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Arizona Poison Center warns CBD users they could test positive for marijuana drug THC

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 5:20 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Arizona poison centers are seeing a spike in calls lately from people wondering what’s going on. They want to know why they’re testing positive for the marijuana drug THC when they’ve only been taking products with the less potent chemical CBD.

Dr. Bryan Kuhn is a clinical toxicologist at Banner’s Poison and Drug Information Center. “It certainly could be that the excessive consumption of these CBD products, derived from industrial hemp, do lead to accumulation and a subsequent drug test result,” said Kuhn. “Or perhaps, as likely a scenario is consumers purchasing a product that they don’t know contains THC.”

CBD is often used to treat minor medical problems like chronic pain, anxiety and inflammation. CBD is considered an alternative to THC, the more powerful drug in marijuana. However, medical experts say CBD is not supposed to appear in any drug tests. So why are so many people testing positive?

Raul Molina is the co-founder of MINT Cannabis. He said that consumers need to realize that federal law allows up to 0.3% THC in any CBD product, so many people may not realize they are getting traces of the more powerful drug.

Molina recommends buying products from reputable dispensaries to ensure consumers know exactly what they are buying. “If the claim is exorbitant and crazy, it’s probably not something you want to follow up on,” said Molina. “If they are a national brand, you can tell by the package, and it’s not claiming it will cure everything that’s wrong with you, then that’s probably a safer bet.” He suggests reading the back of every bottle and CBD product and speaking to a trusted professional.

If a CBD product contains more than 0.3% THC, it’s not supposed to be sold.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story indicated that a CBD product may contain up to 3% THC. Federal law allows products to contain no more than 0.3% THC by weight.