Does CBN Show Up on a Drug Test?

While the world of cannabis, including its many cannabinoids and the hundreds of products available, is becoming increasingly accepted, one may be concerned about consumption and passing a drug test.

CBN and its metabolites can linger in the bloodstream and even in one’s hair follicles for up to three months after consumption. A study in 2019 found that while CBD users often won’t fail a drug test, those who consume high-CBN products might and do. 

This might be because CBN is a degraded version of THC: since the chemicals are structurally similar, CBN may be confused for THC on most drug tests. Read on to learn more about what to know about drug testing and CBN.

a lab with test tubes

Key Takeaways

  • CBN is the degraded form of THC and is chemically similar, meaning it might show as a false positive on a drug test.
  • Most drug tests don’t test for CBN, but it could still be a false positive for THC.
  • Exercise, hydration, and antioxidant tea can help clear CBN from your system.

CBN and Drug Tests

Cannabinol (CBN) is a compound found in the cannabis plant that interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system like THC and CBD do. Over time and via exposure to heat and light, THC degrades into CBN, making it chemically very similar to THC.

Most drug screenings don’t directly look for CBN; instead, they screen for:

  • THC and its metabolites
  • Opiates and opioids
  • Steroids
  • Cocaine
  • Barbituates
  • Amphetamines
  • Propoxyphene
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

Some individuals taking drug tests may have a prescription for one of the above substances. Those with such a prescription are more likely to receive a failed drug test, so be sure to speak with your doctor if you’re currently taking any prescription medications in the above categories.

Reasons for Failing a Drug Test with CBN

Most hemp-derived products contain less than 0.3% THC (the federally legal limit), with other cannabinoids like CBN in more detectable amounts. However, there’s some risk when taking full-spectrum hemp oils or other products with the smallest amount of THC that one could test positive for THC.

Because of their chemical similarity, CBN could easily be mistaken for THC metabolites on a less sophisticated drug test. The study mentioned above found that one needs at least 20 parts CBN to 1 part THC for a drug test not to show a positive result. As such, it’s essential to keep cannabinoid ratios in mind when searching for products and you know you have an upcoming drug test.

How to Pass a Drug Test While Using CBN

While legal CBN is not usually sought in most drug tests, it’s still possible to test positive for THC without consuming it or consuming only beneath the legal threshold. Some of the most valuable ways to prevent a false positive is by doing the following.

Use THC-free products

Keep delta-9 THC out of your system by choosing a CBN product containing 0% THC. While there’s still a chemical similarity, removing all traces of THC may improve your chance of not registering on a drug screening. Broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD products with CBN may also have trace amounts of THC, so opting for isolates may be the better choice.

Stop using CBN 2 weeks before test

Cessation of CBN use approximately two weeks before a test should give you enough time to flush most of the chemical’s metabolites from your system. Ideally, you should quit using CBN one to two months before a drug test to ensure you don’t produce a false positive result.

Be active and exercise

Exercising and flowing hydration can help your body more quickly flush cannabinoids out of your system. CBN and other cannabinoids are stored in your fat cells, and exercise can help burn off fat tissue and remove these compounds from the bloodstream. Sweating, whether by exercise or in a sauna, can also help cycle water through the body and get CBN out of your system.

To clarify, there’s no proof of being able to flush cannabinoids out of one’s body with exercise or seat. Exercise releases dormant cannabinoid metabolites from one’s fat cells, which can actually make you more likely to fail a drug screening. However, staying active, managing stress, and drinking plenty of water should reduce the likelihood of your body storing cannabinoids in the first place.

Drink tea

Some claim that herbal and green teas can help detox one’s body. While there’s little science to support this, teas contain plenty of antioxidants and could help flush cannabinoids and other particles out of your system faster. 

The Bottom Line

CBN users understandably want to avoid failing a drug test, especially when not consuming marijuana. A false positive can stop people from getting a job or obtaining needed medication, so avoiding a positive drug test is essential. If you regularly consume CBN and want to pass a drug test, it may be best to quit using a product a few weeks or months in advance, exercise, and get plenty of water. 

If you’re in the market for CBN products, explore our selection of CBN gummies at Evn.

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