Will Hemp Lotion Show Up On A Drug Test?
Hemp lotion is becoming increasingly popular for its many benefits for skin health. But one common concern people have is whether using hemp lotion could cause them to fail a drug test.
- What Is Hemp Lotion?
- Will Hemp Lotion Make Me Test Positive for THC?
- Factors That Influence Drug Test Results
- Types of Drug Tests and What They Detect
- How Drug Tests Work and What Causes False Positives
- Best Practices for Using Hemp Lotion Safely
- Should You Use Hemp Lotion?
- Summary: Hemp Lotion and Drug Tests
In this blog post, we'll take an in-depth look at whether hemp lotion can make you fail a drug test. We'll cover topics including:
- What is hemp lotion?
- Will hemp lotion make me test positive for THC?
- Factors that influence drug test results
- Types of drug tests and what they detect
- How drug tests work and what causes false positives
- Best practices for using hemp lotion safely
Let's start by understanding exactly what hemp lotion is and how it's made.
What Is Hemp Lotion?
Hemp lotion is a topical product made by infusing hemp seed oil or hemp extract into a lotion or cream base.
The hemp used in these products comes from the Cannabis sativa L. plant. However, it contains very low levels of the psychoactive compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Hemp used in lotions and other cosmetics must contain less than 0.3% THC by legal definition. This minuscule amount is not enough to cause any mind-altering effects.
Instead, hemp lotion provides benefits through other compounds in hemp:
- Fatty acids - Nourish and moisturize skin
- Vitamins - Antioxidant effects to reverse skin aging
- Chlorophyll - Anti-inflammatory and healing properties
- Cannabinoids - Interact with receptors through the endocannabinoid system for homeostasis
Now that we understand what hemp lotion is, the next question is...
Will Hemp Lotion Make Me Test Positive for THC?
This is the key concern most people have about using hemp-derived skin care products.
The short answer is: hemp lotion alone will not cause you to fail a drug test.
The extremely low THC content isn't enough to be detected on common drug screening. However, there are some important caveats we’ll cover next.
Factors That Influence Drug Test Results
While hemp lotion itself won't make you fail a drug test, there are some factors that can influence the accuracy of results:
1. Using Other CBD or Cannabis Products
Consuming CBD oil, edibles, vaping, smoking cannabis, or using other THC-containing products can put enough THC in your system to test positive. Hemp lotion alone won't do this, but combining products can.
2. Sensitivity of Drug Tests
Urine tests are most common and least sensitive with a 50 ng/mL THC cutoff. More sensitive tests like hair and blood testing can detect lower THC levels, but are less common.
3. Improper Hemp Sourcing
Rarely, incorrectly sourced "hemp" products exceed the 0.3% THC limit and could influence drug tests if used abundantly. Reputable brands ensure THC levels are legal.
Hemp plants can pick up trace THC from nearby marijuana plants. Poor growing and manufacturing processes increase the risk of cross-contamination.
So in summary, hemp lotion itself should not make you fail a test. But other factors like using additional CBD products or highly sensitive testing may influence the results.
Next, let's look at the types of drug tests and what they actually detect.
Types of Drug Tests and What They Detect
There are a few different methods employers, legal systems, and athletic programs use to screen for drug and alcohol use. What do these tests actually detect?
Urine drug screens are the most common type. They detect THC metabolites that get filtered out of blood through the kidneys and into urine.
Standard tests use an immunoassay with a 50 ng/mL cutoff for a positive THC result. This looks for the metabolite THC-COOH.
Urine tests can detect THC 1-30+ days after use depending on frequency. One-time use can be detected for 1-7 days.
Blood tests measure THC levels directly in circulating blood. THC only stays in blood for a few hours, so this detects very recent use.
These tests can be more sensitive with cutoffs between 1-10 ng/mL for THC. However, they are more invasive and less common than urine testing.
Hair follicle testing can detect repeated THC exposure over a longer timespan. THC and metabolites are deposited from blood into growing hair strands.
These tests are more expensive but can detect THC levels back 90 days or more. Cutoffs are in the 1 pg/mg range.
Some employers use oral fluid testing devices that collect saliva. These detect THC indicative of use within the past few hours up to two days.
The cutoff for a positive oral fluid test is typically around 10-50 ng/mL of THC.
As you can see, urine tests are most common but not the most sensitive. Next we'll look at how these drug screens actually work.
How Drug Tests Work and What Causes False Positives
Drug testing involves collecting a sample (urine, hair, etc.), screening for drugs and metabolites using an immunoassay, and confirming any positives with a more sensitive technique like mass spectrometry.
The initial screening uses antibodies that detect specific drugs and bind to them. This determines if a sample is negative or needs further testing.
Immunoassays are prone to more false positives. Other compounds similar to the target drug can bind and cause a positive.
Samples that come back positive on the immunoassay screening get sent for confirmation by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) or liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS).
These methods separate and definitively identify compounds by their mass and charge. This eliminates false positives and verifies a true positive result.
Causes of False Positives
- Cross-reactivity with similar compounds in immunoassay screening
- Using CBD products with inaccurate or falsified labels
- Contamination during manufacturing or testing processes
- Mixing up samples during collection or testing
To reduce the risk of a false positive from hemp lotion, it's crucial to choose products from brands that provide verified lab testing showing THC levels below legal cutoffs.
Best Practices for Using Hemp Lotion Safely
If you use hemp lotion or CBD products and are subject to drug testing, here are some tips to avoid issues:
- Source carefully - Only use lotions and oils from brands that provide COAs showing
- Avoid full spectrum hemp - Broad spectrum or CBD isolate products have THC removed and pose less risk of positives.
- Stop use before a test - Abstain from hemp products at least 72 hours before a drug screening.
- Don't try to cheat - Adding other chemicals and fluids can backfire by indicating tampering. It's best to be honest if a test comes back positive.
- Tell the tester - Disclose any hemp or CBD use to the organization doing the drug screening so they understand.
Following these best practices reduces the very low risk of legal hemp lotion causing a failed drug test. But does this mean your hemp lotion is 100% risk-free?
Should You Use Hemp Lotion?
There are no guarantees with drug testing. Even if you source CBD products carefully and avoid full spectrum hemp, there is always a slim chance of a false positive.
However, the risk from using high-quality, properly sourced hemp lotion is very low. As long as you aren't using other THC products, and your employer does confirmation testing, a positive result is unlikely.
And the benefits of hemp for your skin make it worth it for many people. Hemp lotion can:
- Soothe inflammation and irritation
- Reduce acne, eczema, and skin allergies
- Hydrate skin and improve elasticity
- Slow signs of aging from antioxidants
So should you use hemp lotion? For most people, the benefits outweigh the small risk of a false positive on a drug test. As always, it's smart to proceed with caution and choose products carefully. But you can use hemp lotion with confidence as long as you take the right precautions.
Summary: Hemp Lotion and Drug Tests
To wrap up, here are the key facts to remember:
- Hemp lotion alone will not make you fail a drug test - standard urine tests have a 50 ng/mL cutoff.
- Full spectrum hemp products carry more risk than broad spectrum and isolates.
- Stop using hemp/CBD at least 3 days before a drug test.
- Choose reputable brands that provide up-to-date COAs.
- Disclose hemp use to organizations doing the testing.
- Additional factors like medication and lifestyle can influence false positives.
- Though unlikely with precautions, false positives are still possible.
Using high-quality hemp lotion while following reasonable precautions poses very minimal risk of a positive drug screening. Don't let drug testing anxieties stop you from experiencing the many skin and health benefits that hemp offers.