You might not think drug tests are cause for concern when it comes to legal psychoactive cannabinoids. I mean, they’re legal on a federal level so they’ll show up on a drug test as legal ones right? Unfortunately, this may not be the case. Despite the 2018 Farm Bill ruling that cannabinoids with a 0.3% THC content or less are classified as federally legal, the mere presence of THC can be enough to throw a drug test. If you’re employed by companies who enforce random drug tests or require it for initial employment, you might be worried that your favorite psychoactive cannabinoid product may cost you your livelihood. In this article, I’ll be going over how THC affects the results of a drug test, different factors that can interfere with the results of a drug test, , and whether or not you can pass them. But first, let’s take a quick look at the cannabis plant and the wonderful compounds within it.
Cannabis: What Exactly Is It?
Cannabis has been a topic of hot debate for centuries and continues to be subjected to a wide range of opinions to this day. Much information regarding the plant is incorrect; to clarify things, it’s important to understand exactly what cannabis is. Cannabis is the mother plant of both marijuana and hemp. The difference lies in the total THC content; if the plant contains 0.3% THC, it is classified as hemp whereas marijuana contains substantially more. There is no scientific discernment between the two plants aside from this arbitrary number. When consumed in its raw form, marijuana has extremely intoxifying effects. On the other hand, hemp contains no psychoactive effects when consumed in its natural form.
Cannabinoids: What Are They?
The cannabis plant contains over 100 recognized compounds, both psychoactive and non-psychoactive. These compounds are called cannabinoids and are responsible for unique effects that are the result of being processed by the body’s natural endocannabinoid system. The most common cannabinoids are two you may already be familiar with: THC and CBD. THC is responsible for the debilitating effects that deliver a powerful high to the user while CBD has no effects and is touted for its health benefits. Other non-psychoactive cannabinoids include CBG, CBN, and others.
But it’s the psychoactive cannabinoids that garner the most interest. Delta-8 THC was one of the first popularized psychoactive cannabinoids and its wild success opened the doors for other compounds like Delta-10 THC, HHC, THC-O and more. These psychoactive cannabinoids require some form of chemical processing in order to become viable for use. Such processing is somewhat frowned upon, to the point where some states classify Delta-8 THC and other psychoactive compounds as being controlled substances and are subsequently banned. You should always check your local state laws before attempting to purchase or consume any product that contains a psychoactive cannabinoid. Now that you understand what cannabis is and what its compounds are, it’s time to talk about the dreaded topic of drug tests.
Drug Tests & How They Work
An upcoming drug test can be the cause of great mental anguish, especially if it's for initial employment or randomly implemented throughout your employment. Many users might incorrectly assume that since the psychoactive compounds consumed are legal, the test should reflect that in the results. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. That’s because drug tests only test for THC metabolites. What are those? THC metabolites are what remains after your body has finished processing any THC-containing compound. Usually there are quite a few THC metabolites present in your body after consuming marijuana (due to the high THC content) but they can also present when legal psychoactive cannabinoids (containing 0.3% THC or less) have been consumed.
Are There Specific Cannabinoids That Are Prone To Failing Drug Tests?
Certain psychoactive cannabinoids may have a higher chance of failing a drug test than others. For example, HHC is simply THC that has been saturated with hydrogen, much like how margarine is a hydrogenated form of butter. As such, your body may have to work harder to eradicate the THC and will produce more THC metabolites.
CBD, on the other hand, is a very common non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is found naturally in the hemp plant and does not require any chemical processing to become viable. CBD comes in three specific forms: broad-spectrum (contains little to no traces of THC), full-spectrum (may contain more easily detectable traces of THC since it is what is found naturally in the stalk and leaves), and isolate (all THC has been carefully removed and is the purest form of CBD).
How Psychoactive Cannabinoids Show Up Drug Tests
Depending on the cannabinoid consumed, there may be more THC metabolites present that work to eradicate the THC from the body. Keep in mind that all legal cannabinoids must have 0.3% THC or less on a dry weight basis and must be derived from federally legal hemp. However, the frequency that these legal cannabinoids are consumed, the total amount consumed, and type of product consumed can interfere with how long it takes the THC to be completely eradicated from your body.
Consider this: if you’ve never tried psychoactive compounds before, your body does not have a tolerance built up against THC and it won’t take very much to get you high. But if you accidentally take too many psychoactive gummies or inhale too much of a psychoactive cannabinoid-infused inhalable, you might get too high and experience overwhelming psychedelic effects. When you consume high amounts of THC, it takes your body longer to process the THC and will thus remain in your system for several weeks. If you consistently consume THC products, your body builds up a tolerance and it will require a complete cessation of THC consumption before your body completely purges itself of all THC metabolites.
Being subjected to drug tests can be stressful if you consume psychoactive cannabinoids for either recreational or medicinal reasons. Unfortunately, drug tests aren’t capable of discerning legal cannabinoids from regular marijuana: they only test for the presence of THC metabolites. Since legal cannabinoids do have a small percentage of THC (0.3% or less), there is a risk that you may fail a drug test if you’ve recently consumed cannabinoids. The type of cannabinoid-infused product consumed (either inhalable or edible) as well as the frequency the product is consumed can make a difference in whether or not the THC metabolites are detected.
Here at Two Hawk Hemp, we offer a wide range of both edible and inhalable products that have been infused with Delta-8 THC, Farm Bill Compliant Delta-9 THC, HHC, and THC-O. All our products are crafted with the finest hemp available and have been thoroughly tested by third-party independent labs to ensure purity and potency. Enjoy the smooth and relaxing highs of the cannabis plant that are both legal and effective! In my next article, I’ll be going over the different types of drug tests that are used. While you may be familiar with standard urine tests, there are four other types of drug tests that exist for specific uses. Be sure to check back soon for this and other articles focused on helping you understand the vast and beautiful world of cannabis.