After 18 years working as a bus driver for the Beaverton School District, Jeff Anderson was stunned to learn that he failed a drug test. Anderson began using CBD oil in November for psoriatic arthritis. While CBD isn’t something that employers test for, it turned out that the CBD oil he was using contained more THC than he was told.
Anderson took a required urine test in January, with the results showing 5-times more than the allowed amount of THC, according to Willamette Week. Due to the failed drug test, Anderson was forced to retire early. The Beaverton shop that Anderson visited to purchase the hemp CBD oil ensured him that the amount of THC in the product wouldn’t be detectable.
Anderson said, “I was empathetic when I walked into the dispensary that I can’t test positive for THC. My job was on the line, and I don’t know about this stuff. I’m not a biochemist. But I lost my job, I lost my health insurance for me and my daughter, I’m living on peanuts. And I don’t feel like I did anything wrong other than trust in a company.”
Here’s what Anderson wasn’t told – taking CBD oil multiple times a day for months at a time, even containing a miniscule amount of THC, can cause THC buildup in the body’s fat cells. Due to this, a positive THC result can occur.
Dr. Michelle Sexton said, “It’s entirely plausible. If he was taking it three times a day for months, we can only imagine what kind of accumulation might have been going on.”
The takeaway from Anderson’s story is to thoroughly read labels and testing results for CBD products. Some contain no THC while others contain a minimal amount of 0.3-percent or less. While the manufacturer of this particular CBD oil, Sun God Medicinals, warns people that a positive urinalysis for THC can occur, the retailer failed to inform the customer.
Mark Weir of Sun God Medicinals said, “We would never recommend to anybody that they use our product if they are subject to a drug test.”
The retailer, Green Mart, says it recommended the product to Anderson being aware of his probability of having to take urine tests.
Jami Arvon, manager of Green Mart, said, “I genuinely believe Sun God’s product is not the reason why he failed. If it is, I’m not a scientist, but I have anecdotal-only evidence that this product will not make you fail a drug test.”
Several other retailers also support the statement that using CBD products will not result in a positive THC result on a drug test.
Kim Bonner represented Mr. Anderson throughout his troubles with the school district.
She said, “I think he was misled. People don’t know that if you consume any kind of cannabis product, you’re going to have some level of THC involved, even if it says zero. Dispensaries should not be in the position of telling people you’re OK to go drive a school bus when legally you are not.”
*If you do use a CBD product that does contain trace amounts of THC, consider purchasing an over-the-counter drug test. If THC shows up, stop use of the product if your job tests for THC. If you choose to still use CBD products, consider having them independently tested to see if THC is detected, even in a trace amount.