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CBD & THC Explained

Recent years have seen Cannabidiol (CBD) therapeutics explode in popularity.

The benefits of CBD oil are simple. If you suffer from chronic pain, CBD oil can help by stimulating cannabinoid receptors in the human central nervous system. As well as this, CBD oil can also help alleviate symptoms associated with conditions like depression and anxiety.

There is just one question. Isn’t CBD oil made from cannabis — and if so, can CBD oil make you high?

The Simple Answer is No

As it stands, CBD oil cannot make a person feel high. At least, not if CBD is properly isolated during the production process.

When people refer to Cannabidiol, people are actually referring to a group of over 113 known Cannabinoids that occur naturally in cannabis. However, only one of these Cannabinoids causes people to feel high when smoking or consuming marijuana.

The Cannabinoid that causes a cannabis ‘high’ is called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Technically, it is possible to create CBD oil that includes THC. However, pure CBD oil that is made available for therapeutic purposes, is usually made from hemp.

  • While hemp is a member of the Cannabis Sativa family, hemp naturally contains less than 0.3% percent THC.
  • Most states in the U.S. mandate that CBD oil cannot legally contain more than 0.3% THC.
  • As a general rule, 0.3% of THC is not enough to give rise to psychoactive effects, regardless of how it is consumed.

Now For The Bad News - CBD Can Make You Fail a Drug Test

By containing only trace amounts of THC, pure CBD oil is widely considered safe for therapeutic use all across the United States. 

Sadly, while CBD oil will not make you high, using CBD can make life a little complicated if you are ever subject to a drug test.

In late 2019, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that 0.3% THC in some CBD products can result in people testing positive for illicit drug use.

  • In the Johns Hopkins University study in question, six individuals were given commonly available CBD products.
  • During later urine testing for traces of cannabis, two of the six study participants tested positive for THC.
  • The Johns Hopkins study shows that using CBD oil may result in false-positive results when CBD users are tested for illicit drug use by law enforcement or employers.

Why Do CBD Oil Users Test Positive for Illicit Drug Use?

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are two likely reasons why some CBD oil users test positive for THC.

Over time, regular use of CBD therapeutics may result in trace amounts of THC starting to accumulate in the body. At the same time, the CBD industry itself is notorious for being poorly regulated.

In some cases, CBD oil bought online can contain greater than 0.38% levels of THC. Usually, slightly higher levels of THC still won’t be enough to cause psychoactive effects. However, higher levels being present do make some CBD products technically illegal.

How Can I Prevent False Positive Test Results?

Do you regularly use CBD oil? If so, you may want to avoid testing positive for illicit drug use by accident, by using home THC test strips. These will allow you to check your own THC levels in urine, the same way law enforcement or an employer might. You can read reviews of home test kits on websites like MedSignals.com.

In the event that THC test strips identify high THC levels, you will ideally want to change your CBD oil supplier or reduce your use of CBD oil. Moreover, self-testing should be considered vital if you do work in a field that may require random drug testing, or where your employability might suffer as a result of illicit drug charges being filed against you by law enforcement.


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