Will CBD Show Up On A Hair Follicle Test?
In the United States, drug testing has become a routine measure for legal, employment, and medical purposes. For that reason, many people are concerned about consuming CBD oil, out of fear for testing positive on a drug test.
This is a valid concern, as people’s livelihood and at times freedom, are on the line. There are several different routine drug tests, including urine, hair follicle, saliva, and blood tests. The most common being urine tests.
In this article we will be exploring the possibilities of CBD showing up on a hair follicle test. To begin, the chances of testing positive with CBD on a hair follicle test are VERY LOW. That’s because CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC. To begin, lets explore the nature of a hair follicle drug test.
What is a Hair Follicle Drug Test?
This type of drug test is when 1-2 inches of hair is taken from any part of the body. Commonly, it is taken from the head, however it can also be taken from legs, armpit, or anywhere there is hair on the body.
This hair is then tested for common prescription and illicit drugs, including:
- Marijuana (THC)
- amphetamines, including methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy), and MDEA (eve)
- opiates, such as heroin, codeine, and morphine
- phencyclidine (PCP)
These tests can be conducted to look for a specific drug, or they can test for a variety of drugs / drug classes.
A hair follicle drug test will generally test up to 3 months back, however it is not possible to know the exact time the drug was used, because hair growth varies from person-to-person.
How Accurate Is the Test?
Hair tests undergo a two-step process, however they are not 100% accurate.
There are several factors that determine accuracy, which include:
- Quantity of drugs consumed
- Bleaching / Coloring of hair
- Quantity of melanin in a person’s hair
- Drug compound structures
- Amount a person sweats
Shampoo / styling products do not affect results.
In 2015, researchers conducted a study in Baltimore, Maryland to determine the effectiveness of hair follicle drug tests.
The study examined self-reported drug use with the results of hair follicle tests, from 360 adults.
The study revealed that the hair follicle hair tests were accurate as follows:
- 52.3% of people who confirmed recent marijuana (THC) use
- 65.2% of people who confirmed recent cocaine use
- 24.2% of people who confirmed recent amphetamine use
- 2.9% of people who confirmed recent opioid use
In a 2017 study, a similar study of hair follicle drug tests with 3643 participants was conducted. Researchers found that the results produced more potential false negatives than false positives.
Due to results, researchers concluded that hair follicle drug tests were not reliable for testing drug use.
However, nonetheless, hair testing is a common practice.
Urine testing is more common and accurate, however it can only detect marijuana (THC) use in the last 30 days, rather than 3 months.
An important note, is that it takes 5-7 days for a substance to show up in a hair test. Whereas drugs will show up immediately in a urine test.
So… Will CBD Show Up On A Hair Test?
The most likely answer is no.
Currently, drug tests do not look for CBD. They look for CBD’s cousin THC. THC is the compound in marijuana that gets you high.
For those who are consuming CBD, there’s no need to fear that the CBD cannabinoid will show up on a hair follicle drug test.
However, there are some cases where CBD consumers have tested positive for THC. This is because many CBD products contain small amounts of THC (not nearly enough to get you high).
There have also been cases of false positives, because the various cannabinoids found in CBD products can confuse the tests. The simplest remedy for this is to request another test, such as a saliva or blood test.
CBD contains less than 0.3% THC. As it is, Hair follicle tests are not as accurate as urine tests for those who consume large amounts THC, let alone “micro” amounts.
However, we suggest airing on the side of caution if you are taking CBD and expect to undergo a hair follicle drug test. It is now commonplace to find zero THC CBD products, so we recommend consuming these sources of CBD rather than CBD with THC.
Some claim that THC and CBD produce an entourage effect, making the product more effective. We agree with this. However, if your livelihood and freedom is on the line, we suggest sticking to zero THC CBD, because you will still find benefits from CBD without THC.
Preparing For A Hair Follicle Drug Test
When it comes to CBD, THC and Hair Follicle drug tests, there is little one can do to “clean out” the THC before a test. The amount of the drug in your hair is “set in stone”.
Some people believe shaving or cutting their hair will avoid a positive result, however hair from all parts of the body can be used for testing (including leg hair). You would literally have to shave from head to toe – and that may look a little suspicious.
Bleaching or dying hair may influence the test results, however this is not a guarantee and in fact the chances are very low that this would actually change the results of a test.
The bottom line… If you anticipate a hair follicle drug test in the next 3 months, avoid any and all THC to air on the side of caution. Even CBD products with low amounts of THC! Unfortunately, CBD regulation is currently limited, so some CBD products may in fact contain more than 0.3% THC.
It is better to be safe than sorry, so we suggest focusing on Zero THC CBD oils, tinctures, vapes and sprays.