A common question is does hemp oil show up on a drug test? The simple answer is, it can but it depends on the type of hemp oil you’re using. We’ll get into that in the sections below. We’ll also discuss the various factors that could play a role in a positive drug test from using hemp oil products.
What do Drug Tests Look For?
Drug tests aren’t designed to detect cannabidiol (CBD), the main cannabinoid found in hemp. They can, however detect amounts of THC, including trace amounts and metabolites of THC. These tests are also designed to detect the presence of opioids, alcohol, heroin, cocaine and other dangerous substances.
If you are a cannabis user, the time in which THC will remain present in your body depends on multiple factors. Your metabolism is a single factor. Those with higher metabolisms may be able to metabolize THC out of their bodies a little faster.
Other factors include:
- Length of use
- Frequency of use
- Overall body mass
Here’s something you might not know – if your weight has fluctuated at all, and you’ve used a product containing any amount of THC, it could return a positive drug test. This is because your body stores THC in its fat cells.
Most employers and agencies are not testing for cannabinoids other than THC, but some companies do run full cannabinoid profiles – even if those cannabinoids are not intoxicating or impairing in any way.
Knowing your company’s policies is always ideal.
How Drug Tests Work
Employers and other agencies often conduct pre-employment drug screenings. Different types of drug tests look for different forms of a substance. Urinalysis tests, for example, screen for metabolites. Other types of tests, such as blood tests, will look for actual cannabinoids – like THC.
This is the most popular type of drug test. It’s the most affordable option and returns the fastest results. Test strips are inserted into the urine sample and the liquid soaks in. If the THC-COOH metabolite is present, this will return a positive drug screen result for THC.
THC-COOH is capable of being detected in urine samples for up to 3 weeks for frequent and heavy users – including those that use higher doses of full spectrum hemp oil.
Here’s another important note: Urinalysis tests only detect metabolites, not actual drugs. What this means is – the results can’t indicate impairment.
Hair Follicle Tests
These are more uncommon types of drug tests because the sample requires more time to process. It is also a more expensive test. Does hemp oil show up on hair follicle tests? No, because – again, this type of test only detects THC metabolites.
Hair follicles of 1.5-inches or less in length are capable of holding THC metabolites for as long as 90 days. It’s more likely for a regular cannabis user to have a positive hair follicle test than someone who is an occasional user or has just been around someone that was using cannabis. The metabolite binds itself to the hair shaft, which allows the metabolite to remain present for a period of time.
Hair follicle tests aren’t designed to look for the cannabinoid found in hemp oil.
Saliva tests do not check for cannabinoids other than THC. Since THC metabolites are not active, a positive saliva test would not be returned if only metabolites are present.
Hemp oil will not show up on a drug test if it is a saliva test, unless the product contains THC and has been used within the previous 2 hours before the test.
Blood tests are able to go more in-depth. So, if your employer tests for all cannabinoids, the hemp oil you use could return a positive cannabinoid presence. For those that only use cannabis on rare occasions, the presence of THC is likely only going to remain in your blood for about 24 hours. Heavier users may show the presence of THC for as long as 7 days or longer.
This is a very expensive drug test and most employers do not use it. This type of test is typically requested by law enforcement agencies to prove impairment.
False Positive Drug Test Results
Yes, false positive drug test results can happen. In cases of people using 1,000 mg or more daily of hemp oil that does contain 0.3% THC or less, a positive test can occur. This can also return a false positive result.
Hemp oil itself should not return a positive drug screening result.
Do Hemp Oil Products Contain THC?
Yes, some hemp oil products do contain THC. These products can legally contain up to 0.3% THC, although some states do allow a little more depending on their individual laws. If a hemp oil product says it’s THC-free, ask for proof to ensure that it is THC-free.
Type of Hemp Oil Matters
Why does the type of hemp oil matter when wondering if hemp oil shows up on a drug test? Here’s the thing, only 2 types of hemp oil are absolutely THC-free – hemp oil isolate and broad spectrum hemp oil from isolate. Both of these forms have had the THC completely removed via extraction and filtration processes.
Full spectrum hemp oil does contain up to 0.3% THC and can return a positive drug test. No, the cannabinoid in hemp oil CBD will not show up, but the THC could. Now, if you’re a microdosing hemp oil user with an active lifestyle and faster metabolism, you might be in the clear.
When it comes to broad spectrum hemp oil derived from full spectrum hemp oil, it will also contain some THC. It can contain as much as 0.3%, as with full spectrum. If a product is advertised as broad spectrum hemp oil, it is best to ask the manufacturer if it is full spectrum or isolate derived.
Reading Lab Results
If your hemp oil manufacturer posts lab results on its website, it is important to read them thoroughly. Different labs test for different amounts of cannabinoids. For example, you’ll see limit or level of quantification noted on a lab test result sheet. This may also be abbreviated to LOQ. Next, you’ll want to see what that particular lab’s level of quantification is. If it is 0.3% and the result is <LOQ, that does not mean that THC is not present, it simply means that the result is less than what the lab tests for.
Does hemp oil show up on a drug test? Yes, it can. Diligence in researching the products you’re purchasing is ideal. Ask questions, and when in doubt – give yourself a home drug test. Making informed purchases and knowing what drug tests look for can help you if or when the issue comes into play. It’s also best to keep your proof of purchase with the product, should it come into question too. This will allow the employer to read about the product themselves and determine that it is a non-intoxicating product.