet]. GOV.UK. [cited 2023 Oct 22]. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/industrial-hemp-licensing-guidance/industrial-hemp-licensing-factsheet.
Dr Preet Pal Singh Bhinder

This article was authored by: Dr. Preet Pal Singh Bhinder.

This article was peer-reviewed by Dr M Mansoor Siddique (PhD). Dr Siddique has over eight years of experience working with CBD and CBD products.

Disclaimer: All of our products are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. It is recommended to check with doctor before starting a new dietary supplement program. All CBD products sold have less than 0.2% THC content and abide by both EU an UK law.

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