False Positive: CBD use could affect drug tests
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) – The word cannabis may make many people think of marijuana but there is another type of the cannabis plant called hemp and it contains cannabidiol or CBD. And retailers are lining up to sell it.
“Hemp means that it’s cannabis with less than 0.03 percent THC,” said Ruston Henry, a longtime pharmacist and owner of H&W Drug Store which has locations around the city.
And there is a growing appetite for CBD. Henry sees it firsthand at his business. He sells prescription and over the counter CBD products, as well as medicinal marijuana which requires a recommendation, or a prescription from a physician.
“We’ve seen a bunch of people that’s coming get CBD. A bunch of people that’s getting the medical marijuana also,” Henry stated.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the cannabis sativa plant contains many compounds and CBD and THC are the most widely known.
THC produces the high associated with marijuana, but CBD is said to be non-psychoactive.
CBD has become popular because of claims that it helps with a long list of ailments including pain and anxiety.
As of 2019, certain hemp-derived CBD products are legal in Louisiana.
“As long as it is produced from hemp it can be sold at retail in Louisiana, so, what we have a lot of is pain creams and lotions and bath bombs and the little drops that you put under your tongue,” said Juana Lombard, Commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.
She said Louisiana is embracing the growing industry.
“Louisiana is one of the first states to actually permit the retail sale of CBD products over-the-counter,” said Lombard. “There are a lot of really good CBD products on the market.”
ATC issues permits to businesses to legally sell CBD products in Louisiana.
“In the last six months, we’ve licensed 1,400, over 1,400 businesses to sell CBD products,” said Lombard.
But sprouting alongside the CBD craze is caution.
The FDA says it has approved only one CBD product, a prescription drug to treat rare forms of epilepsy.
The agency also wrote that, “The FDA is concerned that people may mistakenly believe that trying CBD can’t hurt. The agency wants to be clear that we have seen only limited data about CBD’s safety and these data point to real risks that need to be considered.”
Dr. Benjamin Springgate, LSU Health’s Chief of Community and Population Medicine discussed the growing public interest in CBD.
“Sometimes people have symptoms from pain or anxiety, or nausea and these things may not respond to the medications, or the treatments that their doctors are offering so they’ll look for alternative solutions understandably,” he said.
However, Springgate said some medical claims related to CBD are being made without scientific evidence.
“You’ll read from A to Z, CBD can solve problems but there’s not necessarily proof that can support that,” he said.
He added that the FDA’s lack of approval for other CBD products should send a message to the general public about over the counter items.
“It says that they’re going out on a limb potentially. The science behind CBD says that there’s a specific form of rare childhood epilepsy that CBD can work for and it can work for safely, but all other things, whether it’s chronic pain or spasticity or nausea or anxiety or depression or a host of other things that people read about, or hear about from their friends, it doesn’t necessarily have the scientific analysis behind it and the benefits may not outweigh the risks in the end,” Springgate said.
He said dangerous interactions between CBD and other drugs are possible.
Certainly,” said Springgate. “And that can lead to unintended consequences where people may end up with a higher level of drug in their body and that can cause harm to them.”
And it turns out that CBD use can cause employment problems.
The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association whose members include FBI, DEA, ICE and Secret Service agents attests to that.
“We’ve seen some agencies have to discipline the members because of positive tests for narcotics use. And a lot of that has to do with the agencies don’t have the technology to differentiate between CBD oil THC and marijuana THC, so when they take the current drug testing procedures the agencies end up getting a result of positive THC content which most agencies’ standards require it to be disciplined at that point because it’s a positive drug test,” said Donald Mihalek, Executive Director of FLEOA.
And the U.S. Military has its guard up against the substance.
An Army spokesperson said the most recent Army Regulation 600-85 regarding the use of hemp products makes it clear that soldiers’ use of marijuana or any compound or derivative of it is strictly prohibited in the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The Air Force issued a release late last year stating that CBD products are not okay to use and that they may cause positive drug tests.
And in response to inquiries for this story, a Defense Department spokesperson said, “Since it is not possible to differentiate between THC derived from legal hemp products and illicit marijuana, and these hemp products could cause or contribute to a THC positive urinalysis result, the use of hemp products could effectively undermine the Department’s ability to identify illicit THC use from marijuana, which remains illegal at the Federal level.”
“I think the military probably has it right for right now because of the way the technology is,” Mihalek said.
Retailers are lining up to sell CBD products.
Marijuana Madness: This Is How CBD Oil Can Cause A Failed Drug Test
Cannabidiol, otherwise referred to as CBD is considered by a growing number of Americans to be the best thing since sliced bread. Not only does this non-intoxicating component of the cannabis plant provide people with relief from conditions ranging from anxiety to chronic pain, but it’s also mostly overlooked by law enforcement, in spite of its outlaw status in the eyes of the federal government.
But people are being told that they can consume CBD on a daily basis and never have to worry about failing a drug test. Unfortunately, this claim isn’t entirely valid. It turns out there is still a minute risk of failing a drug test when using CBD products. Sadly, it is impossible to know whether an individual is susceptible to this result until it is too late. There are many variables to consider.
Earlier this month, a woman from Atlanta, Georgia claims she lost a job opportunity because a pre-employment drug screen discovered THC metabolites coursing through her veins. But how could this be? She didn’t have a history of marijuana use. The only thing even remotely close to marijuana she consumed before the test was the CBD oil her doctor recommended as a way for her to combat anxiety and pain.
A report from WSB-TV 2 indicates that the woman, who has asked to remain anonymous, used CBD oil for two weeks before she was invited to submit a drug test for a new job. She thought she had nothing to worry about, up until human resources called to tell her she had been disqualified from the applicant pool due to a failed result.
“They expressed that I have a positive THC test,” the woman said. “I have never consumed marijuana in my life.”
Although the CBD compound itself will not lead to a failed drug test, Anthony Laborde of Discount Nutrition, which sells a variety of hemp-based CBD products, including the brand the woman reportedly used, says “it is one thing we warn our customers about, there’s a possibility.”
Because CBD products do contain a trace amount of THC (no more than 0.3 percent), he said, “there is always a possibility you could fail” a drug screen.
It is due to the inconsistencies associated with the manufacturing of CBD products that makes it impossible for the consumer to know what they are getting their hands on. Since none of the CBD products sold over the counter have been approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is relatively easy for pseudo cannabis companies to skimp on testing and other important quality controls.
In some cases, these products are not CBD at all.
Over the summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report showing that phony CBD merchandise was responsible for poisoning more than 50 people in Utah. A laboratory test showed they were not CBD, but rather “synthetic marijuana, often referred to as Spice and K2. Other reports from around the country surfaced later showing this was not an isolated incident.
“Having no idea of what’s in the product is absolutely unacceptable,” the woman said.
It is not common for CBD users to turn out a positive drug test for THC. Yet, sometimes when patients are consuming in upwards of 1,000 milligrams per day, it can trigger a false positive. The average CBD user typically only consumes between 120 to 160 milligrams daily. Still, Consumerlab president Tod Cooperman, whose company tests natural supplements like hemp-based CBD, says around 10 percent of those people who use CBD can test positive for THC. So, “it can happen, he said.
“It also depends on not just the product, but some people metabolize CBD differently,” he added.
When it comes to CBD it is always best to purchase these products from a reputable dealer. Due to their popularity, CBD products can now be found in convenience stores and trucks stops all over the country. While we are not saying that these products cannot be trusted, it is likely a better move to procure them from anywhere other than a 7-Eleven. Just saying. This may not better your chances of passing a drug test, but it could prevent any number of undesirable occurrences.
Be careful out there folks!
Mike Adams is a contributing writer for Forbes, Cannabis Now and BroBible. His work has also appeared in High Times. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
CBD oil is known for its therapeutic power against anxiety and pain. But it is also known to cause some users to fail drug tests.