Despite the popularity CBD oil is having in the UK, there is still a lot of grey area and uncertainties, particularly with new users.
The most common is whether or not CBD shows up on a drug test, and if you can drive after taking CBD oil. In this blog, we dive into both factors and separate the facts from the myths to make sure you make informed decisions about CBD oil.
What is CBD?
For the sake of making the point, it's best to start with the bare basics. Understanding exactly what CBD goes a long way in understanding its effects if it can affect your driving skills and what its presence in the body means for you.
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It’s a compound found in cannabis plants like hemp or marijuana. The cannabis plant has over 100 different cannabinoids, but, CBD and THC are the most popular.
Why not also read: Can you take CBD oil on a plane?
In the UK, legal CBD oil is extracted from specially grown Hemp plants which have high yields of CBD and minimal THC. CBD has unique properties, one of them being its non-psychoactive nature. It doesn't make the user feel anxious or high, and it doesn't make your eyes look red.
These are properties which THC (a cousin to CBD) is known for. Unlike THC, which is often used for recreational purposes, CBD is used for its nutritional and medicinal benefits.
Does CBD Oil Contain THC?
Considering the two are found in the same plant, it’s logical to be worried about having THC in your CBD products inadvertently.
The legal regulations in the UK require CBD oil to have less than 0.2% of THC. These trace amounts of THC are not nearly enough to have any of the effects that come with taking marijuana.
If you’re really concerned and don’t want to have any THC in your system, you can opt for CBD isolate and CBD crystals which are 99% CBD and have all of the THC stripped from them.
When buying CBD from online shops, it’s also essential to make sure you only buy products that are extracted from Hemp plants.
Will CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?
CBD shouldn't show up on a drug test, however, most CBD brands have products that contain specific amounts of THC. This might show up on a drug test if there is enough THC in the products.
In rare cases, people using CBD might have a positive drug test simply based on the quality and composition of the products they are using. To avoid this, you should learn how to pick the right CBD products that will not result in a positive drug test.
How Much THC can Lead to a Positive Drug Test?
Drug tests are designed to test one of the primary metabolites of THC which is THC-COOH. In most cases, there are cut off values established.
Depending on the type of test and fluid tested, the cut-off value and the detection windows vary:
- Urine – Urine tests are usually conducted in the workplace. For the test to be positive, the concentration in the urine sample has to be 50nanograms per millilitre. With urine, the detection window varies depending on the concentration of the dose and the frequency of use. However, THC metabolites can be detectable between 3 to 15 days after use.
- Blood – Blood tests are less common mostly because THC is quickly expelled from the bloodstream. THC is only detectable in plasma for up to 5 hours but the metabolites can be detectable up to a week after use. In most cases, blood tests are conducted to indicated impairment at the current time for instance, when you’re driving under the influence.
- Hair – Hair follicle tests for THC are not common. There's no established cut-off limit for this type of test. However, the private industry has one set at one picogram per milligram. THC metabolites are detectable in high for up to 90 days.
As you can see, there's no drug test that test for CBD. That's why it's impossible for CBD to show up on a drug test. The only risk is taking CBD that is contaminated and has more than the acceptable amounts of THC which would result in a positive drug for the THC but not for CBD.
Can I Drive After Taking CBD?
Considering that CBD isn’t illegal and it doesn’t make you high, you must be wondering if it’s safe or even legal to drive after taking CBD. It’s a concern with many other drivers that also happen to be CBD lovers.
Some people experience drowsiness when they take CBD in high doses or headaches. If you experience such effects, you should consider revising your dose downwards. If that doesn’t help, you should avoid taking CBD before you drive.
From a legal perspective, it’s okay to use CBD before driving. CBD is not classified in the UK and it doesn’t have enough THC to make it illegal.
CBD oil is largely safe and doesn’t show up in drug tests. However, you need to be cautious about the CBD products you use and make sure you analyse the lab test results for each product before taking it. Make sure the THC levels are within the acceptable amounts and the product is sourced from quality hemp plants and extracted using competent methods.
If the product meets the legal standards, it’s safe to take without risks of it showing up on the drug test. In addition, because the effects of CBD oil don’t affect performance or function, it’s considered safe to take CBD when driving.
But, you should wait to see how you react to the product. If there are any effects that make you feel uncomfortable driving like drowsiness, you should consider lowering the dose. If that doesn’t help then you should avoid taking CBD before you drive.