You’ve probably noticed a fast-growing interest in THC cannabinoids derived from the hemp plant, like delta 8, delta 9, delta 10, THC-O, THC-P, and THCV. These psychoactive derivatives can get us high while being federally legal and easy to purchase online, so it’s not surprising that they’re hugely popular, especially in vape form.
A lot of these vaping products combine THC with CBD to offer a well-balanced cannabinoid experience. While they are legal, the question is whether or not they can influence the results of a drug test.
The Short Answer: Yes
Basically, any time you consume a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compound, you put yourself at a decent risk of failing a drug test. A common mistaken belief is that drug tests are looking for traces of the marijuana plant. What they’re actually looking for is an enzyme in the body known as THC-COOH, which does metabolize the delta 9 THC in marijuana, but it also metabolizes every other THC compound in cannabis, including the hemp-derived ones that are taking over today’s market. If you’ve consumed THC in any form recently, there’s a good likelihood that THC-COOH is present in your body, in detectable enough levels to lead to a failed drug test result.
The most common type of drug test looking for THC-COOH is a urine-based test, used by 90% of employers who do test their employees. A urine-based drug test can show TCH-COOH for 2 to about 60 days after it was last used, based on factors we’ll be getting into next.
The other fairly common type of test is a saliva test, used mainly by law enforcement, to determine if a person is driving under the influence. Unlike urine tests, saliva tests only show if THC has been consumed within the last 10 hours.
What Can Make a Difference in Failing and Passing?
Now, how likely you are to fail a urine-based drug test depends on a few things. Let us cover each one to give you an idea of what your personal risk level may be.
When You Last Vaped: The last time you vaped a THC-CBD product has a lot to do with your risk. About 50% of THC is metabolized within 30 minutes of peak absorption, and another 25% by the time the high wears off. What remains is the final 25% which metabolizes far more slowly over several days. But, if you’re vaping THC constantly, there’s going to be a big buildup in the system that will require even more time to break down. If it’s been at least a month since your last usage, you’re probably in the clear.
How Much You Vaped: Dosage, of course, plays a big role. The higher the dose of THC, the longer it will take for THC-COOH to fully metabolize it.
How Frequently You Vaped: Like we just touched upon, the more frequently you consume THC, the longer THC-COOH will remain in the system after your last use. If you only consume THC on a very occasional basis, your chances are better if you stop entirely leading up to a drug test.
The Strength of the THC: THC-CBD vapes come in different ratios of THC to CBD. The more milligrams of THC are in the vape, the more you’re consuming, and the longer it will take to fully leave your system.
Your Metabolism: Your metabolism matters as well. Some of us metabolize THC faster than others, based on factors like our current health, our hydration levels, our immune function and even our hormones.
Keep in mind that there’s no proven way to flush THC out of your system using a detox product, cranberry juice, etc. While some people report success with these methods, they are simply not yet proven to be effective whatsoever.
THC and Drug-Testing: Better Safe Than Sorry
Overall, if you have a drug test coming up soon, you should avoid THC-CBD vapes and other products that contain THC cannabinoids, even if they’re legal. The risk is too high, and simply failing a drug test can have some pretty serious implications related to your livelihood. Basically, while it’s not guaranteed that you’ll fail, it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially if your job depends on it