Imagine you’ve just discovered the seemingly miraculous benefits of CBD oil. You’ve heard it might alleviate your chronic pain, reduce anxiety, or even help you sleep better. You’re ready to give it a try, and then it hits you – will this show up on a drug test?
As a hard-working professional or dedicated athlete, you cannot afford a positive result. So, the question burning in your mind is: “Does CBD oil show up in a drug test in Australia?” This question becomes even more pressing given the rising popularity of CBD oil, coupled with the strict drug testing policies in the Land Down Under.
If this predicament sounds all too familiar, then read on. This article is an absolute must-read for you, and the information we’re about to share may drastically affect your decision.
Is CBD Legal In Australia?
Medicinal cannabis products have been legal in Australia since 2016 but fall under the classification of Schedule 4 drugs. This means that, in most cases, you can only obtain them legally with a prescription from a doctor.
However, since December 2020, low-dose CBD preparations have been down-scheduled from Schedule 4 to Schedule 3, making them available over the counter without a prescription if they meet specific criteria and are listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).
Driving under the influence of THC is illegal in Australia, as it will appear on urine and saliva drug tests.
- CBD Isolate products will not show up on a drug test.
- If your CBD product contains a small amount of THC, and you test positive for THC while driving, you will not be exempt from the consequences.
- You cannot lose your job by taking CBD Isolate products.
- CBD can stay in your system for as little as a few hours or as long as a month.
The Difference Between CBD and THC
CBD and THC are two important chemicals found in the cannabis plant. Both have healing properties, but they affect the mind differently. CBD does not make you feel “high” like cannabis, while THC is the main chemical that causes this feeling.
How Cannabis Drug Tests Work
Cannabis drug tests look for THC and its by-products in your body. There are various types of tests, such as urine, saliva, and blood tests. In Australia, urine and saliva tests are often used to find THC. These tests look for traces of THC rather than checking if you are currently affected by cannabis.
How CBD Oil Might Affect Drug Tests
CBD itself won’t show up on a drug test, but using CBD oil might still cause a positive result because of THC. This is because some CBD products, especially those labelled as “full-spectrum,” have small amounts of THC in them. The CBD industry isn’t well-regulated, so the amount of THC in a product might not be accurately labelled. This means that even if a CBD product says it has no THC, it might still have enough to cause a positive result on a drug test.
Does CBD Isolate Show Up on a Drug Test?
To answer the question outright, CBD Isolate oil will not show up on a drug test. Drug tests are not designed to detect CBD in your body, as the substance is not known to affect your judgement or driving ability in any way.
Does CBD Oil Contain THC?
The answer to this question depends on the type of CBD oil, as there are three main types of CBD oils:
- CBD Isolate oil: Obtained with a prescription, contains no THC at all. These products are made in government-approved facilities and often come with certificates detailing what compounds they contain and in what dosages.
- Full-Spectrum CBD oil: Contains a number of compounds found in the cannabis plant, including trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%). These tiny doses of THC are often not large enough to cause cannabis impairment. However, it is possible for these small amounts of THC to slowly build up in your system. Testing positive for THC, in this case, could still land you in trouble with the authorities.
- Broad-Spectrum CBD oil: Contains many compounds found in cannabis plants, but unlike full-spectrum products, they do not contain any THC. In Broad-Spectrum CBD oil, the THC is filtered out, so it will not show up on a police drug test.
Why You Should Check for a Certificate of Analysis
To avoid getting a positive result on a drug test because of THC in a CBD product, make sure to look for a Certificate of Analysis (CoA) when buying CBD. A CoA is a document from an independent lab that confirms what’s in a product, like the amount of CBD, THC, and if there are any harmful substances. By looking at the CoA, you can make sure the CBD product you’re using has no THC or only a very small amount that’s within the legal limit.
What Cannabis Products Show Up On Drug Tests?
The only compound found in cannabis plants that will show up on a drug test is THC. Medicinal cannabis products that contain THC include:
- Cannabis flower
- THC capsules
- THC oil
- Full-Spectrum cannabis oil
- THC crystals
- THC edibles
THC products are not illegal in Australia, and many medical cannabis patients have been prescribed products that contain therapeutic THC doses. It is important to note, though, that you cannot legally drive with THC in your system, even if you are a medical cannabis patient.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) requires doctors to discourage their patients from driving under the influence of THC. Unfortunately, driving is still illegal if you are not currently impaired by THC but have enough in your system for it to show up on a drug test.
How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?
There is no definitive answer for how long CBD will stay in someone’s system. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a month for CBD to leave the body entirely. This is because it depends on a multitude of factors, such as:
The amount of CBD you consume
The more CBD you take, the longer it will take to get out of your system. The same applies to THC and many other drugs and substances.
How often you consume CBD
CBD, THC, and the other compounds found in cannabis plants build up in the body over time if used frequently. If you only use medicinal cannabis products containing THC occasionally, CBD will get out of your system faster.
Everyone is different, which is why many drugs and substances affect people differently. Your weight, metabolic rate, water content, and fat content can all affect how long CBD will stay in your system.
Weight influences CBD metabolism, as it dissolves in fat; those with higher body fat may retain CBD longer, while individuals with lower body fat may eliminate it more quickly.
Metabolic rate also plays a role, with faster metabolisms processing and eliminating CBD more rapidly. Adequate hydration helps your body process CBD more efficiently by promoting kidney function and metabolism, while dehydration may prolong CBD’s presence in your system.
Finally, CBD’s lipophilic nature means it is attracted to fat cells, so those with higher fat content may retain CBD longer.
Your eating habits
The amount you eat, what you eat, and when you eat can all affect how long it takes CBD to leave your body. CBD takes longer to leave the body if you regularly take your medicinal cannabis supplement on a full stomach.
This also means that if you regularly eat a lot during the day, CBD will stay in your system longer.
The medicinal cannabis products you use
There are a few different ways for you to consume CBD, as there are many medicinal cannabis products on the market. Some of the products you can use that contain CBD include:
- Edibles, such as gummies or chocolate
- Creams and lotions
Medical cannabis products containing CBD, like pills and edibles, take a while to leave your system as they are metabolised. Lotions and creams are slow to enter and leave the body, and oils placed under the tongue quickly enter and leave the body.
Can You Get Fired For Taking CBD?
No, workplace drug tests do not detect CBD, so you will not be fired for taking a medical cannabis supplement that only contains CBD. However, the lines blur slightly when it comes to things like Full-Spectrum CBD products that contain small amounts of THC.
Before you take any THC or CBD products, you should check if your employer conducts workplace drug testing. Most employers will understand if your medicinal cannabis use will improve the quality of your life and productivity at work.
If you don’t inform your employer that you have been prescribed a medical cannabis product containing any amount of THC and your drug test is positive, you may lose your job.
If your job requires you to operate heavy machinery or drive, your employer will likely not condone your medical cannabis use. This is because you could endanger yourself and others if impaired while performing these tasks.
What To Do If You Fail A Drug Test Because of CBD Oil?
The answer to this question will differ depending on where the drug testing is taking place. The laws surrounding medicinal cannabis in the workplace can be quite vague and context-specific. Driving laws, on the other hand, are very clear.
If you took CBD oil containing small amounts of THC and didn’t inform your employer, you may lose your job, depending on the industry you work in. This usually only applies if you operate heavy machinery or drive for a living.
However, if your workplace has policies that allow for prescribed medication like opioids, then you might be able to file a complaint with the Fair Work Commission and fight your case.
If you are stopped by the police while driving and test positive for THC on a police drug test, then there isn’t much you can do. You will likely be arrested, have your license revoked, be issued a fine, and receive criminal charges.
This will still apply even if you only used a CBD product containing small amounts of THC, as the law states you cannot drive a vehicle if you have THC in your system.
How To Avoid A Positive CBD Drug Test
If you want to avoid testing positive for THC, you should ensure you are only taking a medicinal cannabis product prescribed by a doctor. If the prescribed product states that it does not contain THC, then it is extremely unlikely that you will test positive for THC.
If you are using over-the-counter CBD products, opt for Broad-Spectrum CBD oil or choose products that have been third-party tested to guarantee the absence of THC.
Additionally, follow these guidelines to minimize the risk of testing positive for THC:
- Understand the difference between CBD Isolate, Full-Spectrum, and Broad-Spectrum CBD oils and choose the appropriate product according to your needs and drug testing requirements.
- Always read product labels and verify the THC content before purchasing or consuming CBD products.
- Consult with your doctor or pharmacist about the best CBD product for your needs, especially if you are subjected to regular drug tests.
- Be aware of the policies and procedures of your workplace or any other institutions that require drug testing. Inform them of your CBD use, especially if you have a prescription for medical cannabis.
- Keep track of your CBD consumption and the frequency at which you use it. This can help you understand how your body processes CBD and how long it may remain in your system.
Following these guidelines and choosing the right CBD product for your needs can minimize the risk of testing positive for THC in a drug test.
Does Broad Spectrum CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?
Broad Spectrum CBD typically doesn’t show up on a drug test. This is because Broad Spectrum CBD products contain various compounds found in cannabis plants but exclude THC, the psychoactive compound that drug tests are designed to detect.
Since THC is filtered out in Broad Spectrum CBD oil, it should not cause a positive result on a drug test. However, it is essential to ensure that the product you are using is of high quality and truly THC-free to avoid any unexpected surprises.
Can CBD oil interact with other medications?
Yes, CBD oil has the potential to interact with various medications, which could result in altered effects or changes in drug levels within your body. This occurs because CBD can influence the way your body processes certain medications through the liver by inhibiting or inducing the activity of specific enzymes known as cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes.
Some common medications that may interact with CBD oil include blood thinners, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and certain anticonvulsants.
What types of drug tests are commonly used in Australia to detect THC?
In Australia, urine drug tests and saliva drug tests are commonly used to detect the presence of THC. These tests are designed to identify the THC metabolite rather than determine cannabis impairment.
How do I get a prescription for CBD oil in Australia?
You cannot go to a doctor and ask them to prescribe medicinal cannabis. If your doctor or another healthcare practitioner deems that medicinal cannabis will benefit your health, then they will prescribe it for you.
Can I use CBD oil for anxiety or depression in Australia?
In Australia, a doctor may prescribe CBD oil for anxiety or depression if they determine that medicinal cannabis could benefit your mental health. Always consult your healthcare practitioner for personalized advice and recommendations regarding CBD oil usage for anxiety or depression.