Will CBD Show Up On A Military Drug Test?

The short answer is No. But whether you will fail a military drug test while taking CBD depends on some important factors. Especially because a failed drug test could result in military discharge and job loss.

Like other drug tests, CBD alone will not cause a failed test. That’s because drug tests look for THC, not CBD. That being said, many CBD oils on the market do contain small amounts of THC. Although the amount of THC present in CBD won’t get you high, it can make you test positive on a drug test.

What’s The Difference Between CBD and THC?

CBD, known as cannabidiol, and THC, known as Tetrahydrocannabinol, are actually more similar than different. They both are derived from the cannabis plant, and they both are considered cannabinoids. 

There are over 80 types of cannabinoids present in cannabis, but CBD and THC are the most popular and well known. Many of the other cannabinoids are yet to be studied, however initial research indicates promising effects. 

The most important distinction between THC and CBD, is that THC is psychoactive (it gets people “high”), whereas CBD is non-psychoactive. Therefore, military drug tests look for THC because it is the compound that is considered a “drug” in cannabis. 

In 2018, hemp and CBD products became federally legal. However, in order for hemp plants and products to be legal, they must contain less than 0.3% THC. This amount of THC will not get you high, but it can make you test positive on a military drug test, as well as other drug tests. 

Does The Military Support The Use Of CBD?

Because CBD can make military personnel test positive on a drug test, the military discourages the use of CBD. In fact the military says “CBD is off limits for service members”. The situation is basically to use CBD at your own risk if you’re in the military, regardless of federal or state laws. 

The military wants to protect their service members from failing a drug test and losing their job. This means if you’re caught taking CBD, you could lose your job. They most likely way you would be caught for taking CBD would be a failed drug test. So, if you are committed to taking CBD, and you’re willing to take the risk, make sure your oil has Zero THC

So… Will Zero THC CBD Make You Fail A Military Drug Test?

Technically speaking, a zero THC CBD oil will not make you fail a military drug test. Like we spoke of above, military drug tests look for THC not CBD. However, the military has still put a ban on service members taking zero THC CBD (for now…). While that regulation remains in effect for Soldiers, it does not pertain to family members, federal civilian employees or contractors.

From what we have seen, the primary reason this regulation is in place, is because CBD is currently unregulated by the FDA. This means that the contents of some CBD oils are not accurately reflected by their labels.

Some lesser quality CBD oils contain heavy metals, pesticides, and higher levels of THC. A 2017 study by Marcel Bonn-Miller, Ph.D. looked at 84 CBD products sold online, and found that only 31% of the labels accurately reflected the CBD content and 21% contained THC, even when the labels claimed the oil had zero THC. 

This means, your “zero THC” CBD may actually have small amounts of THC. Although it is unlikely that the amount of THC will cause you to fail a military drug test, there is still a chance you could fail. 

So… If you are willing to take a risk on a zero THC CBD oil, make sure you are buying from a reputable brand. Ask the company for a 3rd party Certificate of Analysis (COA), and make sure to review the test results closely. 

Broad Spectrum CBD Vs. CBD Isolate

There are two types of Zero THC CBD on the market. Broad Spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. 

CBD isolate is just CBD. Nothing else. This tends to be the cheapest form of CBD on the market. However, it tends to be less effective than broad spectrum.

Broad Spectrum CBD has had all of the THC removed, but still has the terpenes, plant compounds and other cannabinoids present. This means, you can benefit from the “entourage effect”. This effect is when all the beneficial compounds found in Hemp work together to offer a synergistic effect. Broad Spectrum CBD tends to be more expensive, but quality over quantity is crucial in the world of CBD. 

What About CBD Creams and Salves?

The military has banned all CBD and hemp products from service members. This includes creams, salves and topicals. But, if you choose to apply CBD topicals for pain management, you don’t have to worry about drug tests. Topicals do not show up on military drug tests (or any drug test for that matter…). 

To Conclude…

  • CBD will not show up on a military drug test, but THC will. 
  • The US Military has banned service members from taking CBD, so take at your own risk. If you test positive for THC from the use of CBD, you could lose your job.
  • If you are a military service member and you choose to take CBD oil, make sure you choose a guaranteed Zero THC CBD oil, from a brand you can trust (unreliable brands may contain trace amounts of THC). 
  • For Zero THC, we recommend a broad spectrum CBD oil.