Unlike its cousin marijuana, hemp contains only miniscule amounts of THC, the ingredient that gets you high. Because of this, hemp has many legitimate uses. It can be used to make fabrics and clothes, foods, and beauty products. It's even used as a construction material.
Now, if hemp does contain THC, no matter how little, can it actually cause a false positive for THC?
How Much THC Does Hemp Contain?
While industrial hemp is bred specifically for a low THC content, there is always a little in the plants. The seeds (which hemp oil is made from) contains no THC at all, but plant matter sometimes sticks to the seeds during the manufacturing process. This can mean THC concentrations of around 50 parts per million, not enough to get you high but maybe enough to fail a drug test.
Reputable manufacturers wash their hemp seeds before using them. This massively cuts down the amount of THC in their products.
Can I Fail a Hair Drug Test due to Hemp Oil?
If you've been using a shampoo or other hair product containing hemp oil, you will probably be okay. Hair tests typically look for THC metabolites, which can only be produced in the body. Unprocessed THC on the hair should not be detected.
If you want to be safe, consider switching to a normal shampoo before a hair drug test and maybe using a detox shampoo.
Some foods contain hemp seeds or hemp oil. For example, hemp seeds are often used in energy bars. Because you're eating them, the THC is processed by the liver and turned into metabolites. These metabolites are the same ones that hair drug tests look for, so there is a possibility of failing.
So, what are the chances of failing? If you've only been eating products that were made from clean seeds and tested for low THC content, your chances of failing are virtually zero.
However, if the food wasn't tested for THC, you might not be so safe. Hemp seeds and oil have triggered false positives in the past. The chances may be low, but it's still a possibility. Using a detox shampoo before a hair drug test will avoid a negative outcome.
What about Urine Tests?
Just like with hair tests, there have been cases of false positives where people eat food containing hemp seed or hemp oil.
Again, it all comes down to the quality of the food. If the seeds were washed thoroughly, and if the manufacturer monitors the THC levels, it should be fine. We say "should" here because we don't want to rule it out in all cases.
That said, some manufacturers are not so thorough, and some foods may have been imported from places where standards are low. If you're in any doubt, we suggest you take the precautions below:
Stop consuming any hemp products, including food and supplements, for as long as possible before a test.
Get a good detox drink. This will flush THC metabolites from your urine and enable you to pass the test.
Disputing a false positive can be an uphill struggle, because the testing labs often aren't willing to admit how flawed their tests are. Following the steps above should avoid this completely.