Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers recently reported evidence from a study of six adults that a single vaping session of cannabis that has the same chemical composition as found in legal hemp products can produce positive results. It could possibly give in results on urine drug screening tests that are widely used by many school systems, criminal justice, and many employers.
Hemp is defined as a plant belonging to any crop of cannabis containing a maximum of 0.3% THC or less in dry weight according to the U.S. government. THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is a psychoactive chemical found in cannabis plants that causes a “high” among users. It tends to produce hallucinations and users often experience cognitive effects that are similar to marijuana.
Last year the U.S. government legalized hemp production and sale, which gave rise to a tremendous boom in the consumer market with CBD products flooding throughout the country. Hemp products such as vaping cartridges, oils, tincture, and hemp flowers for smoking can now be legally purchased in general retail stores, specialty stores and through various websites across the U.S.
Hemp is touted for its main ingredient- cannabinoid or CBD. Cannabidiol is an anti-inflammatory and non-psychoactive substance which is now being used by various industries in their products. Companies are joining the CBD bandwagon every day. Be it be a small-scale business or a giant global organization, every business leader is integrating CBD as a primary part of their product range.
The CBD market was estimated within a range of $600 million and $2 billion in sales, according to a New York-based investment bank Cowen & Co. Although the CBD industry seems to be flourishing with a billion-dollar future ahead, what’s bothering is the unregulated market that follows it.
Researchers reported in a paper published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology that two out of six study participants tested positive post a vaping session where the cannabis used contained 0.39% THC. The study used urine testing methods that are widely popular amongst school systems and police departments in drug-testing programs. The cannabis used in these vapes is illegal as it exceeds the federal limit for THC by 0.09%.
Ryan Vandrey, Ph.D. associate professor of behavioral sciences and psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said that the popularity of CBD is growing rapidly, and so is the unregulated market. But they want people to be aware of their choices when it comes to CBD products as most of them are unregulated and can result in positive drug tests.
Vandrey and some other researchers from the University of Pennsylvania had earlier showed in a JAMA study that about 21% of CBD/hemp-based products sold on the internet contained THC, without any mention of it on the product labels.
Trials have identified CBD to be a potent substance in reducing the symptoms of two rare and severe forms of pediatric epilepsy. The Food and Drug Administration has legalized only one medicine containing CBD for epilepsy which is known as Epidiolex.
However, there’s not much research and proof to back up the other medicinal claims of CBD. Despite this, many CBD product retailers and consumers believe in the medicinal potential of CBD and use it for a wide range of purposes. CBD can be applied in the form of an oil, patch, balm, gel or body lotion on muscles, it can be eaten in an edible product (e.g., chocolates, gummy bears, etc), or inhaled using “vape pens” similar to e-cigarettes.
The recent study entailed three women and three men with an average age of 31 years old for the research. The cannabis used in this research contained 10.5% CBD and 0.39% THC, a 27:1 proportion of CBD to THC, which is similar to what is often termed as legal CBD/hemp products.
During the study, the volunteers vaporized slightly less than 1 gram of cannabis, containing a total dosage of 100 milligrams of CBD and 3.7 milligrams of THC. Heated cannabis vapor was collected into a ballon, and then the participants inhaled it.
The results showed that a single session was enough to result in a positive drug test. Researchers advised consumers to be more conscious about their buying choices, especially when dealing with CBD products online and at local shops. CBD can be easily found anywhere these days and there’s almost no regulation on these products.