Rockville, MD: Commercially available ingestible hemp products, such as oils and nutrition bars, are unlikely to contain significant enough quantities of THC to trigger a positive drug test, according to findings published in the July/August issue of the Journal of Analytical Toxicology.
Investigators at the Armed Forces Medical Examiners Office in Maryland assessed 79 separate hemp products for the presence of THC. (THC found in manufactured products is present via contamination from resin produced in the leaves and buds that come in contact with the seed shell.)
Products that were aqueous based (such as hemp tea or hemp beer) possessed trace levels of THC present (below 2.5 ng/ml) while several hemp oil products tested positive for higher amounts. However, these amounts, on average, were far lower than the levels of THC detected in similar products 10 to 15 years ago - when their ingestion was linked to positive drug test results.
More than half of the products tested possessed no detectable levels of THC.
"Results of the hemp products tested indicate the amount of THC present in commercially available products is significantly less in products available today than those reported in the past," authors concluded. "As a result, the probability that these products will produce urine THC metabolite levels greater than the [US federal guidelines] confirmation cutoff of 15 ng/ml is significantly reduced and should not be considered as a realistic cause for a positive urine analysis result."
Similar analysis conducted prior to 2001 found that certain hemp oil products contained sufficient THC levels to result in a positive drug test. Following these results, the Hemp Industries Association instituted so-called "Test Pledge" standards, a self-regulation program lowering trace THC levels in their products to levels that would no longer interfere with workplace drug testing regulations.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director. Full text of the study, "Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol content of commercially available hemp products," appears in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology.