Can taking hemp extract turn a clean drug test dirty?
There are still a lot of questions out there about CBD, or cannabidiol. It’s one of several cannabinoids that can be extracted from marijuana or hemp and it contains what proponents value for their medicinal qualities, without the THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, another cannabinoid in the plant that causes a “high.”
The number one question many folks have about CBD is whether or not consuming it will cause someone to flunk a drug screening.
That’s what I asked when I tried coffee infused with CBD at the Hemp on the Slope event in Collbran in July, from a vendor promoting CBD java called SteepFuze Coffee of Boulder.
The little paper cup of coffee didn’t really taste different to me than regular coffee and I didn’t feel unusual after drinking it. The company’s co-founder, Devin Jamroz, chatted with me about how he started it after experimenting with CBD to treat a snowboarding injury and found it mitigated his pain.
I asked Jamroz if I drank it every day, would I flunk a drug test?
He said he didn’t think so, but there were a lot of other factors to consider, the amount I would consume, the frequency, whether or not I would consume anything else that could compromise the test.
In short, he couldn’t guarantee that drinking CBD coffee every day wouldn’t show up somehow on a test. And that’s one of the main issues that people seem hesitant about when using CBD products, especially if they have jobs that require drug testing. The truth is that CBD isn’t regulated by the federal government and quality standards are really up to the individual companies who have sourced the extract, so honestly, unless there’s third-party testing involved, it’s hard to know what you’re buying.
I decided to give it a try, with the blessing of this newspaper’s publisher.
After all, I’m a perfect candidate. I’m what the industry calls a “non-consumer,” so I’m not going to skew the results with recreational use.
So, for the past 25 days, I’ve had a cup of CBD-infused coffee every morning, touted as “the world’s best full-spectrum CBD coffee.” The company says it uses pesticide-free, organically grown industrial hemp (which has less than .3 percent THC by law, so it really shouldn’t show up on a drug test). It wasn’t cheap at $59.99 per pound.
As suggested by SteepFuze, I used the French press or pour-over method to brew each cup, as using a filter would likely exclude the CBD oil from the drink.
Every day was pretty much the same. Brew, drink, repeat. Over the course of 25 days I used 10 1/8 oz. of the coffee beans.
Then I went to MCC Drug and Alcohol Screening and took a urinalysis drug test. Sarah Norfolk, the company’s office manager, told me she regularly has customers who order drug tests for themselves in cases like this, just to assure they will not be surprised with a positive result at work or when applying for jobs.
I did not test positive for THC during the quick test, which took about five minutes and resembles a pregnancy test, except lines appear for a negative result in this case.
That urine was sent to a second lab in Richmond, Virginia, for more extensive testing, but similarly came back negative.
So, in this case, I didn’t test positive for THC on what would be considered a workplace drug test after consuming CBD-infused coffee for 25 days.
Is this proof that all CBD products wouldn’t “show up” on a drug test? No. Because the manufacturers are largely self-regulating, though some do third-party testing and share their results, it’s hard to say whether you’re getting what you expect. The truth is that this is a very new industry and consumers are negotiating it carefully.
You might have different results with ingesting different products, but I can tell you I did not test positive in this experiment and I won’t worry about consuming a small amount of hemp-derived CBD if I choose to do so in the future.