CBD in Ohio

Cannabis and CBD


Cannabidiol (CBD) is produced from the cannabis plant.  Most people think of or consider cannabis and marijuana to be the same thing.  All marijuana is cannabis, but not all cannabis is marijuana.  Marijuana is only one product of many that can be produced from the cannabis plant.  Cannabis is an ancient crop that has been cultivated by humans for 1000s of years.  Cannabis is a very versatile plant.  Depending on how various cannabis strains are bred, how they are farmed, and how they are processed, a wide variety of both medicinal and non-medicinal products can be produced. 


Cannabis has more than 100 cannabinoids.  Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that act on receptors and naturally produced molecules in the brain.  The most common cannabinoid, which is produced in abundance in marijuana flowers, is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or (“THC”).  THC is the compound produced in marijuana that is responsible for the “high” experienced from smoking or eating cooked cannabis.  CBD is also a cannabinoid however; it does not produce a high.  CBD, like marijuana, is produced in the flower clusters of the female cannabis plant.  While CBD does not produce a high, like THC many people believe that it has numerous health benefits and supports functions of the Endocannabinoid System, related to mood, inflammation, pain, memory, immune system etc.


Marijuana and Hemp


The plant genus cannabis branches off into different types, namely marijuana and hemp.  As stated above many people will refer to the cannabis plant in general as marijuana. This is incorrect. A variety of products can be made from cannabis.  The term marijuana is correctly used to describe only the flowers of female cannabis plants that are cultivated from strains that are high in cannabinoids.  


Hemp, on the other hand, is a term generally used to describe the fibrous, seed-bearing crops that are low in cannabinoids but produce copious seeds and fibers.  This is commonly referred to as industrial hemp.  In order to meet the legal definition of hemp, a plant must produce less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. 


In recent years, strains of marijuana have been developed that meet the definition of hemp.  In order to delineate between these low-THC strains and marijuana, strains being used specifically to produce CBD oil are now referred to as hemp.  However, these are not strains of industrial hemp.  Rather they are strains of marijuana that have had the THC bred out of them.  In order to differentiate these strains from industrial hemp, these low-THC, high-CBD strains are sometimes referred to as phytocannabinoid-rich hemp, or (“PCR hemp”).


Often people believe that CBD is produced from industrial hemp, but this is a misconception.  Industrial hemp includes both male and female plants and typically produces very low levels of cannabinoids. As a result, industrial hemp is generally considered unsuitable for CBD production.  High-quality CBD oil can be extracted from both marijuana and PCR hemp.


Legality of CBD in Ohio


While THC and CBD both come from the same plant, only CBD derived from cannabis plants which meet the federal government’s definition of hemp (.3% THC or less) are legal.  In July of 2019, Ohio Senate Bill 57 officially legalized the cultivation of non-intoxicating strains of cannabis (hemp) as well as the production and sale of CBD oil produced from hemp. 


The main provisions of the new law provide:


  • Hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC;
  • The Ohio Department of Agriculture must track all hemp being grown in the state;
  • All hemp growers must be licensed through the Department of Agriculture.

Can you fail a drug test by taking CBD?


If you consume CBD on a regular basis, it’s important to have some information with regard to the risks of testing positive.  In addition, with implications for probation violations, DUI / OVIdrug crimes, and other criminal charges, it’s an issue the courts will need to figure out should defendants challenge positive marijuana drug tests on the basis that they only consumed CBD. 


Even in states where marijuana is legal for medical or recreational use, employers are allowed to test for marijuana.  Most employers do because it can help them lower their costs for disability insurance and workers’ compensation. 


The urine test most commonly used to detect for marijuana doesn’t test for CBD but instead looks for a compound created by the body when it metabolizes THC.  CBD does not get confused with THC metabolite with the test.  But CBD products could have more THC than the label claims. CBD products often have more THC than claimed.  For example, a 2017 study in JAMA found that 18 of 84 CBD products, all purchased online, had THC levels possibly high enough to cause intoxication or impairment.  And those elevated levels might also be high enough to cause you not to pass a drug test.


It’s also possible that over time, the small amounts of THC allowed in CBD products could build up in the body to detectable levels.  Many legitimate CBD products contain small amounts of THC. And when taken regularly over as little as four to six days, that THC can accumulate in the body.


It is important to consider products that are claimed to be “CBD only” and have a certificate of authenticity showing that they contain zero THC.  Also, you can try tracking your own THC levels with an at-home drug test.  If you test positive but need to be THC-free, consider taking a two to three week break from the product to clear THC from your system.










comments powered by Disqus