WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorneys who use CBD products can still have professional consequences, as some of the products contain trace amounts of THC.
An NBC 4 study found that federal attorneys who use popular CBD oils for legal pain relief tested positive for THC during random drug tests and then had consequences including indefinite suspension and dismissal.
THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana, which is prohibited to use. CBD oil also comes from the cannabis plant, but does not make users high. Federal law allows hemp-derived CBD to contain trace amounts of THC.
"I am, & # 39; It was not marijuana, folks. & # 39; But I am caught between a rock and a hard place," a former federal attorney told NBC 4. "They cannot prove that I smoked marijuana, and I can't prove that I didn't. "
Don Mihalek, executive director of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, told NBC 4 that dozens of his members across the country have experienced similar situations.
"I don't think many agencies have really reached the point of dealing with it," he said.
Dr. Michael Kosnett, a medical toxicologist at the University of Colorado, told NBC 4 that it is not only a law enforcement issue, but also a problem with drug testing that has fallen behind the times.
"The problem right now is the test panel," he said. "Even with the sophisticated confirmatory testing, it does not look for the metabolite for CBD. It only looks for the metabolite for THC … It may not at all be enough to make the person feel high or drunk, but it's enough to get THC metabolized in the urine. "
Until the test catches up, Kosnett told NBC 4 that he advises all attorneys to stay away from all CBD products. Although the label claims that there is no THC in the product, it is sometimes not the case and there is no reason for a badly labeled product to become a career right, he said.
"Unless a person really knows and has confidence in the purity of the particular brand they have, they may get an unfortunate surprise on a urine drug test," he added.