Will Hemp Cigarettes Appear On a Drug Test?

Hemp flower cigarettes are one of the best tobacco-free, nicotine-free alternatives to smoking you can find. While the physical act of smoking can help you wean off your rituals and routine, the CBD in hemp smokes can ease tension and help you relax in place of nicotine. 

However, hemp is still derived from the cannabis plant, and most hemp will contain a trace amount of THC up to levels of 0.3%. While this sounds minute, drug tests are made to be able to detect trace amounts of drugs.

So, with this in mind, will your hemp cigarettes appear on a drug test? 

Drug Tests

Drug tests are a method for employers, sports programs, or other entities to ensure an individual isn’t using drugs. 

There are six main types of drug tests you may find yourself having to take, including:

  • Urine Screening (the notorious test that involves peeing in a cup)
  • Oral Saliva Testing (when they swab your mouth)
  • Blood Tests (drawing blood)
  • Hair Follicle Tests (running tests on your hair)
  • Perspiration Tests (checking your sweat)
  • Breathalyzer Tests (checking your breath)

Urine screening is the most popular option since it is simple and doesn’t require a highly trained individual to administer. 

These samples will often be screened against:

  • Marijuana
  • Opioids, such as heroin, codeine, oxycodone, morphine, hydrocodone, and fentanyl
  • Steroids
  • Cocaine
  • Phencyclidine (PCP), known as angel dust
  • Barbiturates, such as phenobarbital and secobarbital
  • Amphetamines, including methamphetamine

Depending on the test, it may only take a trace amount of the substance to come up positive.

Failing a drug test often means losing your job or eligibility to participate in something. Marijuanna is highly visible during these drug tests, and remains detectable in most bodily samples for weeks at least. 

Will you lose everything smoking hemp flower even though it contains less than 0.3% THC? 

THC or CBD? 

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the compound found in hemp responsible for various health benefits, such as overall wellness and relaxation. CBD is often seen in very small amounts in the marijuana plant at around 1-2%, though some CBD-focused growers have developed hybrid plants reaching more than 12%. 

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, and is the substance which is most often tested for during drug testing. 

Hemp, by law, is regulated to less than 0.3% THC. 

Is 0.3% enough to fail a drug test? 

Why Do People Use Hemp Cigarettes?

While hemp is a great source for the production of countless products, it also plays a major role as a tobacco-free smoking alternative that helps smokers step away from tobacco and the effects of nicotine. 

Nicotine is an addictive substance found in tobacco, and is most commonly used in the form of smoking cigarettes. Like most addictive substances, nicotine makes your body feel good as it attaches to your brain's receptors and releases the hormone dopamine.

Helping With Cravings

Your body enjoys the way nicotine reactions feel, and begins to crave nicotine more and more until you can’t help but need another cigarette. This is known as addiction. 

Addiction plays multiple roles. First, is the chemical dependency. This is your body getting used to a specific chemical being around, and if it stops receiving the chemical, suffers from not having that chemical’s effects. This can be seen with mood swings, cold sweats, depression, and general aches and pains. These symptoms are known as withdrawals. 

Another role of addiction is the physical action of using, such as lifting a cigarette to your mouth. The body knows this action will lead to the chemical, so it constantly encourages you to do it. This is why smokers attempting to quit may switch to snacking, as it keeps the hand and mouth busy. 

Social interactions are another form of addiction, especially found with cigarettes. Over time, you create a group of smoking buddies that you take breaks with, and quitting could mean losing this normal schedule of spending time together. 

Hemp cigarettes allow you to step away from the chemical addiction of nicotine, while easing the cravings by maintaining the physical and social needs. While the lack of nicotine may send your body into withdrawals, they become easier to manage when you’re not fighting oral fixation, changing routine, and losing the relaxation of a smoke break all at once. 

Time For The Test

Hemp comes from the family of the cannabis sativa plant. While by law, each plant must test at less than 0.3% THC, this still raises the question if the THC will be detectable in your body during a drug test. 

Over time, continued use of THC products will increase how much THC is detectable at a given time. While using a small amount of marijuana could only be detectable for a few days, using a large amount or using continuously will cause a buildup, which will be detectable for weeks. 

At 0.3% THC, if you smoke frequently, it does have the potential to come up positive on a trace-sensitive drug test. 

While some tests may not focus on trace amounts of THC, some tests will. If you were to show trace amounts of THC on a drug test, it would be at the discretion of your tester to decide if you pass under the premise that you smoke hemp cigarettes.

All in all, in most cases, the chances of THC showing up on a drug test are not high if you smoke hemp cigarettes, though some tests do also now check for CBD use as well. The best thing you can do is be transparent with whoever has ordered the test and let them know what you’re currently working through. 

Cannabis Explained 

So, what links CBD and THC together, anyway? Aren’t hemp and marijana different plants? 

While the history of hemp and other cannabis products dates back over 10,000 years, understanding the basics can help you make choices that best fit your wants and goals. 

When looking at cannabis, you’ll find two main strains, Sativa and Indica. 

Indica once referred to cannabis that was grown in India, and focused on psychoactive effects thanks to its high THC levels. Sativa was cannabis that was grown across Europe, which was used for its health benefits, food, and manufacturing items such as clothing and ropes. 

Over time, these two main strains would be bred to create hybrids. Each strain found on the market today is named by which strain is dominant, followed by a percentage of the dominant strain. Sativa 70% would refer to a hybrid grown with 70% Sativa and 30% Indica. 

Over time, hemp would become a defining name referring to plants that were grown with 0.3% THC or less depending on the location. These crops would become popular worldwide, and were used in the production of paper, clothes, fabrics, and building materials while also being consumed for the plant fat-enriched seeds and wellness-boosting oils. These oils would also be used as beauty products to promote skin health. 

Throughout world history, hemp would remain vital for the growth of societies. Kings would even tax farmers that failed to grow hemp due to its importance. The first settlers in the U.S. colonies brought hemp seeds with them, and this wonder plant would help grow our nation up until the 1970’s when it was mistakenly outlawed due to its exaggerated link to marijuana. 

While hemp products are once again legalized thanks to the Farm Bill of 2018, 50 years of a war on drugs has created a misunderstanding of what hemp actually is compared to marijuana. 

Hemp Cigarettes 

While hemp cigarettes remain an amazing resource for individuals fighting with the addiction of smoking tobacco products, they should be used with the understanding that while the risk of hemp showing up on a drug test is slim, the possibility does exist. 

With more states legalizing the use of recreational marijuana, even if you’re not using marijuana, you may soon be protected for trace samples of THC found in full-spectrum hemp products. 


Is Nicotine Addictive? | NIH

Hemp is Now Legal | VOX

Drug Testing Methodologies | DISA