New! Extended marijuana test analysis delivers CBD insights for MROs and drug program administrators.

Make more informed decisions when you hear "I take CBD" as a reason for a positive marijuana test result.

More and more, people who test positive for marijuana are playing the CBD (Cannabidiol) card. When they claim that the CBD they are taking for therapeutic reasons is the trigger for a positive result on a marijuana test they create a challenge for program administrators and MROs. The reality is that triggering a positive result on a marijuana test would require that a vast amount of a CBD (Cannabidiol) product be ingested. But the claim can cloud the issue.

Psychemedics helps clear that fog. Using mass spectrometry we analyze every sample that is confirmed positive for marijuana and provide insights as to whether CBD may have been a cause. These new insights help you stay in front of the “I took CBD” claim, make more informed policy decisions and have a candid discussion with an employee or student.

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. There are over 100 identified cannabinoids in that plant, with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) being the psychoactive cannabinoid present in marijuana. CBD is not considered psychoactive and is marketed heavily in liquid oil, capsule, or as dried cannabis.

Although not considered psychoactive, a product that claims to solely contain, or is augmented by, CBD can contain up to 5% THC; because of this some Psychemedics clients are asking for a means to determine if a positive result on a marijuana hair test may be caused by ingestion of one of these products. Increasingly, CBD is being used to augment food items, supplements, and may be ingested as a smokable oil or inhalant as well.

Is CBD clouding your drug policy?

Why Is This Such A Tricky Issue For Drug Program Administrators?

CBD is not psychoactive. It is not marijuana. It may, according to some researchers, have significant yet not well-understood positive health and wellness impacts. So why is this such a hot-button issue in 2019? There are several reasons:

Lack of oversight. The CBD industry is unregulated. There is no oversight over products, distribution channels or labeling claims.

Schedule I. Under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) any cannabis-derived product is a Schedule I drug. CBD falls into that category at the federal level.

Potential impacts on drug policy. Historically, many drug policies have assumed that any THC metabolite detected in a drug test was the result of ingestion by marijuana. CBD introduces a new consideration. For DOT-regulated roles where any Schedule I drug is prohibited, or where employers and educators have adopted zero-tolerance policies for THC there should be no impact. But for others, the possibility that a positive result for THC on a drug test is the result of either marijuana or CBD ingestion may require they rethink or reshape their policy.

State statutes. The legality of CBD varies state by state.

Testing. Although some employers or educators may implement zero tolerance policies for a positive result for C-THC regardless of source, others want to know whether the source may have been ingestion of marijuana or CBD. The Psychemedics test delivers one additional layer of insight to use when making a policy decision.

CBD Education

How Does Psychemedics Help?

We have introduced additional analysis on our marijuana test to give program administrators the insights that help them make confident policy decisions.

Some Psychemedics clients continue to report marijuana users claiming CBD used for therapeutic purposes as triggers for a positive result on a marijuana test. Armed with deeper insights into possible sources for that result, program administrators and MROs can make more confident policy decisions ensuring fairness to the individual while complying with policies.

Psychemedics delivers this insight by detecting the presence of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (cannabidiol), CBN (cannabinol), and THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) using mass spectrometry. This enables differentiation between THC that is the result of marijuana ingestion versus that which may have come from ingestion of a product that solely contains or is augmented by CBD.

Employers and educators can use the additional insights when making drug policy decisions.

4 Questions You Might Be Asking Yourself

Is this a new test?

No. This is not a new test but is additional analysis using mass spectrometry on all samples that return a confirmed positive result on a marijuana test.


You do not need to request this additional analysis. It is already part of our protocol.


What does this cost?

There is not an additional charge for this analysis. With people claiming CBD as a source for a positive marijuana test result we want to provide every possible insight to the program administrators and MRO’s making policy decisions every day.

What will my report say?

If the additional analysis using mass spectrometry meets certain conditions, we add the following notation to your report.


CBD cannot be ruled out as the cause of the positive results.”


Who do I contact?

You should contact your Psychemedics Account Representative or Client Services at 800-522-7424. They will answer any questions you might have about the test or how results will be reported.

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