Will Your Products Affect My Employers Drug Test?
The Short Answer
No – it is extremely unlikely that our products will cause you to fail a drugs test screening. We make absolutely sure to remove any traces of THC from the hemp crop, as close to zero as you can get. Don’t just take our word for it either, we regularly test our products in external labs for THC content.
Some of our laboratory analysis certificates here:
They key lines on these certificates are the “THC, THCA and CBN” as these are controlled substances. “BLQ” means Below Quantifiable Limit, which is 0.03% in this testing method.
However, we like to give full, honest and transparent answers so keep reading if you want to know more.
The Long Answer
To get the full image of drug test screening, why people fail them and what even goes into a drug test , we’ll cover pretty much every aspect of it here.
We’ll start with some background
THC, THCa & THCv
There are loads of cannabinoids found in CBD extracts, however these are the ones to watch out for. THC is a schedule 1 controlled substance and the other two are very similar. As such they can be a cause of concern for people wanting to try using CBD but are worried for failing drug tests required for work or sport.
THC – Full name delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, this ones the most prevalent cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant – its responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis. General UK regulations for cannabinoid products is for there to be’ no presence of THC’. A product is classed as exempt from THC if it contains less than 1 mg of THC, however at nordic we go for the absolute minimum THC levels we can, down to near zero (0.01% detection limit).
THCv – Tetrahydrocannabivarin. Less psychoactive than THC, some even argue against these claims at all. It’s presence in CBD extracts is much lower than most of the other cannabinoids.
THCa – The full abbreviation is tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. It is a cannabinoid closely related to THC. THCa is an inactivated precursor molecule, which means its normally produced before THC and is turned into THC through reactions with sunlight & heat. This means it does not cause any of the psychoactive effects of THC. Unfortunately, while THCa sounds innocent enough , your body will naturally process THCa into regular THC through your liver and so will show up on a drugs test.
The Different Kinds Of Drug Testing Methods
In the UK, the workplace cutoff values for THC values in a urine sample test is 50 ng/mL, and for hair follicle tests it’s 1 ng/mL.
We’re going to explain the different tests below and how some tests can be more susceptible to false-positive results than others.
Urine sample drug tests – These are the most common type of drug test used, as they are one of the least invasive methods of testing, and the lowest cost. It analyses the drug content of the urine by using a sort of competition. Simply put, they use the receptors that the illegal drugs commonly bind to, and include other molecules designed to be a marker to measure the concentration of drug or metabolite contained. This gives the drug test a number that can be effectively measured.
If the initial urine test flags up a positive result, a comprehensive urine sample drug test will then use further analytical equipment (GC-MS) to fully analyze the sample (it’s a lot of expensive science equipment). This normally can drastically reduce the chance of false-positive results caused by cannabinoids such as THCa or THCv, which could potentially cause a false flag positive in the initial test.
The federal workplace minimum cutoff value is 50ng/mL THC.
Home drug testing kits and why they can be a problem
The main problem with home drug testing kits is that they are much simpler than tests carried out by accredited laboratories. For starters, it’s a singular test that functions almost as a glorified dipstick test.
There are also other over the counter drugs that can cause false positive results for cannabis such as Non-Steroidal-Anti-Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) commonly used to treat inflammation and pain. Without having a second testing procedure to ensure the accuracy of the test, there is a possibility that THCa and THCv present in CBD oil could trigger a false positive result.
Hair sample drug test
A hair follicle drug test is a more advanced and sensitive screen that is less commonly used. Hair tests differ from urine tests as while urine tests can tell if drugs have been taken in the past few weeks or days, a hair follicle test can detect drug usage over 90 days. This is because the metabolites from drugs tend to move from the bloodstream into the hair in trace amounts that can be detected.
Like the urine sample test, the hair follicle test uses two separate tests to fully confirm a positive or negative result.
What About If I Use The CBD Muscle Rub?
Fear not – There is a lot of scientific literature that backs us up when we say that applications of ointments onto the skin will barely make it into the bloodstream. This is because your skin is the most amazing barrier to the outside world, and as such will prevent most of the contents of the CBD muscle rub from moving from the dermal and muscle layer. This means you get all the muscle-soothing benefits of the CBD muscle rub with absolutely no fear of failing any drug test. (If you want some proof here’s a paper that uses hemp oil with a much higher concentration of THC than our products and produces no positive result!)
What to do if you suspect you may have consumed THC from a cannabinoid product
Complete removal of trace levels of THC is expensive, and some companies find that saving the cost and leaving a little THC behind can increase the perceived strength, and even make it a little more addictive. UK guidelines allow up to 1 mg per item, which is quite a lot in regards to regular usage if you are in a job position that drug tests or a competing athlete.
As such you must always remember to make sure the CBD products you buy are THC-free and have the proof! Nordic Botanics will always be 100% transparent with our lab analysis results on our products so you can rest assured every measure has been taken to ensure our products are THC free.
If you suspect you have ingested THC from a CBD product that may not have eliminated all trace THC and are worried about a drugs test, we recommend taking no CBD products for a while, if you haven’t used the product often, the THC should leave your system fully by around the 2 week mark. If you have a drug test before that time-frame it may be worth letting your employer, the testing organisation know prior to the test.
Sublingual Dosing – Am I Doing It Right?
For the majority of CBD oil products on the market, the dosing method will mention to take it sublingually. For most people, this isn’t a common term used and we get a lot of questions asking how you properly take a sublingual dose, and what the reasoning is to use sublingual dosing. So this page will hopefully clear up some of the confusion, and help you get the most out of your product!
What’s Special About Sublingual Dosing?
First a definition of the term sublingual.
Sublingual is a fancy word with its roots in Latin – it’s literally defined as “under the tongue”. In medicine the term is used for any medicine or substance absorbed into the body through either a tablet, liquid, film or spray by being held under the tongue for a short time.
While there are definitely other ways to take CBD – there are benefits to sublingual entry into the body. Speed of absorption and the relative level of potency in the body achievable.
Absorption under the tongue is much faster than simply absorbing orally or through the skin. This is due to the mucous membrane being a huge bunch of capillary veins that allow small molecules such as CBD to diffuse directly into the bloodstream. This can take a very short amount of time (30-45 minutes to reach maximum bloodstream levels from a dose) which is perfect for when you want the effects of CBD immediately.
The absorption into the capillaries is also critical to the explanation of the second benefit of sublingual CBD. As compounds are absorbed into the bloodstream directly, they bypass entry through gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Anything that enters your body through your GI tract comes with the risk that the CBD content will be greatly reduced before it manages to make it into your bloodstream.
CBD passing through the stomach will be exposed to various enzymes, bile and stomach acid – which will all destroy or inactivate a percentage before it even passes out to the liver.
Once in the liver it will enter something called “First-pass metabolism”. This is your liver doing its job – inactivating and modifying any compounds that enter the body in order to make them nice and harmless to your body. The downside to this is it inactivates and ruins all that lovely CBD you’ve just spent your money on and you’ll end up getting much less bang for your buck in the long run.
The benefit of being absorbed directly into the blood stream through the capillaries bypasses first-pass metabolism, meaning increased potency of CBD doses can be achieved with much smaller doses.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Product
CBD taken sublingually will stay in the bloodstream at maximum levels for around 4-5 hours after a dose. Sometimes levels can last longer – it varies from person to person – another explanation could be that some slips down the throat and travels through your GI system, meaning some will enter the bloodstream gradually over time.
The Tried and Tested Method for Sublingual CBD
Using either a dropper or a spray, place one or two drops/sprays under your tongue. Then leave that under your tongue – you can swill it around your mouth to really get it absorbed in all the tissues and avoid saturating a specific area, then let it sit for a minute and then swallow. The whole process before swallowing should take around 1-2 minutes.
Here’s a little extra tip: Absorption rates can be higher shortly after eating. This is because all that chewing increases the blood flow around your mouth allowing the CBD to be absorbed by the capillaries quicker, nice!
Here’s a little diagram below:
Using these tips will ensure you can get a full strength hit of CBD when you need it, wherever you need it!
As always we recommend consulting a physician if you are at all unsure about taking CBD in conjunction with other medication, or to assist with any medical conditions.