Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 13, 2023

If you’re familiar with our site, you’ve probably noticed that we often write articles related to passing cannabis tests in order to keep you updated on the newest research on cannabis drug testing and how to pass it. We’ve also made it clear that our posts are purely for informational purposes only and we’re not recommending cheating on drug tests to pass them.

Previously, we’ve covered subjects like whether secondhand weed smoke can fail a drug test, the amount of THC that will fail a drug test, as well as flushing your body using niacin, so drug tests aren’t a new topic for us. One topic we have yet to cover is whether consuming hemp seeds will result in a failed drug test. And that will be our focus in this article.

We all know that hemp seeds are quite popular in the health and fitness industry and more and more people are implementing them in their diet. Hemp seed products along with flax, chia, and poppy seeds are becoming one of the most popular supplements that nowadays you can find anywhere, from bagels to protein shakes. The use of hemp is also popular in the cosmetic industry and implemented in various lotions and skincare products. So, let’s dive into whether consuming hemp seeds or products like hemp protein will result in a positive drug test.

What Are Hemp Seeds?

Hemp seeds are derived from the hemp plant which is in the same family as the cannabis Sativa, cannabis Indica, and cannabis Ruderalis plants. Even though they come from the same family as cannabis plants, hemp plants don’t have the same cannabinoid levels as regular cannabis plants. 

The levels of THC in hemp are rather small, especially the strains of the industrial hemp plant which is used as a food source around the United States (and contains less than 0.3% THC). In general, the hemp plant contains low levels of the psychoactive cannabinoid delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and higher levels of the sedative cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD).

Hemp Seeds as a Complete Protein and Source of Fatty Acids

The reason why hemp seeds have made a boom in the health industry is that they’re highly nutritious, contain essential fatty acids, and are considered a complete protein source. 

Part of what makes hemp seeds and hemp seed oil a superfood are their contents. They contain large amounts of linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega 3 fatty acid) in an optimal ratio of 3:1 (omega-6 to omega-3) which helps with the absorption of these fatty acids.

They’re also a good protein source since 25% of the calories in hemp seeds come from high-quality protein. These seeds also contain all 9 of the essential amino acids including high amounts of methionine and cysteine, but also arginine and glutamic acid, which makes them a complete protein.

Will Hemp Seeds Cause You to Fail a Drug Test?

The short answer is no, but let’s elaborate. A study titled Evaluating the impact of hemp food consumption on workplace drug tests, which researched foods containing seeds or oil of the hemp plant, proved that not one person who ingested a dose of 0.45 mg of THC on a daily basis in various hemp food products, including hemp protein, hemp seeds, hemp oil, or hemp hearts, screened positive at the 50-ng/mL cutoff.  

The test was done by taking a urine sample from the subjects which got tested for the presence of THC and THC metabolites. Higher consumed doses had one or two positive results, but the conclusion was that the concentration of THC in hemp products is sufficiently low to prevent positive test results.

So, incorporating hemp seeds and hemp food products isn’t likely to result in you testing positive at your next mandatory urine test at work.

Will Hemp Seeds Show On the Drug Test?

Since the hemp plant has trace amounts of THC, a drug screen could pick up a low amount of it. However, this won’t cause you to fail the drug test as the federal guidelines are 50 ng/ml of cannabis metabolites which isn’t easily achievable through the ingestion of hemp products and hemp-based foods. Moreover, since the US federal guidelines require hemp products to have THC concentrations less than 0.3%, products need to comply with those regulations in order to be sold in stores around the US.

The previously mentioned study also tested subjects who consumed higher levels of THC through hemp seed products, and the highest THC-COOH (tetrahydrocannabinol metabolite) levels were 5.2 ng/mL, which is below the 15-ng/mL cutoff that is generally used in federal drug testing programs.

Are Hemp Seeds Legal in the US?

After the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC were legalized all over the US. Companies that sell CBD products are required to test them in third-party laboratories, after which the FDA evaluates the results and decides whether or not they comply with the regulations. The products that comply with the federal requirements can be found in dispensaries all around the US, in drugstore chains like Walgreens and CVS, as well as in online stores.

What Is the Verdict on Hemp Seeds?

To conclude this review of one of the most popular superfoods in the health industry today, we’ll state the most important facts about the hemp plant and hemp seeds:

  • Compared to the cannabis plant, the hemp plant contains lower, almost insignificant levels of the cannabinoid THC and higher levels of the cannabinoid CBD.
  • Hemp seeds are highly nutritious and contain high amounts of essential amino acids including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in an optimal ratio of 3:1 (omega-6 to omega-3).
  • Hemp seeds are a complete protein source since they contain all 9 of the essential amino acids, which is why they’re commonly used in protein powders and other food sources.

Hemp seed ingestion isn’t likely to get you a false positive on your drug test since you’d need to consume very large doses of hemp seed products to test positive (according to studies). So, enjoy your hemp products and plant-based hemp protein guilt-free.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.