Lawmakers confront questions about CBD usage and drug tests


NASHVILLE, Tenn (WKRN) – Can CBD usage lead to a positive drug test for THC – the chemical that causes a marijuana high?

Its a question that came up this week in the initial meeting of the state’s hemp task force made up of lawmakers from the Tennessee House and Senate.

“Do we have any data if you were a daily user of CBD…that it accumulates to the point where it may make your drug test positive?,” asked Sen. Richard Briggs of top officials from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

The ag department execs said they did not keep such data, but they had heard of such instances where levels of THC–the chemical that gives the marijuana high–showed up positive in a workplace drug test suggesting a person was smoking marijuana.

WKRN-TV reporter Linda Ong earlier this year talked with a Sumner county worker who said he had been taking CBD oil for back pain, but tested positive for THC during a routine drug test.

“Why is something legal that I could potentially lose my job for?” asked the worker who wished to remain anonymous.

The question on CBD usage mistaken for marijuana perplexed state lawmakers at the hemp task force meeting this week.

“How do we handle this because you can’t get a job if you test positive. Are we saying this is your mother’s first cousin sisters child to marijuana? ” asked Rep. Johnny Shaw to some laughter among task force members.

No of course was the answer, but plain spoken east Tennessee Senator Frank Niceley hopes science can help.

He says researchers shoud come up with a THC level that says you are on CBD below it and probably smoking marijuana above it.

While its not clear if lawmakers may tackle the issue next session, one of them said the dilemma might make a good PHD thesis for an ambitious agriculture student.

The task force met to deal with what has been an explosion of hemp growth in Tennessee over recent years.

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