(WAOW) — Ryan has been applying to jobs for months. After filling out dozens of applications, he was offered a job that seemed like the perfect fit. But, he had to take a drug test before making it official.
The results of that drug test came back with a surprise: diluted THC.
THC is the compound in marijuana that causes a high; Ryan said he hasn’t used THC, but he has used CBD oil.
“It was suggested by my sister-in-law to try the CBD and it really helped my anxiety,” he said.
CBD, a derivative of hemp, was legalized federally in 2018. To be legal, however, it has to contain less that 0.3% THC (the compound in marijuana that causes a high). Since it’s such a small amount, Ryan never thought it would show up on a drug test. He said there was “no disclosure to THC being positive on a drug test. You know, that should be a warning.”
Josh Schrecker is a clinical pharmacist with Aegis and said there’s a few reasons why CBD may cause a false positive for THC. For example, it can depend on if the type of drug test used is presumptive or definitive.
“With your presumptive testing … depending on how sensitive that testing is, the CBD or cannabidiol may be structurally similar enough to flag as a false positive for THC,” Schrecker said.
He also warns that the THC levels in CBD products can be more that what the bottle reads.
“Unfortunately, there’s not as much oversight and regulation of the manufacturing of these products,” Schrecker said. “So, at times, theses products can have more THC than what is listen on them.”
Morgan Trone, the owner of Your CBD Store in Central Wisconsin said she “can’t stress enough the importance” of having third-party lab reports “if you’re worried about being tested.” Trone said those third-party lab reports can help confirm the levels of THC in a product.
If you are worried about being tested, Trone recommends being upfront with your boss or future employer about what you’re using.
But, even if a product has 0.3% or less THC, how the product is used and how much is used can cause elevated THC levels in your body.
“If somebody is vaping or smoking the cannabidiol oils … that could potentially contribute to the higher concentrations of THC and then potentially positive results on a definitive test,” Schrecker said.
However, as research advances, there’s hope so does the sensitivity of testing.
I think there’s definitely the possibility in the future that there would be the possibility of a hard and fast cutoff that would allow for differentiation,” Schrecker said.
Meanwhile, Ryan continues to look for a job and is no longer taking CBD. He said he’s a lot more tense because of that.
But he’s holding on to hope those advances in testing come soon so he can get back his relief from CBD without hurting his job prospects.