On average, around 1.5% of American employers drug test their employees. The rate increases significantly if you work for the government or in healthcare, and many athletes are also tested for banned and illegal substances.
That begs the question: Can you pass a drug test after smoking CBD flowers? It’s legal, it’s generally not considered to be psychoactive (although many regular users would counter that claim), and it’s widely available. Regardless, will a little joint, bong, or vape lead to a failed test and some serious career complications?
Will Smoking Hemp Flowers Make You Fail a Drug Test?
CBD hemp flowers are bred to produce low levels of THC, a psychoactive compound that produces effects such as euphoria, sedation, and paranoia.
Federal law states that flowers with less than 0.3% THC are completely legal and can be smoked or eaten in most states (although there are some state laws forbidding the smoking of these flowers). It also means you won’t consume enough THC to trigger any of those effects.
The important thing to remember is that, although the THC levels are negligible, the substance could still be present enough to make you fail a drug test. It’s not quite that cut and dry, though, and you could be saved by a few technicalities.
When It’s Okay
Firstly, if you’re being tested by a current or prospective employer, they probably don’t care where the THC came from. You can show them receipts and make excuses, but it’s unlikely to make a difference.
When a boxer fails a drug test and blames it on tainted meat or supplements, do you believe them? Probably not, and you’ll likely get the same treatment.
However, not all drug tests are the same and while hemp flowers will likely lead to a failed blood or urine test, the same shouldn’t be true for a hair test.
Blood and urine tests will detect single use, uncovering even trace amounts of substances you have consumed within the last few days or so. Hair tests go back much further but are designed to detect chronic use.
You may fail a hair drug test if you spent the night smoking cannabis and then had a test several weeks later, but you should be okay if you only enjoy low-THC hemp flowers from time to time.
There is no guarantee though, and it’s best not to play dice with your career.
Why do Such Small Amounts Fail a Drug Test?
Drug tests are designed to look for specific chemicals and will detect those chemicals in the slightest of traces, even if they were consumed legally.
This creates a dilemma, as it means you can fail a drug test for cannabis even though you technically haven’t gotten high or broken the law.
You may think that this is a new problem stemming from the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, but it’s actually a problem that has existed for many years.
For example, tests also check for the presence of opioids, such as morphine, heroin, and codeine. Some of these chemicals are abused throughout the United States and are used both recreationally and therapeutically, but they may also be present in OTC painkilling preparations and cough syrups.
Even poppy seeds, which come from the same plant that produces opium latex, a substance that is ultimately processed into opiates like codeine and morphine, can trigger a false positive.
So, while drug tests don’t look for CBD or other cannabinoids, they do look for THC. Even the smallest amounts of this substance, which is found in hemp flowers, can lead to a positive test.
How to Avoid Failing a Drug Test with Hemp Flowers
Unfortunately, the only way you can guarantee a negative test is to stay away from THC, even in trace amounts. Some hemp flowers contain more of this compound than others, but even if you find a strain with less than 0.1% (and such strains do exist) there is no guarantee.
If you need to pass drug tests on a regular basis and can’t afford to fail, hemp flowers aren’t for you.