One of the most frequent questions we are asked about CBN and CBD products is “can CBN or CBD cause me to fail a drug test?” The easy answer is that you will only fail if the product you are using contains unacceptable levels of THC but in all fairness, there’s much more to it.
What follows is an in-depth explanation of how our bodies benefit from the use of cannabinoids and how they may or may not affect drug testing.
We develop diseases and illnesses because our body lacks or has an excess of something. This imbalance then causes symptoms.
For example, studies found that patients with anxiety disorders also have increased levels of excitatory neurotransmitters in the brain. These high levels cause toxicity in the brain. Toxicity then contributes to the various symptoms associated with anxiety disorder.
To relieve these symptoms, doctors prescribe medications to normalize the neurotransmitter imbalance. Once these levels reach homeostasis, symptoms can be controlled.
Now, our cells have endocannabinoid systems or ECS. These important biological systems play a vital role in promoting homeostasis. To activate these systems, our cells release its own cannabinoid-like compounds called endocannabinoids.
If there’s a neurotransmitter imbalance, the endocannabinoids activate the ECS. Once activated, the ECS “tells” the brain cells to reabsorb the excess neurotransmitter. It also “tells” the brain cells to release more inhibitory neurotransmitters to control the imbalance. Once balance is achieved, there will be a reduction in the anxiety symptoms.
Researchers found that ECS dysregulation contributes to the development of chronic medical conditions. They noted, too, that endocannabinoid deficiency also contributes to the progression of diseases and illnesses.
Now, this is where the cannabinoids from hemp plants come in. They basically fill in the deficiency. If the ECS lacks endocannabinoids to activate it, the cannabinoids take their place. Should there be high levels of endocannabinoids and cannabinoids in the body, some of the receptors “hide” inside the cells. Again, this protective mechanism of the ECS promotes balance.
Can you see now how we benefit, health wise, from the cannabinoids? And why some people with chronic medical problems need them?
This brings us to our current concern: drug test.
Why do you need drug tests?
There are several reasons why you’re asked to undergo drug testing.
- Some companies screen their applicants for illicit drug use. They don’t usually hire people with drug problems, especially if the job requires you to stay focused and alert.
- If you are on probation for alcohol and drug-related crimes, drug tests make sure that you’re sober.
- If you’re in a drug rehabilitation center and/or receiving treatment for drug addiction, drug tests make sure that you’re drug-free.
- This may seem petty, but some people are required by their family members to take a drug test to prove that they’re not on drugs.
But mostly though, drug tests are used in the workplace.
Naturally, this causes concerns in CBN oil users. Will CBN show up in drug tests? Will it affect their job application? Will they lose their job?
What shows up in a drug test?
Some hemp oil products contain rich amounts of pure, organic CBD. Some products even contain terpenes and other cannabinoids like CBN. However, some hemp oils do have trace amounts of THC, the major psychoactive cannabinoid in the plant.
Drug tests typically look for the active ingredients in cannabis, which are THC and its metabolites. So if the product contains high THC levels, you’ll test positive.
Some hemp CBD products though contain less than 0.3% THC, maybe even less. But you would have to consume large doses for THC and its metabolites to show up in a drug test. Think 1,000 to 2,000 mg of CBD daily! But to be sure though, a home urine drug test kit helps ease your worries.
However, if the hemp oil you’re taking contains pure, 100% CBD, you can breathe easy. CBD doesn’t show up on drug tests. Drug tests only look for THC, and CBD and THC are different cannabinoids.
Now, CBN is a different thing. While it produces no (or maybe just a little) psychoactive effects like CBD, CBN comes directly from THC’s degradation.
THC degrades into CBN when it’s exposed to air and sunlight for a long time. This is why you’ll see a higher CBN content in poorly-stored plants, compared to fresh ones.
Exposure to heat also converts THC into CBN. This is why we’re seeing more CBN products now. We no longer have to wait for THC to degrade so we can extract more CBN.
So to sum it up, CBN is a metabolite of THC, and drug tests look for THC and its primary metabolite.
Can CBN cause me to fail a urine drug test?
The liver is the major organ that metabolizes drugs. It processes the drugs and transforms them into their smaller forms called metabolites for faster and easier elimination. Most drugs pass through your liver before they’re excreted through urine, stool, sweat, etc. This, of course, includes cannabis and its cannabinoids.
When you consume cannabis, your liver immediately breaks it down into its metabolites. Two of its major metabolites are 11-OH-THC as well as THC-COOH.
11-OH-THC produces psychoactive effects. But THC-COOH does not. However, most blood and urine drug tests look for THC-COOH because it stays the longest in the system. It even stays longer in the body than THC, its parent molecule. Some studies reveal that THC-COOH can still be detected up to 90 days, maybe even more.
Most workplaces use urine drug testing. These drug tests are sensitive to THC-COOH, not CBN. So if you use CBN oil for your medical condition, it generally won’t produce a positive reading.
Can CBN cause me to fail a hair drug test?
Here’s where things get a little interesting.
One study showed that CBN and CBD can easily be detected in hair samples, compared to THC. However, there were limitations in the study that generated false positive readings.
For one, the hair samples were contaminated by external sources. Two, the screening procedure lacked sensitivity to THC.
To get a more accurate reading, THC-COOH must also be detected using conventional testing methods.
Can CBN cause me to fail a saliva drug test?
In one study, oral fluid specimens were collected from 10 adults who smoke cannabis daily. The researchers detected CBN and CBD in four specimens that contained the highest levels of THC.
But these cannabinoids were detected in a laboratory setting though. Conventional drug tests still look for THC-COOH, not CBN and CBD.
What are the factors to consider when buying CBN oils?
Testing positive in a drug test is a real concern for some CBN oil users, especially if you’re applying for a job. However, it should also be noted that most conventional drug tests only look THC-COOH. These drug tests are not sensitive to CBN or CBD, for that matter.
If you want to make sure that you won’t get a positive result in a drug test, then here are some factors to consider when buying CBN oils.
- Know your manufacturer. Make sure that they produce only organic, high-quality CBN products.
So check their website and read their product label. Pertinent information to look for includes product testing and certification from an accredited third-party laboratory. Their products should be safe and free from toxins. They should not be contaminated by bacteria, residual solvents, pesticides, mold, etc.
- Check the product’s ingredients. Know the cannabinoid and terpene potency of the product.
So in addition to CBN, does it also contain other cannabinoids and terpenes as well? If so, what are their dosages?
To avoid false positive results, choose THC-free CBN oil products. CBN oils with CBD and other terpenes are a great option. CBN works synergistically with CBD to relieve symptoms, while terpenes boost the effects of CBN and CBD.
How do you avoid conflict at work?
Many private companies are not required by law to test their employees for drugs. However, if you belong to a company that requires its employees to take drug tests, then it’s best that you have an open relationship with your company.
It’s your choice to disclose your medications before the scheduled drug test. But some employers do make an exception though for employees who are taking medical hemp oil.
If you’re unsure of your rights as a medical cannabis or hemp oil patient, then check with the labor department of your state. Some states have passed laws that protect patients. These state laws require employers to accommodate disabled employees, including patients using medical cannabis and hemp.
But if you’re worried that your CBN oil will affect your drug test, then discuss the option of adjusting your CBN dosage with your primary care physician.
Are cannabinoids the future of medicine?
Countless studies have already been done on CBD and THC, exploring their various medical uses. Unfortunately, we still lack studies on CBN and its effects on various diseases and illnesses. But what we do have show promising results. CBN has its own therapeutic effects (some of them even unique) that are equal to THC and CBD.
Cannabinoids are changing the future of medicine. How society looks at cannabinoids is also shifting quickly. Our current laws have to catch up with these changes as more people turn to medical cannabinoids as an alternative form of treatment. This includes workplaces and drug testing.
We may not yet fully understand how all the cannabinoids work. What we know about them now is just the tip of the iceberg. As we study and investigate these cannabinoids more, we might uncover other potential benefits that can help millions of people.
According to SleepReviewMag.com: a new study shows that a person taking the medicinal cannabis derivative cannabidiol (CBD) won’t fail a drug test for marijuana—but a person taking the emerging sleep aid cannabinol (CBN) will. These findings were presented at the 71st AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo, and could prevent people from being unfairly penalized for using CBN.